Seminar Connected Archives, afternoon session

by Omar Muņoz-Cremers

V2dig200704CH001.jpg In the public part of the seminar concerning the networking and archiving of media art the participants of the expert sessions of the morning sessions gave short presentations of their current work on databases dealing with new media art. David Garcia from The Tactical Media Files started off by noting a slight problem with archiving tactical media, since the movement or wish for a collabortations between all participants is one towards unity (especially in the areas of ontology and taxonomy). Tactical media with its open culture of critical politics seems inherently to run against this quest for unity. All participants had their particular slant on archival phenomena. This difference can for instance be found in the size of the thesaurus, the interface or the way databases itself can flow over into art as in the excellent work of Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss for Semantic Connections.
V2dig200704CH027.jpg The short discussion after a long day of talking did bring up an interesting articulation of some collective concerns and problems. Moderator Eric Kluitenberg in a more general note observed how new media art still invisible to the flows of mainstream art discourse. One participant questioned the thirst for standardization and looked for the translation of archival systems as an alternative pathway. Another suggestion from the floor looked at the status of ontology and offered the idea of a slow process (instead of a given set) where everything that works is maintained. In this view a good working local system will then be build upon with a layer of metadata through which it can communicate with other systems. The afternoon ended with a more skeptical note that for this universal communication to be implemented the problem of metadata as written in different languages should be overcome. Plenty of work remains.

Photographs Copyright (c) 2007 Jan Sprij.

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