Video Art / Media Art Preservation: Studies and Suggestions
THE DANISH VIDEO ART DATA BANK
You can find the reflections of the Guggenheim Museum on all 8 case studies at the website of Guggenheim (www.guggenheim.org/variablemedia ). Since it is the preservation and conservation of video that has the interest of THE DANISH VIDEO ART DATA BANK I will concentrate on the reflections on Paiks video installation TV Garden (playing the artists Global Groove tape). I take the liberty to quote more or less directly from the website:
Vulnerable aspects of this work include its reproducible source medium (video); its duplicable display mechanism (monitors), and its site-variability of the installation.
The people at Guggenheim find that preservation issues to explore in this case include:
· Storage: The original videotape is ¾ inch NTSC. What is the best way to conserve the source material?
· Emulation: If the source is ported to future formats such as DVD or digital video, should re-mastering emphasise the exact re-creation of the viewers original experience rather than bringing the works medium up-to-date?
· Migration: If the source is ported to formats (DVD, digital video, etc.) are changes in the viewers original experience acceptable as consequences of bringing the works medium up-to-date? How would the number of channels vary with the size of the installation?
· Reinterpretation: Is the size of the installation or number of channels meant to vary according to subjective criteria determined by the artist? If so, what is the best way to convey those criteria to future generations?
· Storage: should dedicated monitors/casings be stored?
· Emulation: If and when cathode ray tubes are no longer manufactured, should the museum emulate a video monitor by embedding a flat screen into an obsolete monitor casing?
· Migration: can the choice of monitor brands and types vary according to local availability?
· Reinterpretation: Were the technology available, could the video be projected in two or three dimensions?
The reflections continue with some considerations concerning the installation itself because it has been shown in different ways (that is: site specific, with more than one channel, etc.).