5 | The Documentation

For my third interview in the podcast – I spoke to Louise Lawson – head of time based media conservation at Tate. She spoke about the fascinating process of what it means to conserve a piece of art work that is ephemeral. Documentation is absolutely key – Louise talks about the different angles around how to document that might be really useful to think about in terrms of your own practice.


This week’s reading material are mostly on web pages.
Full interview with Louise Lawson – transcript

Documentation project details on Tate’s website 

  1. The Live List 
  2. Documentation Tool: Performance Specification 

Works and projects mentioned  


  • Choose a performance or artwork that you’ve seen that is really vibrant in your memory OR that you’ve seen recently  
  • Think about the things that are resonant with you 
  • How much can you recall about the performance right this minute? 
  • Now go and choose either the Live List site or the Performance Specification site and revisit the performance or artwork in relation to one of those sets of questions 
  • How many questions can you answer in your head just as you skim through the lists? 
  • Which questions are you drawn to? 
  • Which questions panic you because you can’t remember that much about it. 
  • Now create an entry for your performance or artwork. 
  • What have you discovered about the performance in doing that writing? 
  • Did you remember anything differently with the structure of the process? 
  • Find an online performance or dance or live artwork that you’ve never seen before and watch it with the documentation process in mind. 
  • Are you considering performance in a different way? 
  • How?