Now I wish I had spent the weekend reading and responding to this thread rather than driving all over PA to see installation art ... but perhaps there's something relevant there.
I'm glad that Jon mentioned Bollacker's quip about preserving porn from our conference which you can see at: http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/about/newmedia (but hurry because BAMPFA is updating their website and - now that I'm no longer there - who knows how long this online archive of a conference on archiving the online will last :)
My response to Bollacker's quip was A. the concern that this sentiment may only apply to popular culture, but that's been well addressed both here and in Jon's both/and example from the book of both/and thinking, and B. a different concern that, I admit, was not really covered in the book - that is the difference between figure and ground or the "depth of field" focus of preservation. What I mean is that when Bollacker's masses preserve porn, what they are really preserving is a field; a genre, more than any specific work. Whereas memory institutions like museums want to preserve not just "new media art" the genre but specific works and that difference means a lot when thinking about crowdsourcing preservation.
Actually, the split this hair even further; different museums would approach this differently. History and Natural History museums, for instance, collect representative artifacts; artifacts that best represent a period in history, a site, a manufacturing technique, etc. Often these artifacts were mass-produced at the time and any instance would serve. Art museums collect exemplary artifacts; often artworks that are similarly representative of a genre, period, or technique, but with the element of aesthetic quality added in. Any instance would not serve. When we talk about crowdsourcing preservation, it seems prudent to question what social assumptions may come with that language (in the same way that "archving" new media art may carry certain implications about archival practice.) I have asked before whether, when collecting new media art, art museums should behave like museums of history (privileging historic accuracy over artistic function) or museums of art. The question !
also seems valid in this context, but I'd add that the focus on the singular work seems to me not quite as unhelpful (in this context) as the focus on the single (unique) instance of the work.
I also appreciate Dragan's and Annicks' comments on usefuless or myth-building as a preservation strategy. This reminds me of the U.S. Dept. of Energy challenge (now many years going) of creating signage for nuclear waste sites that would persist for 10,000 years. There have been many proposed solutions over the years and one lesson they've learned from history is to not put any message into a form that might be considered precious because it would then be re-used (gold plundered and re-cast, etc.) but instead make the message in something like a million shards of glass scattered around the world because glass is a common but long-lived form of trash.
Samek Art Museum
Lewisburg, PA, 17837
On Jul 14, 2014, at 8:36 PM, Dragan Espenschied wrote:
> Hi Annick!
>> what you are describing is very important.
>> To me it resemble a myth building process (which then, at some point, does not
>> need to be true, false, real or imaginary, but mixes all this)
> I would much prefer for legends to exist about for example internet art than
> having to introduce it over and over again.
>> What is important in what you describe is the *now* (useful or not, sometimes
>> just trendy, if trendy is useful, then it is ok ;-)
>> The problem is that you don't build history on the *now*, it has to last for
>> some time (time-based art, hey!).
>> I would like to believe that this strategy will last beyond the *now* both in
>> terms of what can be used to "surprise somebody" (by definition can happen only
>> once) and in terms of platforms (how long Tumblr will last ?).
>> As you write, history is a mere side-effect. I suspect Jon, Richard, Roger, and
>> others would like it to be more long lasting ;-)
> Oh, well, I don't know how it will work out. But I am certain that there will be
> more images of Geocities around on the Internet in 20 years than of material
> presented on archival websites.
> In this year's Webby Awards awards ceremony, one of the screenshots was used in
> a introduction video. Without attribution or whatever other information, but it
> made it there.
> Of course tumblr will cease to exist sooner or later, it is not the platform
> with the most spreading impact. But then I can create new material and feed it
> to another system. Maybe snapchat. :)
> With the project Animated GIF Model, Olia Lialina and me learned that the
> copying of images works over many years, spanning different platforms and
> publishing styles.
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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/