Equipment and Technical Issues

Media art installations incorporate electronic moving-image elements (such as video, digital media, and interactive computer devices) within specific scenarios, built structures, sites, or viewing environments. They employ many of the same devices and technical standards as single-channel video and computer-based artworks, but often in multiples or as part of a larger system or group of objects. In respect to technical issues, it is common for installations to exist in one of two categories: those that incorporate specific equipment into the work itself, and those that only use equipment as a means to display the work.

Each of the different media elements of an installation, including hardware, software, and video, may pose unique technical concerns. (This Guide does not cover installation elements such as sculptural objects or ephemeral materials.) Proper installation and maintenance of the equipment and media elements are critical, and exhibitors should consult qualified technicians and installers where possible.

This section is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the technical elements required for the exhibition of media installations, but rather a general guide to the basic playback devices, displays, audio, and cabling often used. You may also want to reference the Computer-Based Arts section. Visit the Preservation section of this Resource Guide for recommendations on how to handle older artworks whose equipment is obsolete.

Media Exhibition Formats & Playback Equipment

Display Devices

Video Cables

Audio Components

Projection Installation Checklist & Guidelines

Common Questions & Other Considerations