Photo: Source - The Seattle Times | August 2, 2009 ; Photographer - Steven Mark Needham.
In 2009 the Cunnigham dance group closed its doors. Unlike the case of Martha Graham's trust, a group of individuals dedicated to dance were enlisted as trustees to manage the wealth of Cunninghams work by overseeing the performance of his work by other dance groups.
The Cunningham Trust developed the idea of the digital "dance capsules", which would include "performance videos, sound recordings, lighting plots, dcor images, costume designs, and production notes from rehearsal and performance periods, as well as information drawn from interviews with dancers and artistic staff" (Quote from the Trust's official site).
In the 90s, Jon Ippolito and Richard Rinehart proposed, respectively, a 'variable media' questionnaire and a notation system appropriate for the description of new media work. While Ippolito's questionnaire aims at the identification of those attributes of an artwork that are likely to change, the notational system MANS proposes preservation vocabularies for new media that are similar to those already in place for other art forms.
The history (and stories) behind Trusts such as Martha Graham's, George Balanchine's or, more recently, Cunningham's suggest another level of concern when designing / innovating / implementing the preservation of digital art: it is a preoccupation with preserving the authenticity and integrity of the authors imprint. This may transcend taxonomies, folksonomies to the extent that it is of a more human/humane - and therefore complex nature. Or not?
I guess that what I am saying is that just like the cinema dauteur, other art forms may have a similar auteur's heavy hand, conferring a subjectivity to the work that is not easily maintained in the works re-interpretation. Can you really preserve theauteurs subjectivity the artists personal vision beyond his/her death?