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Featured News Item:
Smithsonian American Art Museum shares the acquisition workflow and sample forms for TBMA collections

Featured Case Study:
Paul Sharits, Shutter Interface, (1975), Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Featured Working Group Project:
Interviews with Thought Leaders

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Major Projects

  • Archiving the Avant-Garde Documenting and Preserving Digital/Variable Media Art. A project of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, investigating the preservation and cataloging of variable artworks including media and digital art. The project's 2007 symposium, New Media and Social Memory, focused on digital art, and video of the entire symposium can be found online.
  • CRUMB (Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss) is a resource on the curatorial challenges of working with media works. Great listserv.

  • digital art conservation, a project (2010-2012) dedicated to researching strategies for the conservation of digital art, with a focus on artworks created with computer programming and digital technologies. The site hosts documentation on two symposiums, including videos. The project was initiated at the ZKM, Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, and was carried out in collaboration with five other institutions from the Upper Rhine region.

  • Digitising Contemporary Art (DCA)'s (2011-2013) goals are to digitize contemporary art objects from 12 European countries and make them accessible to the wider public through Europeana. The project coordinator is PACKED vzw, a Brussels-based centre of expertise for digital cultural heritage, with partners that include 21 art institutions and 4 technical institutions. The project is supported financially by the European Commission. Excellent deliverables including documentation on metadata and digitizing specs.

  • Documentation and Conservation of Media Art Heritage (DOCAM), offers five sections of research and implementation: conservation, documentation, cataloguing, history of technologies and terminology. Really good case studies and a solid documentation model tracing the key points in the lifecycle of an artwork. A project of the Daniel Langlois Foundation. The DOCAM Conservation Guide, prepared by the DOCAM Research Alliance Conservation and Preservation Committee, is a practical guide to help museum professionals choose the best conservation approach for works containing technological components. The guide is based on the results of research conducted as part of DOCAM case studies and also takes into account various existing conservation models.

  • Electronic Arts Intermix is a resource for finding variable media artists, as well as providing resources on preservation and advocacy. The EAI Online Resource Guide for Exhibiting, Collecting, and Preserving Media Art lays out the challenges involved in conserving time-based art, including details on the needs of single-channel video, computer-based arts, and the installation of works during exhibition, collection, and preservation phases in the lifecycle of an artwork. Particularly recommended are the “basic questions” sections and the condition reports.

  • The Electronic Media Group (EMG) is a specialty group of the American Institute for Conservation is a national organization for conservation professionals. EMG's goals are to preserve electronic art and to provide a forum for the building of knowledge in the preservation of time-based media and digital artworks. EMG provides session abstracts and articles on its website, and they have organized and sponsored the Tech Focus Workshops: Tech Focus 1: Caring for Video Art and Tech Focus II: Caring for Film and Slide Art.

  • Forging the Future "refines and distributes free and open-source products that boost access and aid in preservation" of our digital heritage, including the Variable Media Questionnaire.

  • Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK) embarks on projects related to the conservation and care of contemporary visual art, including information on the Preservation of Video Art project, which has templates for purchase agreements, among other resources and projects.

  • Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) is committed to the independent artist working in with the variable medium. It provides preservation resources, classes, and advocacy. The site includes a section on Preservation 101, Cataloguing Project with a great Glossary of Terms.

  • International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA) is a network that offers many resources including a database for members to share unpublished information about their conservation practices for contemporary artworks.

  • Inside Installations was a three-year research project (2004-2007) into the care and administration of installation artworks. Over thirty complex installations were selected as case studies and were re-installed, investigated and documented.

  • Matters in Media Art, a collaborative project among the Tate, MoMA, SFMoMA, and is a "multi-phase project designed to provide guidelines for care of time-based media works of art", offering excellent sections on Aquisitions and Loans for time-based artworks, including excellent templates.

  • Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/TBA (NMIK), supported media art in three core areas: presentation, research and conservation. Good information on video art preservation, with the Project Preservation Video Art. The project closed in December 2012, but the website has great resources. Contents to be moved to LIMA.

  • Rhizome was founded as an online archive of digital art, and has since become a leading resources in the preservation and presentation of digital artworks. The site offers documents on Rhizome's Digital Preservation and Cataloging practices. Visitors can also access Rhizome's collection, the Artbase.

  • SCART, a website on audiovisual heritage with a focus on the preservation of audiovisual collections. From nitrate to digitizing to digital preservation strategies and ethics, there are articles, interviews, and case studies on the site.

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Time-Based Media Conservation resources offers information about the Guggenheim's practices in the care and conservation of its media art collection, including a section dedicated to the creation of the Media Conservation Lab, details on new practices during a work's lifecycle, and information on documentation practices, including templates for documenting the details of a works various manifestations.

  • The Variable Media Initiative, a seminal project, pairs artists with museum and media consultants to provoke comparison of artworks created in ephemeral mediums. The initiative aims to define each of these case studies in terms of medium-independent behaviors and to identify artist-approved strategies for preserving artwork with the help of an interactive questionnaire.

  • Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA) is dedicated to developing knowledge through collaborations between artists, art professionals and collectors that will ensure the preservation of contemporary art and provide educational programs.