[ISEA2023] Workshop: Lee Tusman — Strategic Preservation of Online Communities

Workshop Statement

Artist-run spaces, also called DIY Spaces or Alternative Spaces are creative communities operating on the margins of cultural institutions. They exist in a precarious space, affected by the economy, pandemic, and gentrification.

While artist-run communities of pre-internet eras are documented through physical media such as photographic prints, video, and publications, recent communities are primarily promoted and documented online. This very nature makes it hard to preserve their activities. As platforms alter their business models, websites go down, and browsers change their settings and standards over time, the activities and exhibits of artist-run spaces are in danger of disappearing forever.

Archiving Artist-Run Spaces is a project to preserve these communities in the era of born-digital media, providing tools, models for preservation and partnerships with longstanding archives invested in digital preservation. The project consists of created digital archives and a toolkit for artist-run organizations providing information, training, tools and other resources.

This project proposes and demonstrates a model of digitally archiving artist-run spaces, created with nascent concepts and practices of permacomputation to build modular, resilient, duplicated and networked archives both for the micro communities on their own as well as for a general public, artists, researchers and historians.

  • Lee Tusman (US) is a NYC-based artist, educator, programmer and organizer applying his experience in collectives and DIY community to the creation of, aesthetics, and open-source distribution methods of digital culture to his practice. He works in code, collage, sound and text to produce installations with interactive media and simulations. His work is also presented as experimental games, micro-power radio stations, bots, websites and sound art. His work has been shown at museums, galleries, artist-run spaces and virtual environments. Tusman received his MFA in Design Media Arts at UCLA and a BA in Sociology at Brandeis University. He is an organizer at Babycastles art space, a co-founder of Processing Community Day NYC, and host of the podcast Artists and Hackers, a podcast on art, code and community. Tusman is Assistant Professor of New Media and Computer Science at the State University of New York, Purchase College. https://leetusman.com