CD-ROM Hackathon by Ben Fino-Radin

Published on Oct 15, 2012


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TOOLS SERIES: CD-ROM Hackathon

by Ben Fino-Radin (US)

Wednesday 12 & Thursday 13 December 2012
Time: 11:00 – 17:00
Location: Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Admission: 15,00 euro for two days, including lunch/coffee/tea.

This hands-on workshop will present attendees with strategies for capturing and preserving the contents of CD-ROMs, and offer the skills and knowledge necessary for emulating obsolete hardware and operating systems in order to run, document, and interact with these materials.

The CD-ROM is a medium that occupies a particularly unique moment in the history of technology and artistic production. In the mid-90’s  – the world wide web as a platform was not yet capable of providing the rich, immersive, multimedia experience that artists desired. Simultaneously, this period witnessed the proliferation of personal computers that came equipped with CD-r drives, causing CD-ROM art to flourish as a form of creation and distribution. Artists created very diverse works, ranging from virtual spaces to game-like experiments, interactive music environments to literature and hypertext presentations. Within an individual practice CD-ROMs often have a very special place: sometimes they are a unique interactive ‘exception’ in the career of the artist (Laurie Anderson, Michael Snow), other times they are part of a long series of works in different media (JODI, Antoni Muntadas).

These works face significant threats in terms of longevity and permanent access. The CD medium itself, especially artist-produced CD-Rs, is unstable, often not standing the test of time. Furthermore, the medium as a physical carrier is in the early stages of obsolescence – in the near future, more and more personal computers do not come equipped with optical media drives. Finally, the software contained on the media is often completely obsolete and will not function on contemporary operating systems.

About Ben Fino-Radin

Ben Fino-Radin is a New York-based archivist, researcher, media archeologist. As Digital Conservator for Rhizome at the New Museum, he leads the preservation and curation of the ArtBase, one of the oldest and most comprehensive collections of born-digital works of art. In addition to his role at Rhizome, Fino-Radin recently led a digital preservation effort at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has served in an advisory capacity to the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the Moving Image. His writing has appeared on The Creators Project, the forthcoming volume of Electronic Media Review, as well as a forthcoming Digital Art reader edited by Christiane Paul.

BE PART OF HISTORY IN THE MAKING!

Attendees should come equipped with a Macintosh, Linux, or Windows laptop with at least a 2Ghz processor, 2Gb of RAM, and 10Gb free hard drive space. Software will be provided.

Places are limited, send a short motivation of max 300 words before 22 November to carmin [at] baltanlaboratories [dot] org to ensure your placement!


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