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Documentation Templates

As part of MPI’s commitment to sharing its work with colleagues in the museum, library, archives, and gallery worlds, our newly created templates for documenting time-based media (TBM) artworks are available here for consultation and sampling. These include: questionnaires to be filled out by artists or their representatives during the acquisition process; media reports to be completed by internal Whitney staff in order to capture aesthetic, physical, and technical information about a work and its individual installations; and condition reports for substantively recording physical and preservation metadata on media components.


Media Questionnaires

These newly remodeled TBM questionnaires are to be submitted to artists or their representatives as part of the acquisition process. The documents are divided into four different TBM modalities: Film (Single Channel), Video (Single Channel), Film & Video Installation, and Digital Art. These questionnaires are intended to gather notes about the work’s history; the media, materials, and technical specifications; the techniques and expertise utilized; the installation instructions; and any preservation-related information.


Artwork Documentation

In addition to the questionnaires above, MPI has also introduced new templates for documenting time-based media works in the Whitney’s permanent collection. These documents were modeled off of the foundational report templates created by Joanna Phillips at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. MPI’s templates were tailored and expanded to reflect the Whitney’s specific concerns for its collection and also the growing needs in the care and presentation of digital and software-based art.

Identity Report
This report is designed to give a profile of a time-based media artwork from the Whitney’s permanent collection. It captures a highly detailed account of the artist’s intent, and the work’s exhibition history, technical specifications, installation instructions, and any other pertinent information. Completed identity reports provide a deep dive into a work’s background. The intended users for this document are internal curatorial and conservation staff at the Whitney. 

Media Research Report
This report is designed to give a cursory summary of the core information for a time-based media artwork from the Whitney’s permanent collection. Completed media research reports capture the essential information required for the understanding and installation of a work. The intended users for this document are internal registration staff at the Whitney.

Exhibition Report
This report documents a specific iteration of a time-based media artwork from the Whitney’s permanent collection. It captures details about how the work was installed within a specific exhibition, including extensive documentation of equipment used, technical specifications, installation images, personnel involved, and accompanying text created.

Exhibition Summary
A short-form report used to quickly document information about a specific installation of a time-based media work.


Condition Reports

These templates allow our media preservation specialists to fully document the condition of individual media components, such as film reels, magnetic videotapes, and optical discs. Each component is assessed and its condition report saved in the Museum’s collections management system.

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A 30-second online art project:
Ryan Kuo, Hateful Little Thing

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