Saturday, July 12, 2014

[Yasmin_discussions] re-collecting


paul and bronac;s anecdotes about how technologies can rapidly become
archaic reminds me of Erkki
Huhtamos's recent Leonardo Book

Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and
Related Spectacles

Here Erkki deals with the panorama as a popular art form- which never
entered the academic
canons even though during a period they were as big a deal as the
oculus rift is today

Photography and Cinema developed their own archiving and conserving institutions
but the panorama and innumerable other technological platforms of the
19th century
fell between the cracks of institutional boundaries- Errki and other
archeo media historians
have been resuscitating these

Mind you I remember the crisis at the french minister of culture when
there was a roof
leak in the museum in paris that archived plaster casts of french monuments- big
debate as to whether the plaster cast replicas were now cultural heritage

In their Re-Collecting book ( ) Jon and Rick
dedicate Section III
to "death by institutions' talk about the respective roles and
ideologies of libraries,
museums and archives and develop the concept of an "open meta museum" and its

they quote my 'open observatory' manifesto (
where I discussed the way astronomical data has entered into a regime
of open archives
where now more science is done on archives than taking new telescope
data, and more people
analyse the data than the people who took the data.

perhaps the system in astronomy is approaching the status of an 'open
meta museum" that
jon and rick discuss- with a pretty seamless system between
professional institutional astronomers, to professional amateurs
that are self employed, to amateurs and the general public who can all
contribute and analyse data-
if indeed new media art could be conserved/restored/remembered in this
way it would indeed be more
robust to intentional and non intentional forgetting

interestingly enough the phenomenon of emulation is well established-
in the case of the Hubble
data archives for instance the original images are not stored- but the
raw data is re-processed with
the latest calibration software at the time a request is made to the
archive ie the art work is regenerated
each time someone looks at it - it is far easier to store the low
level digital data from the detectors that
the processed data which as with art work is unstable to software
changes ( this goes the opposite direction
to paul fishwicks' earlier post about storing 'models' rather than the
objects themselves- here the lowest level
least abstract form of the data is the easiest to archive rather than
the higher level models or simulations)

the fact that in astronomy there is a whole range for institutional
professionals to self motivated amateurs
has created a robust system of social archiving very much in jon and
rick's idea of a open meta museum

bernard stiegler has been generalising this idea with his idea of the 'amatorat;
or extrapolating hacker/maker, citizen science, smart citizen trends
into the future to new
phenomena of new ways of capturing social memory

as described in Re-Collecting- there are a number of art forms where
without the 'amatorat'
or amateurs collecting professionally - that will be barely visible in
the museums/libraries/
archiving institutions if left to themselves- computer games are an
obvious immediate example
where amateurs hold the best collections internationally today

finally to pick up bronac's anecdote about the rotary phone and paul's
coment about larry
cuba's obsolete wire frame films ( annick talked earlier about the
research she is doing
on minitel art)- most technologies are doomed to the dustbin and are
not disruptive-
my father frank malina was a prominent kinetic artist in the 1950s-
and developed his own
electronics ( with engineer francois boucher) and interactive art
systems before computer chips
were available- my father never made the jump from electronic art to
computer art- and stopped
making kinetic art in the late 1970s when computer chips started
becoming available-i think
partially in discouragement at not having the computer skills (and his
professional interests moved

ironically his kinetic art from the 1950s still works fine- you have
to change the lightbulbs=
and with the disappearance of filament and fluorescent bulbs ( rick
and jon talk about the
difficulty of remounting Dan Flavin's light installations because the
fluorescent bulbs are no
longer available) its getting a bit harder-
but the swiss clock motors he used are probably good for three hundred years

its interesting to see a re-surgence of kinetic art in the maker
movement and bricolage
movements = some archaic media can be resusciated

roger malina
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