Debik, Jonathan; Giering, Sarah:

The Artist Interview in Conservation - A Guide

01.09.2018 bis 31.01.2022

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The artemak archive is being continued and developed as part of a project, artemak+X – Techniques and Materials of Modern and Contemporary Art, at the Dresden University of Fine Arts funded by the ESF and the state of Saxony. The project deals with current issues in the preservation and restoration of contemporary art, as well as associated analysis and testing of materials. Another major focus is the new development of the online platform

The stated purpose of the website is to serve as a research platform providing information – directly from artists by means of interviews and surveys – on the materials, techniques and preservation of contemporary artworks, and making it accessible in the long term. It offers not only conservators, but also artists, art scholars and all interested parties a growing number of interviews, indexed using thematic keywords and contextualized with additional content.

The freely accessible online publication The Artist Interview in Conservation - A Guide is a collection of information and findings gained via theoretical engagement with the interview research method and the practical application of artist surveys in the project artemak+X - Techniques and materials of modern and contemporary art.

The guide is intended to make it easier for anyone with an interest to familiarise themselves with the interview as a research method and to hone their understanding of the scientific implementation and evaluation of artist surveys. It is aimed at researchers without previous experience or knowledge of history or social sciences and facilitates the theoretical classification of interview techniques currently used by conservators. There is a special focus on the "The Artist Interview" method, which is summarised and supplemented by personal experiences. In addition to preparation, implementation and follow-up, the manual offers further helpful information on planning and realising individual interviews or interview projects, a process plan, as well as information on legal requirements and the archiving of interview data.


1 Introduction 3
2 Development of artist surveys in conservation 4
3 The artist interview as a research method 8
3.1 Classification of the artist interview into existing research theories 8
3.2 The Interview method according to The Artist Interview 11
3.2.1 Type of interviews 11
3.2.2 Preparation 12
3.2.3 Interview Structure 14
3.2.4 The guideline 16
3.2.5 Conducting the interview 16
3.3 Communication and questioning techniques 19
3.4 Recording of interviews 21
3.5 Post-processing of the material 22
3.5.1 Post-processing of video or audio material 23
3.5.2 The transcription 23
3.5.3 File formats and archiving 28
4 Other methods for survey artists 32
5 About the scientific evaluation and corroboration of results 35
5.1 Criticism of the artist interview in conservation 35
5.2 Quality criteria of scientific work in qualitative research 36
5.3 Documentation and evaluation of artist interviews at artemak+X 40
5.4 Citation of interviews 42
6 Legal aspects of interviews 43
6.1 Privacy 43
6.2 Authorship and usage rights 44
6.3 Implementation in the artemak+X project 46
7 Exemplary process plan for conducting an interview 47
8 Conclusion 50
9 References 51
9.1 Literature 51
9.2 Additional Sources 56


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Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag Dieses Werk steht unter einer Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Deutschland Lizenz.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier)


URL (zugehörige Internetseite)


  • Jonathan Debik (Autor/in)
  • Sarah Giering (Autor/in)