JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 3, Article 3 (pp. 193 to 209)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
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

PAUL MESSIER


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.
[Spanish Abstract] [French Abstract]

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION: DARA BIRNBAUM
2. TIANANMEN SQUARE: BREAK-IN TRANSMISSION
3. COMPOSITION OF TIANANMEN SQUARE: BREAK-IN TRANSMISSION
4. PLAYBACK HARDWARE AND MEDIA
5. RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
a: References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 2001 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works