Béla Tamás KÓNYA

Béla Tamás KÓNYA

Chief Operating Officer, Head of Conservation, Hungarian National Conservation and Storage Center / Museum of Fine Arts (HUN)


Béla Támas Kónya is Chief Operating Officer and Head of Conservation at the Hungarian National Conservation and Storage Center (OMRRK) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. He holds a PhD in Media Art Preservation (Theory and Practice) and an absolutorium from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts Doctoral School, Budapest. His main responsibilities include managing the Institution and the Conservation Department, and overseeing the conservation of art. He also ensures that cultural diversity is promoted as a fundamental value, and oversees the design and development of projects which involve close cooperation with national and international partners. He administers the development and implementation of a long-term Collection Care and Digitization Strategy, and he is involved in the development of the future Institute of Conservation and Storage Center. Kónya dedicates much of his time to exhibition coordination, and he was the curator for THE DEAD WEB – THE END (2020) and ‘Save As…’ – What Will Remain of New Media Art? (2017), both held at the Ludwig Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest. Kónya works closely with artists, curators, and institutions in art curation, exhibition, and conservation projects worldwide including Molior, ZKM, MoMA, MET, Tate, BOZAR, New York University, Goethe-Institut, and LIMA. With his experience and extensive network, he seeks to actively contribute to the ongoing research, conservation, and preservation of existing and future artworks.



Are There any New Hybrid Solutions which will Change our Exhibition Experiences?

This talk explores the changes in the operations and strategies of museums as a result of evolving technological and social processes in the twenty-first century, as well as the challenges of the media art preservation, and seeks to situate these institutional re-evaluations and their public impact within their complex contexts. To illustrate this discussion, I will focus on institutions in Hungary who have led the vanguard for shifts in digital practice. I will also explore how these precedents have shaped the institutional sphere, drawing upon personal experiences in developing digital and collection care strategies at the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest, and the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.

The augmentation of digital content and technology affects all layers of museums, requiring considerably greater labour input and indicating the need to establish new jobs and departments. The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has sped up the digital transition process and may have outbreak consequences in the form of pushing work and education from a fixed place to digital platforms.

The audio-visual flux of image, sound and digital media forms part of quotidian social and cultural life and keeps the world in constant motion. At the same time, as the aging and evolution of technology has become an ordinary phenomenon, media art objects (photography, video, digital content) generally deteriorate faster than objects of traditional media (painting, sculpture). Nevertheless, their conservation is equally important, as media objects constitute a significant part of twentieth and twenty-first century cultural heritage.


The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.


HyMEx is organized within the Beyond Matter project-frame.


Partners of Beyond Matter