Today many museums are using digitised collection management systems for documentation and maintenance of their artworks. These systems have been developed for traditional art (paintings, sculptures, graphic works). Complex multimedia installations are presently not considered, while the need for an adequate documentation of these works is extremely urgent for future preservation and re-presentation. Another problem is that there are still no criteria or techniques for documenting technical and conceptual aspects that are fundamental to describing installation art, i.e. the documentation of light, sound, space, movement, video (brightness, contrast, colour), intended decay, interaction with visitors, tactility and olfactory, etc.
As part of the European research project Inside Installations: Preservation and Presentation of Installations Art (2004-2007) special research was conducted into the subject of documentation and archiving strategies. This research was coordinated by one of the 5 project coorganisers Restaurierungszentrum Düsseldorf (Germany). For further information follow this link to the research section the Inside Installations website.
There is a lot of information under this research section, use the menu on the left hand side of this to navigate. Click on 'documentation' for a short overview of this research section.
A special booklet was created as a summary of the project results. This can be downloaded in PDF below: