Glenn Wharton is a Clinical Associate Professor in Museum Studies at New York University. From 2007-2013 he served as Media Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art, where he established the time-based media conservation program for video, performance, and software-based collections. At MoMA he initiated programs to digitize analog collections, develop a digital collections repository, and build documentation systems for media and performance art. In 2006 he founded Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA), a non-profit organization devoted to preserving contemporary art through collaborating with artists and art professionals. Glenn’s recent publications engage contemporary debates around intellectual property, authorship, and authenticity in the management and display of contemporary art. He received his Ph.D. in Conservation from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and his M.A. from the Conservation Program at the Buffalo State University of New York. Personal website: http://glennwharton.net/
Media Conservation Documentation: Emerging Trends and Public Access
Media conservators create a wide range of documentation from their research and interventions. In addition to traditional photographs, treatment reports, and analytical data, they generate audio and video recordings, artist questionnaires, artist interview records, installation manuals, iteration reports, and reflexive accounts from their work with artists. This documentation exists in multiple formats such as text files, images, audio and video files, and research data visualizations. Traditional collections management systems in museums are being modified to better accommodate this wide-ranging documentation. New software options such as wikis provide alternative, less hierarchical systems for information management. New technologies such as linked data provide cross-institutional sharing of collections information.
This presentation will chronicle the documentation produced from the author’s work as a media conservator. He will present emerging trends in documentation access and management. Metadata standards, access to multiple file formats, system navigation, and interface design all improve search functions within and across information systems. Crowd sourcing documentation through social media has potential to enrich institutional documentation with images and other information from a broad range of professionals and non-professionals. The presentation will address museum responsibilities and new technologies for sharing collections information with professionals, scholars, and the public. It will conclude with the author’s current wiki-based research to create information resources for individual artists to help inform future exhibition and conservation of their work.