Research by V2_Archive on documentation aspects of electronic art activities
During the last decades, electronic art and culture have gained importance and increased attention. So far, however, few attempts have been made to document and preserve this emerging field, its activities and recent history. V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, a center for art, culture and technology in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), since long has been involved with this issue, building an archive with documentation of twenty
years of electronic media art.
From March to December 2003, V2_ conducted research on the documentation aspects of the preservation of electronic art activities – “Capturing Unstable Media”, an approach between archiving and preservation. For this purpose, two major case studies were investigated in depth – both are projects that were co-developed at V2_Lab, the interdisciplinary workspace of V2_.
The first case study was “whisper” (2002-2003) by Thecla Schiphorst and Susan Kozel, a project that investigated the intersections and relationships between wearable technologies, performance and the body. The second case study was a series of so-called “DataClouds”, a long-term research project (1998-present) that involves web-based 2D or 3D visualizations of complex information structures.
Based on the findings, a series of recommendations were formulated in the following areas:
– documentation strategies for electronic art activities; – formal modeling and metadata;
– archival interoperability.
Furthermore, a number of technical realizations were implemented, including a public, web-based portal for V2_Archive on top of a technical framework based on open standards, through XML and RDF technologies.
One of the major results of “Capturing Unstable Media” is a formal model (ontology) to describe the activities in electronic art in several levels of detail. It offers a series of sharable, basic concepts of interest to a wide variety of institutions and actors in the field of electronic media art, along with suggestions on how these concepts could interrelate with each other. The ontology can be consulted at the project’s website (see below).
As a follow-up to this project, the V2_Archive team intends to focus on research that involves international archival interoperability in this field, including the alignment of multilingual terminology resources, ontologies and the Semantic Web.
“Capturing Unstable Media” has been supported by the Mondriaan Foundation(NL) and the Daniel Langlois Foundation (CA). A group of experts from Dutch archives, research institutes and cultural heritage organizations has assisted the research process through an advisory board.
The project’s results can be consulted and downloaded from the “Capturing Unstable Media” project site.
V2_’s public online archive portal, with documentation about a broad cross-section of more than 10 years of electronic art activities.
V2_Institute for the Unstable Media
Eendrachtsstraat 10, NL-3012 XL Rotterdam The Netherlands
Tel. + 31 (0)10 206 72 72 / Fax + 31 (0)10 206 72 71 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / URL http://www.v2.nl