Planning Process

The planning process for a collection of media art installations should begin with an understanding that installation conditions and practices vary. It is important to fully research and consider the steps involved in collecting a variable art form that may include sculptural components, hardware and video or digital media. Planning for the acquisition of a media-based installation begins with preparing a budget that provides an adequate infrastructure for display, maintenance, and storage. One should determine the technical specifications and requirements of the work and the cost of appropriate playback and display equipment. Throughout the planning process, it is of utmost importance to engage in a conversation with the artist or the artist's representative to understand the works in your care.

One must also consider the future maintenance and stewardship of the installation, including documentation, the migration of media components and stockpiling of equipment. Preservation standards should be researched and a plan developed at the time of acquisition.

The following is a general outline of basic practical considerations and recommendations for planning the acquisition of media art installations. For guidelines about the process for developing a preservation strategy for such works, see the Preservation section of this Guide.

Create a Budget

Inform yourself about the costs related to collecting media installations. Expenses may include the installation purchase, shipping, installation, equipment, technical support, maintenance and preservation. Visit the Budget section of this Resource Guide for more details.

Contact Artist or Artist's Representative

Identify the source (artist or gallery) from which the work will be acquired. After reviewing Basic Questions, make initial contact with the representative to determine if the work is available and what the acquisition terms are.

Preservation Planning

Anticipating preservation needs relating to the media works in your collection is an important part of the acquisition process. The Preservation section of this Guide identifies recommended steps in order to ensure the longevity of media installations including documentation, inspection, conservation, preservation, and quality control.