Future Proof - End report

For the FUTURE PROOF MEDIA ART project, LIMA’s research team of art conservation, documentation, technology, digital engineering, and sound and video production experts have worked in collaboration with Dutch media artist Geert Mul to conduct a large-scale investigation into documentation and preservation approaches of complex software-based and interactive media artworks in order to define an artwork script to guide future presentations of such artworks.

The research conducted focuses on all relevant issues concerning technical innovation, sustainability, presentation and the substantiation of necessary preservation measures. Multiple installations of Geert Mul are used as case studies to explore these issues and through which a number of guidelines, methods and approaches have been developed that are relevant and useful to a wider community of media artists.

As the basis of this research, LIMA conducted case studies using 10 works by artist Geert Mul who has been making media artworks for over 25 years, and whose significant retrospective exhibition at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in November 2016 was the perfect opportunity to re-stage and refurbish a large body of work dating back to 1990. Furthermore, the exhibition acted as fertile ground upon which to use these 10 artworks as case studies to explore and develop an “artwork script” for the documentation and preservation of complex born-digital (interactive) installations.




The 10 artworks selected resulted in 7 case studies with 7 conserved artworks: Toen en Nu (1990), This Land is Man-Made (2000), The Library of Babel (2003), God’s Browser (2010) and Match of the Day (2004-2008) resulted in individual case studies; Data Architecture (2003), The Order of Things (2005) and Random Access Memories (2008-present) are discussed in a combined case study as they share the same software and interface for configuring the specific set-up of each work and resulted in the conservation of Random Access Memories as it was presented in Schiedam ; and the artworks Horizons (2008) and Shan Shui (2013) which share the same software but different image database were investigated by PhD candidate of the University of Amsterdam Claudia Roeck as part of her dissertation, resulting in the conservation of Shan Shui as this work was selected for presentation in Schiedam.


Download the end report on Future Proof, here.




This project is made possible with the support of Creative Industries Fund NL.