Book part:
Preservation of Software-based Art at Tate


Software-based art has been part of the Tate Collection since 2003. In the intervening period, practices in different institutions have changed and become aligned and shared within the community of practitioners. It is fair to say that the current body of knowledge has reached a degree of con-sensus around the specificities of this medium and the processes involved for sustainability and preservation, or the lack thereof. This paper de-scribes our current understanding of the role of the conservator, the lifecycle of the artwork in the institution from a conservation perspective and some of the recent developments in the field. We discuss intervention, defined as any action that changes the materials of an artwork, both hardware and software, in terms of its possible intentions and the most usual types. We identify intervention not only at a treatment moment but also possibly as a preventive measure, that increases a system's sustaina-bility.Conservation of software-based art is still in its infancy, but strategies are being actively tested and developed in different contexts and practices, and Tate as an institution is happy to contribute to those developments through practice but also by disseminating information.

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Preferred Citation
Falcão, Patricia: Preservation of Software-based Art at Tate. In: Grau, Oliver;Hoth, Janina;Wandl-Vogt, Eveline: Digital Art through the Looking Glass. New strategies for archiving, collecting and preserving in digital humanities. Krems a.d. Donau: Edition Donau-Universität 2019, S. 271-287. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/13189.
 author = {Falcão, Patricia},
 title = {Preservation of Software-based Art at Tate},
 year = 2019,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/13189},
 editor = {Grau, Oliver and Hoth, Janina and Wandl-Vogt, Eveline},
 address = {Krems a.d. Donau},
 booktitle = {Digital Art through the Looking Glass. New strategies for archiving, collecting and preserving in digital humanities},
 pages = {271--287},
 publisher = {Edition Donau-Universität},
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