JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 3, Article 3 (pp. 193 to 209)
DARA BIRNBAUM'S TIANANMEN SQUARE: BREAK-IN TRANSMISSION: A CASE STUDY IN THE EXAMINATION, DOCUMENTATION, AND PRESERVATION OF A VIDEO-BASED INSTALLATION
ABSTRACT—This paper presents a methodology for the examination and documentation of a video-based installation as applied to Dara Birnbaum's 1989–90 Tiananmen Square: Break-In Transmission. Functional and aesthetic roles of compositional elements and electronic components are characterized. Background on relevant technologies is summarized. The results of the assessment indicate that the stability of the piece may be threatened due to media degradation, format obsolescence, hardware obsolescence, and a lack of centralized documentation. Recommendations for near-term and long-term preservation activities are offered. This article is a result of TechArchaeology: A Symposium on Installation Art Preservation.