Avditorij MG

Trajnostna digitalna hramba slovenske novomedijske umetnosti

Sustainable Digital Preservation of the Slovenian New Media Art (temeljni raziskovalni projekt / Basic Research Project, ARRS, J7-3158, 1. 11. 2021–31. 10. 2024)

English translation >>

“Internal Server Error.” “Not Found.” “Bad Request.” Danes takšna sporočila o napakah običajno vrnejo strežniki ob zahtevi za dostop do medijske umetnosti, ki so jo nekoč vsebovali. Več kot pol stoletja digitalne umetnosti in oblikovanja vsak dan ponikne v temo in izgine za mejo nečitljivih skriptov in programja. Vrsta medijske umetnosti, ki je nastala v računalnikih, poznana kot „born digital“, se ne stara dobro. Pa vendar je bila medijska umetnost kljub svoji krhkosti in minljivosti dolgo časa sinonim za prihodnost. Ko so se v šestdesetih letih pojavili osebni računalniki, so se slikarji, grafični oblikovalci, umetniki performansa, romanopisci in pesniki navduševali nad njihovim visokotehnološkim, futurističnim, “znanstveno fantastičnim” imaginarnim. V tej luči so nekateri videli padec človeštva, drugi pa so si svet predstavljali kot prerojen. Toda nihče ni dvomil o njihovi novosti in si jih ni predstavljal zunaj sedanjega trenutka. Danes je več generacij umetnikov digitalnih medijev očitno del preteklosti. Medijska umetnost ostaja sinonim za “novo” in “nastajajočo”, zato naraščajoči obseg izgube ni ozaveščen. Situacija pa je kritična.

Zdaj, ko orodja za digitalne telekonference prežemajo naše delo in prosti čas, je ključnega pomena, da ne pozabimo, kako smo prišli sem, kako se je tiho odvijala komunikacijska revolucija. Projekt bo obravnaval izgubo digitalne kulturne dediščine in zagovarjal njeno ovrednotenje ter nato predlagal model za njeno ohranitev. Naše izhodišče je izjemno dobro razvito področje novomedijskih umetnosti v Sloveniji, zlasti zgodnji poskusi ustvarjalnega združevanja umetniških in inženirskih pristopov. Od Edvarda Zajca v šestdesetih, do net.arta v devetdesetih, kamor sodi delo Vuka Ćosića, do umetniške uporabe telekomunikacij v Makrolabu Marka Peljhana in najmlajših generacij medijskih umetnic in umetnikov, ki osvajajo mednarodne nagrade na najbolj prestižnih festivalih.

Cilji projekta so.

  • (G1) Predstaviti (slovensko) novomedijsko umetnost kot bogat vir teoretičnih pristopov in metod na področjih (digitalne) humanistike.
  • (G2) Pregledati in preučiti pretekle pobude za ohranitev del novomedijskih umetnikov v Sloveniji, zlasti na primeru zgodnje medijske umetnosti Sreča Dragana in njene rekonstrukcije za razstave v Moderni galeriji v Ljubljani.
  • (G3) Razviti model digitalne kulturne dediščine za dolgoročno ohranjanje izvorno digitalnih kulturnih artefaktov.
  • (G4) Poudariti novomedijsko pismenost kot orodje v boju proti neenakostim, izkoriščanju in izključevanju na podlagi IKT (prim. 16. trajnostni razvojni cilj Združenih narodov: Spodbujanje pravičnih, miroljubnih in odprtih družb).
  • (G5) Zagotoviti smernice za urejanje avtorskih pravic za ustanove kulturne dediščine, ki želijo ohranjati in dajati na razpolago novomedijsko umetnost, ki jo imajo v lasti.

Naslov projekta povezuje cilje.

  • Trajnostno arhiviranje. → G3, G5
  • Praksa digitalnega varovanja in predstavljanja. → G3
  • Ohranjanje materialne in nematerialne kulturne dediščine v najširšem pomenu. → G3, G4
  • Obravnavana izvorno digitalna dela izhajajo iz slovenskega konteksta. → G1, G2
  • Preprečiti izgubo novomedijskih predmetov in praks. → G3
  • Umetniška ustvarjalnost in eksperimentiranje kot vir spoznanj za različna kulturna področja. → G1, G4

Načrt dela v projektu sestavljata dva osrednja delovna paketa.

  1. Izdelava modela novomedijskega predmeta z vidika interdisciplinarne medijske teorije, digitalnih formatov shranjevanja in standardov, dostopa do arhiviranih entitet prek vmesnikov, pravne podlage in upravljanja avtorskih pravic za digitalizacijo in dajanje na voljo.
  2. Ohranjanje slovenske umetnosti novih medijev – pilotne študije: retrospektivna razstava Prostor, vržen iz tira (2016–2017) avtorja Sreča Dragana; ohranitev del drugega izbranega avtorja ali skupine. Ob pilotnih študijah bo projekt povzel smernice za ohranjanje izvorno digitalne umetnosti.

Pomen za razvoj znanosti oziroma stroke

Cilj tega raziskovalnega predloga je pregledati in orisati slovensko kulturno dediščino, ki je že izvorno digitalna. Začenjamo na področju umetnosti in njenih eksperimentalnih pristopov do računalniških komunikacijskih tehnologij. Ugotavljamo, da je to področje ustvarjalnosti izjemno dobro razvito. Poleg pregleda in ovrednotenja novomedijskih umetnosti v slovenskem kontekstu bi radi vzpostavili načrt za ohranjanje digitalne kulturne dediščine, hkrati pa upoštevali tudi njegovo uporabnost za ohranjanje dediščine na drugih področjih družbe, ki se preoblikujejo z digitalizacijo in vseprisotnostjo računalnika.

Pregled trenutnih raziskav pokaže, da obstoječi projekti niso rešili temeljnega vprašanja preučevanja digitalnih komunikacijskih medijev, zlasti umetnosti novih medijev. Problem izhaja iz težav pri arhiviranju projektov, ki so včasih radikalno odprti, odvisni od komercialnih računalniških platform in podatkovnih tokov v času nastanka. Različne discipline, ki sodelujejo pri ohranjanju in interpretaciji umetnosti novih medijev, in njihovi medsebojni odnosi zapletajo vprašanje, kar je tudi izhodišče našega projekta. Verjamemo, da mora danes – v okviru digitalno humanističnega posega v humanistično tradicijo – preučevanje pojavov izhajati iz zbirke gradiva, arhiva, ki je nato temelj za raziskavo. Teoretični pristopi k medijski umetnosti bodo združeni s študijem literature, umetnostne zgodovine in drugimi humanističnimi pristopi, pa tudi s področji informatike in komunikologije ter raziskavami uporabniških vmesnikov. Za trajnostno naravnanost predlaganega modela za ohranjanje digitalne kulturne dediščine in njenega dajanja na voljo javnosti bodo ključnega pomena tudi preučitve pravnih vidikov.

Čeprav so slovenski raziskovalci pomembno prispevali k teoriji novih medijev, sistematičnega študija umetnosti novih medijev v Sloveniji še vedno ni. Projekt bi bil podlaga za prihodnje poglobljene zgodovinske pristope k slovenski novomedijski umetnosti in njeni vpetosti v mednarodne okvire. Projekt bi omogočil vključevanje digitalnih del v raziskave o literarni in umetnostni zgodovini ter v učbenike, ki se uporabljajo v izobraževanju. Rezultati predlagane raziskave bi imeli znaten vpliv na področjih, kjer je potrebna zgodovinska perspektiva razvoja digitalnih komunikacijskih tehnologij. Implicitno razumevanje tehnološke kulture iz umetniških del novih medijev je lahko uporabno za humanistično metodologijo in raziskave ter za kritično razumevanje kulture po informacijski revoluciji.


(English translation) <<

Sustainable Digital Preservation of the Slovenian New Media Art

“Internal Server Error.” “Not Found.” “Bad Request.” Today, error messages like these are often returned by servers following a request to access the media art they once hosted. Over half a century of digital art and design continues to go dark everyday, receding into a horizon line of illegible scripts and software programs. The kind of media art that originated on computers, often called “born-digital,” has not aged well. And yet, despite its vulnerability to the passage of time, media art was once synonymous with the future. When personal computing became possible in the 1960s, painters, graphic designers, performance artists, novelists and poets alike converged on its high-tech, futurist, “science fiction” imaginary. In its light, some saw humankind as lost, others imagined the world as renewed. But no one questioned its novelty or imagined it outside the present moment. Today, several generations of work by digital media artists are firmly in the past. Media art remains synonymous with “new” and “emergent,” the growing vastness of the loss consequently going unacknowledged. The situation is critical.

Now, when the digital teleconferencing tools are taking over our jobs and our free time, it is of crucial importance not to forget how we got here and how the communication revolution quietly unfolded. Perhaps the most eloquent argument for the project can be discovered directly in the objects of new media art that can be found in Slovenia, which are remarkably prescient. From Edvard Zajec in the sixties through the net.artists such as Vuk Ćosić of the nineties, the artistic reuse of telecommunication technologies in Makrolab by Marko Peljhan and the youngest generations of media artists who have won international prizes at the most renowned festivals, artists have been creatively combining art with engineering for several generations. This project will address the loss of this digital cultural heritage by assessing its value and then proposing a model for its preservation.

The goals of the project are:

  • (G1) To assess (Slovenian) new media art as a rich source of theoretical approaches and methods in the various domains of the (digital) humanities.
  • (G2) To acknowledge and study past initiatives to preserve by new media artists in Slovenia, particularly the case of Srečo Dragan’s early media art and its reconstruction for exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.
  • (G3) To develop and test a model of digital cultural heritage for purposes of the long-term preservation of born-digital cultural artefacts.
  • (G4) To acknowledge new media literacy as a tool in the fight against ICT-based inequalities, exploitations, and exclusions (cf. United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies).
  • (G5) To provide guidelines for the copyright right clearance necessary to cultural heritage institutions that want to preserve and make available the new media art that they own.
  • Sustainable archiving. → G3, G5
  • Digital safeguarding and transmission practices. → G3
  • Preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the widest sense. → G3, G4
  • To locate born-digital objects in the Slovenian context. → G1, G2
  • To prevent the loss of new-media artefacts and practices. → G3
  • To promote artistic creativity and experimentation as a source for various cultural domains. → G1, G4

The project work plan consists of two core work packages.

  1. The creation of a model of a new media object from the point of view of interdisciplinary media theory, digital storage formats and standards, access to the archived entities through interfaces; legal and copyright management for purposes of digitalization and making work accessible.
  2. Devising preservation practices for Slovene new media art through pilot studies such as Srečo Dragan’s work on his retrospective exhibition Space is Out of Joint (2016–2017) and that of another author or group. Following the pilot studies, the project will summarize and disseminate the guidelines for the preservation of born-digital art.

Relevance to the development of science or a scientific field

The objective of this research proposal is to asses Slovenian born-digital heritage in the domain of new media art and outline its experimental approaches to computer-based communication platforms. We argue that while new media art is neglected by Slovenian scholars, it is exceptionally well developed as an area of creativity. In addition to the survey and evaluation of the new-media art in the Slovenian context, we would like to establish a roadmap for the preservation of digital cultural heritage starting with material in the art domain, but also then seeking to apply it to other domains of society that are currently undergoing transformation on account of digitalisation and ubiquitous computing.

There is ample evidence provided by current research to suggest that existing projects have not yet resolved certain fundamental issues pertaining to digital communication media in general and new
media art in particular. By now, scholars throughout the digital humanities generally agree that critical and historical study of given phenomena must address the collection or archive in which objects are held and that archive studies subsequently serve as a foundation for humanities research. But as digital entities are oftentimes radically open, dependant on commercial computing platforms and
data-streams at the time of production, certain objects more than others are difficult to store and preserve. We begin our project with the realization that, in order to preserve and interpret new media
art and its interrelationships, different disciplines must be involved. In this project, the theoretical approach to media art will be combined with the study of literature, art history and other humanities disciplines, and it will also include informatics, communication studies, and user interface studies. Crucially, also, to ensure the viability of the model that it will propose for the preservation and dissemination of the digital cultural heritage, it will also scrutinize the legal aspects of the issue at hand.

Although Slovenian researchers have contributed in significant fashion to new media theory, a systematic study of the new media art in Slovenia has yet to be written. The project would constitute
a foundation for future in-depth historical approaches to Slovenian new media art in the international context. It would aim to facilitate the inclusion of digital work in education, most significantly, in
literary and art history surveys and the textbooks. We believe that the historical perspective the project would provide on the development of digital communication technologies would be needed on multiple fronts and that the understanding of technology-based culture that new media artwork affords
can be of benefit to humanist studies and the critical understanding of the culture after the information revolution.

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