Thoughts on Wikipedia's Future

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A page from David Horvitz's A Wikipedia Reader,2009

“Very few people are being promoted into the humble, hard-working positions which make Wikipedia work.”
- Robinson Meyer via The Atlantic

Earlier this month Wikipedia held its annual summit in Washington, DC. Afterwards, The Atlantic summarized the event in an article outlining how Wikipedia is slowly running out of admins to edit the site’s content. A trend is emerging. Fewer people are applying, and the current editors are slowly leaving. The long-term future has a flicker of uncertainty. To spark some discussion, I surveyed four artists and writers about the decline. We can all speculate what effects a decline in editor participation will have on Wikipedia as a global knowledge-base, but what are the implications for artists who use it as a tool for research and making work?

Lori Emerson
A healthy creative practice in the 21st century demands a baseline level of unencumbered access not just to information but to a broad range of cultural practices in general. While some of the most successful artists of the digital age are, as Mark Amerika has put it, 'remixologists' of information and culture, such a practice isn't sustainable without grassroots archives to draw from such as Wikipedia. For my own work, Wikipedia has long been a crucial entryway to information on the history of computing and digital art - Wikipedia pages on these topics are remarkably detailed and informative in ways often unmatched by books or print-based articles. I fear that the potential decline of Wikipedia would not only severely impact creative-critical practices but it also indicates more broadly that while we have made tremendous strides in opening access to information, we do not yet have any strategies in place for a long-term curatorial practice of maintaining and preserving this access ...

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Remote Presence: David Horvitz at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery

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An image from David Horvitz' Wikipedia intervention

David Horvitz's first solo exhibition in San Francisco opened August 6th at the Adobe Books Backroom Gallery. For the duration of the exhibition Horvitz is guest blogging on the Adobe Books site. He sends frequent updates of images from his daily life and documentation of other projects he's working on - he's also included some posts about the recent hurricane that passed through New York. Since Horvitz has a history of working with ideas of remote connections, temporality, and site-specificity his guest blogging isn't surprising but is a nice compliment to his work in the physical gallery space which also takes on a transience of its own.

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery is pleased to present David Horvitz' first solo exhibition in the Bay Area. Exhibited will be photographs and text that expand on the main ideas of several projects from the last two years. One of these, a project Horvitz first created for a gallery in Den Haag, Holland, has been restaged for the Backroom Gallery. For the original project, Untitled (Flowers), Horvitz spent the day travelling the subway system in Holland gathering flowers from the different flower vendors he encountered. Says the artist, "There was something about a distributed element across the country that was then slowly recollected. Reconcentrated." For the Backroom Gallery, Horvitz purchased red roses from vendors while travelling by car from Oakland to the Mission District of San Francisco, where the gallery is located. The resulting bouquet will be exhibited in the gallery space as a souvenir of his journey across the Bay.

Brooklyn-based David Horvitz's diverse projects utilize the internet (blogs, Twitter, email) and the postal system as tools of connection and expansion. For Public Access, a multi-level project that began in January of ...

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