Collaborative infrastructure for sustainable access to digital art project update

Blog post

Since august LIMA has been updating her technical infrastructure, researching the preservation of digital art works from a variety of Dutch collections, and training new staff members to prevent the loss of digital artworks and to commonly develop and transmit the knowledge to preserve these works in a sustainable way.

By this point in time, collections have accumulated a substantial amount of digital artworks which depend on rapid technical development. There is a lack of a new generation of experts to research and it has become increasingly important and urgent to gather and to share knowledge around the preservation of digital art works and therefore LIMA initiated the national project Collaborative infrastructure for sustainable access to digital art. For this project, we teamed up with artists, 14 Dutch collections (museums, corporate collections, private collectors, presentation institutions), the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE), The Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SMBK) and NDE (the Dutch Digital Heritage Network) which is a worldwide unique collaboration in this area. Our technical team started with the research and the adaptation of new workflows for storing and monitoring archival masterfiles and metadata on LTO 8 and updating and certificating the infrastructure. The next step will be the updating of the current database structure so complex digital artworks and their iterations and versions can be described more accurately.

We planned nine case studies exploring the analysis, documentation and storage and monitoring of netart, participatory-, generative- and live artworks, digital installations with software components and digital still images from a variety of collections. In 2022 we will research three cases starting with Compressed Forests by Jan Robert Leegte, 2016 collection RCE, on loan at Centraal Museum Utrecht, followed by Fill this Up by Rafaël Rozendaal, 2014, KRC Collection, and BLKNWS’ by Khalil Joseph, 2021 Collection Bonnefanten. The first case is almost ready; conceptually and technically analysed followed by an interview with the artist, the next step is the documentation and publication of the results. The case was executed by Claudia Röck (Conservator and Researcher and PhD student University of Amsterdam), Mauricio van der Maesen Sombreff (Engineer & Junior conservator), Olivia Brum (Junior Conservator) together with Arthur van Maurik (Centraal Museum), Sylvia van Schaik (RCE) and Dorian Meijnen (Junior conservator RCE).  

To shine more light on the history of digital art, types and components of dynamic (online) artworks and practices and the requirement of new approaches to documentation and management for future presentations a series of workshops will be held.

For more information on the project contact Claudia Röck and for more information on the technical infrastructure contact Wiel Seuskens.

The project is made possible by the generous support of The Mondriaan Fund, Prince Bernard Cultural Fund and the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund.