Best Practices

There are no hard and fast rules for the exhibition of computer-based art. Artists working with computer technology tend to use hardware and software in a range of unconventional ways, often exploiting bugs and anomalies. As a result, most works and exhibitions need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, certain guidelines apply. Recommendations outlined here include close communication with the artist or artist's representative, troubleshooting every aspect of the project, including software and hardware, and determining the level of user or audience interactivity. Also included are suggestions for installing, maintaining and deinstalling equipment. Although distinctions between single-channel video, video installation and computer-based arts continue to blur, the interactive attributes of many computer-based installations create unique requirements.

For further information on media elements relating to computer-based artworks, it would be useful to cross-reference the Single-Channel Video and Media Installation sections of this Guide.

Communication with Artist or Artist's Representative

It is necessary to have clear lines of communication between the artist (or representative), curator, and technicians regarding specifics of installation and presentation of the work.

Permissions and Rights

Who holds the rights to the media/installation? The artist? A gallery or private collector? Even when a work is freely available on the web, the best practice is to contact the artist before including the work in an exhibition.


Although the artist need not always be present for the deinstallation of a work, it is important to make sure that you have budgeted (both financially and in terms of time) adequately for a technician to dismantle a work and insure that all components get back to their original owners.