Conserving Custom Electronic Video Instruments

Mona Jimenez
The Electronic Media Review, Volume Three: 2013-2014
Abstract PDF


Electronic video instruments are custom devices developed during the 1970s and 1980s that were used to make video art and other time-based media works. The devices include synthesizers, colorizers, keyers, sequencers, video capture devices, computer interfaces, and oscillators, to name a few. They may be modified commercial devices or machines built from scratch. This presentation will consider theories, guidelines, and practices within instrument conservation, industrial conservation, and time-based media conservation that are relevant to the conservation of machines. A central question is whether these machines can and should continue to be “worked” after they are collected. Also, the presentation looks at user and institutional efforts to save video instruments, as well as new instruments being developed for artists’ use.

Mona Jimenez
Associate Director
Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program
New York University
New York, NY