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Beyond traditional art: Strategies for the preservation of digital art
The growing number of digital works of art created today represents an exciting development in the world of contemporary art but it is not without its challenges for museums and archival organisations. When it comes to the discussion of preservation, few preservation standards for physical objects are also applicable to digital objects. In many respects, digital objects are far more complex and it would be inappropriate to apply traditional documentation and preservation methods to most forms of digital art. Instead, institutions need to develop alternative approaches to the preservation of digital art. They must move beyond the traditional art world with its physical objects and preservation techniques and redefine preservation to include a definition that is meaningful to digital art. It is imperative to understand that effective preservation is more than simply maintaining the digital file; technical information about the files must also be preserved, in addition to information explaining the scope and contents of the file. This paper examines different projects and the different approaches to the preservation of digital art taken by members of the artistic, academic and museum communities.
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