Announcing: From Black Boxes to Open Systems
A new event series on the exhibition, collection, and preservation of born-digital art.

“From Black Boxes to Open Systems” is a new knowledge-sharing initiative. Through events, articles, and a forthcoming website, the project aims to help artists and art organizations to develop a better understanding of the concepts, skills, and infrastructure necessary for the exhibition, collection, and stewardship of born-digital art of all kinds. The first three events in this series will take place weekly at 12pm ET beginning Monday, April 12:

The events coincide with the relaunch of the Rhizome ArtBase that represents the first major step in a soup-to-nuts overhaul. Launched in 1999, the ArtBase is an archive of more than 2,200 born-digital works. Since 2014, Rhizome’s preservation team under the leadership of Dragan Espenschied has been researching new methods for offering access to this resource, including a new software infrastructure and a linked data model. This relaunch will bring a first iteration of this project to public view.

Cover Image: Brian Mackern, netart latino database, 1999–­2004. Screenshot, 2018, Internet Explorer 5 on Mac OS 9.0.


“From Black Boxes to Open Systems” was made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this event do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.