Archive Update

Wed, 03 Jan 2018

Archive Update

I've been hosting my own websites since October 1993 - that'll be for an astonishing 25 years this year. Over this time I've built up a pretty extensive on-line archive of my creative activities that includes copies of websites, pictures, videos, software and so on.

My plan for the future is to turn this archive in to something of an annotated record of early "digital culture" (from my personal perspective). Perhaps with reflections and eventually interviews with the people I have worked with over the years. I've been making some progress towards this, with the Cyberculture exhibition in summer 2017 being the first public outing.

You might think that "preserving" digital materials is easy. After all, unlike physical objects you don't need much space to store them, and you can make as many copies as you like. However, this is not necessarily the case.

Websites can stop working due to changes in how the web works. Plug-ins change, older video formats no longer work and links break. Also, old software may not run on modern computers and CD-ROMs, videos and other physical media my no-longer be readable. For this reason I regularly check through my on-line archive and have build up a collection of old computers to run early software.

For artists in particular there's also a very practical consideration. If (like me) you think that reflection is a vital part of the creative process and you don't document your activities (and update your archive regularly) you will end up not updating it at all. Forgetting to document is a perpetual problem, and just taking a few pictures on your phone is rarely enough.

I've just finished this year's review. Pictures have been uploaded to Flickr and sorted, web pages have been updated and I've run through old sites looking for broken links. Everything seems in good shape. I just wish I could say the same for those shelves of non-digital things currently taking up shelf space in my studio!

If you want to have a look at my web archive then visit http://interactdigitalarts.uk/archive. Oh, and not forgetting http://theartofcrass.uk, http://seanclark.me.uk and http://nemeton.com...

Author: Sean Clark