June 15, 2003
Discussion on archiving [new media] outside of institutions: what private folks can do to preserve our creative e-legacy.

What are 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 and art?

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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.

Robert Kendall 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 Review, Eastgate 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 Verbum, Winchester's 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 of Pennsylvania.


-- Start log: Sunday, June 15, 2003 12:48:12 pm CDT

Getting started

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!"
Mary_Cavill smiles

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!"

Power outage

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!"

Tasty appetizers
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 Archiving "
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)

Power outages
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?"
runran arrives.
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 but frightening."
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 meal!"
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 archiving noteboard"

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 enjoy?"
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 1990."
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 between links

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 electronic author"
Julianne says, "'Hi Rob' (like at an AA meeting)"
Deena hands Rob the heavy dictionary of terms for the electronic author/hypertexter/ net artist/netwurker

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 institution."
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 be redundant...)
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.

Industry standards
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 W. says."
Garrett_Lynch says, "Yes I agree both but not to the extent where it becomes subjective"
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. Long story."
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 Mac Classic..."
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!"

About intentionality

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 **& he wanted."
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)"

Reasonable expectations:
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, Mindwheel, Afternoon, Patchwork 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 reasonably authentic"
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 Rob_K"
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 accurate."

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 in Java?"
Julianne thinks: Dan Bricklin's web site (bricklin.com) has links to an original Visicalc emulator...
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 faults?"
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 standards.
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 suggest this)?"
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 available"
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 Marble 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 sources
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 create, Margie?"

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 artbase etc"
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"

Reader instructions--meta-information
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 and ephemerality"
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 collection."
Deena says, "Hmmm... could we identify specific standards for preserving electronic literature?"

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 proceedings etc?
Sue says, "Julianne, the conference is online at ELO"
Deena says, "ELO and trAce can do a lot to disseminate standards for authors to use"
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 real possibilities"
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!"
][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

Standards revisited

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 works?"

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 emulators

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 about it"
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 to dust"

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 on closely."
][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 would help"
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 course"
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.

Standards recoloured
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 as well.."

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 material.
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.

Browser ranges
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 all about"
Deena says, "Good point Rob K. We are all having to work with a variety of interpretations"
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 certain works."
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"

Cached contexts
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

Nick's summary
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 keyboard!) "

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 days?"
"][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 of 84-85"
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
London recently"
Rob_Wittig says, "25 cents a story

Metadata and gallary catalogues
simon arrives.
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, etc."
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 anyway
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 the original?"

Helen says, "Garrett not if the metadata is written as part of the work, surely?"
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?"
Helen listens
][mez][ says, "Their purpose, political function, historical baggage-inducing nature...its so reflecting a cartesian 3D dynamic, preservation of the static work etc..."

][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 dependencies, etc"

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 be archived"
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 so well"
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 those experiences?"
][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 should be...

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 productive"
Garrett_Lynch says, ":)"
nm says, "I think I shall be going also. Deena, thanks much for leading the chat"

Thank our guests

Deena says, "A big round of applause for our guests Mary Nick and Rob"
Deena claps.
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...
Helen claps.
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!"
Garrett_Lynch clap
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, Mary_Cavill..

][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"
Julianne agrees
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
editing Deena"
][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 mezbreeze@hotmail.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
equipment etc"
][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
is weird"
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"
Julianne understands
][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
for now"
][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 arrives.
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

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