Since international collaboration started in projects on contemporary art conservation (e.g. Modern Art, Who Cares? [1996-1999], and International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art, INCCA [1999-today]), conservators had the desire to develop a shared vocabulary. This is however not an easy task. Firstly, the domain of materials, techniques and media used in contemporary art is 'indefinite' and idiosyncrasy of the artworks adds to the problem of classifying potentially useful terms. Secondly, issues of the conservation of contemporary art are widely diverse and clear-cut boundaries of a shared vocabulary can not be set so long as new concepts are being introduced - dynamics which are inherent to an emerging discipline. To start-off the development of a shared language for the domain, the Theory and semantics working group of Inside Installations created a Glossary which reflects the issues dealt with in this project.
Around 100 terms have been selected for the Inside Installations Glossary. Considering the newness of this professional domain, it seemed too early to formulate term definitions (scope notes) at this stage. In stead, a rich compendium of quotations has been rendered for the selected set of terms.
In order to make the Glossary user-friendly terms were classified according to 6 non-hierarchical categories, namely 1. Typology of installation art; 2. Characteristics of installation works; 3. Identity; 4. Behaviour; 5. Status of the conservation object and 6. Conservation strategies.
Each term has been provided with one or more quotations, references and links to other terms of the Glossary.