Preservation Practices of New Media Artists: Challenges, Strategies, and Attitudes in the Personal Management of Artworks

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Colin Post, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the preservation practices of new media artists, in particular those working outside of the scope of major collecting institutions, examining how these artists preserve new media artworks in their custody. Design/methodology/approach: The paper builds case studies of seven new media artists of differing practices and artistic approaches. For each case study, semi-structured interviews with the artists were conducted in conjunction with visits to the artists’ studios. Findings: The study finds that new media artists face a number of shared preservation challenges and employ a range of preservation strategies, and that these challenges and strategies differ markedly from that of art museums and cultural heritage institutions. Research limitations/implications: This study considers preservation practices for new media artists generally. Further research into specific communities of artistic practice could profitably build upon this overall framework. Practical implications: The findings of this research pose a number of implications for art museums and cultural heritage institutions, suggesting new ways these institutions might consider supporting the preservation of new media artworks before works enter into institutional custody. Originality/value: The literature on new media art preservation emphasizes the importance of working with artists early in the life cycle of digital artworks. This study advances this by investigating preservation from the perspective of new media artists, deepening the understanding of challenges and potential preservation strategies for these artworks prior to entering or outside of institutional custody.

Additional Information

nal of Documentation 73 (4): 716-732. doi:10.1108/JD-09-2016-0116.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Archives, Personal information management, Digital preservation, Personal digital archiving, Art conservation, Artist archives, Artist information behaviour, Digital art, New media art

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