The costs of exhibitions of computer-based art vary widely, based on the nature and complexity of the works involved. In contrast to video, which may involve the payment of a rental fee to a distributor, computer-based works are typically borrowed from an institution or from the artist directly. In the latter case, a nominal fee is usually paid. Shipping and equipment costs can be significant. Technical support and fabrication should always be factored in, as well as the necessary bandwidth. The following is an outline of the types of expenditures one can anticipate for a computer-based art exhibition.
Loan Fee/Artist Fee
When borrowing an artwork from an artist or gallery, institutions generally do not have to pay a loan fee. However it is good practice to pay artists an exhibition fee. Museums and film/video distributors more often charge a fee for a single-channel work in distribution. (See Single-channel video Budget.) Depending on the size of the institution, the show, and the nature of the artwork, this fee can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Equipment required varies greatly depending upon the projects to be exhibited, but some of the questions to ask include:
Prices of equipment range widely depending on quality and installation needs. You may need to factor in the following equipment costs:
If the exhibiting institution does not employ a technician it is advisable to hire a technical expert (in addition to regular installation staff) to advise on installation, maintenance, and deinstallation. All three phases of the show's run must be reflected in the budget. Often the artist or the artist’s assistants have the technical knowledge to install the work themselves and can assist in developing this aspect of the budget.
Construction and Fabrication
The cost of building out the space can also add considerably to the budget, which varies depending on the needs of the work and the installation of the exhibition. Construction costs may include:
If the work is networked, the exhibitor must budget to insure appropriate bandwidth and access to the network in the necessary locations. This may require that a DSL/cable (or better) connection be installed specifically for the artwork.
Packing and Shipping
Depending on what is being shipped, shipping can be a major variable. If equipment is shipped with the work this can help defray equipment costs, but can add to shipping costs.
For problems like faulty equipment, scratched or broken DVDs, etc. it is always a good idea to factor in a contingency budget. A 10-15% contingency is standard.