Co-director of CSNI & Visiting Professor
Annet Dekker is Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Media Studies: Archival and Information Studies, next to being a freelance curator. Her recent projects were as researcher Digital Preservation at Tate, London, tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, and fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. She publishes widely on issues of digital art and preservation in international, peer-reviewed journals, books, and magazines, and has edited several publications, among others, Lost and Living (in) Archives (2017), Speculative Scenarios, or what will happen to digital art in the (near) future (2013), Archive 2020: Sustainable Archiving of Born Digital Cultural Content (2010), and Walled Garden (co-edited with Annette Wolfsberger, 2009). Previously, she worked as web curator for SKOR (2010–12), was programme manager at Virtueel Platform (2008–10), and head of exhibitions, education and artists-in-residence at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (1999–2008). In 2014, she completed her PhD on conservation of net art at Goldsmiths, University of London.
I believe a critical engagement with the philosophical, aesthetic and cultural implications of computation-based media technologies is needed to comprehend contemporary society. Artists and art signal themes and tendencies that aid in understanding these interrelations, and can help to critically engage with the abstract culture generated by this rapidly evolving field. Whereas such practices can illustrate or illuminate, an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective is required to study these media as part of cultural, international, economic, political and historical relations. In my research I use methods from various disciplines, from archaeology, forensics and media archaeology, to archival practices and curating, as well as social sciences and software studies. Moreover, to come to terms with computational media, I believe theory depends on and should be studied in close connection with practice. How media, or art for that matter, is produced, consumed, distributed and archived provides many answers to theoretical problems, for example, how digital archives present new ways of behaviour, and consequently, how this influences and affects the function of memory, identity and agency.