Keeping the bits alive: authenticity and longevity for digital art
The technological landscape in which digital art is created and used challenges its long term accessibility, the potentiality of its integrity, and the likelihood that it will retain authenticity over time. We must act to keep digita art alive. However, digital artworks have questioned traditional museological approaches to documentation and preservation because of their ephemeral, documentary, technical, and multi-part nature. There are theoretical, methodological and practical problems associated with documentation, access, function, context and meaning of digital art, which require to be more systematically and scientifically addressed: What is it a work of art in the digital age? What should be retained for the future? Who, when and where should collect and preserve? What is ownership? What is the context of digital art? Upon a case-based investigation of current digital and media art conservation practices at leading international museums, and the review of relevant conservation initiatives, the concept of authenticity is explored in relation to digital artworks and through its connections with philosophy of art, digital preservation, archival science, and information management.
Perla Innocenti is Research Fellow in History of Art, University of Glasgow, where she is conducting interdisciplinary research on preservation for digital art and cultural heritage informatics as Principal Investigator of the EU project MeLA and Co-Investigator of the EU projects ECLAP and SHAMAN. She was Co-Investigator of the EU project DL.org (digital libraries interoperability) and collaborated to the development of the EU digital preservation projects DPE (repository design and risk assessment, in collaboration with UK Digital Curation Center), Planets (usage models) and CASPAR (certification and trusted repositories). Prior to this, Perla was at Politecnico di Milano, Italy researching information systems for industrial design and coordinating digital libraries activities and projects. She also conducted museology research and collaborated on museum exhibitions with various Italian institutions. Perla holds a degree in History of Modern Art from University of Rome La Sapienza, and a Master in Management and Communication of Cultural Heritage from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. The results of her research have been presented and published in international conferences, journals and books.