Documenting Digital Art (2019 - 2022)

In exploring contemporary methods of documentation, the project will address shifts in photographic technologies that have been central to the practice of art history

Documenting Digital Art - two figures silhouetted against a pink background

Documenting Digital Art (2019 - 2022)

In exploring contemporary methods of documentation, the project will address shifts in photographic technologies that have been central to the practice of art history

Funded by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council, the project represents a collaboration between University of Exeter, LIMA, The Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, London South Bank University and The Photographers’ Gallery. Over three years, the project will analyse how digital art has been documented from the 1970s to the present day in museums and art galleries, looking at existing practices while also developing novel strategies for documenting, exhibiting and preserving digital art. The project, which aims to develop a framework for museums to capture audience engagement with digital artworks, will also look at documentation as a strategy for exhibition, preservation and public engagement. 

In exploring contemporary methods of documentation, the project will also address shifts in photographic technologies that have been central to the practice of art history, showing how from the Google Art Project to Instagram, the camera is now a networked but also dispersed computational device, which continues to mediate our experience of art, particularly online, through social media. In collaboration with The Photographers' Gallery digital programme, the project will generate new knowledge concerning photography's dual role as both a medium for digital art practice and an instrument of documentation, looking also at the ethics of crowdsourced documentations and problems pertaining to data protection in this context.

Selected Activities & Publications

Negotiating the Art-Documentation-Industrial-Complex - an evening discussion exploring how artists negotiate the work of documentation in contemporary network culture, featuring Eva & Franco Mattes, David Horvitz, and Cristina Garrido, held on 13/12/2021

The Work of Art in an Age of Audience Documentation - What is the role of audience documentation of artworks in contemporary network culture? What is the cultural value of this documentation? An online event featuring speakers Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert, Russell Dornan, Kylie Budge, and Rob Horning held on 14/07/2021

Between Camera & Network: Art and Documentation in Post-Photographic Culture - a series of 3 online events taking place in March 2021 at The Photographers’ Gallery involving artists, curators, photographers, conservators, educators, technologists and museum professionals. Each talk explores a different aspect of the changing role of photography in art and digital culture, focusing on a range of approaches to documentation both inside and outside the museum. 

UNFOLD: Audience/Performer/Mirror a symposium at LIMA Amsterdam held on 15/1/2020. 

Annet Dekker & Katrina Sluis - One Terabyte of Documentation, the Circulation of Geocities by Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied in: A Dekker & G Giannachi Documentation as Art: Expanded Digital Practices London: Routledge (forthcoming)

Katrina Sluis - The Work of Documentation in an Age of Computational Reproduction. in: A Dekker & G Giannachi Documentation as Art: Expanded Digital Practices London: Routledge (forthcoming)