In addition to locating and discovering electronic artworks, especially the physical preservation of those works is a major challenge. Video tapes stick, magnetic tapes and optical carriers lose information or cannot be read anymore, digital contents and programs cannot be utilised, due to the aging or disappearance of play-back devices. Therefore it is inevitable to discover common solutions.
In the affected institutions the awareness for this has grown in the past years. In relation to preservation technologies methods for adequate handling of electronic media art objects, using video art as an example, were developed. Due to their expertise in this field, Montevideo has developed methods for conservation and restoration of predominantly video art. These were elaborated upon in the scope of the OASIS Project and have been made available to the platform. A conference with an expert panel was organised, where the OASIS Consortium and external experts discussed specific preservation strategies.
A central subject in relation to preservation is the digitisation of video tapes. Depending on the usages the methods of creation and especially also the codices used for the transformation (codices are procedures for coding and de-coding data) vary. It is also of major importance that some works of video art cannot be compressed by using common vector-based methods: aesthetic features such as scratches, flicker or white noise are identified as errors by these compression modes and are automatically corrected and visually aligned. A fatal result in the context of video restoration, as the artistic statement is falsified by the elimination of these visual "errors".
The appropriateness of the technological means may therefore depend on the content and the appearance of a work. The results of the codec tests have been published online and are summarised here.
Examples demonstrate the effect of compression characteristics and filters.
→ conservation, restoration and preservation
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Institutions & Experts on preservation subjects:
The Conservation Awards
DOCAM | Documentation and Conservation of Electronic Media Arts Heritage
IMAP | Independent Media Art Preservation
EAI Online Resource Guide for Exhibiting, Collecting & Preserving Media Art
→ Curatorial Tools
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