Planning for the preservation of an installation work is best approached by breaking down the process into a series of steps, as described below. There is a logical progression to these steps--first determining the overall scope of the collection or project, documenting condition and establishing priorities, the remastering/migration itself, and the necessary followup steps that conclude the process.
The basic procedures outlined below can serve as a guide to the drafting of a preservation plan tailored to the needs of your project, and to your available resources. A preservation plan is an invaluable tool, not only for keeping a project organized, but also as a way of demonstrating to potential funding sources what your needs are, and what goals you intend to accomplish.
For more details on these procedures, see the Installation Best Practices section of this website.
Documentation is the process of gathering and organizing information about a work, including its condition, its contents, and the actions taken to preserve it.
Inspection is the process of gathering detailed information about tape or file condition, in preparation for migration to new formats, as well as to check the status of works already preserved or yet to be preserved.
Unlike other works of media art, installation art is intricate, and its conservation involves the preservation of multiple components. These components are typically comprised of the sound and/or visual media, display equipment, sculptural elements, and any behavior that is linked to the work's interactivity with the observer.
Preservation refers to the overall process by which the content of an item is saved and its long-term viability is ensured.
Be prepared to invest a large amount time in the quality control process-perhaps even more time than the actual running time of the work.
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