e-Installation: Synesthetic Documentation of Media Art via Telepresence Technologies

  • Jesús Muñoz Morcillo
  • Florian Faion
  • Antonio Zea
  • Uwe D. Hanebeck
  • Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha


In this article, a new method for the conservation and dissemination of media art through “synesthetic documentation” is presented. A “synesthetic documentation” is the description and reproduction of complex multisensory information that a work of media art produces. This new method is called “e-Installation” in analogy to the idea of the “e-Book” as the electronic version of a real book. An e-Installation is a virtualized media artwork that reproduces all synesthesia, interaction and meaning levels of the artwork. Advanced 3D modeling and telepresence technologies with a very high level of immersion allow the virtual re-enactment of works of media art that are no longer performable or rarely exhibited. The virtual re-enactment of a media artwork can be designed with a scalable level of complexity depending on whether it addresses professionals such as curators, art restorers, and art theorists, or the general public. An e-Installation is independent of the artwork’s physical location and can be accessed via head-mounted display or similar data goggles, computer browser, or even mobile devices. In combination with informational and preventive conservation measures, the e-Installation offers an intermediate and long-term solution to archive, disseminate, and pass down the milestones of media art history as a synesthetic documentation when the original work can no longer be repaired or exhibited in its full function.


Media art conservation Telepresence Virtual reality 



We would like to acknowledge the support of ZKM director Peter Weibel, curator Bernhard Serexhe, and technician Mirco Frass for facilitating access to Nam June Paik’s video sculpture and for sharing their knowledge. We would also like to thank the students Jennifer McClelland, Pascal Becker, and Xuefei Zheng for their work on the re-enactment of “Versailles Fountain”, as well as the Swiss Net artist Marc Lee and the students Jennifer McClelland, Filip Szeliga, Michael Schröder, and Jan Philipp Gerlach for their cooperation in implementing “10,000 Moving Cities – Same but Different”. For helpful advice, we also thank Jens Görisch and Antonia Pérez Arias.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesús Muñoz Morcillo
    • 1
  • Florian Faion
    • 2
  • Antonio Zea
    • 2
  • Uwe D. Hanebeck
    • 2
  • Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha
    • 1
  1. 1.ZAK | Centre for Cultural and General StudiesKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Intelligent Sensor-Actuator-Systems (ISAS)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

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