Thursday, May 16 • 11:10am - 11:30am
(Electronic Media) Archiving Complex Digital Artworks

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Version Control Systems (VCS) check the differences between versions of code or other text-based documents. By archiving and making available ongoing versions of a project, VCS allow multiple people to work on elements of a project without overwriting someone else’s entries. Changes that are made can easily be compared, undone, restored, or, in some cases, merged. Finding a coherent and structured way to organise and control revisions has always been at the core of conservation, but it became even more urgent and complex in the era of computing and of contemporary art. Not only conservation actions produce new versions, but the artwork itself might be variable and branch out in a multitude of presentation options. In this presentation we will briefly explore the different ways of using VCS for the purpose of conservation. Our research focuses on how ​VCS further collaboration in archiving complex digital artworks, while at the same time exploring how such systems could supplement collections management databases. With the aim to gain a better understanding of the underlying, but omnipresent, structures that support these VCS we will present some of the outcomes of earlier workshops that we organised. The focus is on open source systems such as Git and MediaWiki. Based on a case study, the artwork Chinese Gold by UBERMORGEN, we will talk about the pros and cons of using VCS in conservation practices and discuss the usefulness of collaborative working spaces by answering questions such as: what is the value of concepts such as provenance in Git and MediaWiki, what is the function of metadata in these systems, how stable and secure is the data in a version controlled archive and how do these tools handle audiovisual data?

avatar for Annet Dekker

Annet Dekker

Arts Professional, University of Amsterdam
Annet Dekker is an independent researcher and curator. She is currently Researcher Digital Preservation at Tate, London, Post-doc Research Fellow at London South Bank University / The Photographers Gallery, and core tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (Master Media Design and... Read More →
avatar for Julie Boschat Thorez

Julie Boschat Thorez

Independent researcher, Independent
Julie Boschat Thorez is an artist and researcher whose work re-appropriates scientific methods to explore the impact of digital systems over human agency and governance. Trained in Fine Arts at the ERG in Brussels and Media Design at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, she has... Read More →

avatar for Claudia Roeck

Claudia Roeck

PhD candidate, University of Amsterdam
Claudia started her professional career as an environmental engineer. Inspired by art, she later added studies in conservation of contemporary art in Berne, Switzerland with focus on media art, that she completed in 2016. From 2013 to 2016, she worked on the acquisition of video... Read More →
avatar for David Gauthier

David Gauthier

PhD candidate, University of Amsterdam
David Gauthier is a PhD Fellow of the Netherlands Institute of Cultural Analysis (NICA) based at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam. His current research explores the various regimes of legibility / illegibility of modern computing machinery... Read More →
avatar for Dušan Barok

Dušan Barok

PhD Research Fellow, University of Amsterdam
Dušan Barok is a Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) and Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His research undertaken as part of the NACCA.eu project focuses on the documentation of time-based... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 11:10am - 11:30am EDT
Passamaquoddy/Brothertown Rooms Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Electronic Media
  • Track Electronic Media, Contemporary Art
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Dušan Barok, Julie Boschat Thorez, Annet Dekker, David Gauthier, Claudia Roeck
  • Abstract ID 18568
  • Tags art documentation,collaboration,archiving,preservation,digital art,MediaWiki,git,version control