Surveying the state of the art (of documentation)
Caitlin Jones © 2008 FDL
It is often noted by conservators and curators that one prime moment to document a work of art is during its installation. With the artist and technicians often present and engaged in the work, fruitful questions arise and can be solved in a way that illuminates many core issues surrounding the criteria for a successful installation. This period can also unfortunately be one of extreme time constraints and related pressures. Other issues can complicate the process as well. Despite the best intentions, artists and technicians may not always have the time or inclination to revisit a work for documentation purposes, and issues of copyright and privacy may also hamper complete documentation.
As to be expected, there are certain gaps in our documentation. These gaps and the potential complications stated above are the reasons why our goal was to propose a flexible structure. Such a structure can easily be added to as further documentation and other scholarship becomes available. New and variable media artworks are often infinitely mutable and flexible. The way we document them should reflect this reality.