Discussion on archiving [new media] outside of institutions: what private folks
can do to preserve our creative e-legacy.
we talking about? While you can pick up - and read - a book from a century
ago, reading new media works from a decade ago is hard to do, and getting
harder. How can we as writers preserve our heritage of electronic literature
Mary Cavill is the Information Specialist with the Writers
for the Future project at the trAce
Online Writing Centre, creating an online archive of the trAce website from
1995-2002. She worked as an arts librarian for over 10 years and has a BA (Hons)
in History of Art Design and Film, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching
Visual Culture. She also has an MA in Electronic Communication and Publishing
from University College London, writing her dissertation about the 'reading'
of hypertext fiction. In 2001 she worked as an intern at trAce Online Writing
Centre - creating the online archive of the 2000
Incubation conference and at Eastgate
Systems, a premier hypertext publisher Her interests include art history,
computer arts, and the relationship(s) between readers and works and producers
of electronic writing.
is the author of the book-length hypertext poem A
Life Set for Two (Eastgate Systems) and other hypertext poetry published
at BBC Online, Iowa
Review Web, Cortland
Hypertext Reading Room, and other Web sites. His electronic poetry has been
exhibited at many venues in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia,
and Australia, and he has given interactive readings of his work in many cities.
His printed book of poetry, A Wandering City, was awarded the Cleveland State
University Poetry Center Prize, and he has received a New Jersey State Council
on the Arts Fellowship, a New Forms Regional Grant, and other awards. He has
taught electronic poetry and fiction for the New School University's online
program since 1995. He runs the literary Web site Word
Circuits and the ELO's Electronic
Literature Directory, and is codeveloper of Word
Circuits Connection Muse, a hypertext tool for poets and fiction writers.
He has written many articles about electronic literature for national publications,
such as Poets & Writers Magazine, and he lectures frequently on the topic.
Nick Montfort is coeditor of The New
Media Reader (2003, MIT Press), author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach
to Interactive Fiction (coming in December 2003, MIT Press), author and programmer
of interactive fiction (Ad
Nightmare) and coauthor of several Web-based electronic literature projects
(Unready.net, 2002: A
Palindrome Story, The Ed Report).
He is a Ph.D. student in computer and information science at the University
- What are reasonable
expectations for viewing electronic works? Should we expect to access what
is done today in 5 years? in 10? in 100?
- What particular problems
or issues do you see arising in preserving electronic works? How can we address
- What have you done to
archive electronic works? What worked well?
- What can we think about
as we create works to better the chances of having works accessible in 10
-- Start log: Sunday, June 15, 2003 12:48:12 pm CDT
Deena says, "Hi Mary"
Mary_Cavill says, "Hi Deena"
Mary_Cavill says, "Can you believe it - this is my first live MOO session!"
Deena says, "Welcome to your first MOO session live. Do you want to practice?"
Garrett Lynch arrives. Deena says, "Hi Garrett!"
Helen arrives, like a train from Platform 9 and three-quarters
Deena says, "Hi Helen"
Mary_Cavill says, "Hi Helen, and Garrett"
Helen says, "Hello"
Deena says, "Thanks for coming Mary!"
Deena says, "I have your bio up on the archiving noteboard"
Mary_Cavill says, "Yes I saw that!"
Cleaning up and archiving previous chats
Deena says, "Helen, I have the log going, but did you want to clean up Dene's
slides and the blog list?"
Helen says, "Can we make an archive room or something and put things in there?"
Deena says, "Great. If you would like to add stuff, please let me know"
Helen says, "Appropriate for this week....."
Mary_Cavill that's a good idea
Deena says, "Helen, we are running out of diskspace for trAcELO. "
Deena says, "But I like the idea of an archive room."
Helen says, "I can never remember how to connect rooms together"
Helen says, "We could ask for more space."
Deena says, "For right now, you could just go to my stuff and click on the
green arrow. That will get it out of this room, but we will still have it."
Deena says, "YEs, it would be good to have an archive room with LINKS to
the chat archive"
Helen picks up Welcome Note 16th February 2003.
Deena says, "Hi Helen thanks for cleaning up:)"
Helen picks up blog list.
Deena tidies the room, puts out lots of creamy hors d'oeuvres
Helen picks up dene's slides.
Deena says, "Don't lose the blog list!"
Mary_Cavill says, "Btw I have to warn you we have a power cut here - so I
may have to disappear if I run out of battery on my laptop"
Deena says, "Oh ouch, well, we will understand."
Deena says, "Do you have any notes or pretyped stuff ? Do you want to email
it to me now so I can say that in case you get cut off?"
Mary_Cavill says, "I tend to work from notes - words really, so they probably
wouldn't be much use, sorry!"
Deena says, "No worries. If there is any point that you REALLY want to make,
type post new on Archiving noteboard. Then type in your real point and I will
get people to it if you run out of juice."
Mary_Cavill says, "Will do. Thanks!"
Margie (Luesebrink), Julianne (Chatelain), Sue (Thomas), MattKirschenbaum, Lingua
Guest (Robert Kendall), nm (Nick Montfort) arrive amidst a chorus of hellos.
Julianne waves, then lurks...
Margie says, "So fine that you could come to talk about Preservation and
Margie says, "Who is lingua guest?"
Lingua_Guest says, "Oops, it's Rob Kendall. I forgot to id myself"
Deena passes around tasty goodies made from archivers paste and glue
nm takes a sniff
Margie says, "Is it green like anchovies?"
Deena checks the color and confirms that it is green and well aged
Deena passes around fine clarets and wines
Helen says, ""Hi Rob, Sue"
Mary_Cavill says, "I always like the smell of paste & glue - those
shops that sell bookbinding equipment..."
Sue says, "Hi Rob, Deena, Margie, Mary, Helen, Matt...."
>> Lingua_Guest is now known as Rob_Kendall.
Rob_Kendall says, "Am I me now?"
Helen nods at Rob_Kendall.
Mary_Cavill says, "You're you Rob, hello!"
Deena confirms Rob's identity for him
Helen says, "It's quite a while since we did this last...nice to see trAce
/ ELO people again"
Deena says, "Welcome to the trAcELO chat on archiving. This one has been
extended and prolonged, and I am glad to see us all here in cyberspace at last.
We have the bios of our distinguished guests, Robert Kendall, Nick Montfort,
and Mary Cavill up on the Archiving noteboard. You guys can post notes there
by typing post new on Archiving Noteboard"
Rob_Kendall says, "How do we view the noteboard?"
Deena says "click on look, then on the link" (Note: the board notes
and bios are at the top of this archive)
Mary_Cavill says, "I've posted up some main points in case I get
cut off (running on battery here - no electricity)"
Helen says, "What's happened to the electricity?"
Sue says, "Hi Randy"
runran says, "Greetings"
Mary_Cavill says, ""Not sure what happened - it's been off all day,
apparently 135 houses are out"
Helen says, ""This is significant for what we are talking about today
- no electricity and our works are invisible..."
Julianne nods at Helen's point
trAcELO Uh oh, are there power outages?
trAcELO hands around power points and outlets
trAcELO has disconnected.
Deena has connected.
Helen says, "Last time we had a power outage I got panicky - the disconnection
and the loss of access to work in progress and my "Library" disoriented
me, even for such a short time"
Rob_Kendall says, "My cable modem goes down frequently and gives me the
same sort of helpless feeling, even though I can go online with my dial-up connection"
Mary_Cavill says, ""My laptop's running on coal and candles ;-)"
Deena says, "I worked in DC this week and the power went out. The sight
of so many people without a clue of what to do without a computer was amusing
Julianne says, "?? So that's the first point in preservation: Don't take
anything for granted??"
Helen nods at Julianne.
Deena sends energy for her laptop
The housekeeper arrives to remove Margie.
Deena says, "Shall we introduce ourselves? We can at least figure out who
people are before the lights go out?"
Helen shuts up and listens
Garrett_Lynch says, "Hello all, sorry for being quiet, just finishing my
nm says, "I'm Nick Montfort. I live in Philadelphia but am chatting today
from New York City. I like old e-lit as well as new, and have had lots of fun
with older interactive fiction works."
Deena says, "Right, we have a more extensive bibliography on the restored
Deena says, "I am Deena Larsen and I live in Denver but am chatting from
Diana Slattery's home in Albany, New York. I "grew up on" the old
stuff and have a lot in my closets."
Deena says, "Who else is here? What is your experience with old elit?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Are we doing intros then?"
Deena says, "Yes, please introduce yourself, Garrett. What works do you
Garrett_Lynch says, "Ok, here goes, my name is Garrett Lynch, live in Kent,
England, work as net.artist, lecturer in Digital Media, co-curator of bannerart.org
and regular reviewer and critic on netartreview.net"
Deena says, "Welcome Garrett, it is great to see you here"
Rob_Kendall says, "I'm Rob Kendall, and I started writing old e-lit in
nm says, "Rob's been writing e-lit long enough for some of it to be preserved"
Mary_Cavill says, ""I'm Mary Cavill. I live in London, and work mostly
remotely for trAce. I'm a beginner with elit in a lot of ways, "discovering"
it whilst doing my MA. Always good catching up..."
Sue says, "I'm Sue Thomas, Artistic Director of trAce, and we have a huge
website of new media work which Mary is archiving for us"
runran [to Margie]: just a quick hello ... i'll let you get on with the chat
Deena says, "Hi Randy, glad to see you back from the internet lesswilds"
runran [to Deena]: not internet less, but dialup ... one learns to take naps
Rob Wittig arrives. nm says, "Hey hey Rob W.!" Margie says, "Hey
Rob" Sue says, "Hi Rob" Rob_Wittig says, "Hi all!"
Deena says, "Hi Rob, we are introducing ourselves...could you tell us who
you are and your interests in elit?"
Rob_Wittig says, "I'm Rob and I'm an alc . . um m m errr . . . I am an
Julianne says, "'Hi Rob' (like at an AA meeting)"
Deena hands Rob the heavy dictionary of terms for the electronic author/hypertexter/
MattKirschenbaum says, "I'm Matt Kirschenbaum. I teach in the English Department
at Maryland; I'm also on the PAD organizing committee. "
What is old?
Garrett_Lynch says, "Can someone clarify what we mean by old elit"
Deena says, "Good point. I mean, I think anything that is not easily accessible
by a URL --which actually includes some later 2003 stuff, too. I have a lot
of Storyspace works, like Writing on the Edge from 1991, Izme Pass, etc. I also
have a lot of nonpublished stuff form Dickey's students in 1989-93, etc."
Garrett_Lynch says, "I suppose i'm new to elit, i know what you mean by
storyspace etc but don't collect this sort of thing, my concerns lie in the
preservation of all text based variable media art works, ie net.art, elit, hyper
literature, code.wurk etc"
Deena says, "Right, so let's figure out the playing field. What is it that
we are trying to preserve here?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Variable text (ascii) based media?"
Deena says, "I think it has to be more than just text. We need to think
about works with graphics, sound, navigation as we integrate all these fields."
What can we as artists do?
nm says, "Perhaps we should start by talking about some old works
that we like a lot, and that we enjoy sharing with other people?"
Helen says, ""If we are talking about what writers can do to help
preserve their works, then we should be thinking about what we can do with works
written around now not older ones - perhaps they are best left to the professionals"
Helen nods at nm.
Deena juggles the onslaught of questions.
Margie says, "Well, the first question Deena had posed was what can we
do individually - and I think we can all try to keep our work archived for posterity."
Deena says, "I have also been writing since the early 90s and think about
preserving my stuff. I no longer try to exploit minor bugs in systems, as that
means systems also have to be archived so the work will work. I also try to
be good about backing up so someone else can understand my backups.""
Rob_Kendall says, "Also, making sure everything is listed in the Electronic
Literature Directory is crucial. If people don't know it exists, the chances
of it being preserved are much smaller."
Margie says, "Yes, Rob is so right about getting things listed in the ELO
Directory. Eventually, that will be an important resource for any archiving
Margie says, "There are many ways to keep an archive so that tech experts
can restore the work no matter what the condition of the original format."
Mary_Cavill says, ""I think it's all related - the preserving of old
and new, what writers own of their own work. I've been talking this week with
people working on archiving computer art - they find it very helpful to talk
with the artists"
Deena says, "This is a massive field. First, we have the older stuff (pre
web, or not easy to get online), then how do we preserve our newer works even
if they have a URL"
Julianne regretfully mentions browser compatibility - simply having a URL doesn't
mean the work will always be able to be seen as the artist intended. (Realize
some of this has been mentioned at previous ELO discussions, doesn't want to
Deena nods at Julianne as she struggles in a Windows alien landscape
Rob_Kendall says, "Another big problem with online works is that sometimes
there are multiple versions of works floating around out there, some up to date
and some old versions full of bugs. I'd suggest avoid having 'deprecated' versions
of your works floating around."
Deena says, "Yep, we need to preserve the "good copies" or identify
which of the multiple versions should be preserved"
Works after death
Helen says, "It's particularly difficult for an elit author to ensure their
work will continue after their death - -manuscripts can be burned but aren't
usually, whereas websites are routinely ignored by relatives. I had a call from
a writer with a terminal disease and I wasn't able to advise him where he could
go to be sure his website of poems would stay online."
Editor's note: this important point got buried in the onslaught of text.
I've sent out emails to revisit it.
Rob_Kendall says, "Encouraging writers to use industry standard software
and open-source software is very important."
Deena says "Yes, I guess I have learned that if you use a bug in a particular
software or if you use something that gets dropped like HyperCard that you have
just done a performance piece that can't be replicated."
Helen says, "How accurately do we preserve the work? Who sets the standards
for what we need to transfer to new formats for example - the text, the graphics,
the layout, the hyperlinks - but some may be unrecreatable in current formats
- do we try to keep old computer formats going so that things can be read "in
situ" in some archive/library /gallery space?"
Deena says, "Good point Helen, what are we preserving? the works themselves?
the way the works should be read?"
Margie says, "Deena, good idea. We need to preserve not only the software
of the work itself, but a record of all the supporting information - hardware,
peripherals, writing about it, reader response, artists journals, etc."
Preserving the act or preserving the object
Rob_Wittig says, "I agree, Margie and Deena. Context is really important.
Cultural as well as physical technical context."
Mary_Cavill says, "In some ways it's the difference between archiving and
web capture (aware I'm going to get into word problems here) - do we capture
the content to keep in updatable ways or do we keep it as is, or both"
Margie says, "I think we need to do both, Mary, just as you anticipate.
With the planning work of PAD, it looks like we will be able to preserve much
of the work per se - but we also need to have the surrounding culture, as Rob
Garrett_Lynch says, "Yes I agree both but not to the extent where it becomes
Mary_Cavill says, "Garrett can you say more about what you mean by subjective?"
Deena says, "Garrett, how do we determine when it becomes subjective?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "I mean even people reading classic medias have differing
points of view based on learned experience, culture etc"
nm says, "Wouldn't it be funny if librarians kept the way that books should
be read instead of keeping books?"
Deena says, "Hmmm...yeah, but Nick,opening up a page now and in 400 years
from now will look the same. The paper will be the same. Opening up a computer
screen 20 years from now will be completely different"
nm says, "It would also be funny if museums kept the content of artworks
instead of the artworks themselves"
Rob_Wittig says, "NM, yes . . . WAYS of reading are really important .
. . I'm envisioning a museum display that shows a typical '90s computer sitting
in a typical '90s student bedroom for example. The whole context, including
socks and underwear everywhere."
Deena sneaks a look under Rob's contextual bed and withdraws in horror.
Rob_Wittig says, "Rob has an explanation for what's under there. Honest.
nm says, "Rob_W, yes! Have you been to the main science museum in London?
They have a 1970s data center with wax models of a guy in a lab coat and a hippie
programmer wearing a tie-dyed shirt""
Rob_Wittig says, "Never been to main science museum in Londres"
Deena says, "The Smithsonian has a wax figure of Steve Jobs and a working
Rob_Wittig says, "Awesome! A Natural History of Computing"
Deena throws a few used 20th century socks at Nick and Rob. Just for context.
Deena says, "Ok, Nick, but what if the museums just kept the outside of
the computer box and not the insides? just the hardware and not the software?"
Rob_Kendall says, "The nature of archiving e-lit is different from most
archiving because the preservation problems start long before the artist is
dead. An e-lit writer has to worry about preserving their work from one year
to the next just so he can keep it before the public during his lifetime."
Deena says, "Right Rob K, how can we as artists address the problems of
preserving our work from one year to the next?"
Mary_Cavill says, "Nick - I think you have a good point here! Librarians
do keep that in some ways, or at least if the collection changes (a living collection,
not a historical collection of all available works)" nm says, "Mary,
that's true, the library is an institution that explainsn how we are to read.
But it would be a shame if we only had that, and not books"
Mary_Cavill says, "Nick - i agree totally, but they work in tandem"
Deena says, "So, Nick, how can we preserve our works personally or in an
institution and show how to read them"
Margie says, "The special museum display is one way to revisit works of
the past - but PAD hopes to make these works accessible to readers and scholars
worldwide. this means that we need to get libraries and scholars involved, too."
Deena says, "Nick, just as you can't have the reading without the book,
you can't have the digital media without both the hardware, software, context
and reading lesson"
nm says, "So I think the main focus should be getting people to actually
be able to read e-lit works. Maybe they'll read them in new or different ways,
and maybe not appreciate them as they would have in the original context --
but it's work trying to preserve the works and see how people think of them
and read them"
Rob_Wittig says, "Many profs I know teach new media in lab rooms where
everyone sits in rows, each at a computer. Do you envision a Reading/Discussion
Room like that, Nick?"
Mary_Cavill says, "Are there any comparable areas/genres - that need the
way of viewing/reading in order to view/read (pre C20th)?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Well if it comes to that then it needs to be a sort
of generalised agreement of what the artist intended, hopefully this problem
doesn't arrive too frequently with new media being well so new!"
Garrett_Lynch says, "So its not these subjective view points which should
be preserved but what the artist / author intends!"
Helen nods at Garrett_Lynch.
Deena says, "Garret, how do we know what the artist intends? I archived
Dickey's stuff after he died and I wished I had a way of knowing what the **&
Rob_Wittig says, "What were some of the alternatives you were faced with
looking at Dickey's stuff, Deena?"
Deena says, "Minor things from this button doesn't work, where did he want
the link to major things like how to present the works as a whole."
MattKirschenbaum says, "About intentionality . . ."
MattKirschenbaum says, ""One of my fields is an area known as textual
criticism, which is the scholarly study of the history and transmission
of texts. though the domain of electronic literature is obviously a
relatively recent one, none of the issues that have come up--what portions
of the work to preserve, multiple versions, the author's
intentions--are new; all have been fiercely debated in the literature on textual
criticism for the last sixty years or so"
Margie says, "Yes Matt, intentionality - so important"
MattKirschenbaum says, "Ah, but my point is that intentionality ought _not_
to be our goal!"
Margie's The Book
of Going Forth By Day exactly as she intended...speed and suchlike of tools
very important. (Did not introduce self, am senior tools geek, fledgling e-writer)"
Deena says, "This brings us to our first question: What are reasonable
expectations for viewing electronic works? Should we expect to access what is
done today in 5 years? in 10? in 100?"
Julianne says, "Dreams of a computer (in the future) that can have its
processor set to variable speeds, so future readers can experience
Deena says, "Matt, as a textual critic, what do you expect to be able to
view after 5 years? 10?"
nm says, "If we can't get people to read Eliza,
Girl, etc. in 5 years because they aren't actually running, it won't be
worth much to have trained people to be able to read these inaccessible works."
Lessons from Eliza
nm says, "Parry is a good example which does seem to be gone -- an Eliza-like
chatterbot created with a different purpose"
Deena wonders if Parry is on the New Media Reader...didn't see it
nm says, "Parry's not on the NMR; I don't know that the code is around"
Deena says, "Good point Nick. Is it reasonable to expect to have Eliza,
etc. running in 5 years? And if so, how can we reach that expectation?"
Margie says, "Yes, Matt - we cannot be responsible for that in any medium
nm says, "Well, we'd have to be bombed back to 1910 to not have Eliza
running in 5 years"
Deena says, "Nick, why is that? Why will Eliza run?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Well its been emulated for the last 30 odd years"
nm says, "Exactly -- as Garrett says"
nm says, "Deena, because it's well-documented in academic papers, the code
is available, it's been re-implemented in several ways that people know to be
Deena says, "So the secret for Eliza's success is that it is well documented
and the code is available? Can we make other programs work in the same way?
Document the code so it is easier to replicate?"
nm says, "Deena, that's a good plan for programs that are like Eliza."
Deena says, "Nick, how would we identify the programs like Eliza? Would
we want to save these things?"
Music analogy--are we recreating the harpsichord
or listening on today's instruments?
Rob_Kendall says, "Mary, the problems with preserving music have
been historically similar to the problems we face today with preserving e-lit"
Helen says, ""Tell us more about the parallels with preserving music
Deena says, "Rob, how do we know which to translate? "
Rob_Kendall says, "It wasn't until the advent of recording that music could
be preserved with complete accuracy. Throughout the centuries, music notation
systems gradually got better and better, but music notation can never be completely
Rob_Wittig says, "Do y'all think that simulations or ranslations_to_new_platforms
will sage certain works . . . like the early Atari games lovingly recreated
Julianne thinks: Dan
Bricklin's web site (bricklin.com) has links to an original Visicalc
Garrett_Lynch says, "But remember not all works are as easy to emulate
as this, what about net.art works that deliberately take advantage of browser
Rob_Wittig says, ""Translation to new platforms will be, I would guess,
in part like the preservation of books over the past millennia --- due to personal
passions . . . people wanting copies for themselves and friends because they
love the work."
nm says, "Right, Garrett, there are plenty of problems even when you just
bring multimedia into it, and certainly odd browser behavior and such"
Julianne is thinking about Garrett's point about works that take advantage of
browser faults...makes a sad face...
Deena thinks this goes back to what Rob K said about keeping with industry
Margie says, "Garrett - you are so right here! Or works that depended on
defunct browsers that one cannot play at all now"
Deena says, "What about works that rely on software programs (and bugs
in programs) like Storyspace?"
Deena says, "Can we have an Eliza-like success if like Garrett says there
are works that take advantage of particular browsers or hardware?"
Rob_Wittig says, "Does anyone make films or videorecordings of *particular
readings* of hypertextual works? Could some survive in this way?"
Rob_Kendall says, "When it comes to 'recreating' work like William Dickey's
we may have to think of them sort of like pieces of music that have to be reconstructed
as best as we can"
Julianne claps for RobK's point
Rob_Wittig says, "Interesting, Rob K. about music."
Mary_Cavill says, "(building on Rob's point) so perhaps we may have to
accept we sill lose some authenticity and/or some works (feeling sad as I even
Deena says, "Right Rob, and we can take two approaches: some musicians
lovingly create the instruments that once played the music, others re-interpret
on modern instruments. I think I would like to reinterpret Dickey's HyperCard
in Flash rather than recreate the Hypercard effects in Flash"
Helen says, "Like installation art or drama"
Deena says, "Exactly Mary, we have to accept that the work is not *exactly*
the same, just as a work for the harpsichord is not exactly the same when played
on a piano"
Mary_Cavill says, "Deena - that's a good point, it seems we need to take
this sort of attitude"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Sorry having trouble keeping up, but doing my best
nm says, "The same approach won't be effective for every work. Rob K's
suggestion will be the best we can reasonably do in some cases. In other cases,
it's technically not that hard to get things running on modern machines"
nm says, "The important thing is to know when we preserve works more or
less 'perfectly,' and not accept an inferior option when the better option is
nm says, "Er, when we can, I should have said"
Deena says, "Good point Nick, we have to get a way of figuring out the
best solution for each work--or type of work."
Deena says, "Even the works in HyperCard will need different sorts of treatments.
Jim Rosenberg has
finally found a way in Jamba to recreate his works. but it wouldn't work for
Springs or Uncle
Buddy's Phantom Funhouse."
nm says, "Actually, HyperCard runs just fine on the computer I'm using,
a fairly new iBook running the latest OS X"
nm says, "That's not to say it's likely to last far into the future, but
again, we should be aware of what we can do today."
Rob_Kendall says, "The thing we can learn from music is not to assume that
people will be able to read your piece as easily 50 years from now as they can
from today -- so you add more and more description, leave more information for
someone to use in the future to reconstruct the work"
PAD strategy for long term and short term visions--
Sue says, "It seems to me that we need 2 strategies - an underlying
long term strategy covering everything, but also a short term strategy just
for getting money - and that will have to be simple so non -media people can
understand it and provide the grants" Deena says, "Sue, good point.
Margie, could you explain the PAD strategy with Sue's goals?"
Julianne claps for Sue's point about making projects understandable to funding
Margie says, "Thanks Sue - this involves us all - but it won't be cheap."
Sue bows gracefully.
Margie says, "PAD has a double-level strategy. One is to arrange for those
emulators that can be constructed to make a number of works available as soon
as possible. Two is to arrange a consortium of libraries that will incorporate
collections of e-lit and make them available across the globe "
Mary_Cavill says, "Margie - yes, absolutely! I know the British Library
are very interested in this area"
Sue says, "Wow Margie! impressive!"
Rob_Wittig says, "What kinds of collections will the big library consortium
Who gets on the life boat?
Helen says, "Who decides which works are worth archiving? what critical
standards do we use?"
Margie says, "Helen - if we build this right, it will take the works in
technically-relative areas and preserve all of the works of that kind with meta-notation
and meta-standards. "
Mary_Cavill says, "If we're talking about large collections, there will
be some subjectivity in the collecting"
What about new media archiving initiatives?
Garrett_Lynch says, "What do people think of current new media
archiving initiatives, ie walkerarts, rhizome's
Deena says, "Yes, we really need to coordinate efforts here."
Deena says, "Good question Garrett. How do we see these initiatives working
with PAD and working to get large collections"
Deena says, "What can individual authors do to help this effort?"
Rob_Wittig says, "I like the idea, RobK, of a new literary form of the
"Instructions to a Future User" . . . a kind of SuperColophon . .
Margie says, "Rob W, We are thinking of having the spoken-word poetry at
U of Iowa, for example, and maybe the Interactive Fiction at Brown, say. the
narrative fiction at UCLA or the UC System. None of this is in place - but all
of these possibilities"
Rob_Wittig says, "Thanks, Margie. That gives me a sense"
Julianne faints at the thought of all the delicious meta-information
Sue says, "The technical is the most pressing - once things are readable,
decisions can be made about what to read"
Mary_Cavill says, "Sue - the technical is being worked on in libraries
too, not necessarily for elit, for all lit. There's an awareness of the need
for international standards and meta standards"
Sue nods at Mary_Cavill.
Rob_Wittig says, ". . . the SuperColophon could be very sweet as a text
in itself . . . part artist's statement, part techtalk, part meditation on time
Deena says, ""Rob, the SuperColophon sounds like a good way for artists
to explain what they feel is important in preserving or translating their work
to a new platform"
nm says, "I like the term 'hypercolophonic' by the way"
nm says, "Feel free to use that"
Rob_Wittig says, "I just had a hypercolophonic a couple days ago. I couldn't
sit down for 24 hours."
Deena hands out free coupons for hypercolophonics and supercolophonics to all
nm says, "Touche, Rob W"
Rob_Kendall says, "One of the challenges is to find accurate ways of describing
complex behaviors and structures and appearance in e-lit."
Rob_Wittig says, "Interesting, RobK. What do you think are the best guides
to descriptive vocabulary?"
Mary_Cavill says, "I think if we can disseminate 'good practice' that can
only be a good thing, to engender ways of writing so the work can be preserved.
Margie says, "If they could come about in some form, would be linked together
in a central portal as well as featured as a part of each school's electronic
Deena says, "Hmmm... could we identify specific standards for preserving
Rob_Kendall says, "I think an XML spec would be the most practical way
to describe behaviors in detail. But just pure descriptive paragraphs in English
can also be very useful. The ELO is hoping to work toward an XML spec that can
describe complex details of elit for the purposes of preservation.""
Julianne bounces happily at RobK's news
Helen says, "I was going to ask you Rob_K if you thought those of us writing
in HTML should move into XML - a librarian told me that recently was essentially"
Deena says, "Rob, would this spec description become part of the ELO database?"
Sue says, "At the PAD
conference at UCSB there was an emphasis on writers starting from now to
use XML etc and begin good practice for posterity"
Julianne asks Sue where the emerging standards are being documented, are there
Sue says, "Julianne, the conference is online at ELO"
Deena says, "ELO and trAce can do a lot to disseminate standards for authors
Margie says, "Julianne - I wish we could talk about the metadata sometime
- just investigate.."
Julianne nods to Margie, let's talk about the metadata sometime, indeed! Next
time I am in CA!
Repeatable bugs and ephemera
Helen says, "But that means artists/writers must document - process journal
their intentions. But should we compromise in the writing to make sure it is
repeatable? (e.g., NOT taking advantage of browser bugs)"
Deena says, "Helen, maybe acknowledge that if you do take advantage of
a bug, then the work is ephemeral?"
Helen says, "Some works are bound to be ephemeral - but writers should
know which ones are likely to be that way and decide how to produce based on
Deena says, "Yes, writers should investigate this in the developing stages
of the work."
nm says, "Again, if we focus on specific works that we're interested in
preserving and we see these are called things like 'electronic novel' 'a story'
etc. We can notice that these are not *intended* to be ephemeral
in the way that some net art is."
Garrett_Lynch says, "The problem is software has been built from the beginning
as a collection of fixes until a 'better' solution could be found, hence bugs,
browser faults etc so this gives artists the opportunityto integrate un predictability
and chaos into a world (ie computer world) that would be 'order' so how can
we now retrace our steps and suddenly say this new media artform is not valid
because it doesn't conform to standards now being implemented?"
Deena ruefully thinks of her Samplers,
which was only possible at the time by exploiting a bug in Storyspace.
Keeping work against its will
MattKirschenbaum says, "One of my favorite examples of digital preservation
is William Gibson's Agrippa,
which was famously meant to self-encrypt after a single reading--but which is
available all over the net, to anyone with access to a search engine; the irony
here is that the electronic medium, through its rapid propagation of identical
copies, functioned to preserve the work."
nm says, "We don't have to preserve people's work against their will in
order to make some progress here"
Australia calls in Monday morning
][mez][ arrives. Sue says, "Hey mez" Deena says, "Good morning
][mez][ says, "Lo all:)"][mez][ says, "Bit late"
Deena gets mez a very strong cup of java
][mez][ says, ":)"
nm says, "Hi mez"
][mez][ says, "Thx d"
Julianne waves 'good morning' at ][mez][
][mez][ says, "Heya all"
Margie says, "Hi mez"
Rob_Wittig says, "Ciao mez"
Video documenting--seeing from another medium
Rob_Wittig says, "I've seen a form of video documentation used to do user
testing on web sites that I would love to see as an archival technique for ephemeral
events --- a split screen with the reader's screen on one half and the face
and hands of the reader simultaneously on the other. Smiles, laughs, consternation
on the face as you follow the reader through her experience . .."
Deena wonders if we would have the inverse of nm's dream -- getting the reading
experience without the content here.
Deena says, "Rob W, video documentation sounds like a good idea--as long
as we have vcrs! What happens when we lose that hardware as well?"
nm says, "Rob W, that would be like archiving both the face and the interface"
Rob_Wittig says, "Touche nm"
Deena hands both Rob and NM masks
Rob_Kendall says, "Helen, I think it's a good idea to start putting everything
in XHTML, since there are no backward compatibility problems with that. Most
people think that eventually XML will replace HTML, though it won't be clear
yet for a while how exactly that will happen."
Helen sighs and starts searching amazon for an introductory book on XML.
Deena says, "So we have shown that metadata, asking the author to explain
the work for translating and porting can help facilitate keeping the work alive
as we change computer standards. What else works."
Margie says, "One thing we have found in PAD is that the tech is very complex,
one work to the next, and the best we can do is to make a space and process
to work on this issue - no guarantees of perfection!"
And what do our works look like in 10 years?
Garrett_Lynch says, "Yes but to what fate? that our works become an image
and a paragraph of text in a book in ten years?"
][mez][ says, "Garrett>> but these forms of unpredictability also
allow for a type of slipping_under_the_archival-radar if utilized
Deena says, "Good point Garrett. "
What can authors do?
Deena says, "What else can we ask authors to do to help preserve their
Editor's note: the following subheads are a summary for authors to practice
to help preserve their works: write well constructed code, create metadata
to describe the files, label files clearly, experiment with performance and
Write well constructed code.
Rob_Kendall says, "If you write code, it's also important to learn how
to write very well-constructed and commented code. No spaghetti stuff."
][mez][ says, "Take my n.tentional disfunctional misuse of the button function
in flash - it uses the code in such a strange way that it may [in terms of functionality]
just slip past the upgrades grind? "
Deena nods sympathetically with mez and hands over the past.a
Rob_Kendall says, "Any elit writer who's been working for a while eventually
learns the value of good coding practices. If you write a lot of poorly constructed
uncommented code it may work just fine, when you come back to it a few years
later to upgrade it, you won't be able to figure out how it works."
Create metadata to describe the files.
nm says, "Well, I never metadata I didn't like, but I also never have been
able to share e-lit I loved with someone else mainly due to metadata"
Deena says, "Nick, yes, I think this is only one part of the equation.
What else can authors do in the full creative flow, or in the editing after,
or in the planning to help preserve works?""
Label your files clearly and keep neat hard drives.
Margie says, "Deena - authors can do a lot just in the confines of their
own disks and hard drives to give anyone who comes after a clear idea of what
is what. Even to labeling graphics, etc. yes?"
Margie says, "I say this because I should do better, myself!"
Deena says, "Good point Margie, good housekeeping is a key to archiving."
Experiment with performance and emulators
Rob_Wittig says, "Another preservation strategy to throw out --- just as
companies place products in movies as advertising . . . in a movie about a given
period (early '90s, say) have the protagonists reading a certain early e-lit
work . . . try to make it Retro-Hip, and then have an emulated version ready
to sell and promote in the wake of the movie . . ."
But what about stemming the full creative flow?
runran [to Sue]: i have to wander off ... see you in cyberspace." ][mez][
says, "Cya runran!" The housekeeper arrives to remove runran.
Helen says, ""These requirements are not typically the kind of thing
that an artist thinks about in full creative flow..."
Sue says, "Helen, other technical artists like filmmakers etc have to think
Sue says, "Look at what happened to celluloid"
Deena says, "Sue, what happened to celluloid?"
Sue says, "Many early films turned to dust"
Deena says, "Yes, and the microfilms of old newspapers for archives turned
nm says, "Helen, a book artist knows not to use acidic paper when in full
creative flow, if she expects her book to last. A lot of this has to do with
choosing your 'materials'."
Deena says, "Right, so what is our equivalent of nonacidic paper?"
So get the right skill set in place first
Helen says, "So the idea is to make sure people have the right skills in
the first place, ready to use when the "Muse hits""
][mez][ says, "Which is y its important not 2 let it restrict u, helen.
in terms of archival s.sues isn't it better to have various audience absorption
layers, like remixes of a certain work anyway? not nec like garrets notion of
regressing the wurks back 2 a print based ethic but more in terms of reworking
+ adaptation...wot net_based/digital work should be anyway???"
Deena says, "So mez, you would have layers of archiving and preservation."
Deena says, "This sounds like an issue that trAce and ELO can collaborate
][mez][ says, "Yus deena. different versions perhaps, all archived according
2 the standards used."
Sue says, "Is this about professionalising ourselves? I think it is."
Helen says, ""Sue yes, professional works will be the ones that survive
it looks like"
Deena says, "Helen, maybe a class on trAce for archiving and housekeeping
Margie says, "Deena - great idea"
Deena signs herself up and wonders who will teach it. Hopefully Rob K
Rob_Wittig says, "I sure would be interested in an archiving/housekeeping
Sue says, "Rob, we aim to provide some guidelines in a year or so"
Sue says, "Sure Deena"
Helen says, ""Workshops in good practice, yes"
Margie says, "Yes, I think we should work on this, If nothing else, all
the writers would have a fine time in the class together!"
Margie says, "Rob and Matt have brought up a good point, too, about understanding
the requirements of the technology. I would similarly like to see a class in
code-keeping. Mez could teach."
Sue says, "There's nothing wrong with artists taking a professional view"
nm says, "The housekeeper arrives to remove e-lit."
Rob_Wittig laughs at nm's comment.
Deena secretly slips the housekeeper a tip not to mess with electrical currents.
Garrett_Lynch says, "Don't get me wrong standards are important, like say
the standards of colours have improved painting down through the centuries,
and we are at the start of new media so perhaps our work will be seen as the
cave painting of this new form but the essential point is this time around we
are more aware and advanced and so should be able to come up with systems to
deal with this"
Julianne thinks about Van Gogh's paint and how it was unstable and has been
changing colour now for years...
Sue says, "Think of renaissance painters making their colours"
Sue says, "Snap, julianne"
Julianne says, "Snap Sue!"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Good point!"
][mez][ says, "This way it would encourage a less static, object-oriented
[not in the programming sense] approach to wurks...and reflect the actual ephemera,
the intangible notions associated with the electronic"
Deena says, "Mez, Garrett, these standards may help us think more creatively
Diana joins in off line
Deena says, "Diana says Hi to all"
Sue says, "Hi Diana!"
Margie says, "Diana? Diana!"
Deena says, "Yep, Diana Slattery is here at her computer. Where I am"
Old mac jokes
Deena says, "In the meantime, maybe we can work on keeping some of the
old work. I have 357 macs in my house right now to donate to the cause"
nm says, "Deena, with 357 macs we could provide affordable housing for
several people..or at least lots of fish."
Rob_Wittig says, "I lived in a macII for a couple years"
Deena throws one of her macs at Nick who would dare think of using it for housing
Deena says, "Ok ok, so they are really good as couches and endtables, but
they STILL work."
Julianne thinks wistfully of her fat Mac, with the fan - it was comfy in there.
Rob_Kendall says, "Anyone who works with browser-based art has
to accept that there is no single 'standard' version of the work to begin with,
because each browser presents a slightly different version -- sort of like different
interpretations by different pianists of the same Bach fugue."
Garrett_Lynch says, "Well I've taken an avid interest in logitech greyscale
handscanners lately - but somehow i feel the hardware will never be what its
Deena says, "Good point Rob K. We are all having to work with a variety
Rob_Wittig says, "RobK, have there been attempts to document that browser
range itself for posterity?"
Rob_Kendall says, "Of course there are some differences of browser interpretation
that are acceptable -- say different font sizes -- and others that aren't --
say, links don't work in one browser. We have to sort out these differences"
Julianne [to Rob_Wittig]: the Web
Standards Project (wasp.org) had a good list of browser specific differences
at one point, or people who could be interviewed about it
Good housekeeping and codekeeping
][mez][ says, "Clean code is another way of restricting and streamlining
the underwiring, making sure standards revoke certain nuanced lvlings within
Rob_Wittig says, "Yes, code-keeping, too."
Margie says, "Hey Rob --how about a book called Good Code-Keeping."
Deena hands Rob acid free paper to start his book on Good Code Keeping.
Deena says, "This does go back to the idea that we are jacks of all trades,
mastering good code standards, good images, sound, and text"
][mez][ says, "Indeed. isn't the point top n_hance creativity via the archival
process? this would also reflect the idea that works r so typically dependent
on the mechanisms that house them, that they shouldn't be statically co-opted
in2 historical templates without offering a more processual documewntation on
their creation..... more commenting on the variability of viewpoints, browers
vers, cross-platform inconsistencies...we seem 2 b referring 2 works that we
assume have a end-pont view, but they don't, and never will asstandardisation
of meaning is m.possible with techne's variance lvls???"
Julianne claps for [mez]'s nuances...is a thorny problem...
Helen says, ""It's like the move in elearning to having learning objects
that transfer from one learning environment to another. Perhaps we need the
same kind of thing - lexias that can be recreated in more than one type of software
environment - fluid"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Well you do have sites that do those "Back
in the day" cache saved sites, an interesting approach"
Deena puts her text back in context
nm says, "I guess we've discussed at least three ways to improve the preservation
of works. First, educating e-lit authors so they can choose to use more sustainable
technologies and media formats, if they want to"
Sue says, "Yes, sustainable code is a nice term"
nm says, "Second, gathering metadata of several sorts to provide information
about and documentation of works."
nm says, "And third, actually getting older works running in a way that
makes it easy for people to use them today and to interact as they would have
in years past"
Deena says, "Good summary Nick. I think that we also need to work on the
institutional aspects of collecting works, dispersing works, and ensuring that
more people see these works in the first place"
Deena hands out sustainable code and clean living for all
nm takes the sustainable code
Julianne [to nm]: don't forget the super colophon or hyper colophon or (what
was that term)
Deena hands out supercolophon capes capable of making everyone's text fly and
leap tall buildings
Deena says, " And all of the efforts to work with institutions and coordinate
with archiving efforts."
nm says, "Deena, that's very good for a fourth point. Besides creating
metadata standards/gathering metadata, and besides making older works function,
we also have to engage with those institutions that have helped reading along
in our culture"
Calls for last words
Deena says, "As a few last words, what else can we think about as we create
works to better the chances of having works
accessible in 10 years? "
][mez][ says, "Bah"
MattKirschenbaum heads for the door 'cause he's gotta get out the door in RL
nm says, "Seeya Matt" The housekeeper arrives to remove MattKirschenbaum.
nm says, "I prefer to call RL 'NSR'"
Deena ponders this. Non Standard Reality?
nm says, "(non-simulated reality)"
Deena checks her reality specs again.
Mary_Cavill says, "I guess standards are difficult to maintain and disseminate
*because* of the nature of the genre(s) - the niceness of *not* using standard
coding (sorry catching up - elec gone off again so had to light candle to see
ELO feature--survey of endangered works
Margie says, "Yes, Nick. And our feature starting next week will be a questionnaire
on endangered works - asking the entire e-lit community to tell us about works
(your own, too!) that might be threatened by loss of functionality -At the Pad
Website this week!""
Deena says, "Good Margie, will that information also be in the ELO database?"
Margie says, "D. yes, if you tell me how to put it there :-)"
Deena gets Margie and Rob together to work on getting metadata and info on archiving
platforms into ELO database"
Sue says, "Margie that's a good idea - we will search our attics!"
Deena thinks of her poor housekeeping and floppy stacks and groans
Games and machines
Rob_Wittig says, "Does anyone see or foresee a game machine that can/could
also become a literary machine . . . thereby we could piggyback on the eager
nostalgia of gamers for emulations?"
][mez][ says, "Of course Rob. its already happening, really. just depends
on how u view the gamer output."
Rob_Wittig says, "Mezmezmez . . . which game platforms interest you these
"][mez][ says, "Ooh many. social gamer_engines r my bag, especially
those designed with a type oif in-built sensor 2wards the player's feedback
lvls. i'm hanging 2 try "Enter the Matrix" just 4 the narrative tie-ins.
Julianne [to Rob_Wittig]: (Someday we will see The Sims as a literary machine
- people are using it for storytelling now, "Not functioning as designed"
- but going backwards in time, that's a provocative idea)
nm says, "Rob W, we've discussed putting up arcade cabinets that run e-lit..."
Rob_Wittig says, "Nm, like the old IN.S.OMNIUM
Margie says, "Nick, can you make an arcade? Could we do that?"
Deena fires up the Jukebox
Mary_Cavill says, "Nick M - there's something like that at the ICA in
Rob_Wittig says, "25 cents a story
Metadata and gallary catalogues
Margie says, "Hello Simon!!"Sue says, "Hi Simon" Mary_Cavill
says, "Hi Simon"
Garrett_Lynch says, "This is a question from things I've been thinking
about - because metadata has come up so frequently do people think that this
has become to new media works what a gallery catalog has been to classic works
or even that paragraph and image in books I referred to earlier, or does it
in any way go beyond that, ether beyond the work itself to describe the work
sufficiently to be compiled in anything or to the extend where it is becoming
a new work?"
Margie says, "Garrett -The metadata is much more specific that you would
find in a catalogue description - detailed info about platforms, speeds, resolutions,
Deena says, "Garrett, I like the idea of metadata for cataloguing...and
for describing the work. Also maybe detailed information on approaches to the
work, a theoretical platform as well."
Julianne says, "The meta documentation in nm's New Media Reader is one
model to look at Garrett"
nm says, "Well, the New Media Reader is an anthology rather than a serious
archive -- a nice anthology, we hope, but we focused on being helpful to scholarly
readers and students"
nm says, "We would have done things differently if we were more serious
bibliographers/material historians, for instance"
Julianne understands nm's point but just really liked his & Noah's metadata
Deena says, "Yeah, but Nick, it is the most archiving that we have now..."
Rob_Kendall says, "Garrett, in theory XML metadata could be used to describe
any type of electronic behavior accurately enough that it could be reproduced
by parsing software, so it's not just a cataloging type of thing."
Garrett_Lynch says, "Currently reading it!!"
Garrett_Lynch says, "This is my point Rob-- doesn't this metadata because
of its complexity start to become a new work rather than a representation of
Helen says, "Garrett not if the metadata is written as part of the work,
Deena hands out bookmarks to all
Helen says, ""Maybe I don't have to write the work at all, just describe
it in metadata..."
Julianne nods yes, like John Cage's radio piece, which is basically just a set
of instructions as to how to produce the piece (different each time) - am starting
to understand this process oriented slant on what was once called 'archiving'
Garrett_Lynch says, "That would be ideal helen!!! :) trouble is those darn
artists don't always put the effort in! ;)"
Rob_Kendall says, "Garrett, if you create the original work in XML, then
it becomes both a fully functional work and a fully described 'time-capsule'
at the same time. I think this is the ideal archival format"
Second last call
Deena says, "Well, we have a lot of suggestions here, from education to
metadata to identifying works to working with institutions. We have just a few
minutes left: any other ideas that people want to bring forward for saving works?"
Rob_Wittig says, "....makes me want to write a collection of SuperColophons
. . . vanished programs . . . "
Completely rethink our notions of archive
][mez][ says, "Re_think the very notion of archives al2gether?"
][mez][ says, ":)"
Julianne getting people (um, critics) excited about materiality, helps encourage
focus on these problems.
Garrett_Lynch says, "Yes please!!!"
Deena says, "Mez , how would we rethink this..."
Mary_Cavill says, "Mez, they're being re thunk all the time"
Rob_Wittig says, "Mez what would a mezarchive be like?"
Sue says, "Mez, what do you suggest?"
][mez][ says, "Their purpose, political function, historical baggage-inducing
nature...its so reflecting a cartesian 3D dynamic, preservation of the static
][mez][ says, "[wishing i'd got here earlier]:)"
][mez][ says, "Hmm"
Sue says, "Mez I agree with all that but i still think we should have archives
Sue says, "We cannot live in the present all the time"
Deena says, "Mez, yes, the term archiving has a lot of baggage to it. I
think my main concern is being able to *access* a work in 5 years. This doesn't
come up in print or paper art as you can see a painting or pick up a book..."
Julianne is interested that some are talking about 5 years, some of us are talking
about forever - hmmm
Deena says, "Good point Julianne. What timeframe is reasonable to expect
to keep these works alive?"
Deena says, "Is there a way to separate the practical aspects of access
from the theoretical background of archiving?"
Mary_Cavill says, "Sue, Mez you can live in the present if the work is
thought of like happenings - ephemeral, transient... deliberately not archivable"
][mez][ says, "Yus mary that's the idea...less m.phasis on the actual finished
work and more on the process, the versions and upgrades of expression, the variability
Rob_Wittig says, "Yes, Sue. How much of the literature of the past 3,000
yrs survived because of wonderful passionate private collections . . . gods
bless the book lovers . . . "
Margie says, "Regardless of the time of the life of the technology, for
in-hand work, the media itself only has a certain number of years, yes?"
nm says, "Rob W, that's quite right"
Mary_Cavill says, "Perhaps we can't think about forever, yet?, we can only
plan for the next 5-10 years - this seems the longest we can hope for, make
it last as long as we can"
Deena says, "And some artists here are doing performance art that cannot
Sue says, "Of course I agree re performance but that is only part of it"
Julianne also thinks there are parallels with dance (notation, video of performances,
people remembering, yet still not perfect, but better than nothing)
Mary_Cavill says, "Sue, yes of course, it's the other works.... and even
performance can be recorded..."
Deena wishes she had had a video tape of the 1500s commedia delle arte
nm says, "I'm very glad that people have preserved interactive fiction
nm says, "A huge amount of individual effort went into the online collections
I used for my upcoming book"
Deena applauds Nick and does not tell about the wares parties
Burning men and other hot issues
Julianne takes [mez]'s point, it's not possible to archive Burning Man, and
why would one want to...
Rob_Wittig says, "I had a burning man in my attic . . . needless to say
the whole house is gone now . . ."
Demands more than XML--where is the ONE?
Deena says, "Can XML do everything I want in an art piece? What about other
programs like Flash, Storyspace, Director?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "I'm a big fan of opensource and hence xml but is this
truly going to be the ONE"
Margie says, "Deena - XML cannot be used to emulate Director or Storyspace
or Flash, so some works will have to have a different approach."
Sue says, "Can we find ways to classify these different types?"
Julianne smiles at Garrett-Morpheus looking for the ONE
Deena says, "Garrett, which is truly going to be the one?"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Well director can read in xml so all the instructions
could be stored there and simply be given a front end in director, or flash
if you want or whatever..."
Margie says, "Yes, Garrett - the new versions -"
Garrett_Lynch says, "Yep v7+ i think"
Margie says, "Garrett - it looks like a lot of new software is going to
be able to export this way - that would mean we would have a limited span of
things that had to be approached a different way."
What about original experiences?
][mez][ says, "Even notions of _original work_ sems slightly antiquated..how
can u state that a work is original when u have no actual control over the end
viewing mechanism? [i'm talking web/net based works here]...."
Rob_Wittig says, "Mez, what do you think of videotaping/filming ephemeral
experiences the way music/performance is documented . . . not everything, but
enough to give THAT version (that documentary film sorta version) of some of
][mez][ says, "Rob i like the idea, but y m_ulate a cinematic model when
documenting? i'd prefer a more net_based approach, but yes, that is wot i'm
getting at, more focus on the process, the under_versions, not the craft-capitalistically
d.fine end/finished work..."
Rob_Wittig says, "Good point mezmezmez . . . yeah, not necessarily traditional
"Rockumentary" but something of the kind . . . to give posterity a
taste/flavor of the scene"
Rob_Kendall says, "All musical compositions are basically nothing but a
set of instructions for the performer about how to recreate the musical experience"
Margie says, "Sue - we can design grids that allow a work to be one kind
of content and a different kind of tech, etc. Complicated, but that is what
PAD has been working toward."
Sue says, "Margie - grids - yes!"
Deena senses Sue and Margie will brainstorm over grids
Actions to archive
Deena says, "What have other people done to archive works?"
Julianne admits she has kept old computers so some of her nonfiction can still
be played / demo'd to clients
][mez][ fliks her wurks in2 email archival tale-spins
Deena keeps old computers for Marble Springs, tries to keep versions
of old software for Samplers, and now prints out on paper the way her works
Third call for last comments
Deena says, "Hi folks, the clock is saying time for last comments, but
the bar is open for as long as we want. What major points do you want to share
and get into the archive?"
nm looks around. The bar?
Deena hands out rounds of Guinness to supplement the wine and clarets earlier.
Sustainable code reminder
Rob_Kendall says, "Well, the most practical, immediate thing we can do
is to encourage writers to use open-source software when possible, to structure
their code carefully, and to comment it well. Also, make sure your work is cataloged
somewhere like the Electronic Literature Directory."
][mez][ says, "Yup rob. seems much more in keeping with *y* we'd want 2
archive wurks in the 1st place...."
Deena says, "We have covered the questions I had --mostly what artists
can do to preserve works"
Julianne reminds Deena to call her cell phone so Julianne can come meet her
later (sorry about this note for materiality folks)
Sue says, "I have to go now but many thanks - this has been very interesting"
Sue thanks everyone and waves farewell -- yes, brainstorming over grids is good!
Julianne waves farewell to Sue
Garrett_Lynch says, "Thanks for the interesting conversation guys, it was
Garrett_Lynch says, ":)"
nm says, "I think I shall be going also. Deena, thanks much for leading
Thank our guests
Deena says, "A big round of applause for our guests Mary Nick and Rob"
nm says, "Good talking with all of you"
Margie says, "Thanks to all of you for a spirited discussion!"
Julianne claps too, for guests and hosts and trAce and ELO and...
Deena says, "Great to talk with you all and we will edit and archive the
chat so we can keep these ideas going!"
nm has disconnected.
Mary_Cavill says, "Great to be here thanks for inviting me"
Mary_Cavill says, "These ideas will definitely spark more discussions!"
Rob_Kendall says, "Thanks, everyone. Bye"
Margie says, "Clapping wildly"
Mez with gloves on
][mez][ says, "Make sure u take out my typos deena...i've been
typing with gloves on here:) can't afford a heater and its minus something here:)"
Mary_Cavill says, "Thanks everyone, bye"
simon has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove simon.
Margie says, "Mez, haha!"
][mez][ says, ":)"
Rob_Wittig says, "Thanks RobK!"
][mez][ says, "I'm purrpertually frozen:)"
Helen sends warm thoughts
Julianne also sends warm thoughts to [mez]winter
][mez][ says, "Thx all."
Margie says, "Looking forward to further discussion - please e-mail me
or rob or nick with questions! bye thanks"
Garrett_Lynch says, "I'm off then, keep us posted as regards to the next
chat via lists and i'll be sure to post it through netartreview as well"
Deena says, "Thanks to all for coming!"
Rob_Wittig says, "Bye mezmezmez!"
Rob_Kendall says, "Keep warm, Mez. Bye"
Deena says, "Our next chat will be August 17 on the Writers workshop"
Deena says, "Get details on the website"
The housekeeper arrives to remove Rob_Wittig, Margie,Rob_Kendall, Garrett_Lynch,
][mez][ watches chat.turrs dropping like flies
Deena says, "Hey Mez, sorry I missed you in Sydney"
][mez][ hmm. who's left?
][mez][ says, "Yeah that was my fault really"
Mary_Cavill has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove
][mez][ says, "So i should be saying sorry:)"
Helen says, "So Mary's typing by candlelight and mez freezing 0 it's
somewhat surreal cyberspace"
Deena says, "This is a surreal space! Poor mez is freezing? It is nice
and warm in Albany"
The housekeeper arrives to cart Sue off to bed.
][mez][ says, "It stis weird. but i'm coping."
][mez][ says, "At least the cold keeps me clear. clarity isn't
][mez][ says, "Mary, how cum ur using a cndle btw?"
][mez][ says, "Eek"
The housekeeper arrives to cart nm off to bed.
Helen says, "Ok, must go sleep irl. Let me know if you need help
][mez][ says, "Have 4gotten how 2 page?"
][mez][ says, "Nite helen"
Deena says, "Thanks Helen for the chat! Looking forward to HT. I will
call you with what we need to do for the pub"
Deena says, "Mez, type page Deena "Message"
Helen says, "Yeah, we need more people for the Hypertext workshop...."
Helen says, ""Yawn"
Helen says, "Bye"
Deena says, "Yeah, we can at least get a message out to the folks I identified
on the boards, and then we will get it through the
Deena says, "Good night Helen"
Helen mounts her Nimbus 2000 and takes off for home
][mez][ says, "Page deena test"
][mez][ says, "Yikes"
Helen arrives, like a train from Platform 9 and three-quarters
][mez][ says, "Eheh"
Helen drops dene's slides.
][mez][ says, "My brain must b freezing as well:)"
Helen says, ""Whoops, forgot to leave the paperwork..."
Helen has disconnected.
Deena hands Mez a bouquet of flowers for her chilly apartment and
promises to email.
Deena says, "Have fun all, I will get going now. :)"
The housekeeper arrives to cart Helen off to bed.
Deena has disconnected.
][mez][ says, "I think we r the only ones left j"
][mez][ says, "I'm actually living in goulburn natm, not sydney"
][mez][ says, "Hello?"
Julianne says, "Hello"
][mez][ says, "Sorry lag"
Julianne says, "Yes deena said you were in goulburn, is that where the
giant merino is?"
][mez][ says, "Sure my msg is email@example.com"
][mez][ says, "Ehehehheehh yus"
][mez][ says, "How the hell did u kno that???"
Julianne says, "My girlfriend says I may want to visit all the Giant
][mez][ says, "Heh. yeah. the worst 1 is the giant potato in Robertson.
they r try 2 *sell* it:)"
Julianne says, "I say she may be wrong, but we're going to do the
merino first, that's for sure! Is on the way to Canberra (I love the science
museum, nat'l museum - I know, v corporate, but still amazing)"
Julianne says, "Re the giant potato - you stun me -"
][mez][ says, "Tho the giant prawn is preddy lame as well:)"
Julianne says, "How is your art going?"
][mez][ says, "Well if u visit the giant M then make sure u contact me
first and i'll join u"
Julianne pulls a bag over head - had NO IDEA there was a giant prawn!
][mez][ says, "Hmm, art is ok, but am a bit restricted atm both living
wise and creatively....need to find a job so as to get some new
][mez][ says, "Heh"
Julianne says, "Just wanted to say, I want to understand your point better,
about choosing to do stuff that is not "Safe and
oldstylearchiveable" - we can talk about that when we visit the merino"
][mez][ says, "Ooh there's giant pineapples etc as well:)"
Julianne wishes you a job that is lots of money and few hours!
][mez][ says, "Okie, sure:)"
][mez][ says, "Thx:)"
][mez][ says, "I'm finding out that i'm virtually unemployable, which
Julianne says, "Yes as we used to say at college, "You can't eat
prestige" - I mean even being a world renowned net.artist - one also needs
heat and food"
][mez][ says, "Yup"
The housekeeper arrives to cart Deena off to bed.
][mez][ says, "Heat especially"
Julianne says, "THAT IS TOTALLY WEIRD. Sounds frustrating!"
][mez][ says, "I'm gonna get frozbite on my nose if i can't get some honey
2 run a heater soon:)"
][mez][ says, "Yup, tiz"
][mez][ says, "Ah well i'll b fine."
][mez][ says, "Anyway, wot u gonna b doing in syd?"
Julianne says, "OK we'll talk about this more - sends warm thoughts. Ta
][mez][ says, "Okie sure"
][mez][ says, "Take care:)"
Julianne waves farewell - wishes you a good breakfast -
Julianne has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove Julianne.
][mez][ has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove ][mez][.
fish_and_water arrives from trAce
fish_and_water says, "The slides are interesting..."
Laura-G arrives from The Frame Flame
Laura-G says, "Hello""
fish_and_water has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove fish_and_water.
Laura-G has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to cart Laura-G off to bed.
sandyb goes home.
sandyb arrives from trAce
sandyb has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove sandyb.
trAcELO arrives in a choral suite.
-- End log: Monday, June 16, 2003 8:14:24 pm CDT