January 16, 2007
This Thursday, January 18, the Archiving the Avant-Garde project’s New Media and Social Memory symposium is taking place at Berkeley. The symposium is public and free, but the organizers ask you register online. The topic, preserving digital art, is an important one that the Electronic Literature Organization’s Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination project has been working on for a while, but which is really rather neglected overall. Although I’ve put some effort into the ELO’s work myself, and I think that effort is important, it seems to me that no single person or organization is going be able to provide all the answers and do everything that’s needed to bear digital media into the future. We simply can’t put all the eggs in one basket or books in one library if we’re looking for them to survive. Because of this, the sort of meeting that is coming up at Berkeley is particularly important for allowing the intersection of and cross-pollination between Archiving the Avant-Garde: Documenting and Preserving Digital/Media Art (with its museum and visual art emphasis), the literary perspective of the ELO, the dead media mental muscle of Bruce Sterling, and thinkers from Wired Magazine and the Long Now Foundation.
Update: Matt Kirschenbaum has posted detailed notes from the symposium.