From Black Boxes to Open Systems: Software and Net Art Preservation

Mon Apr, 19 2021, 12PM

This program will be presented via Zoom, register for this online program here.

“From Black Boxes to Open Systems” is a new knowledge-sharing initiative. The project aims to support 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.

Software and net art require preservation approaches that are quite different from those used for traditional objects, time-based media, or conceptual art. Born-digital artworks are often performative, difficult to define, and deeply embedded in their technological context. Through its digital preservation program, Rhizome has developed strategies and productive abstractions to facilitate ongoing access to legacy digital artworks. In this event, Dragan Espenschied, Rhizome’s Preservation Director, and Lyndsey Jane Moulds, Rhizome’s Software Curator, will share an overview of key concepts in their approach to software and net art preservation.

This program is the second in the initiative following "Curating Online Exhibitions," presented on April 12, 2021 at 12pm ET.



“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.


Cover Image: Entropy8Zuper!, “freezing” from skinonskinonskin, 1999. Screenshot, 2017, Netscape Communicator 4.79 on Windows 98,