Mr Brian Castriota
- Marie Curie ITN Fellow (History of Art)
- Conservation of contemporary art and time-based media; documentation strategies and models
- Perceptions of authenticity, integrity, and loss in conservation and cultural heritage management
- Post-strcturalist apporaches to conservation theory and practice
- Technical art history of time-based media artworks; analog audiovisual synthesis technologies
As an Early Stage Researcher within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral training network "New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art" (NACCA), my research examines how authenticity is conferred and perceived and artwork identity is constructed and reified through museum practices. I investigate the various material and contextual conditions that lead to a work’s “authentic” persistence or recurrence, and the circumstances in which these conditions shift and evolve over time. In my research I draw upon critical discourses around identity and instantiation to expand the frameworks that underpin existing collection care practices and reframe some of the key dilemmas and challenges faced in the conservation of contemporary art.
Brian Castriota is a conservator specialised in the conservation of time-based media, contemporary art, and archaeological materials. He holds a Master's degree in History of Art and Archaeology, and a Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU where he graduated in 2014. He recently completed a doctoral degree at the University of Glasgow within the research program “New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art” (NACCA) – a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network. His PhD thesis examined notions of artwork identity and authenticity commonly invoked in the conservation of contemporary art.
He is currently a freelance conservator for time-based media and contemporary art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. He is also a Supervising Conservator with the Harvard-Cornell Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in Turkey and has worked with the expedition since 2011. Prior to his doctoral studies he was a Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Time-Based Media Conservation at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and he worked as a contract conservator for time-based media artworks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2014. He also served as the Supervising Conservator on the NYU Excavations at Aphrodisias in 2015, and was a Student Conservator at Selinunte and Abydos during his Master’s studies.
He is a regular guest lecturer on the subject of time-based media and contemporary art conservation for the MLitt course in Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow, the MSc course in Collections and Curating Practice at the Edinburgh College of Art, and an adjunct instructor for the NYU Institute of Fine Arts’ time-based media conservation stream of the MA/MS degree programme.
“Acquistion and Documentation of Time-Based Media Artworks.” Individualised instruction for NYU Institute of Fine Arts' MA/MSc degree programme in History of Art and Conservation, June 2019.
“Authenticity in the Persistence and Recurrence of Contemporary Artworks.” Regular guest lecture for seminar The Authentic Artwork (MLitt Making and Meaning: Approaches in Technical Art History, University of Gasgow), 2018–
“Collecting the Unruly.” Regular guest lecture delivered with Julie-Ann Delaney for seminar Collecting the Ephemeral (MSc Collections & Curating Practices, University of Edinburgh), University of Edinburgh, 2018–
“Documenting Christy Matson’s Sonic Structure II: Where Textile Conservation Meets Time-Based Media Conservation.” Regular guest lecture (MPhil Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow), 2017–
"Making and Preserving Time-Based Media Artworks." Guest lecture for seminar Art in the Making (MLitt Making and Meaning: Approaches in Technical Art History, University of Glasgow), 7 March 2016
"Collecting Time-Based Media Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Acquisition and Documentation." Guest lecture for seminar Art With A Plug (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University), 27 February 2015.
Castriota, Brian. 2019. “Authenticity, Identity, and Essentialism: Reframing Conservation Practice.” In What Is the Essence of Conservation? Papers from the ICOM-CC and ICOFOM Session at the 25th General Conference Held in Kyoto, 4 September 2019, edited by François Mairesse and Renata F. Peters, 39–48. Paris: ICOFOM.
Bunz, Sophie, Brian Castriota, and Flaminia Fortunato. 2016. “How Sustainable Is File-Based Video Art? Exploring the Foundations for Best Practice Development.” Electronic Media Review 4. http://resources.conservation-us.org/emg-review/volume-4-2015-2016/bunz/
Castriota, Brian. 2016. “Mediating Meanings: Conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard.” Postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies 7 (3): 369–77.
Castriota, Brian. 2013. “Equipment Significance and Obsolescence in Diana Thater’s The Bad Infinite.” In Conservation: Cultures and Connections, Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Theory and History of Conservation Working Group, Copenhagen, 16-17 May 2013. CeROArt. http://www.ceroart.revues.org/3665
Papers & Public Lectures
“Instantiation, Actualisation, and Absence in Katie Paterson’s Future Library (2014–2114).” Paper delivered at 47th Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation, Uncasville, CT, 16 May 2019.
“Object Trouble: Constructing and Performing Artwork Identity in the Museum.” Paper delivered at Queering Art History, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, 2 March 2019.
“Centres in Flux: A Poststructuralist Approach to Authenticity in the Conservation of Contemporary Art.” Paper delivered at International Congress on Theories, History and Conservation, Mexico City, 18–21 September 2018.
“Towards a Collection of Artists’ Moving Image in Scotland: Collection Care, Maintenance, and Preservation.” Lecture delivered at LUX Scotland symposium, National Galleries Scotland, Edinburgh, 25 July 2017. https://soundcloud.com/lux-moving-image-503964893/brian- castriota-time-based
“Ontological Models and Authenticity in Time-Based Media Art Conservation.” Paper delivered at Spotlight on New Talent in Time-Based Media Art Conservation, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, 5 April 2017. https://vimeo.com/216715061#t=2130s
“The Authentic Instance: Reframing Authenticity in the Conservation of Contemporary Art.” Lecture delivered at NACCA Winter School, TATE Modern, London, 16 January 2017.
“How Sustainable is File-Based Video Art? Exploring the Foundations for Best-Practice Development.” Paper delivered at 44th Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation, Montreal, Canada, 15 May 2016.
"Consistency and Change in the Conservation of Technology-Based Installation Art." Half-Life: Persistence and Decay, UCLA Art History 50th Anniversary Graduate Student Symposium, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, October 24, 2015.
"Examination and Code Analysis of Siebren Versteeg’s Untitled Film II (2004)." Co-authored paper delivered at TechFocus III: Caring for Software-Based Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, September 24, 2015.
"Visible-Induced Luminescence Imaging for On-Site Archaeological Conservation: Detecting, Recording and Preserving Polychrome Decoration on Figural Terracottas." Paper delivered at the Student Symposium of the ICOM-CC Glass and Ceramics Working Group Interim Meeting, Amsterdam, October 11, 2013.
"Plastic Integrity: Shaping the Conservation Object." Paper delivered at Stories And Situations: The Moderation(s) Conference, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, October 5, 2013.
"Equipment Significance and Obsolescence in Diana Thater’s The Bad Infinite: A Case Study in the Cult of Unintentional Monuments." Poster presented at the Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Working Group on Theory & History of Conservation, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, May 15-17, 2013.
"Time-Based Media and the Mediation of Time: Equipment Significance and Obsolescence in Diana Thater’s The Bad Infinite." Paper delivered at Archaeology, Heritage, and the Mediation of Time, Mellon Research Initiative Colloquium, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, April 13, 2013.
"Mediating Meanings: Conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard." Paper delivered at Cruising in the Ruins: The Question of Disciplinarity in the Post/Medieval University, Second Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group, Northeastern University, Boston MA, September 22, 2012.