Document Type

Journal Article


David Publishing Company


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Ryan, J. C. (2014). The Transformation of Archival Philosophy and Practice Through Digital Art. Philosophy Study, 4(5), 373-390. Available here


In many ways, digital practices have precipitated remarkable changes in the global accessibility of art. However, the digital revolution has also radically influenced the conservation processes surrounding art, including archiving, preserving, and remembering. This paper explores the conservation of digital (or “variable media”) artworks for the future benefit of culture, with particular peference to creators and viewers of art, as well as participants in interactive artworks. More specifically, this paper focuses on the philosophical and technical approaches adopted by creators, conservators, and philosophers involved in the preservation of variable media artworks. Issues of programming, interoperability between archival systems, and enhanced public access increasingly inform the design of digital archives. Indeed, the continuously shifting technological landscape—marked by the centrality of digital technologies to everyday life—problematizes the preservation of digital art through mainstream museological paradigms. Part of this analysis of digital art conservation will be drawn from the archival philosophies of Boris Groys and Rick Prelinger.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License