User:Dusan Barok/Monoskop library, 2012

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Dusan Barok, Graduation Project, Trimester 6, 2012.

Monoskop library

Monoskop library is a public resource for the new histories of media culture.

Throughout the years I collected over a hundred gigabytes of experimental films, video art, electroacoustic music, digital photographs of computer-aided paintings, graphics, prints, as well as numerous publications covering media arts and culture from their pre-history back in the 1920s up until the last decade. I have been including especially the works which, despite their historical significance, are not part of the art historical canon. Silently kept in the archives in different cities and not accessible online many of these works were destined to be kept out of sight for years to come. In this work I decided to unlock my harddrive and unfold this 3500 files heavy collection to public view.

For the sake of legacy of the works I set the three main aims of publishing the archive: to reach the widest audience including researchers; involve more people in the initiative; and maintain public access. From the start it was clear that creating a grand historical narrative interweaving the content together would be rather counterproductive, the archive shall instead function to provide source documents, and produce their context, so that multiple art histories can be produced, a living library so to say.

My work explores different ways of and questions related to publishing a private collection. In order to produce a context for the collected works so far it has taken the form of giving a series of lectures, co-editing a magazine and collaborating on an conference about media art histories, co-curating an exhibition of remakes of historical media works by young artists, and initiating an open access journal dedicated to history of media arts and culture. Coming up next is a symposium with invited scholars and cultural practitioners, and an online digital library built upon semantic wiki engine.

How does an artwork become historical? How can a media archive produce meaning? Why many digital collectors keep their treasures in the darknet? How do we define fair use of copyrighted material? Monoskop library operates in the intersection between digitalization of cultural heritage, personal collecting, media archiving, filesharing, and collaborative production of art history.




Abstract and bibs/ref + link to PDF (PDF must be uploaded to wiki).
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