The Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk), the Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (SBMK) and Virtueel Platform (VP) are joining forces to preserve video art works from Dutch public media art collections over the coming two years. In combination with research into computer based artworks (Born Digital Art) and into the the accessibility of media art in public collections, this forms the project:

Preservation Media Art Collections in the Netherlands

Media art, of which video art is the best known manifestation, is well represented in Dutch art collections. However, the techniques used and the media themselves are perishable. Every seven to ten years the physical preservation of video works demands attention because of the necessity of transferring them to a vehicle that meets current technical standards. Furthermore, the number of computer based artworks, which are aptly termed ‘Born Digital art’, has grown enormously in the last couple of years and with that growth, the demand – and need – for devoting attention to conservation strategies for these artworks has increased too.

This project is unique in The Netherlands and here as well as in other countries is regarded as trendsetting for its nationwide approach to the digital sustainability of media art. The basis of this project is uncompressed digital preservation, in which the works are ultimately preserved on tape. These over 3500 conserved and digitised video art works from the period 1975-2005, from about 20 Dutch modern art collections, will be made accessible online where possible. The methods, protocols and guidelines developed in this project will be documented online for any interested parties, in The Netherlandsand abroad.

An impressive group of museums and art institutions is participating in the Preservation Media Art Collections in the Netherlands project: the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; De Appel arts centre, Amsterdam; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Groninger Museum; Instituut Collectie Nederland, Rijswijk; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam (including the collections of the Lijnbaancentrum,Montevideo and Time Based Arts); Gemeentemuseum Helmond; Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; V2_, Rotterdam; Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch and SCHUNCK*, Heerlen.

The Netherlands Media Art Institute is the expertise centre in the field of preserving media art in The Netherlands, and is the key partner in planning and carrying out this project.