Planning Process

The planning process for an institution or individual developing a collection of video works varies based on the collection and the collector. For example, libraries, museums, schools and private collectors may each have different planning priorities and goals. However, there are certain considerations that may be useful for a range of collections. Issues ranging from the size of one's budget to the existence of an adequate infrastructure for the maintenance, storage, and display of the collection should inform planning decisions. It is important for curators, artists, registrars, researchers, and private collectors to fully research and consider what might be involved in collecting a time-based art form. Single-channel video works are typically acquired from video art distributors or commercial galleries. A distributor provides a "license agreement" that outlines the conditions and rights of ownership, while a gallery issues a "certificate of authenticity." One should consider issues such as the technical specifications and requirements of the works involved and the acquisition of the appropriate playback equipment.

Perhaps most importantly, one must also consider the future preservation and stewardship of a collection of media artworks. To ensure your collection's future viability and accessibility, the preservation, cataloging and conservation of single-channel video works should be addressed at the point of acquisition. For a detailed discussion of preservation guidelines, see the Preservation Planning section of this Resource Guide.

The following is an outline of basic practical considerations and planning recommendations for acquiring single-channel video works.