Promo video by Constant Dullaart.

Due to the obsolescence of software, hardware and network infrastructures, born-digital art is subject to constant technological change and rapid obsolescence. To avoid the loss of born-digital artworks for future generations, constant research and development efforts in preservation methodologies and technologies are needed. LIMA is among the global pioneers committed to the research, preservation and storage of digital art. With an international network, LIMA initiates and participates in collaborative research programs that address issues concerning born-digital art preservation.

ArtHost is a paid preservation service, initiated by LIMA and developed in cooperation with DullTech, that anyone can use to take care of net art pieces, including documentation, hosting, management of DNS, etc. By sending your documentation, source code, files and domain registrations we take care of the sustainable preservation of your artwork. ArtHost offers server- en browser hosting solutions to provide artists, producers and collections with sustainable ways to give access to their online artworks. Including upload, ingest, checking files, documentation service and maintenance. We will improve the ArtHost service on a continuous bases also by offering new remote browsers, an open source framework developed at Rhizome, to have the artworks render in the right environment.

ArtHost is ensuring that complex and online artworks can be stored and shown now and in the future.

About the project
The ArtHost project investigates how to deal with contemporary artworks that depend on dynamic digital technology, in particular web-based artworks (net art). Central to this research is the question of how these works can be stored, documented and kept permanently accessible for the longer term. With this research, LIMA wants to contribute to the development of guidelines for the preservation and management of complex digital art works and to develop a methodology and service for the sustainable storage of net art. In line with this, the aim is to make artists more aware of conservation issues and to involve them in the conservation of their work. The research is being conducted in collaboration with Constant Dullaart / DullTech, initiator of the project.

20 works of art are used as case studies, a large part of which were made by Constant Dullaart. In addition, a survey was conducted at fellow institutions and cooperation was sought within the NDE context.

You can read the end report here.

Artwork Documentation tool
Based on the previous LIMA research project FUTURE PROOF MEDIA ART, the Artwork Documentation Tool is developed in order to support artists in archiving their own work. This tool is suitable for all artists working in the realm of born-digital art, in particular those building complex, software-based installations, and is the first tool of the project which is freely accessible through the LIMA website, see
Research & Case studies
Based on multiple case studies and together with Constant Dullaart and other (inter)national artists and collaborators, LIMA tested dedicated storage and hosting services for net art and developed the preservation workflow that is needed to support these tasks. This, for example, includes monitoring and managing changes and versions of the artworks. Bearing in mind that at some point all types of media and digital art become obsolete, new standards and techniques within media art preservation strategies need to be explored. Next to the ongoing process of changing platforms and operating systems, LIMA will investigated the possibilities of emulation and documentation to capture the hybrid, contextual and live qualities of the work.
In our new preservation workflow for born-digital art, emulation and documentation services are developed and implemented as LIMA services for artists. Based on the conducted research, LIMA will provides multiple do-it-yourself guidelines for artists to archive their work, as well as offer services to artists to store their works in a controlled environment that is: scalable, affordable and sustainable.
Symposium 2018
On March 22 & 23 of 2018, in the context of the LIMA project ArtHost, the symposium ‘Transformation Digital Art 2018’ took place at LIMA Amsterdam. International participants from an array of professional backgrounds asked what strategies can be developed in order to take artworks of an inherently digital, performative and processual nature into the future. Sharing best practices, research and cases studies concerning both artist-led and institutional strategies geared towards the future presentation of born-digital and software based art. With the participation of, among others, Louise Cone (Conservator National Gallery of Denmark), Paulien ‘t Hoen (SBMK, Foundation for the  Conservation of Contemporary Art), Jan Robert Leegte (Artist), Martine Neddam (Artist), Karen Archey (Curator of Contemporary art for time-based media, Stedelijk Museum), and Annet Dekker (University of Amsterdam). We are excited to announce Constant Dullaart (Artist) as keynote speaker.

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