SFMOMA has been a leader in the presentation, collection, and preservation of media art since the early 1970s. Our Department of Media Arts, established in 1987, was among the first of its kind in the United States. Today our media arts collection encompasses the diversity of time-based works and media installations, including video, film, slide, sound, computer-based, and online projects and performances. Reflecting the history of technological and conceptual developments in art, the collection ranges from work by early practitioners such as Vito Acconci, Dara Birnbaum, Peter Campus, Dan Graham, Gary Hill, Nam June Paik, and Steina Vasulka, to more contemporary pieces by Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Matthew Barney, Douglas Gordon, Pierre Huyghe, and Steve McQueen. In recent years our Media Arts Department has commissioned important video installations from Christian Marclay, Pipilotti Rist, and Sylvie Blocher, among others. Works by Bay Area artists, including Jim Campbell, Bill Fontana, Howard Fried, Doug Hall, Paul Kos, and Alan Rath, are one ongoing focus of our collection and provide a context for understanding the region as a historic center for experimental media.
Along with Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the New Art Trust, SFMOMA is an active member of Matters in Media Art, an international consortium dedicated to establishing best-practice guidelines for the care, installation, and preservation of time-based media works.