Conservation of Time-Based Media Before Acquisition Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love HD Video

Peter Oleksik
The Electronic Media Review, Volume Three: 2013-2014
Abstract PDF


Sustainable choices in collections care, when applied to time-based media, are constantly evolving. This technological area requires the collaboration and active engagement with a variety of individuals and industries. Focusing on the ever-shifting medium of digital video (in particular, so-called “high definition”), this presentation will highlight how working closely with curators, artists, and media professionals at the pre-acquisition phase is imperative to the long-term storage and care of this material. Case studies of recent acquisitions by different curatorial departments at The Museum of Modern Art will highlight the variability of this media and how to make sustainable conservation decisions before the work even enters the collection. Particular workflows and best practices, in both the acquisition and long-term conservation of these types of works, will illustrate how conservation starts before acquisition.


Peter Oleksik
Assistant Media Conservator
Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY 10019