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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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News and Events

This page highlights news and events at the Smithsonian Museums and involving TBMA Working Group members. For more events at the Smithsonian, please see the Smithsonian's Events Page.

Time-based Media Conservation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

April 5, 2017
Topics in Time-based Media Art Conservation, NYU Institute of Fine Arts, Conservation Center Lecture Series

Dan Finn, Media Art Conservator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum joins a few other professionals in the IFA's lecture night on Spotlight on New Talents in Time-Based Media Art Conservation. In their lectures, they explore the advantages and challenges of being an emerging professional and also the first of their kind in the institution.

Full video up on the site soon.

Time-Based Media Arts and TMS

April 18-21, 2016
Gallery Systems Collective Imagination 2016, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Lynn Putney, SAAM Associate Registrar and Emily Schlemmer, SAAM Assistant Registrar, Collections Information, will present on Time-Based Media Arts and The Museum System (TMS) at Gallery Systems Collective Imagination 2016. The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) collection of Time-Based Media Arts (TBMA) increases every year in number and complexity. Objects range from 16mm films and vintage electronic installations to digital videos, software-based artworks and video games. Customization and utilization of TMS enables collections managers to account for the volume and variety of media and equipment associated with Time-Based Media Arts. SAAM Registrars have created strategies to address the unique needs of these artworks by developing a robust cross-departmental workflow and accompanying documentation. This presentation explores SAAM’s approach to handling TBMA and how TMS performs as an integral tool for success.

VIEW the SAAM TBMA Workflow and DOWNLOAD the SAAM Templates here.

READ the presentation.

Meet Dan Finn, SAAM's Media Conservator

March 31, 2016
Eye Level, Smithsonian American Art Museum blog

As SAAM continues to add time-based media to its collection, conservation of these artforms is becoming an important aspect in our museum. In August 2015, Dan Finn was hired to retrofit an office space and acquire equipment for SAAM's Media Conservation Lab. Dan has a Master's Degree from the New York University's Moving Image and Archiving Program. And we got a chance to talk with him about his work here.

Material Culture 101, Smithsonian Material Culture Forum’s 101st meeting

February 18, 2016
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

The theme “Material Culture 101” situates digital technology within various definitions of material culture. Forum Speakers included Jason Farman, Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies, University of Maryland; Gwynne Ryan, Chief Conservator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Jonathan Coddington, Director of the Global Genome Initiative, National Museum of Natural History; and Masum Momaya, Curator, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The program included a tour of Suspended Animation, a Hirshhorn Museum exhibition that brings together six artists who use digitally generated images as a tool to question conceptions of reality. TBMA Working Group member Gwynne Ryan discussed Time-Based Media Art Conservation at the Hirshhorn Museum.

Time-Based Media Art: Preserving Bits and Bytes

August 21, 2015
Face to Face, National Portrait Gallery blog

Rosemary Fallon, Paper Conservator at NPG, discusses the work being done to care for time-based media artworks in the collection, referencing some specific video works that include Esperanza Spalding by Bo Gehring and (Pop) Icon Britney by R. Luke DuBois.

Conserving and Curating Media Art

June 3, 2015, 6pm
McEvoy Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery

Objects Conservator L.H. (Hugh) Shockey, Jr., and Curator of Film and Media Arts Michael Mansfield discuss the challenges and triumphs of conserving and exhibiting media arts in the twenty-first century. Highlighting recent treatments executed in preparation for the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Watch This: Revelations in Media Art, our speakers will present an inside view into considerations of preservation and display that inform the creation of a media arts exhibition. Watch the Webcast!

SI TBMA Working Group Poster Session at AIC

May 14-15, 2015
AIC's 43rd Annual Meeting in Miami, FL

The Smithsonian's TBMA Working Group will present The Smithsonian Interview Project: Questions on Technical Standards in the Care of Time-Based and Digital Art at the 2015 Annual Meeting for the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). See the Poster!

Over 27 artists, conservators, registrars, IT and AV staff members, and other specialists were asked guided questions targeted towards current and emerging preservation standards, best practices, and training opportunities surrounding the technical dependencies of artworks throughout the life of a work in an art museum. Full interview transcripts and a final report are published on the website.

Symposium on Mixed-Media Archives and Contemporary Art History

March 27, 2015
Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, Washington D.C

The Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian announces an upcoming symposium, “The Multi-Media Archive: Stewardship and Use of Audiovisual Media Documenting Contemporary Art History,” to be held in Washington D.C., on Friday, March 27. This symposium is a culminating event for the Archives of American Art’s 3-year project Uncovering Hidden Audiovisual Media Documenting Postmodern Art. The Call For Papers submission deadline is January 23, 2015.

Preserving Digital and Software-Based Artworks: Recap of a NDSA Discussion

June 13, 2014
The Signal, Library of Congress

A summary of the recent discussion on Preserving Digital and Software Based Artworks for the National Digital Stewardship Alliance's (NDSA) Standards and Practices Working Group, of which TBMA Working Group members, Isabel Meyer, Crystal Sanchez, and Erica Titkemeyer were participants, in addition to MoMA, SFMoMA, and The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art at Cornell University Library.

Reflections on the Smithsonian’s "Conserving Software-Based Artworks" Symposium

April 21, 2014

Allison Jessing, TBMA Working Group Member reflects on the Smithsonian's January 2014 Symposium: TECHNOLOGY EXPERIMENTS IN ART: Conserving Software-Based Artworks. Learn more about the Symposium on the TBMA Group's Symposia and Roundtables page.

A Residency Update: Working with Digital Media Art at the Smithsonian

April 11, 2014
The Signal Blog

Erica Titkemeyer, National Digital Stewardship Resident at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, is tasked with identifying the specialized digital curation requirements for time-based media art (TBMA), including repository needs, organizational policies, format risks, etc. Her post on The Signal discusses steps in producing recommendations for Smithsonian units acquiring these types of works, including the National Portrait Gallery, the American Art Museum, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

RFQ for Contractors- Level 1 Grand Challenges Award, 2013

April 2014

The Request for Quote is issued by the SI TBMA Group and the National Portrait Gallery for 3 Media Art Conservators to facilitate a 3 month feasibility study on the establishment of a time-based and digital art conservation lab at the Smithsonian Institution.
Funded by a Level 1 Grand Challenges Award.

RFQ Details Here
Learn more on the TBMA Projects Page.

Level 1 Grand Challenges Award, 2013

March 2014

The SI TBMA Group was awarded a Level 1 Grand Challenges Award to conduct a Feasibility Study on Establishing a Time Based Digital Art Conservation Lab at the Smithsonian Institution. Learn more on the TBMA Projects Page.

Handling Digital Assets in Time-Based Media Art

February 20, 2014
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, DC

A blog post by National Digital Stewardship Resident Erica Titkemeyer! Hosted by the Smithsonian Institution Archives, her work, in her own words:

    Directed at the curatorial and conservation obstacles time-based media art imposes on museum workflows, I was tasked with developing strategies for handling the digital assets that make up these kinds of works, with particular focus on how they might best be placed in a trustworthy digital repository environment.
Read her blog post to know more! And check out her blog.


January 13, 2014
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Introduced by Christiane Büchner, Cologne-based filmmaker, short films on the themes of destruction are screened (in English or with English subtitles). Related to the exhibition Damage Control: Art and Destruction since 1950. I counted 19 media works in the show.

WIRED reports on the Interview Project

January 6, 2014

"May the saints and angels look after the Thought Leaders." WIRED reports on the Working Group's project: Status and Need for Technical Standards in the care of Time-Based Media and Digital Art, listing the thought leaders interviewed. What a group!

Keeping New Media New: Conserving High-Tech Art

October 23, 2013

An article featuring the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the exhibition Nam June Paik: Global Visionary as case studies in an exploration of the challenges art conservators encounter in working with technology based artworks. Also, cool pictures of robots.

INCAA reports on the Launch of the Smithsonian Institution's TBMA Website

July 19, 2013

In a guest post by Alli Jessing, Principle Investigator for the Smithsonian’s Time-Based Media and Digital Art Working Group, the Group's new website is explored (this one).

Hirshhorn Exhibition, Peter Coffin: Here and There

Opening June 28 and on display through October 6, 2013
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Peter Coffin, whose practice "includes photography, assemblage, performance, time-based media, installations, sound art, and sculpture in many forms, often draws inspiration from odd facts or obscure theories. To emphasize the artist's chameleon-like virtuosity, the works in the exhibition, rather than being concentrated within one exhibition area, are installed in spaces around the Museum."

Screenings: The Films of Nam June Paik

June 27, July 17, & August 8, 2013, 6:30pm
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

John G. Hanhardt, senior curator of Film and Media Arts, and Michael Mansfield, associate curator, introduces a series of curated film and video works by Nam June Paik and his contemporaries.

Conserving and Exhibiting the Works of Nam June Paik,
a Lunder Conservation Center Symposium

June 26, 2013, 9 AM
Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

An all-day symposium organized by the Lunder Conservation Center examines the conservation and restoration of works by Nam June Paik. Focusing on the exhibition Nam June Paik: Global Visionary, a variety of speakers from Paik collections across the country, including John G. Hanhardt, senior curator for media arts, and Michael Mansfield, associate curator of film and media arts, will discuss their experiences with Paik's works in a series of lectures and panel discussions. Specific artworks will be addressed in relation to broader issues of the conservation of media used to created time-based art. For the full program, click here.

Smithsonian Institution Archives selected as a Digital Stewardship Residency host to work towards best practices of TBMA in TDRs.

June 19, 2013 announcement
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, DC

The Library of Congress, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, organized the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) program, now in its inagural year. The program offers recent graduates opportunities to work in the field of digital preservation at host sites. SI Archives has been selected as a host site, and Erica Titkemeyer was selected as SI Archives' candidate, to work under the supervision of working group member Riccardo Ferrante. Erica, an NYU recent graduate, will work to identify the specialized digital and curatorial requirements of time-based media art and establish a benchmark of best practices. The nine-month program begins in September 2013.

Attending INCCA-NA's Artist Interview Methodology Workshops

June 6, 2013, 2:30pm
INCCA-NA Weblog; workshop was at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City

Working group member Crystal Sanchez recaps her thoughts on attending INCCA-NA's Artist Interview Workshops offered by The International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art- North America (INCCA_NA) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Training was made possible by the Working Group in preparation for the Group's Interview Project on technical standards for TBMA.

Alex Cooper (NPG) and Isabel Meyer (OCIO) present at AIC 2013

June 1, 2013, 2:30pm
American Institute for Conservation, 2013 Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN

Isabel Meyer and Alex Cooper present on the use of the Digital Asset Management System and NPG's TBMA Archival Package to store and preserve digital components of time-based media artworks, using Jason Salavon's Late Night Triad as a case study.

An Interview with Michael Mansfield on the challenges in the Curation of Time-Based Media Art

April 9, 2013
Library of Congress' Digital Preservation Blog: The Signal

Working Group Member Michael Mansfield, Associate Curator of Film and Media Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, talks with the Digital Preservation team at the Library of Congress about his experience and insights on the curation of time based media art.

Anne Goodyear presents at the Museum Computer Network 2012 Conference.

November 9, 2012
Museum Computer Network Conference, Seattle, WA

Anne Goodyear presents as part of the INCCA-NA panel - Preserving Digital Art: A Case Study to discuss various aspects of creating, displaying, storing, and preserving digital-born artworks within the context of museum data storage systems. Watch the video.

Playing Pong in 2100: How to Preserve Old Video Games, a TBMA-hosted Roundtable

August 18, 2012
Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

This half-day program featured two panel conversations on conservation and preservation of digital media, specifically video games, in a world of constantly evolving technologies in tangent to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's exhibition The Art of Video Games.

Site Visit: Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation

June 2012
Culpeper, VA

The TBMA Working Group travelled to Culpeper, Virginia to visit the Library of Congress Packard Campus of the National Audio-visual Conservation Center, a modern facility for the acquisition, cataloging, and preservation of all audio-visual formats.

An Interview with Jeff Martin on Conserving Time-Based Art

February 16, 2010
Art:21 Blog

Working Group member Jeff Martin is interviewed by Art Conservator Richard McCoy for the Art:21 blog on the care of time-based art and the Smithsonian's 2010 Colloquium: Collaborations in Conserving Time-Based Art.