Symposium: New Media and Social Memory

Posted by Richard Rinehart | Tue Nov 21st 2006 6:04 p.m.

New Media and Social Memory

(Save the Date for this Symposium! Program details to follow.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

What is important to remember? This public symposium will explore how
the canonical historical record is created and maintained in the
digital age by "memory institutions" such as museums, libraries, and
archives, and how digital media artists are
influencing/hacking/critiquing this construction of social memory.
These issues will be explored in concrete terms by focusing on the
tangible case study of preserving digital art as emblematic of the
larger social issues in preserving digital culture.

Works of digital and Internet art, performance, installation,
Conceptual, and other variable-media art represent some of the most
compelling and significant artistic creations of our time. These
works constitute a history of alternative artistic practice, but
because of their ephemeral, technical, or otherwise variable natures,
they also present significant obstacles to accurate documentation,
access, and preservation. Without strategies for preservation, many
of these vital works-and possibly whole genres such as early Internet
art-will be lost to future generations. Long-term strategies must
closely examine the nature of ephemeral art and identify core aspects
of these works to preserve. New media gives us the challenge and the
opportunity to revisit the question "what is important to remember?"
on a long-term, public scale.

This event is part of a consortium project, "Archiving the Avant
Garde", funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (see for details).
Contact: Richard Rinehart (

Richard Rinehart
Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
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