Welcome to Archiving the Arts.

Home

Artists working with video, audio, and digital materials face unique challenges.

Conventional archival practices for electronic media don't always take into account the need for artists to maintain material for their ongoing practice—in other words, a true "working archive." It can also be difficult for an archival institution to come up with strategies for the care of unique works that may not always adhere to "best practices."
Archiving the Arts is an ongoing project of Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP). The goal: provide media artists, and the caretakers of artists' collections, with resources to help ensure the survival of these unique works. In addition to symposia and public programs, IMAP has created this web resource to provide real-world case studies of these ideas in practice.

Case Studies

Preserving media artworks, and artist-produced media, requires creative approaches and outside-the-box thinking. These interviews describe real-world case studies in the different ways that artists, archives, and technicians are tackling the challenges of preserving artists’ media.

Videofreex

Videofreex

The Videofreex were pioneering users of the first portable video technology. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, they documented social movements and set up the world’s first pirate TV station…

Phil Morton

Phil Morton

Video artist and activist founded the first program in the United States to offer a degree in video art, worked to share analog video processing technology, and was an early advocate of open-source distribution…

Dachau 1974

Dachau 1974

Artist Beryl Korot discusses the creation and recent preservation of her seminal four-screen video installation Dachau 1974, which was recently migrated from analog to digital…

Goldsen Archive of New Media

Goldsen Archive of New Media

The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media at Cornell University is engaged in an ongoing project to preserve and make available artist-produced works that originated on CD-ROM in the 1990s…

Bay Area Video Coalition

Bay Area Video Coalition

Founded in 1976, BAVC describes its mission as inspiring "social change by empowering media makers to develop and share diverse stories through art, education and technology….”

Video Data Bank

Video Data Bank

Since the 1970s, Video Data Bank has been one of the largest distributors of artist-produced video works. It has also become an archive with an active preservation program…

Photo credits:
Main image (clockwise from left: Bay Area Video Coalition, Video Data Bank, Videofreex, Beryl Korot)
Case Study images: courtesy interviewees