Perhaps I can suggest an extra dimension that we need to include in the collection of oral histories? Particularly, but not only, in the case of interactive art, the experience and engagement of the audience/participant is arguably as important to capture as the artist's own reflections and intensions. This is a growing area of interest but as far as I am aware there is no systematic attempt to capture the data.
Candy and Ferguson's book "Interactive Experience in the Digital Age" describes a range of current approaches and offers a lead into the literature on the study of experience of the interactive arts. See
> On 10 Jul 2014, at 20:30, roger malina <email@example.com> wrote:
> re oral cultures- as you will have seen we just issued a call for
> memoirs by pioneers
> in the art science technology field to document their memories of work
> done before 1985
> see: http://malina.diatrope.com/2014/07/02/leonardo-call-for-papers-memoirs-of-pioneers-and-path-breakers-in-art-and-technology/
> in their book chapter 13 Only you can prevent the end of history (
> http://re-collection.net/ )
> Rick and Jon recommend to curators interviewing the artists
> extensively and including these in
> the archive of the work- as oral historians will tell you- the way
> that memories evolve in time
> requires analytic approaches of their own ( see for instance the
> guides for conducting
> oral histories http://www.oralhistory.org/web-guides-to-doing-oral-history/ )
> one of the pluses of the digital age is the ease with which now we can
> document things
> orally and preserve them= it would have been great to hear leonardo da
> vinci musing
> on what he was trying to do
> on p227 of the book rick and jon have recommendations to creators/artists on how
> to document their work to improve the likelihood of their work
> surving- what is missing
> from these recommendations is that the artists at the time they show their work
> document their thoughts at the time via podcast or u tube videos-many
> artists now do this
> and clearly this becomes a mechanism for creation of social memory- we
> may see new
> forms of oral culture and social memory developing as the born
> "selfie" generation takes off
> On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 10:22 AM, Dragan Espenschied
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> One of the most exciting discoveries for me in researching Re-collection
>>> was finding out how extraordinarily long the time-scale of oral traditions
>>> can be, thanks to what Rick and I call "proliferative preservation." I'm
>>> curious if anyone else sees parallels between oral culture and new media.
>> Hi Jon,
>> as I see it there are some very specific digital cultures that have taken
>> on some practices that remind of oral culture. I am thinking of 'net
>> underground' communities like trolls, warez, bronies (which I picked for
>> their different tacticts and perceived impact).
>> Trolls, as very serious participants in network culture, by necessity have
>> to keep their vast knowledge about effective practices alive in a space
>> between social media platforms. Sometimes, if a platform requires certain
>> trolling techniques or coordination, the aggregation of those will happen
>> in restricted areas (if the target platform allows that) or will happen on
>> a variety of other platforms. Since trolls are frequently banned wherever
>> they are identified, they need a parallel identification system for their
>> community members, which mostly works through cultural signifiers, a
>> certain style to express themselves. They apply 'fluid insitutions', so if
>> one of their hubs is taken down, they have to quickly move somewhere else
>> and get the message out to their peers. Almost by definition trolls need to
>> avoid repeatedly appearing personages, so they identify each other solely
>> through activity. Great ('epic') victories for the cause become legend, but
>> very seldomly the trolls themselves.
>> The warez scene used to be very much like this on the 'customer facing
>> side' before the MoMA of piracy, the Pirate Bay, established itself and now
>> performs all these functions (risk taking and quickly moving presence) as a
>> proxy for the whole. It seems quite effective, but much less interesting
>> than the gazillions of websites of legacy warez groups that would
>> frequently change their URLs to ever more shady looking ones. The
>> information how to access those was always 'around', and contrary to
>> trolling, strong brands existed and exist in the warez community and were
>> even more important before the centralization. A shared set of ethics
>> prevent warez actors and groups from posing as another actor or sailing
>> under a false flag. It is basically an endless soap opera. On the
>> 'customer' side, the required knowledge how to apply cracks, serialz,
>> network filters etc is happening outside of tech or developer knowledge
>> gathering and outside of most text based platforms. However, instructions
>> on how to crack software is showing up in the form of youtube videos, as
>> their content cannot easily be identified and sorted into the 'illegal'
>> category. (Very ironic that youtube is detecting literal intellectual
>> property violations, like using an unlicensed song as a video soundtrack,
>> but is unable to identify the recording and teaching of activities that
>> enable these and more sophisticated violations in the first place.)
>> Bronies apply tactics similar to camp for riding a wave of another culture
>> (franchise for children in this case), using a foreign but very strong and
>> stable sign language to transmit their own messages. Different from the two
>> examples before, there is a AFK part to this culture, but the most
>> interesting parts happen online. The pony characters are used for storing a
>> rich set of knowledge about how to grow up; for example established forum
>> games like 'which pony from the series would you marry' allow bronies to
>> explore their own and their peer's views on partnership. Via fanfic and
>> fanart they have a huge set of devices at hand for making sense of the
>> I am seeing different qualities of possible longevity for each of these
>> Trolls are the most vivid and developed of those, since they are also
>> dealing with the most eternal topics: trust, deceit, acting, identity.
>> Their base tactics are quite stable, but they constantly have to adapt to
>> new forms of automated and mediated forms of trust and identity, so the
>> constant exchange will probably keep them afloat for as long as there is
>> mediated communication. Also, the participants seem quite invested in the
>> Warez, much like e-sports, have stabilized and incorporated and are already
>> using mainstream 'producing for the archive' practices like blogging.
>> However, the culture's establishment happened in something that is legend
>> now, a saga of actors like Tristar or Cosmo Connor or cracks.am ... So the
>> 'consumer' side, which is not made up from computer experts, seems to be
>> much more interesting. I think the plain necessity to use consumer systems
>> in ways that have not been signed off by their creators will keep the
>> knowledge on how to do that around, and video sharing seems to be a very
>> effective way of doing so for a long time to come.
>> Bronies are tied to a sign language that is outside of their control, so
>> this particular flavor of community is tied to the franchise and its
>> popularity. However, the basic tactics -- using known entities as reference
>> points to shortcut initiation and building rituals around them -- will work
>> with other popular franchises and already did work with for instance Sonic
>> The Hedgehog, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and so forth.
>> All of these cultures survive with constantly changing participants,
>> keeping their key values intact, with no other authority but the practices
>> Now how could this be applied to preserving all kinds of digital culture?
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> Roger F Malina
> Is in Dallas right now
> for very very urgent things phone/text me me
> blog: malina.diatrope.com
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
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> SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
> HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
> TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
> If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/
Yasmin_discussions mailing list
Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/