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Preservation and Access to Born-digital Culture

30 October - 31 October 2015
Preservation and Access to Born-digital Culture

International symposium

In the continuation of their collaborative program on Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age which started beginning of 2015, iMAL and Packed organise the first international symposium in Brussels on the issues of preservation of born-digital art and culture and their public access.

In the last decade, digital technologies have invaded on a global scale all realms of our daily life, both private and professional.
 A large part of today's cultural and artistic creations are produced with digital technologies, using them as their native medium of expression as well as their medium of distribution on which the users' experience strongly relies. 
Born-digital culture is expanding as fast as the progress and availability of digital technologies and infrastructures, and most probably will soon represent the vast majority of all contemporary cultural production. At the same time its fragility is increasing proportionally to the accelerated pace of technological innovations and its obsolescence, with new issues - or highly amplified old issues - appearing that are specific to its digital nature such as acquisition policies, software and hardware obsolescence, preservation workflows, rights management, re-interpretation,...

Facing this rising and overwhelming wave of digital artefacts that they need to archive, preserve and give access to, facing this Digital Dark Age, artistic and cultural institutions are slowly reacting and becoming aware of the new problems to solve. They require new tools and new strategies that can only be the result of substantial R&D effort in preservation methodologies and technologies as well as a profound analysis of the roles of memory institutions and of the way the challenges posed by the long-term availability of born-digital content are addressed.

This symposium proposes to share with professionals from the broad cultural and artistic sector the views, practice, vision and experience of some of the most advanced professionals working in the fields of conservation and access to digital culture. During these two days, state-of-the-art methodologies and technologies will be presented and discussed. 

The symposium offers a unique panel of thinkers and doers, archivists, curators, media theorists & artists, conservators and researchers from Europe and the US working in universities, research labs, art organisations and heritage institutions.

With: Erkki Huhtamo (FI, UCLA), Baruch Gottlieb & Philipp Tögel (DE, Vilem Flusser Archive), Emmanuel Guez (FR, pamal.org), Gaby Wijers (NL, Lima), Valérie Perrin (FR, Espace Gantner), Jon Ippolito (US, re-collection), Ben Fino-Radin (US, MoMA), John Langdon & Anna Henry (UK, Tate Modern), Céline Thomas & Chu Yin Chen (FR, BnF - Univ.Paris 8), Geoffrey Brown (US, indiana.edu), Clarisse Bardiot (FR/BE,rekall.fr), Olia Lialina (DE), Dragan Espenschied (US/DE, Rhizome.org), Klaus Rechert (DE, Univ.Freiburg - bwFLA), Jason Scott (US, Internet Arcade - archive.org).

Video archive
Workshop: Artists and Art Organisations Digital Archives

Thursday 29 October, 10:00 – 17:00
Registration and detailled programme on Packed.be

Symposium: Preservation and Access to Born-digital Culture

Friday 30 & Saturday 31 October
Detailed programme, speakers & abstracts

Practical Info

Public Symposium

Friday, 30 October, 09:00 - 18:00
Saturday, 31 October, 09:00 - 17:00

Registration is closed...

The symposium is preceded on the 29th of October by a workshop at iMAL about Artists and Art Organisations Digital Archives produced by Packed. Details  here.

Free entrance!

Language: mostly English

Location: iMAL
Quai des Charbonnages 30 Koolmijnenkaai
1080 Brussels

Live broadcast on Youtube
Check our channel!

Media Gallery

Header picture by Petter Duvander (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Produced by iMAL in collaboration with Packed and the support of Festival des Arts Numériques and Wallonie-Bruxelles International.

Header photo by Petter Duvander (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Floppy icon by Julien Deveaux from the Noun Project