Preservation Services

Rhizome's preservation team specializes in the conservation of net art, born-digital artworks, and multimedia publications. We are offering services to collecting institutions, community organizations, and artist studios who are looking to offer long-term access to a web project, a CD-ROM, an artist-made game, etc., online or offline.

Since 2014 Rhizome has built sophisticated conservation infrastructure that manages legacy software environments, accessible on the web or on local computers. This encompasses encapsulated servers running obsoleted versions of ColdFusion, PHP, Ruby, etc. to desktop systems like a 1999 version of Mac OS or Windows 98, including contemporaneous browsers, plugins, and other dependencies.

Rhizome’s approach is economical, by necessity. We focus on methods that can be applied to large numbers of artworks. Instead of rewriting old source code so an artwork performs in current software environments, which quickly become obsoleted yet again, we instead focus on maintaining access to legacy environments—every artwork is different, but every instantiation of Windows 2000 is roughly the same.




Partnership structure

  1. Rhizome assesses the work’s condition and creates a preservation plan. This requires collaboration with stewards and possibly creators of the work, as well as initial or complete data made available for evaluation. Depending on the artwork in question, costs range in between $500 and $1500 for this phase.

  2. Rhizome executes the agreed-on preservation plan. Costs depend on the required labor and are determined in phase 1.

  3. Rhizome hands over an encapsulated version of the artwork including instructions on how to make it accessible independently from Rhizome. Optionally, Rhizome can host the work on its own infrastructure for public or restricted access, for a fee determined in phase 1. Costs range from $300 to $1200 per year.


Our Partners


Artist Studios



Select Reserach Publications