Thank you to everyone who participated in the NDSA Standards and Practices Working Group discussion last month on preserving software-based artworks! The notes from the call are listed below as well as posted on the NDSA Standards and Practice WG wiki.
Because the topic was so popular and our time was limited, we will continue the discussion on our upcoming NDSA Standards and Practice WG call on June 16, 2014 1-2pm ET. Many of our speakers will join the call so we invite all NDSA members to contribute questions and comments using this Google Drive document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/129lPPa4fRDp2VG-90Kt2NgXGf6zV_kux1nkXFTiSekU/edit?usp=sharing
Presenter slides from the 5/19/14 meeting are available:
The Questions for Presenters and slide shows are also linked through the NDSA Standards and Practice WG wiki: http://www.loc.gov/extranet/wiki/osi/ndiip/ndsa/index.php?title=Standards_and_Best_Practices_Working_Group
An agenda and login information for the 6/16/14 meeting will be distributed next week.
Best wishes – Kate Murray
Office of Strategic Initiatives
Library of Congress
== Notes ==
The primary thrust of this meeting was to hear presentations about, and encourage discussion on, digital and software-based artworks. Many of the speakers provided slide presentations, and all speakers addressed specific topics and the challenges they face in working with this material.
===Mickey Casad, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art===
The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art [http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu/] is a research collection at Cornell University, which includes a lot of different media formats. The collection is very broad corpus of complex multimedia objects dating from 1990s to present. There is a high level of difficulty in providing access and managing this collection. They received an NEH research and development grant to explore new strategies, and a significant deliverable for the grant is to document their work. They are focusing on scaleable workflows and practices to providing perpetual access. Their challenges include both technical and non-technical issues. They conducted a survey, and have identified a need to work with artists early on in the life cycle of digital content creation.
===Dianne Dietrich, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art===
There are three main technical issues they are currently dealing with:
#Developing a workflow for pulling files off media, which requires different tools and set-ups to get the work done.
#Investigating emulation to explore its potential as an option for baseline access.
#Documenting file-level metadata.
===Erica Titkemeyer, Smithsonian Digital Asset Management of Time-Based Media Art (TMBA)===
As part of the National Digital Stewardship Residency Program, Erica took on a project to look at video art within the Smithsonian's digital Asset management system (DAMS). Born-digital art is very complex, and involves a lot of components working together to recreate the museum experience. Obsolescence is one of the biggest issues, and the Smithsonian is developing digital preservation strategies.
===Crystal Sanchez, Smithsonian Digital Asset Management of Time-Based Media Art (TMBA)===
The DAMS team is working across the entire Smithsonian Institution with all units to talk to them about using the system. This is a diverse set of communities that run themselves as silos under the umbrella of the Smithsonian. All units have unique needs. The [http://www.si.edu/tbma/about Time-Based Media Art] (TMBA) is a a pan-institutional group, which has been discussing components of the various artworks with curators. Documentation of the working group's activities are available from their webpage.
===Isabel Meyer, Smithsonian Digital Asset Management of Time-Based Media Art (TMBA)===
The DAMS runs in an OpenText Media Management 7.1 [http://www.opentext.com/what-we-do/industries/media-and-entertainment] environment. The system has some flexibility for each unit to customize. There are several components, and many options for metadata models. None of the out-of-the-box models really worked for digital media, so they're using the one for video for now. Users can link assets to each other and set up relationships between them. There is currently 422TB of content, and the DAMS has been through two migrations. The team takes routine snapshots of the entire repository, and is constantly checking for errors.
===Ben Fino-Radin, Digital Repository Manager, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)===
MoMA is focused on the conservation of software-based materials, not necessarily digital works of art. Many pieces are collected as design-based objects. They currently have 30 objects at the moment, and are also collecting video games, e.g., Tetris. The team is documenting source code, and collaborating with New York University computer science department to document executables. They are concerned with how to get something to run, and display it. They are using a repository to describe and inventory works, and thinking of ways to build a story around each piece. This work is used to help curators and conservators understand the history of a piece.
===Kate Lewis, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)===
These works are very complex, and museums have really only began to grapple with these issues in the last five years.
===Martina Haidvogl and Mark Hellar, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)===
SFMOMA prefers the term software-based art. In 2008, sfmoma collected two web-based works, and in 2009 they began to develop a long-term preservation strategy. Software-based art is different from video because video is a finished product. They host Agent Ruby's Edream Portal [http://agentruby.sfmoma.org/], which has been moved to a virtual platform. This involves using virtualization as a preservation strategy for web-based art.