Compendium of Image Errors in Analogue Video

Compendium of Image Errors in Analogue Video

A unique reference work on image errors in analogue video, indispensable for conservators, collectors, and artists.



Title Information

Johannes Gfeller, Agathe Jarczyk, Joanna Phillips. With a contribution by Irene Schubiger. Edited by Swiss Institute for Art Research SIK-ISEA

1st edition

, 2013

Text English and German


272 pages, 171 color and 34 b/w illustrations, 1 DVD

22 x 28 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-381-7


Preserving collections of analogue video art is no easy task. Not only must collection caretakers ensure that their magnetic tapes are appropriately catalogued and stored, they must also properly inspect the content of the analogue videotapes in order to make an informed assessment of their condition. This is the only way to prevent unintended image errors – caused by a damaged videotape or video player, or by simple operator error – from being irreversibly merged with the artist’s original image content during the digitization process and thereby permanently compromising the artwork.

This compendium aims to provide caretakers of our audiovisual artistic and cultural heritage with a general guide to identifying, viewing, cataloguing and assessing the condition of analogue videotapes. The symptoms and causes of 28 common image errors are described in detail, and further illustrated by video sequences on an accompanying DVD. A technical chapter explains the basic principles of video technology, while an art history chapter discusses the deliberate use of image errors as creative tools in analogue video art.

Authors & Editors

Johannes Gfeller

 is head of the master program for the conservation of new media and digital information at Stuttgart State Academy for Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany.

Agathe Jarczyk

 is a free-lance video conservator and lecturer at Bern University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland. She specializes in modern materials and media, working for various Swiss and international museums and collections.

Joanna Phillips

 is conservator of contemporary art at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and focuses on conservation of video, audio, film and computer-based works of art.

Irene Schubiger

Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft SIK-ISEA