Today, Rhizome and Google Arts & Culture are thrilled inaugurate a partnership intended to surface the risk to digital art and culture posed by technological obsolescence, and to highlight Rhizome’s efforts to stem that threat in the creation of free, open-source, user-friendly tools for digital preservation and ongoing access to legacy born-digital artifacts.
To mark the collaboration, we are co-publishing:
- Three exhibitions on digital preservation at the Arts & Culture platform (the exhibitions represent the platform's first digital art contributions);
- a blog post by Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf on the urgency of ensuring ongoing access to legacy born-digital artifacts;
- excerpts from a conversation between Cerf and Rhizome Preservation Director, Dragan Espenschied; and
- a new video (above) on these subjects featuring Cerf, Espenschied, and Artistic Director Michael Connor.
Additionally, as part of this partnership Google has underwritten cloud-computing infrastructure required by Rhizome’s tools for digital preservation, significantly increasing our capacity and our ability to support access needs for artists and other institutions.
Rhizome’s digital preservation program supports social memory for internet users and networked cultures through the creation of free, open-source, user-friendly software tools that foster decentralized and vernacular archives, while ensuring the growth of and continuing public access to the Rhizome ArtBase, a collection of 2,000+ born-digital artworks founded in 1999.
Since 2014, Rhizome’s small software development team has created Webrecorder, a tool to easily capture and immediately reconstruct complex web pages; Oldweb.today, which offers access to public web archives via emulated browsers; and, in collaboration with the University of Freiburg, Emulation as a Service (EaaS), an emulation framework which delivers complete, fully interactive legacy software environments to any modern web browser.
We’re honored to contribute to Google and Google Arts & Culture’s commitment to vastly expanding access to cultural heritage, and grateful for their partnership and collaboration.