Conference Sessions Preview
Click below for a selection of presentations, recordings and handouts that were released by the presenters from the 2017 ARCS Conference held on November 3-5, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Members of ARCS can access the entire back catalog of recordings as a benefit of their membership.
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Art of the 4th Dimension: Working with Time-Based Media
No other medium has a relationship to entropy quite like time-based media. By its very nature it presents unique difficulties for institutions and collectors. Due to the medium’s fundamental dependence on technology, duration, and interpretation, time-based media is frequently prone to misadventures and incorrect installations that even the most-well intentioned artist and attentive stewards cannot always anticipate. Considering the complex nature of time-based media, what methods do registrars use to navigate between standardized practices of archiving and the unprecedented needs of new media? How can collections managers preserve media art for future generations, when rapid obsolescence is an inherent aspect of the work? How do galleries manage the exhibition and sale of artwork that is characteristically unreliable at best? Turning to the demands of the museum and gallery, this session examines the challenges of information management, collections care, and exhibition of time-based media artworks.
Collection Care with Materials Substitution in Thailand
To preserve collections for long-term protection, appropriate materials are significant. The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (QSMT) used to import all archival materials and tools for collection management from the USA. Unfortunately, this was not cost effective. The price of imported materials was at the mercy of very high currency exchange fees. Expenses included international shipping, insurance, and custom fees. If damage occurred during shipping, more money and time are spent claiming and waiting for replacement supplies. For many of these reasons the QSMT decided to use domestic materials. Some archival products have been found whose qualities are as good as the imported ones and meet international standards. QSMT conservators agreed to use these materials in collection management, significantly reducing the museum’s budgeted expenditures. This session will explain how appropriate materials were identified and tested, and which ones have been integrated into collections care.
How to Evaluate Collection Risk
This session will discuss how to evaluate and look at risk presented by different storage practices using industry standard strategies for analysis. By examining risks presented by natural disasters such as fires and floods, as well as facility-specific hazards such as security, environmental conditions, and pests, this session will provide a guide to identify risks, evaluate the acceptable hazards in a systematic way making best use of limited tools and resources. The Bechtler Museum's recent move to off-site storage will be used as a case study for evaluating risks presented by off-site storage and to introduce concepts of risk management and analysis for comprehensive decision making.
Shining a Light on Energy Efficiency: LED Conversion at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
The Indianapolis Museum of Art has embarked on a three-year museum-wide conversion of all incandescent and fluorescent lamps to LED lamps. The goal of the project is to safeguard the collection, eliminate ultraviolet emissions, to improve color perception and clarity, and allow for lower light levels in the galleries. The conversion will also realize a return on investment reflected in reduced electric utilities costs, reduced number of lamps purchased per year, and reduced labor costs due to less frequent replacement of the new LED lamps. The expected reduction in operating costs makes funds available for exhibition and educational programming as well as collections-based research and activities. This session will illustrate the process of lamp selection and testing, funding, and implementation of the campus-wide conversion to LED lamps.
The Collection Inventory Handbook for Museums and Historical Societies
The forthcoming Collection Inventory Handbook for Museums and Historical Societies will be the first publication to walk museum professionals through this foundational collections stewardship function. The manual's content is informed by a survey in which collections practitioners voiced the need for a resource to make inventories easier to implement, more accurate, and more fruitful, while also incorporating 21st century technologies. In this session, the authors will share two case studies of inventories in action: 1) barcoding and inventorying the collection at the National Museum of Mongolia and 2) the use of an open source collections management system in a comprehensive inventory at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.