Planning Process

Planning for any exhibition of computer-based arts must account for the nature and complexity of the works included. Requirements of space, equipment, and source materials, as well as maintenance, upgrades, and de-installation all must be factored into the exhibition timetable.

Because delineations between video and computer-based practices are increasingly blurred, it would be advisable to also look at the Planning Process and Best Practices sections for the exhibition of Single-Channel Video and Media Installation.

Create a Checklist

The first step in planning any exhibition is to confirm the availability of the works to be included in the exhibition.

Permission and Rights

Contact the owner of the rights to the media/installation to insure there are no rights conflicts.

Interview the Artist

It cannot be stressed enough that whenever possible it is best practice to communicate with the artist about how best to install a work of art. Request information about installation requirements and elements as soon as possible and then review all aspects of exhibition design and technical details before the installation begins.

Gather Materials

Gather all elements of the work and instructions for how these elements relate to one another. This includes source material, equipment, and any other non-electronic elements necessary to install the work.

Plan Installation

Before installation begins, make sure that all physical (and virtual) elements of the work are obtained in a reasonable amount of time. Doing so ensures that there will be time to address the spatial arrangement of objects and images, as well as sound and light levels. Also important, if the work is interactive in nature, there will be time to test that the work is accessible to a wide range of knowledge levels.


Source materials and installation requirements will dictate what sort of equipment is necessary. Find out early in the process if there is dedicated equipment that will be shipped with the work or if you will be responsible for obtaining equipment. Visit Equipment & Technical Issues for a detailed review of the equipment that you may need to acquire.

Install the Work

Follow closely any installation instructions and technical requirements laid out in the planning process. It is a good idea to have someone with adequate technical expertise on hand to help the installation run more smoothly.

Bug Testing

Once the work is installed it will be necessary to test it for glitches. Draft detailed notes documenting how to handle any bugs that present themselves.

Shipping and Dispersal

When the exhibition closes, return all copies of the work and any equipment to the proper owners.