On Digital Artworks and Their Distribution and Preservation Infrastructures


Digitalization offers new possibilities for cultural institutions but also challenges existing models. Looking at art institutions and their role as distributors and preservers of culture, this essay uses infrastructure theory and four case studies to discuss challenges that analog institutions face when they are dealing with digital art. The issues identified relate to resources, technical and financial, and knowledge about technological needs. The study also indicates that we hold on to old infrastructures and habits when it comes to preservation and distribution, but also when it comes to what an institution is and what it can be. Changing these habits takes time since they are often embedded in other systems. This suggests that the challenges institutions face in the cases of digital art are part of a larger infrastructural problem, which includes systems for funding, distribution of knowledge, educational programs, and habits.


2021 (1)
Digital Arts and Culture: Transformation or Transgression?

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