Digitizing Snow: A Study Using Selected Works of Michael Snow and Examining How Digital Reproductions of Contemporary Photographic Artworks are Pursued by Cultural Institutions
thesisposted on 2022-11-09, 16:48 authored by Christophe Jivraj
This thesis looks at the current state of digital reproductions for contemporary photographic artworks—how they are made, the purposes they serve, and how they are disseminated by cultural institutions. Using four selected photographic installation artworks by Canadian artist Michael Snow, this research examines how museums pursue reproductions of artworks that are installative by design and possess elements that are not easily reproducible like sound or the use of time. The reproduction process and terminology used at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada (two institutions with significant collections of Snow’s artworks) are both examined, as well as how digital reproduction is currently discussed and theorized by museum professionals and digital specialists. Reproductions are used for outreach, research, advertising, and conservation, but between texts and institutions alike there lacks consistent terminologies and purposes for reproductions due to the dearth of research into this type of imagery.