Documentation as Art presents documentation as an expanded practice that is radically changing the ways in which to look at, participate in, and generate art.

Bringing together expertise from different disciplines, the book provides an in-depth investigation of the development of documentation as a set of production, circulation, and preservation strategies. Illustrating how these are often led by artists, audiences, and museums, the contributions offer new insights into digital art and its history, curation, and preservation, through documentation. Considering documentation as the main method of preserving these art forms, the book analyses how it can address the inherent challenges of capturing live events, visitor experiences, and evolving artworks. Showing how documentation itself can become (part of) an original artwork, the book discusses ways in which these expanded practices can impact the value and experience of the documented event or artwork, giving consideration to how this might affect the traditional authority of the museum as creator of documentation used for future reference, historical relevance, or cultural memory.

Documentation as Art demonstrates how the curation and preservation of documentation and the introduction of audience-generated documentation are radically changing exhibition and visiting practices in which documentation is becoming a significant and emergent cultural form in its own right. The book will appeal to researchers and students engaged in the study of museums and curation, art and art history, performance, new media and digital art, library and information science, and conservation.

part 1|72 pages


chapter |13 pages


chapter 3|12 pages

Fifty-two weeks

A year of El Paquete Semanal, the Cuban offline Internet, and the two artists who archived it

chapter 4|10 pages

In-game photography

part 2|58 pages


chapter 7|13 pages

Leaking lands

Museum documentation without digitisation

chapter 8|9 pages

Digital culture

Heritage, social media and documentation practices

chapter 9|11 pages


The feed as the great flattener

chapter 10|11 pages

One Terabyte of documentation

The circulation of GeoCities

part 3|66 pages


chapter 11|12 pages

The use of documentation for preservation and exhibition

The cases of SFMOMA, Tate, Guggenheim, MOMA, and LIMA

chapter 12|13 pages

Rendering the moment

Virtual reality as documentation tool for spatial kinetic artwork

chapter 13|14 pages

Collecting social photo

A Nordic project in the search of sustainable methods for preserving social media as cultural heritage

chapter 15|12 pages

How a guitar started to self-document its ‘identity’

The future of art documentation