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Mission and Goals


The Time-based Media & Digital Art Working Group is a voluntary, pan-institutional, and cross-disciplinary body dedicated to the dissemination and sharing of information about the conservation, acquisition, installation and exhibition of time-based and digital art among Smithsonian units.

The Time-based Media & Digital Art Working Group also seeks to forge relationships with external organizations and institutions who are similarly involved with the care and exhibition of time-based and digital artworks.

Time-based and digital art (works which utilize film, video, audio, or digital technology as essential components) present new and complex challenges to the professionals charged with collecting, cataloging, and conserving them. Though some issues are shared by other contemporary artworks, most are unique to time-based art. Concerns include technological obsolescence, software incompatibility, and equipment failure, all of which present a serious threat to this important and rapidly growing category of the Smithsonian's diverse contemporary art collections.

The Time-based Media & Digital Art Working Group seeks to develop strategies for the long-term preservation of time-based media art in Smithsonian collections, as well as address a major concern in the larger field of contemporary art conservation: how museums can effectively and responsibly collect, exhibit, and preserve time-based art.



  • Develop and continually improve standards for the care of Smithsonian Institution time-based and digital artworks
  • Foster peer-to-peer communication among Smithsonian Institution staff with regard to the care and preservation of time-based and digital art
  • Sponsor programming, workshops and training opportunities internally and with external organizations and affiliates
  • Promote and facilitate collaborative initiatives that implement common goals and consistent standards among Smithsonian units, as well as with external entities
  • Foster outreach to national and international organizations and institutions concerned with the care and exhibition of time-based and digital art


The Time-based Media & Digital Art Working Group is an interdisciplinary team of specialists including registrars, conservators, curators, program officers, audiovisual specialists, and exhibit designers from all the Smithsonian art museums as well as representatives of Smithsonian Institution units with a vested interest in the topic. For a list of Working Group Members, visit the People page.

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