2. Glossary Inside Installations (2007)
creator(s) ICN Research Department, Amsterdam
contributor(s) Restaurierungszentrum Düsseldorf, S.M.A.K., Ghent, MNCARS, Madrid, TATE, London, Netherlands Media Art Institute
publisher ICN, The Netherlands

Click external link to access the Inside Installations Glossary

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. For a number of terms quite a few quotations have been translated into Spanish and Italian.

The Glossary includes a Bibliography for the preservation and presentation of installation art

Although the Glossary and Bibliography mirror much of the state of the art at the time of the Inside Installations project, it could never be exhaustive and shortly new publications will appear. In the future, the Inside Installations Glossary may be expanded. Future collaborative research into the semiotics of contemporary art might eventually lead to a formulation of scope notes for installation art.

Another initiative to develop terminology for the preservation of media works of art is currently carried out by the DOCAM project (use external link to access DOCAM).

Creators of the Glossary Tatja Scholte (Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage) and Lora Markova (intern Maastricht University).
Contributors to the Glossary Project participants from Inside Installations
Translation into Spanish Arianne Vanrell (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Translation into Italian Caterina Paolisso (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

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