The Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) at New York University (NYU) is preparing to launch a four-year graduate course in time-based media conservation. The degree is the first of its kind in the US and reflects the growing need for specialists in the field as the popularity of technology-based works increases. Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, classes will start in autumn 2018, with the first graduate students due to matriculate in 2022.
NYU is one of only four graduate-level conservation programmes in the US (along with SUNY Buffalo State, Winterthur/University of Delaware and UCLA/Getty), and as of 2018 it will be the only one to offer a time-based media specialisation. Some European universities, however, have made time-based media conservation a priority for more than two decades. For example, Berlin’s Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft established media art courses in 1993 and Bern University of the Arts created its modern materials media programme in 1997.
“As it stands currently, [time-based media conservation] jobs are being filled by graduates from European programmes or individuals coming from adjacent fields,” says Hannelore Roemich, the chair of the Conservation Center at the IFA at NYU. “The world is not standing still. There are jobs that cannot be filled by those specifically trained for this field,” she says. ”Bern can’t be responsible for training all [specialists]. The situation is quite urgent.”
NYU’s Conservation Center offers full fellowships to the six to eight students it accepts each year. From that small number (the university receives around 60 applicants each year, with one-third making it to the interview process), one to three will focus on time-based media. The deadline to apply for the autumn 2018 term is 31 December.
• For more information, visit www.nyu.edu