Exhibition and preservation of non-fiction interactive and transmedia forms of expression

Date03 April 2018
Publication Date03 April 2018
AuthorArnau Gifreu-Castells
SubjectLibrary & information science,Collection building & management
Exhibition and preservation of non-ction
interactive and transmedia forms of expression
Arnau Gifreu-Castells
University of Girona, Girona, Spain
Purpose The constant updating and unstoppable advance of technologies, mixing of platforms, programs and codes and the new trends in
funding, among other factors, have led us to a present-future full of interactive, collaborative, participatory and co-creative digital artefacts and
works. Games, experimental projects, short lms and interactive video clips, in relation to ctional and non-ctional narrative, like documentary and
journalism mainly, generate a complex body of works that depend on a series of compatibilities between technologies and languages to work
properly and keep up with the times. The main purpose of this article is to analyse how the expression forms of interactive nonction narrative can
be exhibited and preserved, looking at four main genres: documentary, journalism, museums and education.
Design/methodology/approach At the methodological level, a study of analogue and digital forms in the proposed areas was performed, and a
series of projects as case studies were analysed. In addition, a series of initiatives and institutions deve loping preservation methods are listed and
ten effective strategies have been proposed to preserve interactive and transmedia nonction works.
Findings The results make it possible to propose new ways of exhibiting and preserving valuable digital non-ction works that need to be
catalogued and safeguarded for the future.
Originality/value For non-digital artistic forms of expression, copies were the main way of ensuring their preservation, but how does this process work
for digital art forms? This area is a virgin eld that urgently needs to be studied to determine and generate structures for preserving these types of works.
Keywords Preservation, Exhibition, Documentary, Non-ction, Interactive, Transmedia
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
The main purpose of this article is to analyse how the expressive
forms of interactive and transmedianonction narrative can be
exhibited and preserved, looking at four main genres:
documentary, journalism, museums and education. At the
methodological level, we carried out a study of analog and
digital forms in the proposed areas, and analysed a series of
projects as case studies. The results makeit possible to propose
new ways of preserving valuable digital works that need to be
catalogued andsafeguarded for the future.
We will rst dene the term digital preservation to look at
how cultural preservation has been carried out in different
forms of visual expression throughout history. We will then
study how interactive forms, and especially interactive and
transmedia nonction works, have been preserved to date in
the specic areas of documentary, journalism, museums and
education. Finally, we propose a set of ideas and strategies for
ensuring the preservation of these artefacts of historical
memory that representpast, present and future events.
Interactive digital media have grown remarkably since their
inception owing to the incredibly large amount of money invested
in them. During the rst years of life of the interactive formats,
only initiatives with large budgets and professionals with specic
skills were able to produce such projects. The pioneering
experimental productions of the MIT Media Lab (Lippman,
1980) or the Apple Multimedia Lab (Hooper Woolsey, 1989)
were the rst projects considered to be interactive. Today, TV is
no longer the only medium and virtual reality and augmented
reality are entering the eld. Despite all these technological
achievements, the digital information paradigm, whose copy is
sold as perfect, often cannot be displayed, disseminated or
preserved owing to the complexity of the associated systems and
methods, which were far simpler in analog media.
Unstable platforms, rapidly changing technologies and
shifting investment priorities are the new norms in todays
media landscape.As attention turns to the next big thing,digital
games, artwork, interactive news features and Web-based
documentaries made as recently as ve years ago have become
obsolete. Someimportant issues urgently need to be resolvedto
reverse this situation. For example: How can we consider
interactivenonction products from a preservationperspective?
Who decides what to preserve and what not (and the reasons
behind these decisions)? How should we dene and categorise
the different kinds of obsolescence nowadays? and What
corporateand business interests arebehind these changes?
For these key questions we should expectsome answers and
positioning from cultural institutions, governments and for-
prot technology companies, to assist us to consider their
various views and commitments to help ensure the survival of
digital culture. And, in the worst-case scenario, try to answer
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on
Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/2514-9326.htm
Collection and Curation
37/2 (2018) 8592
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 2514-9326]
[DOI 10.1108/CC-08-2017-0037]
Received 18 August 2017
Revised 16 November 2017
Accepted 29 December 2017

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