[-empyre-] "Archiving New Media Art: Ephemerality, and/or Sustainability."

Ricardo Dal Farra ricardo at dalfarra.com.ar
Mon Oct 4 06:07:49 EST 2010

Hello all,

Following Johannes Birringer post about "whether 
it is worthwhile to devote time to blogs and the 
writing of workshops that will be disappeared, 
hidden, forgotten perhaps and minimized in 
effect, once we as participants all move on to 
make artworks or new performances", I think this 
is as anything else in life: a matter of balance.

Of course it is of major importance to consider 
what he also said after: "But who cares, and who 
ever would stumble on this site, and take a 
minute to see whether information or critical 
reflection is relevant, and to whom and why."
In spite of the Internet and other technological 
marvels that have been rapidly changing our lives 
during the past few years, there are still many 
differences around the world, and I mean with 
this that even if I am new in this forum, I 
perceive it as mainly North-Western 
cultures/societies centered, not in the scope 
maybe but in the way of understanding other 
people's contexts. The way things (life?) works 
in some places could be quite different to 
others, and even if there are thousands of blogs 
and web sites, and documented workshops and 
classes who nobody cares about them, there are 
others that attract our attention. And for people 
with less access to certain kind of cultural 
goods and academic knowledge, for example, it 
could be important to have the possibility to 
reach certain materials, information, concepts, 
projects, etc.

For sure, the challenge still would be how and 
what to choose from the myriad of postings, web 
sites, workshops and classes available 
all-around. But starting with my own experience 
and some projects I was invloved with, I think 
each of us can make a change.

And coming back to the different cultural 
approaches, something I have been facing 
during... decades (ooops!) is the lack of 
documentation of certain activities and events 
that later became really significant in the field 
of new media or other art fields. It is not 
uncommon in many places/countries of Latin 
America, for example, to do not document things 
that could be later a significant contribution 
for others, whether if your experience was highly 
successful or not that much. On that sense, at 
Centro de Experimentación e Investigación en 
Artes Electrónicas or CEIArtE (Experimenting and 
Research Electronic Arts Centre - 
http://www.ceiarteuntref.edu.ar) of UNTREF, a 
public state-supported university in Buenos 
Aires, Argentina, we have been documenting not 
only conferences and lectures but also our 
Encuentros de Cooperación e Intercambio - Artes 
Electrónicas (Cooperation and Exchange Meetings - 
Electronic Arts, or simply: ECI). We are working 
now to edit a large amount of videotaped material 
that will be online in a few months. We are 
convinced of the importance this documentation 
has in our context in the South, but we need to 
find the resources to be able to process, edit 
and upload all the material we already have. And 
availability of resources (both technical and 
human) are, definitely, an area that works 
radically different in places like Argentina, 
compared to others like Canada, to give you only 
an example. Some very first (and still draft) 
attempts could be seen at:

- Interviews (in Spanish or English) 

- Publications (in Spanish, English or French): 
including the full documentation of EMS09: 

- Badarte - Database with resources for media 
artists (a project of CEIArtE): 

- Research (Interactive Musical Automatons): 

- ECI #6 (Cooperation and Exchange Meetings - 
Electronic Arts): 
http://www.ceiarteuntref.edu.ar/eci06 including 
some presentations videos.

Many thanks,
Ricardo Dal Farra
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