Forum 2: archives and cultural heritage/memory

Speakers:Frank Marchese, Pace Digital Gallery, Julia Noordegraaf University of Amsterdam, Jason Rhody, Office of Digital Humanities, NEH. Moderator: Nick Monfort, MIT

Summary and Podcast here

Session was basically about how to present literature, art and whatever is or is not archived already – in such a way that it becomes archivable. There is always a need to archive and preserve.

  • We have an opportunity to impact industry but there is no about an instability of our research platform and research objectives.
  • Problems facing archiving and memory preservation would include for example what would a link look like in 100 years in an unstable environment?
  • There is a difference between Britannica and Wikipedia in that there is the issue of authorship and attribution in the latter. It is fragments of different people’s ideas so who do you attribute an article to?
  • In anything the former, a subject writes about an object. In the latter, however, many subjects write about an object and work their way through algorithms.
  • We have to look into how algorithms mediate information – but also same happens in real domains not only in digital domains. How the tool mediates the information.
  • There is a devaluation of knowledge and cultural memory. Knowledge is contentextualized information. It is theorized. It is in the use made of it. Memory is related to performance acts and actions. How do these platforms change our memories and culture? how is memory transformed in this changing culture?
  • Cultural memory is an act of perpetual writing. We have to learn how to capture data that we don’t yet value – that is the challenge for the future. We don’t know what data will be valuable in the future – so do we capture everything or do we become selective hence perhaps losing important date for the future? Do we capture everything and try and rely on a curator at some point in the future to dig out what is important and relevant to that time?
  • One additional element: not only institutions, but people also are archiving on their own.