Documenting Digital Art

About Documenting Digital Art 

The non-materiality or continuous changing materiality of the artform challenges a museum’s practice. 

This three-year project is a collaboration between leading researchers in the fields of performance and digital art documentation with world-leading museums, artists, and curators specialising in photography and digital art.

We will analyse how digital art has been documented from the 1970s to the present day in museums and art galleries. Currently written descriptions, questionnaires, photos or video recordings are used to document digital art. The research will analyse existing strategies and innovative documentation methods, including virtual reality, motion tracking, social media and interactive recordings, as well as changing the perspective by emphasizing audience engagement with digital art.

At Transformation Digital Art 2021 in March, insights from the project will be presented.

The three-year project “Documenting digital art: re-thinking histories and practices of documentation in the museum and beyond”, is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Co-ordinated by Professor Gabriella Giannachi, Director Centre for Intermedia and Creative Technologies, University of Exeter, assisted by curator Dr Francesca Franco from the University of Exeter, Dr Annet Dekker and Katrina Sluis from London South Bank University, and Gaby Wijers Director of LIMA. Project partners include the Venice Biennale, The Photographers’ Gallery in London, and LIMA.

For more news on the project please click here.

Documentation of Digital Art Workshops

In June 2020, LIMA continued its Conversation on Preservation programme online, recognizing the need for connections and exchanges. The programme included a series of four workshops with the aim to share experiences and research as well as discuss strategies for the documentation of digital art for and by artists, curators and conservators. 

Documentation — a work’s physical remnant or trace —is created and used in different ways, depending on its use, perspective and timing. In performance and digital art, documentation has become the focus of conservation and presentation strategies. What can be learned from other practices within and outside of the scope of the museum? 

These workshops were meant to form part of our annual symposium Transformation Digital Art in March 2020, but as this was not possible, we offered the workshops online. Please find the case studies and summaries for each respective workshop below.

Online Programme

  • Documenting Colored Sculpture (2016), by Jordan Wolfson by Patricia Falcao (Time-based Media Conservator, Tate). Moderated by Gaby Wijers (Director, LIMA) June 9, 2020


  • Documenting net art (2012) by Constant Dullaart & Documenting Mouchette (1996 - now) by Martine Neddam by Mila van der Weide (Assistant Conservation and Documentation, LIMA) & Patricia Black (Research Intern, LIMA). Moderated by Gaby Wijers (Director, LIMA) June 16, 2020


  • Documenting Performance Your face is/ is not enough (2016) by Kevin Beasley by Ana Ribeira (Time-based Media Conservator at Tate) & Louise Lawson (Conservation Manager at Tate). Moderated by Gabriella Giannachi (Researcher & Professor of Performance and New Media at the University of Exete) June 23, 2020


  • Documenting Naked on Pluto on Monoskop wiki: Collaborative Experimental Publishing as an Art Preservation Strategy by. Aymeric Mansoux, Julie Boschat Thorez and Dušan Barok (Artists/Researchers). Moderated by Annet Dekker (Curator & Researcher, Assistant Professor of Media Studies University of Amsterdam) June 30, 2020