Saturday, April 25, 2015

MoMA’s Digital Art Vault

MoMA’s Digital Art Vault. Ben Fino-Radin. The Museum of Modern Art. April 14, 2015.
The museum is working to preserve and digitize its 4,000 videotape collection of analog video art. It has created a digital vault which consists of:
  1. the packager: analyzes all digital collections materials as they arrive; records the results in an obsolescence-proof text AIP stored with the materials themselves, and generates a checksum.
  2. the warehouse: a digital storage RAID system maintained by their IT department. This type of disk-based storage becomes "an untenable expense" with very large amounts of data. They project 1.2PB. It would be irresponsibly expensive to continue using hard drive storage, as it was not quite intended for this scale of data.
  3. the indexer, which is not discussed at present.
There is the issue of how to ensure that our successors will understand what a given stream of bits is supposed to represent, and there is also the problem of authenticity.  These archival packages contain the digital content as well as the information needed in the future to understand what the materials are and to confirm their authenticity.

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