Additional Documentation

Documenting artworks that rely on dynamic technology requires a different approach to documenting artworks not reliant on such technologies.

For artworks on the web, the artworks themselves change through user input, interaction with bots and APIs, or by the hand of the artist and evolving technologies, such as display and interaction interfaces, internet protocols, etc. all of which both influence and threaten the artwork. Since these technologies continuously change, software or web-based artworks must constantly adapt to these changes and change by themselves. An important question in this regard is: what is an acceptable change? When is the work still the work? When does it become a version or something completely different? Identifying properties are defined to answer this question. By defining the characteristics of a work, an acceptable change can be defined.

In addition to the files, description, and Source code, the artists were asked to provide available documentation and to answer the following questions:

  1. Introduction
    Concept/idea meaning of work. What is the work; from what does it consist?
    Describe the work in a few sentences

  2. Interaction and (historical) context
    What do we see?
    Interaction: How does the work function in essence?
    How is the work ideally displayed outside of its natural environment, for example, in an exhibition context? (Minimum requirements for exhibition)

  3. Technical specs and parameters for preservation
    Creating process. What tools used and how applied etc.
    Versions: Is the work variable?
    Until when is the work ‘the work’, when would you consider the work to be a new version/or would it stop existing? (Parameter change / significant properties)
    Response time within the work/Duration. What is this based on and is that essential to the work? What if speed increases due to future developments?
    How is the work shown ideally? Artist-approved browser? Type of computer?
    Future tasks. When to switch to emulation? Documentation?

A screen capture of the work is preferably made or provided. LIMA offers a documentation service with split screen setup according to Documenting Internet-based Art | The Dullaart-Sakrowski Method.

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