Title: Preservation of an interactive computer-based art installation - a case study

Authors: Borut Batagelj; Franc Solina

Addresses: Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, Ve?na pot 113, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ' Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, Ve?na pot 113, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: In contemporary digital art computer technology plays an integral part not only in the creation of art pieces but also in their functioning as artworks. Such digital artworks have usually a performative or interactive character and therefore rely on an underlying working computer system. Since computer technology advances with such unrelenting pace, hardware and software modules eventually become obsolete. How to preserve digital art works in these circumstances from an art preservation standpoint is much debated. In this article we discuss issues in the preservation of digital art works using as a case study a 15 years old interactive art installation '15 seconds of fame'. The art installation could be maintained in a good working order first just by small changes, reacting mainly to new versions of operating systems. After more then ten years a complete rewrite of the code was necessary to move it to a new computing platform.

Keywords: digital art; born-digital; art installation; art preservation; software maintenance; case study; portraits; pop-art; work in progress; interaction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2017.086669

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2017 Vol.10 No.3, pp.206 - 230

Available online: 08 Sep 2017

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