Dying Technologies: Project Conclusion

Given the importance of working with the artist to arrive at alternative display scenarios whilst it remains possible to still compare this to the original analogue slide projection, there is real urgency in moving forward with the digitisation of these works. Clearly to be successful in this, conservators need to understand both the analogue processes and those associated with the digital, and our challenge is not simply in learning a new language but in translating between the two. We have learnt that there is value in ensuring that we can compare the impact of shifts in technology for specific works in Tate’s collection by being able to see the analogue next to the digital allowing us to move back and forth between these worlds for a little bit longer.

In the course of this research, general consensus has emerged regarding the use of digital camera backs for digitisation. The options available for producing transparencies for display have changed depending on local circumstances as different technologies cease to be available. As museums enter into this difficult phase, between the end of a technology and its complete disappearance, there is real advantage in partnerships being formed to share the costs of digitisation, negotiate access to master sets, and where possible take advantage of economies of scale.