The Variable Media Questionnaire is a method specifically designed by the Forging The Future alliance to deal with the problems of interpretative, ephemeral and ambivalent artefacts created digitally.
In the creators’ words:
The Variable Media Questionnaire is a project of Forging the Future, an alliance dedicated to building tools to help rescue digital culture from oblivion.
Note: this is strictly intended for emulation, storage, preservation and interpretation BY archivists/conservators.
The concept of a solution by emulation is not exclusive to born-digital artefacts, it is epiphenomenal to an overall struggle on a level of ordering, selection and preservation due to the velocities at which cultural artefacts are made necessary to enter the processes of institutionalization/commodification. Two approaches trying to cope with this phenomenon in itself are the Whitney replication committee (as sub-committee within the Conservation department) and the V&A’s Rapid Response Collecting strategy.