Preserving digital art: How will it survive?

Preserving digital art: How will it survive?


Digital art is different from a lot of the traditional media whether it’s sculpture or painting or things of that sort. The reason it’s different is one word: Software. Artists are taking advantage of all kinds of technology to produce their work including computing devices and networks. My name is Vint Cerf and I’m sometimes known as one of the fathers of the internet. We’re in a precarious state with regard to preservation of digital content over long periods of time. Think about the people with mobiles that take pictures hoping that they will preserve those pictures for their descendants. What we don’t know is whether any of the digital media can last for 150 years Partly because either the media disintegrates or we can’t find a reader that can read the bits. It is very laborious for artists and for preservation specialists to constantly keep recreating a piece of software for example or a website keeping the artwork intact. My name is Dragan Espenschied and I’m the preservation director at Rhizome. I used to be a home computer folk musician or a chip tune musician. Rhizome is one of the few institutions that have been created in the 90s out of the artist community, to create tools that are enabling artists to preserve what they think is important on the internet. We have a program that’s similar in many ways to an art museum, but our museum is our website. In order to preserve a digital art object over a long period of time, the software that that object relies on for execution has to work. If you think about removing a painting from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, then the loss of that context would have a really major impact on people’s understanding of that work. So you have to think what is the context, what is the technical surroundings of these kinds of works. Rhizome has focused its attention on preservation methods to capture and render these digital artworks over what we hope will be a long period of time. It is great that Google Arts and Culture is engaging in that field because Google is one of those providers of systems where a lot of artists are actually active. Digital art needs to be preserved for the same reason any art needs to be preserved I think our cultural heritage really is such an important part of telling us who we are. This is how human kind in general is able to grow by looking at what has happened before. We’re going to have to work in order to preserve that knowledge and to preserve the artifacts that go with it because this is a digital world that we live in.

73 thoughts on “Preserving digital art: How will it survive?”

  1. THE IRONY When you click the link at the very end (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/preview/partner/rhizome) it gives you error 404.

  2. non ho voglia di scrivere troppi pasticci se offento mi di sattivano non so che dovrei fare e come comportarmi ok grazie

  3. This is idiotic. "oh buh mah art works!"

    be very careful when Google offers a free service, they are trying to get something out of you.

  4. I am the Architect. I created the Matrix. I've been waiting for you. You have many questions, and although the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human. Ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.

  5. This is a laughable relative subject. Short answer, and explanation, upgrade the artwork to the latest software version, or presenter. Long answer, keep it in its original software, so that it may maintain it's context. Both scenarios, artwork is preserved. Now the question is… how do you protect digital art from copyright infringement stealing it, and claiming it for yourself.

  6. The problem is that there's way too much stuff to determine what's relevant. And the things that are relevant, we'll probably keep copies off in some way or another.

  7. Hello int Vint Cerf, I was researching about you on the internet these days (computer graphs), what a coincidence I find this video randomly by naturally.

    I have a lot of 3D art stored on my PC, these will be preserved, is a great knowledge.

  8. It's amazing what we're able to do today with technology. One thought about using technology is it takes away from the creation of "original" pieces. We tend to use simple objects and then transform those objects using technology. There's an equal amount of love put into "originals" from both sides. When technology is involved, sometimes it takes away from the true meaning behind the hands of the creator's expressions but at the same time, just as much effort/love is put into technology by the hands of the creator of that program that is used to transform that same "original". Trying to find a way to preserve it both ways may just be simpler than we know. Mummys have been preserved for thousands of years and as much as I can recall, as of today, they are still in tact. It's a formula that was created by trial n error I'm assuming. Working on different teams then coming together, the formula will then be created for each person for that particular form of art that needs to be preserved for the NEXT generation of artists.

  9. Considering I do amazing and pretty much the best digital art. My art will definitely need to be preseved and studied in the future. I'll keep this software situation in mind.

  10. Are you talking about digital art as in interactive content like Video Games? Because static content (images, text, videos, etc) seems pretty simple to preserve; you store it the same way you'd store any data you don't want to lose (redundant copies with offsite backups, checksums to combat bitrot, perform regular scrubs, etc).

  11. Habrá un dia que la tecnología sera vista y analizada como parte de un pasado atrasado y será mirado desde otra optica desde la evolución y sera vista como un reflejo de un espejo de la capacitad ilimitada del cuerpo y la mente con los millones de conectores dentro y fuera del cuerpo que navegan en un campo electrocomunicado desde la energia viva la eterna.

    Ese intercambio de información y el almacenamiento de la información nueva se produce desde nuestras terminales nerviosas y los conectores neuronales. y el gran disco rigido de almacenamiento es nuestro cuerpo y cerebro. La membrana de la piel contiene todos los conectores necesarios para conectarse con la información que quiera, siendo permeable a todo como un gran buscador de Google.

    El dia que digan todo lo que saben… para enseñar y educar sobre la inteligencia REAL… se daran cuenta que la tecnologia no fue mas que un paso hacia una gran evolución…mientras se use como hasta ahora, solo se verán niños jugando a ser dioses, o destruyendo o sufriendo desde la ignorancia.

    Solo me preocupa saber cuanto falta para eso…
    cuanto tiempo…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *