Installation Archive: A Capsule Aesthetic

Introduction: project contributions

Installation Archive: A Capsule Aesthetic deliberately exploits the peculiar nature of “here’s my experience” social media videos to offer an altogether different art historical resource. Installation Archive doesn’t foreground scholarly expertise. It showcases a surfeit of highly particularized documentation of viewers’ first-hand experiences with installation art works that Installation Archive's visitors may interpret autonomously; and it offers artwork captions and relevant metadata pertinent to each video (author, title, date, venue, etc.) without supplemental authorial or editorial commentary. In these ways, audience documentation of installations for the first time is considered alongside “expert” and institutionally authorized versions. Installation Archive also features a customized DIY search component that allows viewers a transparent way to reconstruct the social media video searches used to create the archive and to search for video uploads pertinent to other installations.

While Installation Archive: A Capsule Aesthetic serves as an inventive supplement to the still photos in my print publication (and as a potential information source for further exploration of the art and artists in question via external links), the project’s principal scholarly contributions are the following:
►  increases access to, and documentation of, what are otherwise rigorously site- and context-specific media installation art works
► provides a prototype for digital art history in the form of large-scale archiving of user-generated video documentation of installations and their modes of spectatorship
► engenders a new model for spectatorship studies by foregrounding viewer reception as a form of artistic production and transcending the discipline’s conventional focus on the spectator’s in-person experience with a work of art

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