Screen grab from workshop
Screen grab of Tate’s Intermedia Art Archives landing page

Taught by two Time-based media conservators, Patrícia Falcão and Chris King, and one Reshaping the Collectible Archivist Sarah Haylett and offered virtually by the American Institute for Conservation for the 2020 Annual Meeting, this workshop intended to give participants tools and options for documenting webpages. It was taught over the course of three two-hour sessions, beginning to introductions on how the world wide web works, how to analyse and document a website, and how to capture it with a webrecorded.

In addition to the live sessions, there were out-of-class activities to experience the process and troubleshoot firsthand. At the beginning of the following session, these activities were discussed and experiences among participants shared.

While many experience-based workshops translate poorly to a digital format, this workshop lent itself well considering the content is digital in nature. For example, organizers were able to share their screen and demonstrate archiving activities. Immediately following the demonstrating, participants were able to test out the options themselves.

I signed up for this workshop as I was interested to learn how this unconventional media is typically documented by Conservators. I was pleased to learn there is no convention yet for web-based works, as the need is relatively new. As with all new media, the demand is growing to establishing some convention; I am grateful to the organizers for their awareness of what they are capable to do, or not, as conservators (and not programmers), and of their frank assessment in the challenges of documenting something that is inherently relative, responsive, and reactionary.

Natalya Swanson