Current Residents and Hosts

NDSR Art 2018-2019 Residents and Hosts

Residents’ Blog

Capturing the Museum Experience: Saving Electronic Media in the Galleries
Host Institution:  Art Institute of Chicago
Resident: Molly Szymansk

This proposal will study and develop and implement a plan for preserving born digital
documentation of the total art museum experience, including permanent collections,
special exhibitions, real and virtual visitor engagement and interaction, lectures, and
performances and events. Using established archive policies and digital repository tools
for museum records, the project will explore what should be collected and retained for
both preservation and future access, and drafting policies and procedures for
implementation. As many museums are now addressing these unique media that create
the “museum experience” the work on this project and the resulting directives will be
applicable to both other museums as well as the greater museum world.

Digital Archiving Non-Traditional Art and Design Theses Work
Host Institution: Maryland Institute College of Art
Resident: Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez

At MICA, there is an increasing amount of students who submit higher resolution digital
files made in creative software, such as still images, moving images, graphics files, and
interactive media in addition to their PDF thesis. Our students and researchers recognize
that flattened images and stills embedded in PDFs are no longer a good substitute for
the work. As graduate programs at MICA grow, Decker Library will need to provide better access to these materials. The NDSR fellow will investigate this problem and
provide parity between the depth of information shared through textual theses to those
which are complex media.

Current digital stewardship of these materials has been a manual process of PDF
collection via learning management system, back up to two servers, and uploading to the
content management system CONTENTdm for access. Disks, if providing supplemental
material, are sent to the library for storage. With new leadership across MICA and a
planned reformulation of MICA’s entire digital ecosystem, this is the right time to reconsider the methods in which the library handles Master’s Theses and create a model
in which others could adapt or follow. By providing documentation through the final
report, this project will provide a leadership opportunity for the resident and MICA in the area of archiving art and design information assets created by future artists/leaders.

Something Old, Something New: Born-digital Artist’s Materials in the Archive and the Studio
Host Institution: Small Data
Resident: Rachel Ward

First: The National Digital Stewardship Resident will lead efforts on the inventory and
stabilization of obsolete born-digital materials in two highly at-risk archives: 1) the personal archives of composer and computer music pioneer Laurie Spiegel, and 2) the archives of non profit artist residency program Eyebeam. Both of these archives contain large amounts of obsolete digital media carriers (floppy disks of varying sizes and formats, optical media, Zip disks, Syquest, various shapes and sizes of hard drives, and more). This work will provide them with key training in the handling and recovery of obsolete media carriers, as well as digital forensics techniques.

Second: As a way to immerse the resident in contemporary artistic materials and practice, they will help us in our conservation service and support offering to artists, galleries, and collectors. This work will provide the resident with an in-depth understanding of the materials used today by contemporary artists, the processes by which works are effectively prepared for the collection, as well as the conservation issues that arise after the works have been collected. They will gain an insider’s perspective on studio practice, and the needs and behaviours of galleries and collectors.

Preservation and Access of Digital Audiovisual Assets at the Guggenheim
Host Institution: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Resident: Jean Moylan

The National Digital Stewardship Resident (NDSR) at the Guggenheim will support the
Museum’s initiative to develop a sustainable long-term storage and access plan for its
time-based media artworks, archival objects, and associated files such as checksums and
technical and descriptive metadata. Mentored by staff from both Archives and
Conservation, and supported by a cross-departmental “Digital Audiovisual Assets
Working Group,” the resident will conduct a comprehensive survey of the Museum’s
digital repositories and explore ways to improve digital storage infrastructures, ingest
workflows, and metadata standards. Following this survey, the resident will complete an
institution-wide assessment of access needs by means of an online survey and in-person
interviews with power users from departments across the Museum. Based on this
research, the resident will then categorize the surveyed digital assets according to
identified needs and levels of description and access.