La Société Anonyme: The SKOR Codex
Published on June 26th, 2012
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The collective Société Anonyme created Codex, a printed book that will be sent to different locations around the world in 2012. The book contains binary encoded texts and selected images that portray SKOR’s activities and diverse culture, and is intended for any intelligent terrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may discover it in the future.
It is about two decades since the World Wide Web started, and enough time has passed to see the first signs of wear and tear.
Whereas the Web was initially considered to be a new archive, a repository for all our information, it has become increasingly clear that there is already a tangible historical vacuum, especially when looking for anything dating from the early days of the Web. Besides the obvious software obsolescence and other technical changes that influence the archival capacities of the Web, there also seems to be another issue at play. In essence, given enough time and money, it would be possible to save and ‘properly’ archive all online material and even to restore or recover data that is lost. Nevertheless, oftentimes the different approaches are used: ‘important’ information and documents are transferred to other more ‘stable’ or trusted media, in particular paper. Paper has proven its sustainability over decades and even centuries. Acid-free paper and special printing processes guarantee an even longer lifetime, creating analogue records that far outlive the digital.
This the reason why, when thinking of a way to preserve SKOR’s online legacy, the Société Anonyme collective created The SKOR Codex, a printed book that will be sent to different locations around the world in 2012. The book contains binary encoded texts and selected images that portray SKOR’s activities and diverse culture, and is intended for any intelligent terrestrial life form, or for humans who may discover it in the future.
Transformed from magnetic transitions on a disk into ink on paper, the files are now safe from bitrot, software decay and hardware failure, possibly for centuries. Instructions in a symbolic language explain the origin of the book and explain how the content is to be decoded. The SKOR Codex guarantees that the binary code can easily be scanned at any time – ensuring that SKOR’s online legacy will be available to future archivists and archaeologists. La Société Anonyme noted that ‘the package will be encountered and the book decoded only if there are advanced civilizations inhabiting the planet in the distant future. However, launching this “bottle” into the cosmic “ocean”, says something very hopeful about art on this planet. Thus, this record is best seen as a time capsule and a statement, rather than an attempt to preserve SKOR for future art historians.
More information about the content and development of the process here.La Société Anonyme is an artist’s collective born from the ashes of the Dutch 2013 funding cuts to the arts. An avant-garde art collective with a corporate twist après la lettre, La Société Anonyme launches its first product in July 2012: The SKOR Codex, a book preserving the legacy of one of the Netherlands’ perishing art organisations for the distant future. Adopting an experimental model of artistic corporation, La Société Anonyme responds to the commodification of culture by searching for alternative ways to make, promote and sustain art. La Société Anonyme is represented by Dušan Barok, Danny van der Kleij, Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk.
– See more at: http://www.skor.nl/eng/site/item/societe-anonyme-skor-codex#sthash.TIN9nLWZ.dpuf
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