Is This Permanence: Preservation of Born-digital Artists’ Archives
Friday, May 11, 2018, 10 am–5 pm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut
The internet pioneer Vint Cerf has said, “Preservation by accident is not a plan.” Without a plan, will born-digital art last even one lifetime? If we do not develop solutions now, we risk losing not only born-digital art but artists’ archives as well, effectively erasing the work and memory of this generation and subsequent generations’ art history.
Today, an artist’s studio ephemera likely consists of old laptops and iPhones, professional websites and social media accounts, as well as traditional analog materials. Artists’ archives are increasingly hybrid collections, requiring adaptable preservation methods. This symposium will explore the challenges of born-digital preservation and artists’ archives, including: artists’ use of born-digital methods as part of their practice and as a means of documentation, the state of the digital preservation field for artists and those who steward their archives, and preservation strategies for artists, museums, collectors, archives, and libraries.
The keynote speaker is Jon Ippolito, Professor of New Media and Director of the Digital Curation graduate program, University of Maine.
In addition to Ippolito’s talk, this program featured presentations by Clifford Allen and Deb Verhoff, Watermill Center, Robert Wilson Archives and New York University; John Bell, Dartmouth College; Deena Engel and Glenn Wharton, New York University; Sara England and Mikhel Proulx, Concordia University; Josh Franco and Hilary Price, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution; Laura Molloy, University of Oxford; Colin Post, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Farris Wahbeh, Whitney Museum of American Art.
This event was co-sponsored by the Yale Center for British Art, the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University Library Digital Preservation Services, Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/ NA), and the National Digital Stewardship Residency for Art Information (NDSR Art).