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Wednesday, March 29 • 5:15pm - 6:00pm
Session 6: PDA & the Arts

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From Virtual to Reality: Dissecting Jennifer Steinkamp’s Software-Based Installation (Shu-Wen Lin, New York University)

The PDAs of Others: Completeness, Confidentiality, and Creepiness in the Archives of Living Subjects (Glen Worthey, Stanford University)

RuschaView 2.0 (Stace Maples, Stanford University)

Van Detritus (Pete Schreiner, NCSU)

Presentation Details:

  • From Virtual to Reality: Dissecting Jennifer Steinkamp’s Software-Based Installation (Shu-Wen Lin, New York University)

    Time-based and digital art combines media and technology that challenges traditional conservation practices while requiring dedicated care. As a pioneer in media art, contemporary artist Jennifer Steinkamp is critically acclaimed for her abilities to weave digital media into large-scale installations that envelop the audience vis-a-vis streams of moving images. In this paper, I use Steinkamp’s animated installation Botanic that was exhibited in Times Square Arts: Midnight Moment as a case study. Through carefully disassembling the artist’s creation process, I attempt to focus on the internal structure and relationship between Maya, After Effects, scripts, and final deliverables. I strive to provide a risk assessment that will enable museum professionals as well as the artist herself to identify sustainability and compatibility of digital elements in order to build a documentation that can collect and preserve the whole spectrum of digital objects related to the piece.

  • The PDAs of Others: Completeness, Confidentiality, and Creepiness in the Archives of Living Subjects (Glen Worthey, Stanford University)

    The title and inspiration for this presentation come from the 2006 German film Das Leben der Anderen, which dramatizes the covert monitoring of East Germans -- even in their most intimate and human moments -- by the Stasi.

    But the substance of the presentation comes from my experiences researching the life and thought of a living subject, a science writer (among other professions), for a planned biography.  Although the biography is "authorized" by a very cooperative, and even enthusiastic, subject, the work of gathering and documenting materials often reveals tensions between completeness and a respect for privacy; between on-the-record and off-the-record conversations; between the personal and the professional; between the probing of important questions and voyeuristic-seeming observation of the subject's complex inner life.

    Because my subject has used email since its very beginnings, his email archive in particular is enormous and daunting, for both technical and intellectual reasons: its sheer mass, its blending of the deeply personal and the raw materials that feed his public writings.  Likewise, his substantial collection of digitized drafts and unpublished, informal writing is extensive.  Many digital versions of his writings are his transcriptions of his own juvenilia: are these to be trusted outright, or should one be skeptical of the interventions and corrections possibly made by the adult transcriber, a self-conscious stickler for error-free writing?  Similar questions arise in the digital documentation and capture of his extensive paper files.

    In agreeing to be a subject, surely my subject has not given up his right to privacy; but in seeking to write a life, surely a researcher must also never refrain from seeking the deepest truths of his subject's life, always remembering that he must earn the trust of his future readers through careful, complete, and meticulous research.

  • RuschaView 2.0 (Stace Maple, Stanford University

    In 1964, LA Painter, Ed Ruscha put a Nikon Camera in the back of his truck, drove up and down Sunset Strip and shot what would become a continuous panorama of "Every Building on the Sunset Strip" (1966). Though the 1966 publication was the only finished product from the project, Ruscha has continued to shoot Sunset Strip and other iconic urban landscapes in La, since. I was asked to take a look at the collection by a close friend and have been obsessed with finding a way to place these images into a digital context, like Google StreetView. This talk will highlight both Ruscha's multi-decade project, as well as my multi-month attempt to create the metadata required to reproduce something like Ruscha's "Every Building..." publication, in a digital context.

  • Van Detritus (Pete Schreiner, NCSU)

    Between 2003-2013 an associated group of independent rocks bands from Bloomington, Indiana shared a tour van. The spartan Chevrolet Express cargo van was a home away from home for dozens of trips throughout the contiguous United States and Canada. At the end of each trip, the accrued ephemera—tourist memorabilia, posters, guitar parts, CDs, books, contracts, clothing, and found objects—were necessarily removed and stored ad hoc in the van owner’s basement. When the owner, a librarian, was preparing to move across the country in 2014, Pete Schreiner, band member and proto-librarian, decided to preserve this esoteric collection of local music-related history. He performed a rush-operation to photograph the 400+ items in this collection over a long weekend. Subsequently, as time allowed, he created an online collection of the photographs using Omeka. This case study presents a guerrilla archiving project, issues encountered throughout the process, and attempts to find the balance between professional archiving principles and getting it done.

avatar for Kate Tasker

Kate Tasker

Digital Archivist, The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
I'm a Digital Archivist at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, working on appraisal, ingest, processing, preservation, and providing access for born-digital archives. I'm especially interested in digital forensics methods for obsolete media and in processing and preserving email archives. I also work on our ArchivesSpace migration, implementation, and documentation. | | In my spare time I love cycling (I also bike to work) and being... Read More →


Shu-Wen Lin

Associate Time-Based Media Conservator, M+ Museum
Shu-Wen Lin received her MA from the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University in 2016. For the past five years, she has been working with physical and digital collections to cultivate her interests and passion for preserving the landscape of twentieth and twenty-first century art, photography, design and architecture. Prior to and following NYU, Shu-Wen gained experience while working at a number of institutions... Read More →

Stace Maples

Stanford Geospatial Center
Stace Maples is the Geospatial Manager of The Stanford Geospatial Center, at Branner Earth Sciences Library, Stanford University. His job is to help Stanford researchers leverage geospatial technologies in research and teaching, whatever that means at any given time. He's a self proclaimed Geo-Evangelist and Geospatial Swiss Army Knife. He has a terrible sense of direction.
avatar for Pete Schreiner

Pete Schreiner

Fellow, NCSU Libraries
Pete Schreiner is a Libraries Fellow at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, working in Access Services, and Learning Spaces & Services. Prior to NCSU, he was Assistant Archivist at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and film intern at the Oregon Historical Society Moving Image and Photography Collections. Before librarianship Pete ran a creative carpentry business, worked in DIY media and design, and was a touring musician. Pete... Read More →
avatar for Glen Worthey

Glen Worthey

Digital Humanities Librarian, Stanford University Libraries
Glen Worthey has been Digital Humanities Librarian in the Stanford University Libraries since 1997, and co-leads the Libraries' new Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR). He hosted the international "Digital Humanities 2011" conference at Stanford, serves on the Steering Committee for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), and is a co-convener of the “DH in Libraries” Special Interest Group... Read More →

Wednesday March 29, 2017 5:15pm - 6:00pm
Bishop Auditorium Lathrop Library, Stanford University 518 Memorial Way Stanford, CA 94305