This title is derived from the chapter ‘On Changes and Challenges’ in Vivan Van Saaze’s Ph.D. thesis ‘Doing Artworks: Presentation and Conservation of Installation Artworks’
The only accurate way to test if we have understood, documented and transferred the constituent parts of a work of art and the work itself is by re-installing the work. The general approach, therefore, is to conduct case studies and interviews with artists and other key figures involved in the work. This approach was also adopted for the Obsolete Equipment project, which conducted more than ten video-based case studies and interviews in its first year. Included in the research for the case studies are the artist or culture of production, the collection or work of art (history, creation, context), and descriptions of the anatomy, character and identity of the artwork that are in line with the artist’s intentions. These case studies also define the appropriate approach and the desired result. Important questions that were asked included:
How are the problems related to this work defined, what solution/approach is proposed, and what is the result of this approach in relation to the definition of the problem?
When answering these questions, areas of special interest such as storage, obsolete equipment, risk analysis and documentation arise. These questions indicated a logical route to follow. Following this route highlights the core problems and areas requiring attention. Fundamental to the route is the full realisation of the character of video and multimedia artworks. This awareness influences the way such artworks are approached during their lifespan, and fosters the awareness that special care is required when it comes to (collecting and) storage, obsolescence, risk analysis, and documentation.1
1. Formulated in the Imago Revised project (2009), an ICN/NIMk project that developed guidelines for case studies and obsolete equipment.