To Emulate or Not


Gaby Wijers

During the inside installations project, the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk) and the Netherlands Institute of Cultural heritage (ICN) studied if and how emulation can be used as a preservation strategy. Two case studies were conducted on interactive installations: Bill Spinhoven’s Albert’s Ark (1990) and Jeffrey Shaw’s Revolution: A monument for the Television Revolution (1990).

The results demonstrated that emulation is a viable option for presenting the works in the future, firstly for the short- to mid-term preservation, as current technological equipment will also become obsolete, and secondly for the long term, at least to compare functionality. We need to define the preconditions and evaluate emulation to establish clear guidelines, and to improve insights into reconstruction and emulation as a conservation strategy.

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The article appears in Inside Installations. Theory and Practice in the Care of Complex Artworks edited by Tatja Scholte and Glenn Wharton. Amsterdam University Press, 2011.