Julie Boschat Thorez, artist and researcher, Rotterdam, Netherlands
The transmission of the documentation of changes made in each presentation of an artwork and the motivation behind each display are of importance to the continued preservation, re-exhibition and future understanding of artworks. However, it is generally acknowledged that existing digital archiving and documentation systems used by many museums are not suitable for complex digital artworks. Looking for an approach that can easily be adjusted, shared and adopted by others, this article focusses on open-source alternatives that also enable collaborative working to facilitate the sharing and changing of information. As an interdisciplinary team of conservators, researchers, artists and programmers, the authors set out to explore and compare the functionalities of two systems featuring version control: MediaWiki and Git. We reflect on their technical details, virtues and shortcomings for archiving complex digital artworks, while looking at the potential they offer for collaborative workflows.