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Archiving Complex Digital Artworks

Left: Installation view of Chinese Gold, part of Cultural Matter, LIMA, Amsterdam, 2017. Right: detail from Chinese Gold, 2006

Left: Installation view of Chinese Gold, part of Cultural Matter, LIMA, Amsterdam, 2017. Right: detail from Chinese Gold, Untitled 1-7 (Blue Series), 2006. Courtesy of artists

Journal of the Institute of Conservation
 
Published online: 30 May 2019
 

AUTHORS

Dušan Barok, Media Studies Department, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Julie Boschat Thorez, artist and researcher, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Annet Dekker, Media Studies Department, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
David Gauthier, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Claudia Roeck, Media Studies Department, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
 

ABSTRACT

The transmission of the documentation of changes made in each presentation of an artwork and the motivation behind each display are of importance to the continued preservation, re-exhibition and future understanding of artworks. However, it is generally acknowledged that existing digital archiving and documentation systems used by many museums are not suitable for complex digital artworks. Looking for an approach that can easily be adjusted, shared and adopted by others, this article focusses on open-source alternatives that also enable collaborative working to facilitate the sharing and changing of information. As an interdisciplinary team of conservators, researchers, artists and programmers, the authors set out to explore and compare the functionalities of two systems featuring version control: MediaWiki and Git. We reflect on their technical details, virtues and shortcomings for archiving complex digital artworks, while looking at the potential they offer for collaborative workflows.

Read the full article here (Open Access).

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