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Digital Archives vs. Experience:

Last week we discussed how Belén was focused on the “experience” of viewing her work. A major component of this “experience” is seeing the work in person. So as a digital archival project, how do we combat this need to “experience” the work with preserving the artist’s intentions? In my opinion, the archive is never to be used a supplement to seeing the work, but a way to flesh out an understanding of it. In preserving an artist's intentions while addressing the desire to experience their work in person, a digital archival project must prioritize accuracy and accessibility. While nothing replaces the tangible encounter with art, the archive serves as a valuable tool to enhance understanding.


Image: A hand-drawn model of where the artist sees the large glass pieces of her standing sculptures to be placed (left), next to a finished work (Shells) that uses a similar structure and spacing of the model (Right). The model doesn't replace the experience of seeing, or "experiencing", the work in person, but adds insight in the creation of the finished work. 


So how do we reach this accuracy and accessibility? My goal from the start of the project was to capture “the world of the artist,” or to capture her point of view. This is done by documenting both the artist herself for context surrounding the work, as well as the process that goes into making a finished piece. By doing so we provide a compliment to the work, while not taking any value away from seeing the piece in person. When we strive for comprehensive documentation and contextualization, the archive ensures that the essence of the artist's vision is preserved.Ultimately, the digital archive expands upon but does not substitute the experience of seeing art in person. Its role is to provide access, deepen understanding, and preserve the integrity of the artist's vision.

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