artists archives


Is This Permanence: Preservation of Born-digital Artists’ Archives – Recording Available

Symposium

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).

 


Is This Permanence: Symposium Recap and Recordings

On May 10th and 11th, 2018, the NDSR Art cohort visited New Haven and the Yale Center for British Art.

We spent a morning of the 10th visiting with curators and librarians, taking behind-the-scenes tours of the Center’s collections.

In the afternoon, the group took a trip to Yale University Library’s Digital Preservation Services facilities, where we met with digital preservation specialists to learn about YUL’s digital processing lab and the new Emulation as a Service Infrastructure (aka EaaSI) program currently in development. Naturally, the day’s events were followed with many slices of New Haven ‘apizza’ at one of New Haven’s favorite spots, Bar.

The symposium, ‘Is This Permanence: Preservation of Born-digital Artists’ Archives’ was held on Friday, May 11 and welcomed nearly 200 people to the YCBA lecture hall and over 275 livestream viewers.

The symposium was an offshoot of my project in the Institutional Archives and came about last fall after my mentor, Rachel Chatalbash and I talked about our shared interest in the overlaps between fine arts, archives, and artists’ records; we decided it would be useful and interesting to bring together a variety of voices to discuss the topic as it relates to born-digital media and documentation within artists’ archives.

The symposium was planned over the next several months and featured 13 speakers who delivered talks on a broad range of related cases and topics that highlight digital preservation challenges affecting the stewardship of artists’ archives and artworks, both in and out institutional contexts. The speakers traveled from across the US, Canada, and the UK to discuss their work and insights regarding digital preservation and artists’ archives.

Jon Ippolito’s keynote lecture, Your Archival Format Will Not Save You, confronts commonly held notions in the archives regarding preservation and offers a different perspective on how born-digital materials should be stewarded by looking outside the academy for solutions to shared digital challenges.

Watch the Symposium Sessions & Keynote

Recordings of the day’s sessions and keynote talk are available to view on the YCBA’s website:

Keynote Lecture “Your Archival Format Will Not Save You”

Symposium Presentations

Speakers

Clifford Allen and Deb Verhoff, Watermill Center, Robert Wilson Archives & New York University: Case Study: Robert Wilson’s Studio Archive from the 1960s to the Present

John Bell, Dartmouth College: Digital Contexts: How Communities Self-Archive Online

Deena Engel and Glenn Wharton, New York University: The Artist Archives Initiative:

Researching and Developing New Models for Digital Art Information Preservation and Delivery

Sara England and Mikhel Proulx, Concordia University: Archiving Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace

Josh Franco and Hilary Price, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution: Panel Discussion with Three Case Studies: Curatorial, Digital Preservation, and Processing

Jon Ippolito, University of Maine, Keynote: Your Archival Format Will Not Save You

Laura Molloy, University of Oxford: Digital Research, Communication and Making Methods in UK Contemporary Visual Art Practice: The Artist View

Colin Post, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Toward Distributed Preservation: Bridging Artists’ and Institutions’ Preservation Practices

Farris Wahbeh, Whitney Museum of American Art: Digital Artists’ Records in a Curatorial
Context: Functional Analysis and Digital Preservation