‘Software-based art’ and the ‘Lives of digital things’

As a part of the PERICLES project a number of Communities of Practice were established to discuss key digital preservation challenges including topics such as evolving semantics, the reuse of data in the science domain and – explicitly through Tate – software-based art conservation challenges and the conceptual lives of digital things.

A specific Community of Practice in the context of this project is defined as a group of selected individuals from various professional roles who are expert practitioners representative of a given industrial, cultural or academic field who are periodically gathered together to focus on a current fundamental question or set of issues relevant to the preservation of digital objects thereby advancing the field. Source: Modified from Wenger, E (1998).

The principle behind these Communities of Practice was not to be feeding an ‘audience’ with information on PERICLES, but to discuss with people engaged in emerging and key digital preservation issues different points of view, and different approaches and practices to inform our own method as much as to inspire their reflections through our approach.

An output of these groups, beyond their indirect contribution to the project, has been the publication of a report highlighting the conclusions of their discussions. Tate, as lead for the Community of Practice on Software-based art and also the Lives of digital things, presents below the associated summary reports.

Software-based art

This report summarises the outcomes and examines some key questions from the discussions hosted by Tate for the Community of Practice group on Software-based Art Conservation Challenges. The idea for this series of meetings arose from the realisation that managing technical change in software-based art is not only a common concern for practitioners working in the field but also of interest to the research community. A group of engaged expert practitioners and researchers were invited to consider a set of topics at the core of the conservation of software-based artworks. Six discussion sessions were organised over a period of one year.

Download the report as a PDF.

Please contact Patricia Falcao (Time-based Media Conservator, Tate) for further information.

Lives of digital things

This report was compiled from four virtual conversations, the primary aim of which was to explore the different ways in which the ‘Lives of digital things’ are thought about through different digital preservation practices and contexts.

Read the report online.

Please contact Pip Laurenson (Head of Collection Care Research, Tate) for further information.

March 2017