[ISEA2020] Paper: Devon Mordell — Preservation Begins at Creation: Integrating an Embedded Digital Archivist Within an Academic Media Art Program


Summit on New Media Art Archiving

Keywords: Digital preservation, preservation of media art, media art conservation, archiving digital art, embedded librarianship, embedded digital archivist

One of the key insights from the InterPARES project investigating the preservation of electronic records was the observa-tion that preservation begins at (record) creation. While the numerous challenges of preserving media art are documented to some extent, the literature largely reflects a conservation paradigm wherein actions are taken to repair damaged works. The proposal to integrate an embedded digital archivist within an academic media art program instead adopts a preservation lens with the intent of reducing or preventing the degradation of media art by equipping students with digital preservation skills early on in their artistic career.

  • Devon Mordell, Educational Developer, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. She was the Digital Scholarship and Archiving Librarian at the University of Windsor, and a settler living and working on the traditional territories of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, which includes the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Pota-watomi. She initially trained as a media artist but was later drawn to the archival profession by the issues and challenges surrounding the preservation of digital artworks. Her research draws from critical data and algorithm studies to extend and contribute to archival thinking in the digital age.

Full text [PDF] p. 696-698