The CD-ROM Cabinet: the first six months

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Since late 2012, Sandra Fauconnier and Annet Dekker have been working on the CD-ROM Cabinet, an initiative to safeguard artistic CD-ROMs from the 1990s. Here’s a presentation of the first activities in this project.

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  • CD-ROMs only, no DVDs Artworks made specifically for this medium 1994-2001 approximately Works are mostly self-contained interactive pieces, made for viewing on a personal computer Game-like pieces, anti-interfaces, interactive narration; a lot of experimentation with interaction patterns and paradigms Packaging was often interesting; some came as complements to books National ‘scenes’?
  • The CD-ROM Cabinet: the first six months

    1. 1. The CD-ROM Cabinet: the first six months Sandra Fauconnier fokky@fauconnier.nl Twitter @sanseveria Media Art Histories 2013: RENEW October 11, 2013, Riga, Latvia http://www.fauconnier.nl/fokky/cd-rom-cabinet
    2. 2. Remember these? 
    3. 3. The CD-ROM Cabinet? Wikipedia: A cabinet of curiosities was an encyclopedic collection in Renaissance Europe of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined. They were also known by various names such as Cabinet of Wonder, and in German Kunstkammer (“art room”) or Wunderkammer (“wonder-room”). Thank you, Hicham Khalidi ! Cabinet, anonymous, ca. 1660-1670, collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.356616 Ole Worm’s cabinet of curiosities, from Museum Wormianum, 1655.
    4. 4. Who? • Sandra Fauconnier – research, emulation, imaging, documentation • Annet Dekker – research, organisation, publication • Ben Fino-Radin – CD-ROM hackathon and general feedback • Hicham Khalidi – the name  • Annette Wolfsberger, Gisela Domschke, Arie Altena, Gaby Wijers, Aram Bartholl, Robert Sakrowski – support and feedback
    5. 5. How ? Quick & Dirty • 6 months, 1 day/week • Low-hanging fruit • Mainly Dutch focus • Hands on “House, Yard & Kitchen Approach” • Focus on what works • Use of existing tools and platforms • Balance between easy & useful
    6. 6. http://www.pinterest.com/trnstlntk/cd-rom-art-of-the-1990s/
    7. 7. Inventory: 82 art CD-ROMs in our surroundings (mainly NIMk, V2_, private collections)… … dating from 1994 to 2001.
    8. 8. Other sources… Contact Zones: The Art of CD-ROM Exhibition at Cornell University March-April 1999 Curated by Tim Murray https://contactzones.cit.cornell.edu/ Burning the Interface Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia March-July 1996 Curated by Mike Leggett http://legart.drupalgardens.com/pro
    9. 9. A few are ported to the web: George Legrady An Anecdoted Archive from the Cold War CD-ROM 1997, ported to the web by the Daniel Langlois Foundation 2005 http://www.fondation-langlois.org/legrady/ Zoe Beloff Beyond CD-ROM 1997, ported to the web by the artist (?) 2009 http://www.zoebeloff.com/beyond/
    10. 10. CD-ROM hackathon, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, 12-13 December 2012 Led by Ben Fino-Radin (then Digital Conservator at Rhizome) http://www.baltanlaboratories.org/born digital/cd-rom-hackathon/ http://www.baltanlaboratories.org/born digital/reports-images-video-and- texts/
    11. 11. 2012 Revival Aram Bartholl & Robert Sakrowski: DVD Dead Drop #2: INSERT DISC 22 Sept – 27 Oct 2012 Museum of Moving Image NYC
    12. 12. User-Unfriendly Interface Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmielewski, 1994- 1996 http://lx.sysx.org/?page_id=20
    13. 13. Documentation ‘packages’… • .iso disk image • Scanned pictures of sleeve/booklet • Documentation video • Some screenshots
    14. 14. www.archive.org - search “cd-rom cabinet”
    15. 15. Same principles: XFR STN (New Museum, NYC, July 2013)
    16. 16. The Netherlands: Mediamatic Magazine
    17. 17. Work To Do still… • Voyager CD-ROMs -> US organisation to tackle this? • artintact series -> ZKM to tackle this? • Many key pieces not yet covered: antirom, audiorom, the Blam! series… -> let’s make this a distributed effort? • Difficult CD-ROMs were skipped (multi-disc, Quicktime, broken copies) • Inventory not complete • Art historical overview is due (predecessor to ebooks, apps, interactive storytelling; the broader context of ‘intimate’ pieces for common personal computing devices)
    18. 18. I would recommend… • Sustainability and a distributed approach – don’t put it in our own silos, but use existing platforms that (hopefully) will last a while. • First step: make it (easily) accessible (=downloadable) and findable by ‘civilians’ • Simple, readable documentation
    19. 19. Thank you! http://cdromcabinet.tumblr.com http://www.fauconnier.nl/fokky/cd- rom-cabinet http://www.pinterest.com/trnstlntk/ cd-rom-art-of-the-1990s/ fokky@fauconnier.nl @sanseveria

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