Research Agenda

LIMA develops best practice guidelines, performs case studies and shares knowledge through trainings and presentations. LIMA is also a base of operations in the arena of digital art research on both a national and international level.

Born digital art

Investigations in the field of the preservation of video and installation art have led to significant advances in recent years. On the subject of born digital art however, research has been more incidental. Internet-based art has a short life span and is emblematic of the broader challenges surrounding the preservation of digital art. In addition to its increasing relevance, the problematic is becoming exponentially larger. Internet-based artworks are integral parts of a specific computer network and are at times (partially) live, participatory and/or generated in real time. Research is required in order to ensure that these works are supported for the short term and preserved for the long term. LIMA approaches this problematic proactively and its focus for the future is on researching born digital art where preservation, archiving and documentation all play key roles. 

The long-term accessibility of complex digital object

The maintenance of software almost always includes migration. The source code is changed or rewritten in order to achieve functionality on newer platforms. This type of reconstruction can have a significant impact on the authenticity of the artwork; often altering the original appearance and functionality. An alternative to consider is emulation. Emulation is a process developed within computer science technology whereby the code and the operating system are migrated to a new hardware environment or where the data is passed on to a new independent hardware environment of web servers. This process is widely employed with the field of information technology, in archives and in libraries but has rarely been surveyed or evaluated within the context of the preservation of complex digital objects – or digital art.

Digital Art Documentation

There are several possibilities and approaches to documenting digital projects and artworks. The important question to be asked is which information is the most relevant to the process. LIMA conjoins international research in the area of the archival and documentation of digital art with the Dutch developments in this field. We develop best practices, carry out case studies and share knowledge through trainings and publications for students, artists and curators.

Business Models

Business models for securing the national infrastructure around the sustainability of digital art are still in development. It is clear however that digital art is relatively inexpensive to purchase while management over the year has proved to be costly. LIMA is examining new business models for the distribution of media art. We are also developing best practices for business, distribution and procurement models for sustainable access to digital art. When a case is outside our field of expertise, LIMA will also act as negotiator and intermediary in the interests of community (non) professionals to make service agreements with third parties.

Tech Watch and Obsolete equipment

In order to perform an artwork again or to convert it to the newest technology, a continuous and international tech watch is of paramount importance for both hardware and software. At LIMA, new technologies are monitored and usability, compatibility and sustainability or rather applications for preservation are all investigated.