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Significance & Authenticity: A Briefing, Digital Preservation Coalition, DPC, 15 December 2017

Significance & Authenticity: A Briefing, Digital Preservation Coalition, DPC, 15 December 2017

Live notes, so an incomplete, partial record of what actually happened.

Tags: dpc_authentic

My asides in {}

Stream/Deck: http://dpconline.org/events/sigauthbd


## Talks

10:40 Definitions of Authenticity from the Digital Preservation Community by Sharon McMeekin (DPC)

Definitions: It is what is purports to be .. intention and experience of an object .. significant for whom .. understanding the change an object has overgone was part of its authenticity

Authenticity part of the bigger trustworthiness picture .. provenance works differently for digital objects {why?}.

There is already too many metadata fields, we don't want to add loads more to take into account authenticity via digital preservation .. too procedural, too simplistic? eg, integrity checking .. is hashing still reliable enough for the courtroom? (probably yes, but as Rosenthal notes, this might be subject to change).

What is the original? Fetishisation of the original object pulled through into digital preservation where it doesn't really work {do archivists / DPC folks read things like Walter Benjamin's "Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"? https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm}

How do we bring the experience of digital objects into preservation of them? Emulation is a version of that.

11:00 Significance & Authenticity of Digital Art by Patricia Falcao & Tom Ensom (Tate)

I do art history. I do digital archives. This talk neatly brings these often assumed to be disconnected activities together. #dpc_authentic pic.twitter.com/V6ie5Baiou

— James Baker (@j_w_baker) December 15, 2017

TIme-based media art: one video, one software based installation .. working mostly with living artists

Video example: provenance at Tate starts with a piece of paper ('Certificate of Work') that states that the artist made the work .. use checksums and Bagit to copy video/audio files over that constitute the artwork, but playback also required for integrity (including equipment) .. layout/projection part of the authenticity of multimedia art (eg, multi-channel media art)

Software example: Mendoza (2007), Brutalism .. sculpture installation that searches for the word 'Brutalism' (online, via Google) and prints out fragments of text that fall from the installation onto the floor .. forensic acquisition from computer hard drive, acquisition of source code and materials, capturing development of the software on Git (so working with the artist) .. performance integrity: each time the performance happens there is something to capture (a recipe) to re-perform .. reuse requirements analysis to preserve work in long term .. work will need to change through time if the Tate is to keep showing it (both physical installation and software/hardware setup) .. artistic context + provenance + bit integrity + performance integrity + installation parameters = key for authenticity

Tate working with what they call "Performance Integrity", gathering all the components required to ensure the ability to repeat the performance of the artwork. The programme running behind it etc. may change over time but the performance will be the same #dpc_authentic

— Sharon McMeekin (@SharonMcMeekin) December 15, 2017

#dpc_authentic Fascinating talk from @tom_ensom on retaining and remaking the integrity of software based art over time. pic.twitter.com/o1BAfoNfFX

— James Baker (@j_w_baker) December 15, 2017

Report: ‘Software-based art’ and the ‘Lives of digital things’s

#dpc_authentic Talking to Patricia Falcoa, reassuringly some artists *do* think about long term preservation, sometimes just for the income they can earn!

— Alex Green (@whichcord) December 15, 2017

11:30 Significance & Authenticity of Emerging File Format Types at the British Library by Caylin Smith & Ian Cooke (British Library)

Book apps, interactive narratives, and structured data (that has had human intervention) in scope for the Emerging Formats project. But publishers aren't thinking in these strict formats. EPUB3 format can have multimedia embedded. Cross-over between literary form and games. Haptics and gyroscope part of the narrative with some apps, so performative aspects are part of the retaining the authenticity of the work .. the users experience has never been something the library needed to care about in terms of capture, but with interactive work the library does.

British Library thinking about new and emerging formats, and the dependencies they have, e.g. Interactive narrative e-books that require touchscreens/gyroscopes to access the full range of content #dpc_authentic

— Sharon McMeekin (@SharonMcMeekin) December 15, 2017

Enjoying thinking about what makes a digital object ‘authentic’ at #DPC_authentic and importance of user need and experience as well as maker’s intention

— Katy Barrett (@SpoonsOnTrays) December 15, 2017

{fascinating how the collection of digital objects has prompted collecting institutions to start collecting material/lived experience/reality, because we experience is the digital object}

How do you manage access to work that is constantly changing (or at least have many instantiations) .. large gap between aims of innovative digital publisher and a large collecting institution

13:00 Significance & Authenticity of Web and Social Media-based Art by Anisa Hawes (The V&A, Posters Network)

~"What are the consequences of detaching an inherently networked object {eg a meme} from the network" .. graphic event as a new poster form .. quant clicking layers evolving design information onto networked graphic images .. museums actively detach objects from their contexts in the process of collection, giving them a sterility: this is hard for digital objects, when they can be graphic events rather than .. using Rhizome webrecorder.io to capture active objects via the curator not the crawler, emphasises the intervention of curators that has always happened but has often been suppressed/underplayed .. making the indeterminate thing (meme) determined (a collected object), makes us aware of the curatorial interventions we do.

Hearing about collecting digital post(er)s from Anisa Hawes of @Posters_Network. Need to collect the social interactions around a post(er) to give it full authenticity #DPC_authentic

— Katy Barrett (@SpoonsOnTrays) December 15, 2017

13:30 Significance & Authenticity of Evidential Records by Angeline Takawira (United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals)

Collaboration with legal professionals to help determine mechanisms for preservation .. administration, judicial, and court records .. there is an anticipation of use of records in judicial proceedings, and so preservation is built around those: eg, chain of custody must not be broken (as evidence moves from system to system), there must be documentation of that, and the judge may wish to review that .. preservation goal to ensure that evidence is 'demonstrably authentic and identical to 'digital original' in all essential aspects' .. authenticity for digital objects here is: it is the original, it can be demonstrably shown that it has not been changed .. preserving bitstreams: exhibits in the forms and formats in which they were presented to the court. But bit level not enough to ensure future use: so, combine bit level with migration ..

Significance & Authenticity: good to go beyond research data for the day, with digital arts, interactive narratives, graphic events, and criminal evidence. Multiple perspectives on familiar challenges. #dpc_authentic

— hervelh (@hervelh) December 15, 2017

.. Documentation of that migration needed, especially if the same piece of evidence is needed by another court and its authenticity needs to be verified (with regards to both accidental and unauthorised change to the evidence).


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