JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 3, Article 4 (pp. 211 to 231)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 3, Article 4 (pp. 211 to 231)

TOWARD GUIDELINES FOR PRACTICE IN THE PRESERVATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF TECHNOLOGY-BASED INSTALLATION ART

WILLIAM A. REAL


ABSTRACT—Unlike most works of art familiar to conservators, installation art is often less object than event, existing initially only for the duration of an exhibition. Nonetheless, institutions and individuals acquire works of installation art for their collections, fully expecting to preserve them into the foreseeable future. While there are conventions within the conservation field for examining, describing, and preserving works of art that exist as objects, there are few such conventions for works of art such as installations that exist for a limited time, are dismantled, and may be re-created at some indeterminate future time and location. The conservation field has little experience in dealing with the preservation of the ephemeral physical components of many technology-based installations, such as electronic media and playback equipment, without which there is no hope of re-creating a piece in the future. This article describes the preservation challenges inherent to this medium, summarizes the current state of conservation practice in the field, and suggests broad guidelines and standards. It is a result of TechArchaeology: A Symposium on Installation Art Preservation.
[Spanish Abstract] [French Abstract]

Article Sections:

1. BACKGROUND: THE PRESERVATION CHALLENGE OF INSTALLATION ART
2. PREVIOUS WORK ON PRESERVATION OF INSTALLATION ART
3. CURRENT APPROACHES TO THE PRESERVATION OF INSTALLATION ART
4. CONCLUSIONS
a: Notes , References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 2001 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works