Matters in Media Art Collaborating towards the care of time-based media

January 2003 – December 2015

A multi-phase project designed to provide guidelines for care of time-based media works of art

Gary Hill, Between Cinema and a Hard Place 1991

Gary Hill, Between Cinema and a Hard Place 1991

© Gary Hill; photograph Tate 

Matters in Media Art

A collaborative project

Launched in 2005, this collaborative project between the New Art Trust (NAT) and its partner museums – the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Tate – has been designed to help those who collect and keep time-based artworks (e.g. video, film, audio and software-based installations).

Caring for time-based artworks

Conceived originally as a consensus building project for the three partner museums of the NAT, the enduring goal has been to affirm our commitment to time-based art and artists by developing shared practices for the works’ care and preservation. It has always been the consortium’s hope that if the three museums could come together to agree on emerging stewardship practices, then by sharing these practices online they would be used, improved upon and refined by larger audiences of artists and collectors. 

Developing a model for inter-museum exchange

The first two phases of Matters in Media Art on acquisitions and loans, published online in 2005 and 2008, established the project’s track record as a model for inter-museum exchange. In this third phase, it is our aim to expand our content to keep pace with changing demands, not only to reflect new media formats that artists are using today, but also to extend this model for exchange by strengthening and refreshing our connections to other networks of allied research and practice. 

Supported by The New Art Trust

Project Information

Project type
Conservation project
Research project
Digital project
Support departments
Collection Care
Media and Audiences
Tate Conservation
Project leaders
Pip Laurenson (Tate)
Jill Sterrett (SFMOMA)
Glenn Wharton (MoMA)

Lending time-based media: 2005

Process diagrams and document templates for loaning time-based media artworks

Using the Matters in Media Art resources

Using the Matters in Media Art resources; part of the Tate, MoMA and SFMOMA research project, Matters in Media Art

Matters in Media Art project team

Matters in Media Art project team; part of the Tate, MoMA, SFMOMA research project

External resources

External resources; part of the Tate/MoMA, SFMoMA online research project: Matters in Media Art

See also

Tate Modern Conference

Media in Transition

18–20 Nov 2015

A major international conference focused on the intersection of media art and technological change over time. How is this shifting ...


Pip Laurenson, 'Authenticity, Change and Loss in the Conservation of Time-Based Media Installations'

This paper focuses on three concepts central to the theory of conservation: authenticity, change and loss. These terms are explored ...


Pip Laurenson, The Management of Display Equipment in Time-based Media Installations

Time-based media installations are works of art that incorporate audio, film, video, 35 mm slides or computer-based elements. This paper ...