Home - 2.1 Conservation strategies 2.1.4 Storage

2.1 Conservation strategies

2.1.4 Storage

“The most conservative collecting strategy—the default strategy for most museums—is to store a work physically.” [1]


The principle generally applied in long-term preservation is to secure many duplicates of a given piece of equipment if its condition can be maintained in a storage environment when not in use. The storage of The Moment of Truth by Daniel Dion involved buying a number of models of the portable Sony and Casio viewers used in the work, as the production of these devices had been halted. This strategy was also deployed in the evaluation of the work by Paik: purchase and store televisions identical to the originals. “The major disadvantage of storing obsolescent materials is that the artwork will expire once these ephemeral materials cease to function.” [2] The main advantage of this strategy is that it preserves the work’s authenticity and integrity; its components and operating modes do not change. In the case of Tlön by Christine Davis (as with the works by Paik and Dion), this approach is problematic in that the industry has ceased production of the equipment requiring replacement (slide projector). Buying this equipment second-hand is the only way to obtain replacement equipment or equipment that can be stored for future use. In addition, it is important to ensure the works are maintained through the ongoing technical knowledge of those involved.



[1] Alain Depocas, Jon Ippolito and Caitlin Jones, “Variable Media Glossary” (2003), http://www.variablemedia.net/pdf/Glossary_ENG.pdf.

[2] Ibid.