IMAGE ARCHIVING & PRESERVATION PROGRAM
COMPLEX MEDIA, H72.1805
Version 1.6 – 2/23/11 see
changes to syllabus at http://www.nyu.edu/tisch/preservation/program/11spring/zooz.htm
Spring 2011 - Tuesdays, 12:30
pm – 4:30 pm, room 643, 665 Broadway.
Instructor: Howard Besser
GOALS: This seminar will increase students’ knowledge of primary
issues and emerging strategies for the preservation of new media and digital
works. Students will gain practical
skills with identification and risk assessment for works as a whole and their
component parts, particularly in the areas of audio and visual media and
digital, interactive media projects that are stored on fixed media, presented
as installations, and/or existing on networks. Examples of production
modes/works to be studied are animations (individual works and motion graphics)
web sites, games, interactive multimedia (i.e., educational/artist CDROMs), and
technology-dependent art installations. Students will test principles and
practices of traditional collection management with these works, and evaluate
tools and methodologies used by others.
student will complete two assignments, one individually and one where they are
responsible for very specific sections of a larger group project. Attendance at
all classes is expected; more than one unexcused absence will affect grading.
Grades will be based on a combination of class preparedness and participation (40%)
and assignments (60%).
- Individual--Assignment #1: Research into
preservation and documentation strategies for games or other complex media
work (with prior instructor approval). Each student will choose a work to
evaluate, drawing from the Digital Game Canon or other sources. Students will draw on both traditional
audiovisual preservation principles and developing methodologies to
produce a thorough report including such areas as descriptions of the work
and its context, dependencies and risks, projected future scenarios,
available information and resources, and the best methods for maintaining
key elements such user interface, interactivity and ‘look and feel’. Due date: March 8.
- Group--Assignment #2: Case studies on
various aspects of an installation art work at the the Museum of Modern Art
by artist Michael Joaquin Grey.
We will be focused on Perpetual Zooz (representation at http://vimeo.com/10776508
and brief description at http://ps1.org/exhibitions/view/299
). The work will be researched and analyzed through individual and group
work, over the course of several weeks. The project will include an
interview with Grey himself. Students will be responsible for a section of
resulting report(s) and/or will serve as editor of the report(s). Due date:
Please note that all written
work must utilize proper citations, including proper web citations. Works that
do not include complete citations will be returned for revision and considered
late. Please carefully read the Plagiarism Advisory at the end of the syllabus.
MIAP Digital Archive: In addition to submitting assignments in print
form, all course papers/projects will be submitted in electronic form via
Blackboard in the Discussion area. The materials will be made part of the MIAP
digital archive in a private space for faculty use, and on the MIAP web site,
unless you request the work be restricted. If Word documents, please save as a
Standard file naming convention: 11s_3401_smith_a1.rtf
Restricted file naming convention: 11s_3401_smith_a1_x.rtf
11s = spring 2009
3401 = class number
smith = author's last name
a1 = assignment number 1
x = restricted work designation
LOGISTICS AND ADDITIONAL
This course will have a presence on “Blackboard”–
Please log-on to look there for articles
that are not available on the open web (under “Readings”).
Access to Labs: Please see http://www.nyu.edu/its/labs/ for
locations and descriptions of NYU’s computer labs if needed for your research.
In addition, by appointment, the MIAP ‘Old Media Lab’ may be used.
Cell phones: Turn completely off during class as they
may create problems with classroom audio.
Class 1: January 25--Introduction
- Syllabus review.
- Presentation and discussion of methodology
for risk assessment developed through the EU project “Inside Installations”
(see next week’s reading).
- Brainstorming definitions and examples of
interface and interactivity as two key characteristics that will need to
be evaluated when preserving multimedia, the web, installation and other
- Lab work: Analysis of software and
directories in several 1990s multimedia works, with goal of increasing
skills in identification of production processes, the characteristics of
native environments, software dependencies and directory structures, to
build an understanding the “anatomy” of these works. By the end of class,
we will have an agreed upon set of specs for optimum viewing of several legacy
CDROMs. We will also have analyzed if we have the appropriate
hardware/software in our “Old
Media Lab” to view them optimally, and/or what is needed to do so.
- Screening: "Andy Goldsworthy's Rivers
& Tides" (2001)
Class 2: February 1--Introduction
- Read as follow-up to last class:
- Recommended as follow-up to last class:
- Dinkla, Soke (1994). “The History of the
Interface in Interactive Art”. Accessed 1/28/11` at http://www.kenfeingold.com/dinkla_history.html
- Huhtamo, Erkki. “Trouble in the Interface,
or the Identity Crisis of Interactive Art”. (Conference paper, 2006).
Accessed 2/12/0 at
- Morse, Margaret. “The Poetics of
Interactivity” in Women, Art and Technology. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. 2003. p. 17 – 33.
- Read for this class:
- Van Malssen, Kara. “Risk Assessment and
Structure of an Interactive CDROM: Patchwork Girl by Shirley Jackson”. 2005. Accessed
- Shibuyama, Loni. “CD-ROM Assessment: The
Rebecca Project”. 2006. Accessed 1/28/11 at http://www.nyu.edu/tisch/preservation/program/student_work/2006fall/06f_1805_shibuyama_a3.doc
- Jimenez, Mona. “Interactive
multimedia on CD_ROM: experiments with risk assessment”. (conference
paper) 2008. Accessed 1/28/11 at archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla74/papers/084-Jimenez-en.pdf
- Deborah Woodyard, “Farewell
My Floppy: A Strategy for Migration of Digital Information,” (National
Library of Australia, 1997), available online at: http://www.nla.gov.au/nla/staffpaper/valadw.html
- Introduction to proposals and projects from
various communities for risk assessment, documentation and preservation of
- Discussion of the readings, and continuation
with multimedia works from the 1990s, discussing several ways to analyze these
- Lab work: Examination of multimedia works in
native environments; identification of behaviors and user
interface/interactions; and development of “scenarios” to predict how the
work will look/feel/behave in other subsequent computer environments.
Exploration of migration as a strategy. (2 hours)
- Computer Chronicles: Desktop Video 1990 (http://www.archive.org/details/desktopvideo)
- Computer Chronicles: Hypercard (1987) [esp
Bob Stein starting at 18:20] (http://www.archive.org/details/CC501_hypercard)
Class 3: February 8--Animation and related Graphics Issues
- Andrea Laue. How the Computer Works in Susan Schreibman, Ray
Siemens, John Unsworth (eds.) A Companion to Digital Humanities, Oxford:
Blackwell, 2004 http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-3-1&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1-3-1&brand=9781405103213_brand
- Robert Kolker. Digital Media and the Analysis of Film in Susan
Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (eds.) A Companion to Digital
Humanities, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-4-7&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1-4-7&brand=9781405103213_brand
- Geoffrey Rockwell and Andrew
Mactavish. Multimedia in
Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (eds.) A Companion to
Digital Humanities, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-2-10&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1-2-10&brand=default
- How Walt Disney
Cartoons are made—1938?
- The Process of
- The Magic of Disney
Animation (With Mulan's Mushu) at Disney Hollywood Studio (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgC5ylrI-p4)
- Key-Framing Example: 3Ds Max Tutorial - 21
– Animation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqQmwXCH6w8)
- Wireframe examples
- Raster vs Vector
- 3D Animation Overview
- How We Make A Movie: Pixar’s Animated
- “Toy Story 3: After the Golden Age”, Toronto
Sun, June 13, 2010 (http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/movies/2010/06/11/14350796.html)
- Viewing of historical examples of
innovations in vector graphics, 2-D and 3-D animation resulting in
developments such as games, effects, motion graphics, and computer
animation, and production within and outside of virtual environments
- Ray Tracing http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ae/BallsRender.png
- Discussion of various 3D animation software,
directories and players, and resulting files in common use for animation
and motion graphics
- Registries and emulations of older software
- Examination of works in the Digital Game
Canon – are there categories of works that have similar
- Introduction of Assignment #1.
February 15—Games #1—Introduction to Issues
Due this class:
Please bring your Laptop to class this week for the classroom
- Nick Montford & Ian Boqost, Racing the
Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (first 3 chapters)
- Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. "So the Colors Cover the
Wires": Interface, Aesthetics, and Usability in Susan Schreibman,
Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (eds.) A Companion to Digital Humanities,
Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-5-4&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1-5-4&brand=9781405103213_brand
- Johanna Drucker (and Bethany
Speculative Computing: Aesthetic Provocations in Humanities
Computing in Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth (eds.) A
Companion to Digital Humanities, Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405103213/9781405103213.xml&chunk.id=ss1-4-10&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ss1-4-10&brand=9781405103213_brand
Class 5: February 22--Web Archiving
- Examine and explore California Digital
Library’s “Web Archiving Service” (http://webarchives.cdlib.org/)
- Review Information for WAS Curators (http://webarchives.cdlib.org/p/curators) and view the
2 Web movies: “Create and Capture Sites” and “Display and Analyze Capture
Results”. Be prepared to
discuss how WAS differs from Archive-It.
- Marill, Jennifer, Andrew Boyko and Michael
Ashenfelder. “Web Harvesting Survey Version 1” on the web site of the
International Internet Preservation Consortium. 2004. Accessed 2/13/08 at
- Guggenheim Museum. Permanence through
Change: The Variable Media Approach. Montréal: Daniel Langlois
Foundation for Art, Science and Technology and New York: Guggenheim.
Accessed 1/28/11 at http://www.variablemedia.net/e/preserving/html/var_pub_index.html
p. 7 – 45; 108
- Paul, Christiane. “The Myth of Materiality”
in MediaArtHistories. Oliver Grau, ed. 2007. Boston: MIT Press. p.
- News Articles
- Familiarize yourself with:
- Artbase, a project of Rhizome. Read the
report on preserving Artbase by Richard Rinehart http://rhizome.org/art/,
and come prepared to talk about one web site that you found particularly
interesting or challenging for preservation.
- Preservation Risk Management for Web
Resources: Virtual Remote Control in Cornell's Project Prism, D-Lib 8:1,
Jan 2002, http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january02/kenney/01kenney.html
- Minerva: Web Archiving and Preservation
Project of the Library of Congress http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/minerva/html/minerva-home.html
- Library of Congress Web Capture
- Review of last semester’s Digital
Preservation class, plus comparison with other approaches and tools
- Introduction to projects concerning the
archiving and preservation of web sites, looking at historical and
- Strategies for web archiving and
preservation from large institutions to small on-profits. Discussion and
demo of management tools for web archive management.
- Discussion of readings and key concepts of
identity and authenticity, variability and other issues.
- CDL’s Web Archiving Service
- 12:30--Guest Speaker: Tracy Seneca, CDL
- Annimation Issues (continued)
- Visual Music
- John Whitney
Class 6: March 1—Two Topics: Emulation Issues; Archiving Large
Collections of Media Files
should read ahead, as you will have both readings and your project due the
the following on Emulation Issues:
- Granger, Stewart. “Emulation as a Digital
Preservation Strategy”. D-Lib Magazine. October 2000. Vol. 6: No. 10.
Retrieved 2/5/08 at
- Dutch National Archive. Emulation:
Context and Current Status. 2003. Retrieved 1/28/11 at http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.132.5566&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Read the following from the exhibition
Seeing Double: Emulation in Theory and Practice found here:
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. “Magic
Bullet or Shot in the Dark?” from transcripts of the 2004 symposium
Echoes of Art: Emulation as a Preservation Strategy published on the web
site of the Guggenheim Museum. 2004. Accessed 8/1/05 at <http://www.variablemedia.net/e/echoes/index.html>
- Watch the presentation on the Forging the
Future Project http://www.docam.ca/en/?p=258
- Rothenberg, Jeff. Avoiding
Technological Quicksand: Finding a Viable Technical Foundation for
Digital Preservation. Washington, DC: Council on Library and
Information Services. 1999. Accessed at
- Dimitrovsky, Issac. Final report, Erl-King
project. On web site of the Variable Media Initiative. 2004. Accessed
8/1/05 at http://www.variablemedia.net/e/seeingdouble/report.html.
about Large Collections of Media
- Familiarize yourself with the contents of
the web sites for
- Read the following blog and watch the video
- Approaches to documentation of complex media
works and preservation actions. What forms of documentation are useful and
appropriate for complex media works? Are there aspects of available tools
that we can utilized as we examine and migrate interactive multimedia
works? Practice using variable media and forging the future tools.
- Discussion of various interpretations of
emulation from everyday uses to its discussion/development as a
preservation strategy by planners of major institutional projects.
Hands-on work with downloadable software emulators.
- 1PM--Guests on Archiving Large Collections
of Media files:
- MIAP graduate Yvonne Ng of Witness
- MIAP graduate Nicole Martin of
- MIAP graduate John Passmore of WNYC
- Issues with Digital Video – what are
the problems with capturing and maintaining collections that are primarily
file-based or stored as files.
- Preliminary reports from groups researching
different aspect of artist Michael Joaquin Grey and Zooz
- Discussion of Variable Media Initiative and
of concept of Artist Interview
Class 7: March 8—Games #2—Sophisticated approaches to
Due this class:
person briefly presents findings from Assignment #1
- Candace on Miwa’s
Artist Interview thesis
- Ashley on Pip
- Discussion of
MoMA/Zooz documents on Blackboard
- Reports from
groups researching different aspect of artist Michael Joaquin Grey and
discussion on Games
Speakers: Jerry McDonough (U
of Ill, 2:55) and Megan Winget (U of Tx, 3:45)
- Discussion of
various projects to archive and preserve games. What aspects are they
addressing and what are the gaps?
CLASS March 15–-Semester break
Class 8: March 22--Museum Approaches to Handling
Complex Media Works of Art, part 1 & Artist Interview at MoMA
Due this class:
- Laurenson, Pip
(2010). Shifting Structures,
Identity and Change in the Conservation and Management of Time-Based
Media Works of Art, Ph.D. Thesis, London: University College,
- Real, William A.
“Toward Guidelines for Practice in the Preservation and Documentation of
Technology-Based Installation Art”. Journal of the American Institute for
Conservation. Fall/Winter 2001. Vol. 40: No. 3.
- Laurenson, Pip. “Authenticity,
Change and Loss in the Conservation of Time-Based Media Installations” in
Tate Papers. 2006. London: Tate Gallery. Accessed 2/12/08 at
- Laurenson, Pip. “The
Management of Display Equipment in Time-Based Media Installations” in
Tate Papers. 2005. London: Tate Gallery. Accessed 2/12/08 at <
- Messier, Paul. “Dara
Birnbaum’s Tiananmen Square: Break-In Transmission: A Case Study in the
Examination, Documentation, and Preservation of a Video-Based
Installation.” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation.
Fall/Winter 2001. Vol. 40: No. 3.
- Laurenson, Pip. “Developing
Strategies for the Conservation of Installations Incorporating Time-based
Media: Gary Hill’s Between Cinema and a Hard Place” in Tate
Papers. 2004. London: Tate Gallery. Accessed 2/12/08 at http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/tatepapers/04spring/time_based_media.htm
- Jimenez, Mona. “The
Artist Instrumentation Database Project” on web site of the Daniel
Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology. 2005. Accessed
8/1/05 at < http://www.fondation-langlois.org/flash/e/index.php?NumPage=708>.
yourself with the forms previously provided from the “Matters in Media Art”
- See also the
Inside Installations web site http://www.inside-installations.org/home/index.php
- Discussion of
group projects examining and developing recommendations for a time-based
media art works in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
- Look a various
tools for general documentation, documenting condition, conducting risk
assessments, conducting artist interviews, and documenting artists’
- 3:00 group leaves for MoMA, 11 W. 53rd
Street (film screening entrance)
- 3:30 meeting at MoMA with Conservator Glenn
Wharton and Conservator Cara Starke
- 4:00-5:00 interview with Artist Michael
Joaquin Grey over his piece Zooz
Class 9: March 29--Museum Approaches to Handling Complex Media Works
of Art, part 2
Due this class:
- Come prepared with
interview questions for MoMA visit.
- Review the
Variable Media Questionnaire (link to be provided on Blackboard site)
- View video of
keynote address of artist Vera Frenkel for the DOCAM summit: Rules for
Letting Go, and the web sites for background on the artworks.
readings relating to DOCAM may be required.
- _______. Guide
to Good Practice: Artist Interviews. 1999. International Network for the
Conservation of Contemporary Art: Amsterdam. Accessed 1/28/11 www.incca.org/files/pdf/resources/guide_to_good_practice.pdf
Decision-making Model for the Conservation and Restoration of Modern and
Contemporary Art. 1999. Foundation for the Conservation of Modern
Art/Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage: Amsterdam. Accessed
- Case study on
Bruce Nauman’s Mapping the Studio II color shift, flip, flop,
& flip/flop (Fat Chance John Cage) http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/majorprojects/nauman/home_1.htm
Museum. Permanence through Change: The Variable Media Approach.
Montréal: Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology and
New York: Guggenheim. Accessed 9/3/04 at http://www.variablemedia.net/e/preserving/html/var_pub_index.html
p. 47 – 69; 70 – 84; 92 – 107.
- Continuation of
tools for documentation and documenting artists’ intent.
- Talk about
- Group work on the
installations. What information has been gathered? What is needed? Where
are the vulnerabilities in the works? What actions should be taken?
April 5—No class (time to revise your thesis, based on feedback
Class 10: April 12—Guest Instructor Walter
Forsberg—Games #3—Contemporary Populist Gaming
Class 11: April 19-- Museum Approaches to
Handling Complex Media Works of Art, part 3
note: We will be meeting at the MoMA. Details will follow.
Due this class:
- Research on
assigned portion of the installations.
- Visit to MoMA to
examine and discuss a time-based media artwork. (4 hours)
Class 12: April 26-- Museum
Approaches to Handling Complex Media Works of Art, part 4
Due this class:
- Readings may be
assigned as needed
- Debrief on MoMA
and examination of the installations. What needs to be done to complete
reports on the installations? Students will discuss the visit, the status
of projects, additional research, and will use the class as work time.
activities as time permits.
Class 13: May 3—Final Presentations and
Due this class:
Š Report on installation art work projects.
Due this class:
- Present final
report for the installation projects to museum partners. Discussion about
areas of further investigation by the museum.
- Wrap-up on
concepts and methodologies. Based on the semester’s work, where are
complex media works found and who should collect them? Can the works be
collected by libraries, archives and libraries, or survive in independent
and ad hoc archives? What is the role of creators and what collaborations
are possible with creators? What are some suggestions for longevity of
Plagiarism Advisory – Read carefully
Advisory: Plagiarism and other violations of published NYU policies are serious
offenses and will be punished severely. Plagiarism includes:
or paraphrasing a sentence, phrase, or passage of a published work
(including material from the World-Wide Web) in a paper or exam without
attribution of the source,
a paper written by someone else,
as your own work any portion of a paper or research that you purchased
from another person or commercial firm, and
in any other way the work, ideas, or words of someone else without
These are punishable
offenses whether intended or unintended.
You are encouraged,
of course, to read widely and to discuss research with others; but if you use
ideas that come from others, you must acknowledge them in writing. When in doubt, acknowledge. Other offenses against academic integrity
at NYU include:
your own work toward requirements in more than one class without the prior
permission of the instructors,
with others on assignments without the permission of the instructor,
giving your work to another student to submit as his or her own.
If you have any
questions about how to cite sources, about what constitutes appropriate use of
a text, or about other matters of academic integrity, discuss them with your
The Writing Workshop
at NYU offers "A Statement on Plagiarism,"
NYU's "Statement on Academic Integrity" (from which the above text is
A compendium of
practical information about plagiarism is Sharon Stoeger,
"Plagiarism" (2006) www.web-miner.com/plagiarism. Among the resources she offers are
Northwestern University's "How to Avoid Plagiarism" (2007)
www.northwestern.edu/uacc/plagiar.html, and Indiana University's tutorial
"How to Recognize Plagiarism" (2005) www.indiana.edu/~istd.
And here is the
policy written by the Tisch School of the Arts, found in its Policies and
Procedures Handbook, 2008-2009, pages 43-44, Plagiarism
presenting someone else's work as though it were your own. More specifically,
plagiarism is to present as your own:
sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer
paraphrased passage from another writer's work
ideas or images composed by someone else
When you take notes,
summarize, rather than paraphrase. If you quote anything, use quotation marks
in your notes and take down the page number of the quotation to use in your
footnote. All electronic sources of information must be properly cited.
Students are expected, often required, to build their own work on that of other
people, just as professional researchers and writers do. Giving credit to
someone whose work has helped one is courteous and honest. Plagiarism, on the
other hand, is a form of fraud. Proper acknowledgment and correct citation
constitute the difference. To publish plagiarized work is against the law.
People in the professions and in business who pass off other people's work as
their own are liable to be discredited and ostracized. University students
guilty of plagiarism are subject to disciplinary action ranging from failure in
the course for which plagiarized work was submitted to expulsion from the
University. It is crucial that acknowledgment of sources be accurate and
complete. To avoid unintentional plagiarism:
a writing handbook or other standard guide for accepted forms of
more than one source for information, if at all possible.
out agreements and disagreements between sources on important points.
out your own organization of material gleaned from research.
in doubt whether your acknowledgment is proper and adequate, consult your
instructor. If possible, show the instructor both the sources and a draft
of the paper in which you are using them.
Plagiarism is a breach of academic honesty and integrity; it is
considered among the most serious of offenses. When an instructor suspects
plagiarism, s/he has several options. In most cases, the instructor will
require the student to totally redo the assignment. The instructor may also
consult the chair of the department regarding disciplinary action and assign a
grade of F for the work or, if the work is the main basis of the grade for the
course, a grade of F for the course. All cases of plagiarism will be reported
to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Repeat cases of plagiarism may
result in dismissal from school.