What do artists need to know and do for themselves to future-proof creative content?
Research and Discussion Topics:
What is preservation? What is archiving? What is a keeping-place?
Digital Media Preservation – methods – storage, emulation, migration, reinterpretation.
What is Variable media? How can we deal with variable media artworks? What are we trying to preserve?
What’s happening out there? – cultural institutions & organisations, open-source code & apps, research, art projects, other?
- What can I do for myself as an artist / designer / creator?
- How much do I need to know?
- The risks for artists
- Remembering, repressing & forgetting
- What to keep? How & why? - decision making in the archive
- Past work informs future work – the archive as a useful tool
- What's out there already that can be used as helpful tools or guideline?
- What can we do for ourselves without cultural institutions?
- Documentation & metadata, Semantics & web 2.0, DCMI, SEO, RDF, Microdata
- Implications of social media - ownership, authenticity, risk, custody, IP, what happens to our distributed data when we die?
- Creative Intent – how should our work be presented, re-presented over time? Consider essential source, environment, technology, installation, interactivity & fungible elements.
- Intellectual property – copyright / copyleft, creative commons?
- What is an artwork? What might the artwork consist of?
- What about choosing destruction & forgetting, erasing the trace? Derrida & other philosophers, artworks as examples
- Resistance to archiving (resistance is futile?)
- Remix Everything – Remix manifesto & recombinant poetics
- Machine readable / Human readable, digital / analogue, soft-copy / hard-copy
Exercises & Tasks...
to be conducted throughout the workshop duration
- Consider the development of some of the following elements to future-proof your creative practice:
- File formats to use – standards etc.
- Naming protocols for files & directories
- File systems, version control, etc.
- Physical backup – storage media & backing up, cloud backup
- Trusted custodians - now and in the future – who would you give your passwords to?
- Tiering - Social media systems, interlinking with similar sites, creating an extended online presence
- Semantic web – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) RDF, Friend of a Friend (FOAF) etc
- Demonstrate throughout the project how you are keeping your development and production files
- Make a plan for your creative content archive - what will you keep? How will you keep it? Where will you keep it? Write a short statement about your plan.
Things to consider:
What kinds of content do you create? images, videos, text files, animations, games, websites, email, other?
What is the function of your content? artworks, design, administration, documentation, promotion, social communication, evidence of transactions?
If you consider these types of content and their function, then which of those content "items" should be kept indefinitely? Which for a few years? Are there any reasons you might keep items longer, that would usually be deleted at the end of a project or after a short periods of time?
What about all the content you are keeping in online systems? Blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo
- how would you "archive" the content from these systems, and once you get the content out, how would you access it?
So if you begin to identify what items you need to keep and why, then you can start to think about how you should keep them... file formats with the best chance at longevity, physical storage (hard disks, DVDs, cloud servers, etc).
Write a short plan for your own personal archive. Think about reviewing it each year.
Save it as an ASCII text file - why would we do this?
- Write an archival description and statement of intent for an artwork / series of artworks, project, event or installation that considers all of the implications discussed in the module – specifically looking at Source, Environment, Technology, Interaction, Intent for future re-presentation of the work.
Where will you keep this documentation?