лет, если она была бы фотографией.
(буквы там не от старости, а от моего скана газеты financial times, откуда взята вот эта статья:
New battle to hold back the march of time
High-tech art is at risk of literally fading away, leaving buyers with nothing to show for their money. Time is running out for museums, galleries and private collectors wanting to preserve their digital photography and video art, as recent research has shown that the deterioration is quicker than people realised.
Institutions around the world are tackling this problem, and scientists at Basel University have been researching stability in photography since 1965.
Colour photography, among the fastest-growing artforms, is particularly in danger. "Our research shows that after 50 years colour photos deteriorate quickly and after 100 years they simply don't exist," says Rolf Steiger, a Basel University scientist and technical consultant at the specialist photographic company Ilford Imaging.
This finding could have a huge impact on the art world, as collectors' investments are potentially rendered worthless. "German artist Andreas Gursky's photographs are selling for £1m, but they will not exist in 100 years' time, so what value do they have?" asks Claudio Cesar, an American collector of photographic art.
He is so concerned about this that he has set up an organisation, the Cesar Foundation for the Visual Arts, to create a world standard on how to preserve these kinds of works. He is working with the scientists at Basel on the issue, who are to present their latest findings at the Art Miami art fair in December. Old-fashioned painting techniques reach an "equilibrium" in their ageing process, a point at which they stop deteriorating before their essence is destroyed. This amount of degradation is accepted by the collector and the art market in general. Similarly, black and white photos reach a point of equilibrium. However, the Basel scientists have found that many materials in use today will never stop ageing, and so will never stop deteriorating. If the Mona Lisa had been produced with contemporary photographic technology, he claims, her enigmatic smile would long since have been lost to history.
Humidity-controlled cold storage is the only "solution" available at present, but it is no solution at all, says Cesar. "This sort of storage only prolongs the life of the photograph by slowing these processes. It does not ensure permanence."
While both photography and video can suffer from a deterioration of image quality, video is also a victim of evolving hardware: as video recorders, or their future equivalent, become obsolete, there will be no machinery that can read the information.
The answer for both is to copy the original artwork on to other formats. But, as Steiger says, this is not a long-term solution: "It's complicated and expensive to copy. And, what's more, if you copy digital, every copy loses quality."
New research shows that even DVDs are not safe, as micro-organisms eat into their technology. This gives them a lifespan of 20 rather than 200 years, as commonly believed. "A technological solution is around the corner, with new types of storage," says Cesar.
But while there is no permanent storage, he is pushing for buyers of digital art to be able to purchase a certificate of entitlement for data, rather the object itself.
Electronic Arts Intermix in New York has gone some way towards this. A leading resource for artists' video and interactive media, EAI acts as a distributor of more than 3,000 media works by 175 artists.
It has recently updated its licence agreement for individual collectors, allowing them to transfer or resell a DVD if they want to, with EAI retaining the master copy.
Like many institutions, EAI is doing its own preservation for different technology-reliant art forms. It has been working to preserve its collection of video works since the mid 1980s. Some of these are on display at the Institute of Contemporary Artsshow, Video Acts, in London (until October 19).
Spanning the video medium's 35-year history, Video Acts includes works by greats such as Mike Kelly, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, William Wegman, Bill Viola, Dan Graham and Martha Rosler. These works have all had to be digitally remastered in order to be shown.
The Bruce Nauman works, for example, were originally produced on 16mm film. They were cleaned and then transferred to video, explains John Thomson, EAI director of distribution, with the sound of a projector added to simulate a film experience. The video works were then cleaned and transferred again from the now obsolete half-inch open-reel videotape to the state-of-the-art digital beta format.
However, not everyone is panicking. US video and digital artist Tony Oursler is on the board of the Cesar organisation and simply updates his own works frequently. EAI and Moma in New York have just restored the reel-to-reel format of his work The Life of Phyllis, which was shot in 1976 on 1967 video camera. It will be shown at Moma this autumn. "It looks better now than then," he says.
By Clare Dowdy
Financial Times; Aug 13, 2003