Symposium | Is This Permanence: Preservation of Born-digital Artists’ Archives

Friday, May 11, 2018

The internet pioneer Vint Cerf has said that “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, 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 explores 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.

This event is co-sponsored by the Yale Center for British Art, the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University Library Digital Preservation Services, the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), and the National Digital Stewardship Residency for Art Information (NDSR Art).

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Image credit: Computer code on a laptop display, photograph by Markus Spiske

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