User:Dusan Barok/Monoskop library (proposal)

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Public library of media arts and culture


Throughout the years I collected about 75 gigabytes of experimental films, video art, electroacoustic music, scanned copies of computer-aided paintings, graphics, prints, and numerous publications covering media arts and culture in east-central Europe, which currently sit on my harddrive. I included content I thought is relevant for otherwise under-developed history of media culture in this region. Thinking about how to make the collection public and particularly about limits of online archiving, I started to treat it as a initial phase, a starting point for development of a framework for multimedia resource maintained by a peer network.


The main objective of the project si to build a distributed framework for permanent public access to the archive.


  • Open source art history - provide source documents, so that multiple art histories may be produced
  • P2P topology for non-tech audience
  • Place-based history - ground the works and events to locative context

Relation to previous work

The project emerged from my previous work on Monoskop, a collaborative wiki research on social history of media art and culture (since 2004), and Monoskop/log, a living archive of writings on art, culture and media technology (since 2009).

Research threads

archive, distributed/peer-to-peer network, art history, taxonomy/tagging


Peer-to-peer archives

  • Private torrent trackers: Karagarga, SurrealMoviez, The three probably best sources for movies and music online are exclusive private communities maintaining strict user guidelines and being ruled by benevolent dictatorship of a few.
  • Filesharing sites for ebooks: Aaaaarg, Both are non-invite archives using centralised and third-party file storage.
  • software art repository

Curated archives

Ubu, compArt daDA




  • Vannevar Bush, As We May Think, 1945 [11] Memex
  • Ted Nelson, A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate, 1965
  • Ted Nelson, Literary Machines, 1980s Xanadu
  • Tim Berners-Lee, 1980 ENQUIRE System
  • in 1903 Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss published their essay on primitive classification systems to show how they are determined by the shape of society [12]
  • Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. University of Chicago Press, 1996. [13]
  • Esther Weltevrede, "Archiving Web dynamics" [14]
  • Alain Depocas, Jon Ippolito, Caitlin Jones (eds.), Permanence Through Change: The Variable media Approach, New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Montreal: Daniel Langlois Foundation, 2003. English and French. [15]
  • Sandra Fauconnier and Rens Frommé, Capturing Unstable Media: "Summary of Research Results", March 2003 [16]
  • Joke Brouwer and Arjen Mulder (eds.), Making Art of Databases, Rotterdam: V2, 2003. [17]
  • Charles Merewether (ed.), The Archive. London: Whitechapel, 2006. [18]
  • Pelle Snickars, Patrick Vonderau (eds.), The YouTube Reader. National Library of Sweden, Stockholm, June 2009 [19]
  • Karin Bijsterveld, José van Dijck (eds.), Sound Souvenirs: Audio Technologies, Memory and Cultural Practices. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2009. [20]
  • Julian Myers, "Four Dialogues 2: On AAAARG", Aug 2009. [21]
  • Janneke Adema, "Scanners, collectors and aggregators. On the ‘underground movement’ of (pirated) theory text sharing", Sep 2009. [22]
  • Morgan Currie, "Small is Beautiful: a discussion with AAAARG architect Sean Dockray", Jan 2010. [23]
  • Annet Dekker (ed.), Archive2020 – Sustainable Archiving of Born-Digital Cultural Content. Virtueel Platform, 2010. [24]
  • "The Discussion of the Macmillan Threat", Apr 2010. [25]
  • -empyre- list, "Publishing In Convergence" mailing list discussion moderated by Michael Deiter, Morgan Currie and John Haltiwanger, Jun 2010. [26]
  • Nina Wenhart, "W0rdM4g1x. Or how to put a spell on Media Art Archives", January 2011, [27]
  • Matthew Fuller, "In the Paradise of Too Many Books: An Interview with Sean Dockray", Mute magazine, May 2011. [28]
  • more: [29], [30]