Gaby Wijers has been the director of LIMA since 1/1/2013. Previously, she was the coordinator of collection, preservation and related research at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk), Amsterdam (NL); she has a background in librarianship, theatre and informatics. She participated in various national and international projects dealing with the documentation and preservation of media art (e.g. Inside Installations, 404 object not found, GAMA, Inside Movement Knowledge, Obsolete Equipment, Digitising Contemporary Art). She participates in national and international networks such as the Foundation for the Preservation of Contemporary Art and GAMA.
How Can a Digital Artwork Be Sustained, Operated, and Presented?
Collecting, presenting, and preserving media art brings with it new questions and challenges. These artworks rely on their technological environment, which is constantly changing. Equipment grows obsolete and software develop. Artworks adapt, otherwise they perish and continue their lifecycle in memory and documentation. Most of today’s digital works of art are processual, ephemeral, interactive, multimedia-based, and are fundamentally context-dependent. From a conceptual point of view, preservation experts have been forced to “develop a keen understanding of the context in which non-object based information is used, in order to ensure capture of all the vital data necessary to meaningful retrieval.”
Museums and other collections in the Netherlands follow a cooperative approach in the long-term preservation of media artworks. In her lecture, Gaby Wijers will highlight this collaborative approach and will give insight into the workflow of a digital artwork in LIMA’s repository. On the base of case studies, she will take you on a trip, following a digital artwork from its acquisition with its related forms and contracts, to its documentation for access, presentation, and preservation. From here the adaptation (ingest) in the digital repository, including backups, derivation and monitoring starts, leading to emulation and migration when needed for access and (future) presentation.
However, much of these questions have been centered on technical responses to a rapid technological obsolescence, the deterioration of materials or the varied installation requirements. And therefore, with the necessity to preserve long-term custody of all forms of recorded material, it is still necessary to continue researching beyond the object to the medium, and more urgently, beyond the medium to the creator and the user.
 Abby Smith, Preservation in the Future Tense, 1998: §6. In: http://www.clir.org/pubs/issues/issues03.html#preserve