From Creation to Preservation: Collaboratively addressing the stewardship of time-based media art

Image credit:
Propeller Group. “The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music,” 2014. Color video with surround sound audio.

A panel discussion at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, organized in conjunction with a visit by the National Digital Stewardship Residency | Art 2017 cohort (

Monday, October 30th, 2017
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Friends Community Room, Minneapolis Institute of Art*
2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Space is limited. Please RSVP if you plan to attend with your name and email by Friday, October 27.

Time-based media art—a term that encompasses film, video, audio, and computer-based work—is frequently unstable, unique, and complex. It may depend on rapidly obsolescent technology or rely on audiences interacting with it in specific and temporary environments. Consequently, over time, vital aspects of the work, such as the artist’s original intent, can get lost if documentation is lacking. Yet artists and those collecting and preserving their works often lack a common language to communicate their disparate wants and needs.

The goal of this panel is to explore the practical and philosophical considerations involved in creating, exhibiting, and preserving time-based media art. Our panelists represent both sides of the art creation / collection divide. They will describe their challenges in working with time-based media art as well as the opportunities it presents for collaboration between its makers and subsequent caretakers.

What role do artists play in ensuring the future of their artworks? How can artists and archivists work together to address the many issues around preserving time-based media art?
What new competencies can curators develop to best work with time-based media art? How do collection strategies change when the art “objects” being collected are ephemeral, replicable, or intangible?
How are time-based media works affecting the relationship between artists, institutions, and the public?
What can we look forward to as time-based media art continues to grow in prominence and scope within the art world?

Cameron Gainer – Visual Artist
Jehra Patrick – Director and Curator, Law Warschaw Gallery, Macalester College
Yasufumi Nakamori – Curator and Head, Department of Photography & New Media, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Ruth Hodgins – Bentson Archivist/Assistant Curator, Moving Image, Walker Art Center
Moderator: Erin Lee Barsan – NDSR | Art Resident, Minneapolis Institute of Art

*Enter through the Target Wing Entrance, accessible from 3rd Avenue through the two sets of glass doors and straight across the courtyard, or from Stephens Avenue via the cut between two buildings. Visit for a museum site map and information on parking.