"Preservation and access to born-digital culture" Brussels, 30 - 31 October 2015
In late October 2015 in Brussels, iMAL and PACKED organised a symposium to discuss with over 100 international experts central challenges regarding “Preservation and Access to Born-Digital Culture”. http://imal.org/en/preservationsymposium
Anna Henry (Digital Preservation Manager) and John Langdon (Archive Curator) from Tate gave a presentation that summarised Tate’s approach to Digital Preservation as well as Tate’s involvement in the PERICLES project. Anna spoke about the different types of digital assets that Tate creates and manages, and about the policies and systems that are being developed to support this. She then introduced the PERICLES project and spoke about two of the use-cases that Tate are bringing to the project: Digital Video art and Software-Based Art.
John Langdon then discussed the Born-Digital Archive use case, and in particular the way that archival cataloguing and appraisal needs to evolve in order to respond to the challenges of digital archival material. He also introduced the PERICLES modelling approach and the use of ontologies for describing the eco-system of a digital artwork.
There were some interesting discussions about ontologies that followed, including a conversation with Chu-Yin Chen and Celine Thomas who presented about the “Digital Art and Posterity” project. This is a collaborative project being carried out between the National Library of France (BNF) and University of Paris 8 that is looking at the description of digital artworks and the modelling of technical dependencies. This seems to have a close relationship to the work being carried out for PERICLES. http://www.labex-arts-h2h.fr/en/digital-art-and-posterity.html
Indeed several speakers referred to the concept of “ecosystem” and the need to understand the environment of digital artworks to enable their longer term reuse.
The importance of emulation as a preservation tool was a key message throughout the conference. Presentations from Jon Ippolito, the bwFLA project, Rhizome and Jason Scott from the Internet Archive, all emphasised the importance of emulation for the preservation of digital art and Internet heritage.
This was a really interesting conference with some very inspiring presentations. The discussions were refreshing in their practical and pragmatic approach, rather than being overwhelmed by the size of the challenge. The atmosphere was full of positive outlook and productiveness, with current achievements and innovative ideas creating a sense of progress and optimism. The PERICLES project would like to thank IMAL and PACKED for their excellent organisation of the event and the invitation to speak.