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The ArtBase is Rhizome's archive of digital art, freely accessible to the public online.
The Rhizome ArtBase was founded in 1999 to preserve works of net art that were deemed to be "of potential historical significance." Encompassing a vast range of projects from artists all over the world, the ArtBase provides a home for works that employ materials such as software, code, websites, moving images, games, and browsers.
Until 2008, the ArtBase accepted open submissions for consideration, but currently works are added to the collection by curatorial invitation and through Rhizome's commissioning and exhibition programs.
Modern computers are unable to perform many of the artworks as they were originally experienced. This inability demonstrates a significant crisis in digital social memory that Rhizome is responding to with its Digital Preservation program, led by Dragan Espenschied. The works in the ArtBase, vibrant and technically diverse, provide a laboratory for the development of forward-thinking tools and strategies so that these works may be reperformed in legacy environments, giving contemporary users a sense of their initial form.