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Media art currently displayed in a gallery or in the process of being displayed.

Group: Media Art

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Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to preserve materials in this group, including the development of new tools or techniques.


Media art recently acquired by galleries that utilizes specific hardware and software in order to be accessed or exhibited.

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of documentation to enable maintenance; lack of clarity with respect to intellectual property; complex interdependencies on specific hardware, software or operating systems; lack of capacity in the gallery or workshop; lack of strategic investment; complex external dependencies

Lower Risk in the Presence of Good Practice

Strong documentation; clarity of preservation path and ensuing responsibilities; proven preservation plan; capacity of workshop to support art work at de-installation; capacity of gallery to conserve after de-installation; capacity of gallery to re-install work

2019 Review

Media Art was introduced in 2017, though with particular reference to historical media art which was categorised as ‘critically endangered’. The Jury introduced this entry to ensure greater specificity in its recommendation.  It is intended to represent works commissioned in the last five years where there is a reasonable expectation that documentation has been produced or could still be obtained.

Additional Jury Comments

By the time digital art, time-based media etc. has entered into the 'permanent' care of a stewarding institution many of its technologies are already end-of-life, unsupported, or the hardware components have deteriorated. Often the expertise to maintain these many interacting components sits outside the host organisation, with a technical supplier to the gallery, and this is in itself vulnerable to business change. Although there are a few exceptions, there is need for greater capacity within the museum and gallery sector to address the challenges that arise.

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