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D-ark—A Shared Digital Performance Art Archive with a Modular Metadata Schema

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Abstract and Figures

Digital objects and documentation of intangible cultural heritage pose new challenges for most museums, which have a long history in preserving tangible objects. Art museums, however, have been working with digital objects for some decades, as they have been collecting media art. Yet, performance art as an ephemeral art form has been a challenge for art museums’ collection work. This article presents a method for archiving digital and audiovisual performance documentation. D-ark (digital performance art archive) is based on a joint effort by the artist community T.E.H.D.A.S., which has created the archive, and Pori Art Museum, which is committed to preserving the archive for the future. The aim is to produce sufficient standardized metadata to support this objective. This article addresses the problems of documenting an ephemeral art form and copyright issues pertaining to both the artist and the videographer. The concept of D-ark includes a modular metadata schema that makes a distinction between descriptive, administrative, and technical metadata. The model is designed to be flexible—new modules of objects or technical metadata can be added in the future, if necessary. D-ark metadata schema deploys the FRBRoo, Premis, VideoMD, and AudioMD standards. Administrative and technical metadata modules abide by Finnish digital preservation specifications.
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Heritage 2019, 2, 976–987; doi:10.3390/heritage2010064 www.mdpi.com/journal/heritage
Case Report
D-ark—a Shared Digital Performance Art Archive
with a Modular Metadata Schema
Anni Saisto 1,*,†, T.E.H.D.A.S. 2,†
1 Pori Art Museum, Eteläranta, 28130 Pori, Finland
2 Radioasemantie, 28330, Pori, Finland; dada@tehdasry.fi
* Correspondence: anni.saisto@pori.fi; Tel.: +358-44-7011083
† These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 31 January 2019; Accepted: 18 March 2019; Published: 21 March 2019
Abstract: Digital objects and documentation of intangible cultural heritage pose new challenges for
most museums, which have a long history in preserving tangible objects. Art museums, however,
have been working with digital objects for some decades, as they have been collecting media art.
Yet, performance art as an ephemeral art form has been a challenge for art museums’ collection
work. This article presents a method for archiving digital and audiovisual performance
documentation. D-ark (digital performance art archive) is based on a joint effort by the artist
community T.E.H.D.A.S., which has created the archive, and Pori Art Museum, which is committed
to preserving the archive for the future. The aim is to produce sufficient standardized metadata to
support this objective. This article addresses the problems of documenting an ephemeral art form
and copyright issues pertaining to both the artist and the videographer. The concept of D-ark
includes a modular metadata schema that makes a distinction between descriptive, administrative,
and technical metadata. The model is designed to be flexible—new modules of objects or technical
metadata can be added in the future, if necessary. D-ark metadata schema deploys the FRBRoo,
Premis, VideoMD, and AudioMD standards. Administrative and technical metadata modules abide
by Finnish digital preservation specifications.
Keywords: performance art; archiving; digital preservation; metadata schema
1. Introduction
How does one archive a local artist community’s performance art video documentation? How
does one produce high-quality metadata and fulfil the requirements of Finnish digital preservation?
Digital objects and documentation of intangible cultural heritage pose new challenges for most
museums, which have a long history in preserving tangible objects. Art museums, however, have
been working with digital objects for several decades, as they have been collecting media art. Yet,
performance art as a time-based ephemeral art form offers a challenge to traditional art museum
practices.
The problems of collecting and documenting performance art have been surveyed in the
academic field from various points of view—in the United Kingdom, the Theatre and Performance
Research Association (TaPRA) has been studying performance documentation processes in working
groups since 2005 [1]. Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Zurich University of the Arts) carried out the
project “archiv performativ: A model concept for the documentation and reactivation of performance
art” from 2010–2012 [2]; it focused on the relationship between performance documentation and
transcription. The University of Oxford/Ruskin School of Art, the University of Girona, and the artist
in residence program GlogaurAIR in Berlin have been collaborating in the creation of the European
Live Art Archive (ELAA) to share information about networks, knowledge, and documentation [3];
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at the moment, the archive contains interviews with the artists. The Tate museum carried out a
research project to examine practices for collecting and conserving performance art from 2012–2014.
As a result, Dutch and British academic scholars and museum professionals created the Live List. It
is a practical and thorough set of prompts to consider when a live work enters a collection [4].
Universities or other organizations own several performance archives. Perhaps one of the oldest
is Franklin Furnace Archive Inc., located in New York. It has been preserving time-based art,
including performance, since 1976 [5]. The archive contains videos, images, press releases, and
printed material such as posters. The database can be accessed on site. Die Schwarze Lade—The Black
Kit—an archive of international performance art, was founded in 1981 by approximately 70 West
German and European artists [6]. The Black kit is maintained by ASA-European (Art Service
Association) and is seen as part of a living network of artists and ideas. A vast archive includes
documents, art relics, photographs, and films about the performing arts, performance art, and
performative interventions. Currently, the archive is being indexed and catalogued so that a digital
database can be created. The University of Bristol maintains the Live Art Archives, established in
1994. The archive includes over 200,000 records of live art, and the university claims it to be the largest
record in the world [7]. One part of the Live Art Archives is a digital archive, which can be accessed
via the internet as a PDF with short descriptions of the recordings [8]. In the field of contemporary
dance, research has been done about the documentation of performing arts and three-dimensional
movement. The Inside Movement Knowledge research project concentrated on the documentation,
transmission, and preservation of contemporary dance and choreographies. The project was led by a
consortium of Amsterdam school of Arts, International Choreographic Arts Center ICK, Netherlands
Media Art Institute, and University of Utrecht. [9]. Siobhan Davies Replay is a vast choreographic
archive on the internet that documents the work of Siobhan Davies Dance Studios. The descriptive
metadata is enriched with photographs, posters, newspaper articles, etc. [10]. Motionbank is an
archive created for choreographic practice. The project has been carried out by The Forsythe
Company since 2010 [11]. The recent publication Histories of Performance Documentation: Museum,
Artistic, and Scholarly Practices (Routledge, London, New York, 2018) addresses the ways in which art
museums have approached performance works. The book includes interviews with museum
professionals around the world explaining how they have presented, collected, and archived
performance art. The question about whether performance documentation is treated as a work of art
belonging to a collection or as a documentation that should be archived is discussed, and different
points of views are represented. Associate curator Eric Crosby from the Walker Art Center of
Minneapolis states that museums should consider whether the performance work is an object or an
event; choosing the latter option would be a difficult shift for collecting institutions to make [12]. The
CIDOC Exhibition and Performance Documentation Working Group, founded in 2015 [13], aims to
map the current situation of performance documentation and archiving practices in the museums.
During the development of D-ark (digital performance art archive), we searched for examples
of metadata schemas for performance work but were unable to find examples suitable for our needs—
a schema in which performance is an immaterial work, an event to which digital files are connected.
Thus, this article presents the results of the development work, a method to operate with digital
performance video documentation in an art museum context. Called D-ark (“digital performance art
archive”), it was created to preserve video documentation produced by the artist community
T.E.H.D.A.S., situated in Pori, Finland. This article will shortly describe the collaboration model,
problems of archiving performance art, copyright matters, and Finnish digital preservation
requirements, as well explain the metadata schema and its potential extensions. A selection of D-ark
videos is available online at http://www.tehdasry.fi/dark/. At the moment, D-ark contains 300 video
recordings, 61 of which are published on the internet. The online database for collecting the metadata
is available to authorized users.
The D-ark metadata schema is modular—the core is a description of the performance. Other
parts are administrative information about the video documentation and technical metadata
concerning the video file. The idea behind the modular metadata schema is flexibility—it enables
additions, e.g., residual objects or textual interpretations, as well as the addition of new technical
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metadata if the video file has to be migrated to a new file format. The schema has been created using
FRBRoo (a conceptual model for bibliographic information in object-oriented formalism) and
standards recommended in the Finnish digital long-term preservation specifications [14].
2. Partners and Origins of the Project
T.E.H.D.A.S. is an artist collective founded in 2002 and situated in the city of Pori on the west
coast of Finland. T.E.H.D.A.S. currently has 113 members, and as a group, it functions as a democratic
collective. As a group, they emphasize anonymity yet afford each member freedom for personal
artistic development. Their mission is to offer a wide range of art experiences that move between
different cultural fields. The recipient of the State Art Award in 2011, the collective has become
famous for performance festivals and clubs arranged in Pori and Tampere. They have actively
organized performance events since 2005 and have systematically recorded the performances on
video. Over the years, T.E.H.D.A.S. has developed a significant archive of over 300 recordings
containing Finnish and international performance art. The archive was originally developed by Antti
Pedrozo, Eero Yli-Vakkuri, and Manu Alakarhu, and it included a method for gathering descriptive
metadata.
Pori Art Museum is a municipal art museum run by the City of Pori. It is focused on
contemporary art and modernism. Pori Art Museum was founded in 1981 and in its exhibitions and
events has surveyed ephemeral art such as Fluxus, environmental art, and site-specific art. As an
international contemporary art museum, it has arranged solo shows by artists such as Richard Long
(1986), Daniel Buren (1988), Gordon Matta-Clark (1987), Yoko Ono (1991), Dennis Oppenheim (1993),
Geoffrey Hendricks (1995), Jimmie Durham (1997), and Fred Sandback (2011). The museum is
responsible for documenting visual culture in its area. Since 2013, T.E.H.D.A.S. and Pori Art Museum
have collaborated to develop a video archive tailored for performance art. The original idea of a joint
effort came from Esko Nummelin, the director of Pori Art Museum. The model was developed in two
projects funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Board of Antiquities in
the years 2013 and 2014, respectively. The joint mission is to archive performance art documentation
produced by T.E.H.D.A.S. and to enable its preservation for the future. The museum is committed to
preserving the archive and to provide it to the national digital long-term preservation system.
Members of T.E.H.D.A.S. serve as curators of the archive, and Pori Art Museum supports the process
with its expertise on archiving. As a result, the archive D-ark was born. It consists of three parts—
digital storage of master files, a simple database for descriptive and technical metadata of the
recordings, and an online archive on the website http://www.tehdasry.fi/dark/.
Archivist Juha Mehtäläinen from T.E.H.D.A.S. has played a key role as an organizer of the
archive. He has defined the metadata for describing performances and prepared the material for
digital preservation. Antti Pedrozo, an artist and member of T.E.H.D.A.S., created the IT-
infrastructure, including the D-ark website. Chief curator Anni Saisto from Pori Art Museum first
mapped the descriptive metadata using CIDOC-CRM, then the FRBRoo standard. She created a
modular metadata schema, including technical metadata required by Finnish digital preservation
specifications. There is still work to be done cataloguing and preparing the material for the national
digital preservation service.
3. Problems of Archiving Performance Art Documentation
The role of documentation in relation to works of performance art has been reflected on from
several different aspects. Philip Auslander has created two categories for performance art
documentation—documentary and theatrical. The first category contains the idea of a document as
evidence of a performance that occurred in a specific time and place. The second category, theatrical,
includes performance art staged for the camera—it has not existed as an independent artwork, nor
was it performed for an audience [15]. According to how T.E.H.D.A.S. sees their documentation, their
work falls into the first category. Thus, performance is seen as a singular moment during which the
artwork exists. The documentation is proof of what happened, a glimpse of a moment that has since
Heritage 2019, 2, 64 979
disappeared into the past. This thinking has led us to the conclusion that a video recording and
metadata describing the performance is documentation, not an independent artwork authorized by
the artist. For this reason, T.E.H.D.A.S. performance art documentation is considered in creating an
archive, not a collection as it is understood in the art museum context.
Auslander sees documentation itself as performative—the act of documenting something as a
performance is what constitutes it as a work of art. The established practice in performance events is
that a camera focuses on the performer instead of interaction between the artist and the audience. As
a result, the camera frames the performance and participants in the tradition of reproducing artworks
instead of documenting events in an ethnographic way [16]. T.E.H.D.A.S. has aimed to avoid
disturbing the performer or the audience while documenting, resulting in that the camera is often in
the background or to the side, therefore allowing the audience to be seen in the picture as well. The
footage does not exclude the audience, yet the main focus remains on the performance. As well, the
framing depends on the nature of the performance and possible interaction between the artist and
the audience. When considered from this point of view, one can say that T.E.H.D.A.S. has
documented events rather than reproduced artworks. Yet, as Daniela Salazar reminds us, the person
or people recording the performance always make an interpretation of what is taking place. The
recording is somebody’s reinterpretation executed with available technical means [17].
The attitudes towards performance art documentation have long been critical. Toni Sant reminds
us that emphasizing the dichotomy between the event and its recording might no longer be relevant.
He continues that professionally executed archiving supports the artists, who can then acquire
different perspectives on their body of work, as can researchers and the general public, for whom
documentation provides information about an ephemeral art form and its development over the
years [18]. In his recent book Reactivations, Philip Auslander points out that “documentation is a
present act directed to a future audience” [19]. For T.E.H.D.A.S., the archive serves as a memory that
carries information about the association’s past activities. Its other aim is to promote performance art,
both by making it available for public via the internet and by gathering sufficient metadata for
researchers. D-ark has gained appreciation among artists as their work is being documented and
published on the website. It is also possible that the era of smart phones and social media have
changed the attitudes towards documentation. Video recording has become a mundane activity
carried out by ordinary people. Especially younger generations consider it to be a natural part of life,
as well as of performance clubs and events.
4. Ownership and Copyright
When addressing the issue of copyright, three questions arise—the copyright of the artist, the
copyright of the videographer, and the role of the art museum in relation to an archive owned by
T.E.H.D.A.S. These questions need to be taken into consideration when drawing up contracts. Firstly,
I will discuss the artist’s copyright. When organizing performance events, T.E.H.D.A.S. has drawn
up contracts with artists, and the copyright questions of the video recording have been taken into
consideration. The content of the contracts has varied over the years. The basic idea has been that,
when agreeing on performing in an event arranged by T.E.H.D.A.S., the artists have consented that
the organizer can record their performances. Contracts give T.E.H.D.A.S. the right to use the
recordings to promote performance art in the association’s own activities and to archive it. The other
option is that artists can give their consent to T.E.H.D.A.S. for publishing the recordings on the
internet. The D-ark website (http://www.tehdasry.fi/dark/) was created for that purpose. In this way,
the copyright could be held by both the publisher and the artist.
Secondly, when a performance artwork is recorded, a copyright is also born to the videographer.
According to Finnish law, the copyright exists for 50 years from when the recording was made.
Members of T.E.H.D.A.S. have been responsible for recording, and they have agreed to pass on their
rights to the artist association. According to the law, the name of the videographer has to be
mentioned when the videos are being shown. The third question is the position of Pori Art Museum
in relation to an archive owned by T.E.H.D.A.S. At the moment, T.E.H.D.A.S. is the owner of the
Heritage 2019, 2, 64 980
archive, and the archival files are deposited in Pori Art Museum. Among the rights that the artist
grants in the contract to T.E.H.D.A.S. is that the documentation can be moved to a third party if it is
a memory institution collaborating with T.E.H.D.A.S. If the artist association were to be dissolved in
the future, the archive can be transferred to Pori Art Museum to secure its existence.
To survey the problems of copyright and possibilities of Creative Commons licensing in the art
field, Pori Art Museum arranged a seminar on 8 December 2017. It was curated by Juha Mehtäläinen,
and the speakers of the seminar were artists experienced in both using licensed material in their
artistic work and publishing their own works on the internet using free licenses. The presentations
and discussions demonstrated how multifaceted the questions concerning copyright and the freedom
of internet can be. Both positive and negative experiences and opinions were shared, identifying the
benefits of especially the CC0 license and the attention one’s work can earn on the internet. On the
other hand, the power of big corporations and algorithms directing people’s orientation on the
internet were criticized. A Finnish-speaking web publication, “Luova yhteismaa ja taide” (“Creative
Commons and Art”), addressed issues discussed at the seminar [20].
5. Digital Preservation Guidelines in Finland
The Ministry of Culture and Education of Finland launched a project in 2008 to ensure the high
quality of digital cultural heritage information. One aim of the National Digital Library project was
to develop a long-term preservation service for Finnish libraries, archives, and museums [21]. Digital
preservation guidelines and IT infrastructure were developed by CSC-IT Center for Science Ltd.
Metadata describing the informational content, provenance information, and directions regarding
the usage of the content were considered to have a key role. The digital preservation service was
introduced in 2015 [22]. The National Digital Library project ended in 2017, and by that time, material
from seven organizations was transferred to the digital preservation service [23]. From now on, the
service is being run by CSC-IT Center for Science Ltd.
The National Digital Library Project compiled specifications for producing sufficient metadata
for long-term preservation. Specifications are metadata requirements and preparing content for
digital preservation, file formats, digital preservation service interfaces, and schema catalog and
schematron rules [24]. The specifications are quite technical and detailed. Distilling the essential
guidelines from a vast quantity of material can be challenging for professionals working with cultural
heritage processes in smaller museums. In 2014, project researcher Sakari Hanhimäki and chief
curator Anni Saisto studied the specifications and how to apply them to video files. Using
recommended file types, verifying the data integrity through use of message digest algorithms, and
gathering a large amount of technical metadata are main elements to be taken into consideration. As
the next step, the metadata should be encoded and wrapped using METS standard. This part is
technical and will be addressed when data can be transferred to the digital long-term service.
Digital preservation service supports 20 different kinds of metadata standards. One of them,
LIDO, can be used to map the metadata described with FRBRoo. According to digital preservation
specifications, video is among the most complicated file type, as it must be described with three
different standards—Premis for the birth history of the digital object, copyright status, and general
technical information; VideoMD for picture; and AudioMD for sound. Due to this fact, the amount
of technical metadata is large, up to 50 pieces of information. A large part of metadata can be gathered
from the file info, yet some bits of the information should be written down when the files are being
created and edited. For bigger organizations, it may be possible to produce the metadata efficiently,
as they have technical personnel and large amounts of similar digital objects. Smaller museums face
challenges though, as they have limited resources and heterogeneous material with variable birth
histories.
6. Modular Metadata Schema and Application of FRBRoo
The metadata schema created for D-ark consists of three modules, and four different standards
have been applied (Figure 1). The modules contain information about the performance (FRBRoo),
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administrative metadata of the documentation (Premis), and technical metadata explaining the
qualities of the digital objects (PREMIS, VideoMD, AudioMD). This model distinguishes between
recorded performance event and the recording. For instance, the duration of the performance may be
different from the duration of the video recording, the first piece of information belonging to the
performance metadata and the latter to technical metadata. As well, the possibility of confusing
different authors—the author of the performance and the author of the video recording—has been
eliminated.
FRBRoo is a conceptual model that provides a unified conceptual model for bibliographic
records. It allows the modeling of creative processes in a coherent and integrated way. FRBRoo
inherited features from both CIDOC CRM and FRBR and it can be used for describing performing
arts [25]. Alberto Pendón Martínez and Gema Bueno de la Fuente have discussed potential
description models for documenting performance. They recommend using FRBRoo, as it provides a
suitable conceptual basis compatible and interoperable with other institutions [26]. The mapped
metadata for D-ark performance art documentation consists of three main elements that are also the
core of FRBRoo—F20 performance work, F25 performance plan, and F31 performance. Performance
work is the intellectual concept of the artwork, performance plan is a blueprint for how to realize the
performance work, and performance is the event at which the art work is being presented.
Figure 1. The modular metadata schema of D-ark.
In the D-ark metadata schema (Figure 2), performance work can have descriptions or keywords
(E62 String, E55 Type) and a title (E75 Conceptual Object Appellation). The T.E.H.D.A.S. archive does
not include written or drawn plans made by the artist (F25 Performance Plan), yet it is included in
the mapping, as it is the semantic glue joining together performance work and the activity resulting
from it, the F31 performance. In D-ark, F31 performance has the largest number of qualities connected
to it—the performer (E39 Actor) who can have a real name (E82 Actor Appellation), qualities such as
an artist (E55 Type) and a nationality (E74 Group.) The performance happens somewhere (F9 Place)
with an additional definition (E44 Place Appellation). The performer can use specific object/s (E70
Things) and the performance has happened at a certain time (E50 date) and also has a duration (E52
Time-span). The performance is documented on a video (E31 Document) which has administrative
and technical metadata (E62 String) described with Premis, Video MD, and Audio MD standards.
This mapping can be adjusted or enlarged when needed. For instance, it contains the possibility to
Heritage 2019, 2, 64 982
add derivative works in the future. As FRBRoo understands the complexity of performance art
consisting of an abstract idea and its different manifestations, it is the most suitable metadata format
for describing performance artworks.
Figure 2. FRBRoo metadata schema for D-ark.
7. Administrative and Technical Metadata
The administrative metadata is described with PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation
Metadata maintained by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of
Congress. PREMIS is an international standard for supporting the preservation of digital objects and
their long-term usability [27]. The current version is 3.0. In the D-ark metadata schema, PREMIS is
used to describe the documentation event, the copyright status of the digital object (including the
country whose laws apply), and the determination date of the copyright status. It is also used to
indicate some information about the digital object, such as the message digest algorithm and the
software used to create it.
In the D-ark metadata schema, PREMIS is also used to indicate the actions the preservation
repository is allowed to take. PREMIS version 2.2. proposed a controlled vocabulary, such as to
replicate (make an exact copy), migrate (make a copy identical in content in a different file format),
modify (make a version different in content), use (read without copying or modifying), disseminate
(create a copy or version for use outside of the preservation repository), and delete (remove from the
repository) [28]. The vocabulary is useful in the context of long-term preservation, as permission for
possible migration to a new file format in the future can be articulated clearly. Finnish digital
preservation specifications list file formats that can be either transferred or retained in the repository.
Even though file formats would be retainable, according to present guidelines the migration might,
in the future, be indispensable to secure the usability of digital objects.
To provide sufficient information for digital preservation, video files are described with
VideoMD and AudioMD standards. Like PREMIS, they are maintained by the Library of Congress
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Network Development and MARC Standards Office. The development of standards is being
undertaken by the larger METS community and other experts in the field [29]. This data can be treated
as an object characteristics extension in PREMIS. In the metadata schema of D-ark, features such as
duration, bit rate, color, codec and resolution information, display aspect ratio, and signal format are
being collected. As the videos have sound, a separate AudioMD extension is being added that
includes, e.g., audio data encoding, codec information, sampling frequency, and number of audio
channels.
8. Possible Extensions of the Modular Metadata Schema
The idea behind the modular metadata schema is flexibility—it can be expanded with new
elements in the future (Figure 3). For instance, if digital video files need to be migrated into a new
file format to secure their preservation, a new module of technical metadata can be added in
connection with the original video file data. Information about the old technical metadata is retained
so that the original nature of the digital file can be traced. The other possibility is to add completely
new objects, either tangible or digital. If T.E.H.D.A.S. wants to expand the archive in the future—for
instance with texts, photographs, or residual objects from the performance—it is possible to add new
modules to the schema.
If digital texts and photographs are added, both could include at least three modules: Firstly,
descriptive metadata about the content of the text or the photograph; secondly, administrative
metadata indicating the copyright status and birth history of the document; and, thirdly, technical
metadata. As with the video documentation, the performance remains the topic of the
documentation, so the modules are connected to it. Thus, the benefit of the modular metadata schema
is that the performance needs to be described only once. Naturally, suitable standards should be
applied when creating new modules, and the recommendations of digital preservation specifications
should be taken into consideration.
When expanding the modular metadata schema, the metadata of residual objects differ from
digital files. First, physical objects have to be described. This part of the process resembles traditional
museum work and cataloguing objects. The objects have been part of the performance in some way,
so they are connected to the performance module. If objects are photographed, the photographs most
likely will not require separate descriptions about their visual content. Thus, the administrative
metadata describing the copyright status and birth history of the photograph can be directly
connected to the residual object module. Digital photography naturally has its own technical
metadata, which creates the third module for this object type. Following this logic, the modular
metadata schema can be expanded with new object types, yet the capacity and qualities of the
collections management system define the possibilities of new additions.
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Figure 3. Potential extensions of the modular metadata schema.
9. Conclusion and Future Challenges
The process of developing archiving methods with T.E.H.D.A.S. started in 2013. So far, D-ark
performance archive has been established and organized, copyright issues have been addressed, and
metadata schemas have been created. For the creators of D-ark, it has been a rewarding journey
crisscrossing live art, archiving, and the digital world, and creating new connections between the
three. A lot remains to be done. Cataloguing and preparing the archive for the digital preservation
service requires a good deal of work. The metadata schema is in the process of publication and will
be made available in English on the D-ark website at http://www.tehdasry.fi/dark/ by the end of June
2019. The archive will be transferred to the national digital preservation repository when the service
becomes available to smaller institutions. There will be a lot to learn for everybody working with D-
ark.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in meeting the requirements of digital preservation is the updating
of specifications. Understandably, such a thing is necessary, as the world of digital technology
evolves constantly, but it might not be possible to collect the lacking metadata retrospectively if
digital objects are transferred to the preservation service years after the metadata was gathered. It is
also worth noting that even though metadata standards are being updated, a digital preservation
service might not support the newest versions. However, Finnish digital preservation specifications
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offer abundant and thoroughly constructed guidelines on how to work with digital objects, which
file types to favor, and how to apply international standards and vocabularies. For a museum
employee with a background in humanities, this poses a challenge; nevertheless, efforts are rewarded
as a new world of digital archiving opens up.
In all, D-ark is a never-ending learning process that has only just begun. The study of the fields
of performance art, archiving and digital world develop constantly. The relationship between the
performance and its documentation is being reflected on and reinterpreted. Digital archiving
practices make progress constantly, and archiving meets new demands as the European Union
creates new legislation to protect its citizens’ personal data and copyrights in the digital era. In the
future, the D-ark website presenting a selection of video documentation could be developed further
by providing, for instance, a possibility to share the audience’s experiences and thoughts about
performances. The archive could also be expanded by adding photographs and other types of
material containing information about the performance. These expansions depend on resources such
as funding and people’s time and motivation. It would also require an advanced collections
management system.
The shared ownership and the responsibilities present a challenge as well. The continued
existence and development of the archive are dependent on the community that has created it, for its
members have a personal relationship with the material as well as with the archiving methods
designed to support it. If people leave or are replaced, there is a risk that the archive will be left aside
and its development will halt. As in every archive, the material is alive when it is being used. If not,
the archive falls dormant or ceases to exist, as it is no longer meaningful to anybody. The metadata
can be exported from D-ark database in XML and CSV formats. This enables further use of the data,
for instance in the Wikidata context, as connecting the data to existing object-oriented collections
management systems might be challenging. When actively used by artists, researchers, and other
audiences, D-ark fulfils its purpose—helping people to remember, become acquainted with, and
reinterpret performance art. Perhaps it could also offer some ideas for the documentation processes
of intangible cultural heritage.
Author Contributions: Conceptualization, Anni Saisto and Artist association T.E.H.D.A.S.; funding acquisition,
Anni Saisto; methodology, Anni Saisto and Artist association T.E.H.D.A.S.; project administration, Anni Saisto;
visualization, Anni Saisto and Artist association T.E.H.D.A.S.; writing—original draft, Anni Saisto; writing—
review and editing, Anni Saisto and Artist association T.E.H.D.A.S.
Funding: This research was funded by the opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö (Ministry of Education and Culture)
and Museovirasto (National Board of Antiquities), Finland.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the
study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to
publish the results.
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Book
Most people agree that witnessing a live performance is not the same as seeing it on screen; however, most of the performances we experience are in recorded forms. Some aver that the recorded form of a performance necessarily distorts it or betrays it, focusing on the relationship between the original event and its recorded versions. By contrast, Reactivations focuses on how the audience experiences the performance, as opposed to its documentation. How does a spectator access and experience a performance from its documentation? What is the value of performance documentation? The book treats performance documentation as a specific discursive use of media that arose in the middle of the 20th century alongside such forms of performance as the Happening and that is different, both discursively and as a practice, from traditional theater and dance photography. Philip Auslander explores the phenomenal relationship between the spectator who experiences the performance from the document and the document itself. The document is not merely a secondary iteration of the original event but a vehicle that gives us meaningful access to the performance itself as an artistic work. "A rich and rewarding book. Reactivations reminds us how to think about performance in a manner that is direct and pragmatic, while still ambitious and fully embedded in both conceptual and historical knowledge of our subject."
Book
A much-needed anthology of writings about the process of documenting performance, focusing on the professional approaches to recovering, preserving and disseminating knowledge of live performance.
Article
onsider two familiar images from the history of performance and body art: one from the documentation of Chris Burden's Shoot (1971), the notori- ous piece for which the artist had a friend shoot him in a gallery, and Yves Klein's famous Leap into the Void (1960), which shows the artist jumping out of a second-story window into the street below. It is generally accepted that the first image is a piece of performance documentation, but what is the second? Burden really was shot in the arm during Shoot, but Klein did not really jump unprotected out the window, the ostensible performance documented in his equally iconic image. What difference does it make to our understanding of these images in relation to the concept of performance documentation that one documents a performance that "really" happened while the other does not? I shall return to this question below. As a point of departure for my analysis here, I propose that performance docu- mentation has been understood to encompass two categories, which I shall call the documentary and the theatrical. The documentary category represents the traditional way in which the relationship between performance art and its documentation is conceived. It is assumed that the documentation of the performance event provides both a record of it through which it can be reconstructed (though, as Kathy O'Dell points out, the reconstruction is bound to be fragmentary and incomplete1) and evidence that it actually occurred. The connection between performance and docu - ment is thus thought to be ontological, with the event preceding and authorizing its documentation. Burden's performance documentation, as well as most of the documentation of classic performance and body art from the 1960s and 1970s, belongs to this category. Although it is generally taken for granted, the presumption of an ontological relation- ship between performance and document in this first model is ideological. The idea of the documentary photograph as a means of accessing the reality of the performance derives from the general ideology of photography, as described by Helen Gilbert, glossing Roland Barthes and Don Slater: "Through its trivial realism, photography creates the illusion of such exact correspondence between the signifier and the signi - fied that it appears to be the perfect instance of Barthes's 'message without a code.' The 'sense of the photograph as not only representationally accurate but ontologically
The Live List: What to Consider When Collecting Live Works
  • Tate
Tate, The Live List: What to Consider When Collecting Live Works. Available online: https://www.tate.org.uk/about-us/projects/collecting-performative/live-list-what-consider-whencollecting-live-works (accessed on 25 February 2019).
On a Mission to Make the World Safe for Avant-Garde Art
  • Franklin Furnace
Franklin Furnace. On a Mission to Make the World Safe for Avant-Garde Art. Available online: http://franklinfurnace.org (accessed on 25 January 2019).
Histories of Performance Documentation: Museum, Artistic, and Scholarly Practices
  • G Giannachi
  • J Westerman
Giannachi, G.; Westerman, J. (Eds.) Histories of Performance Documentation: Museum, Artistic, and Scholarly Practices; Routledge: London, UK, 2018; p. 58, ISBN 978-1-138-18413-8. 13. International Committee for Documentation (ICOM). Available online: http://network.icom.museum/cidoc/working-groups/exhibition-and-performance-documentation/ (accessed on 25 January 2019).
In Documenting Performance: The Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving
  • S Daniela
Daniela, S. Performance arts and their memories. In Documenting Performance: The Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving;
Luova Yhteismaa Ja Taide. Creative Commons vaihtoehtona tekijänoikeuksien hallinnoimiselle
  • M Juha
Juha, M. (Ed.) Luova Yhteismaa Ja Taide. Creative Commons vaihtoehtona tekijänoikeuksien hallinnoimiselle; Pori Art Museum: Pori, Finland, 2017-2018;