Hackpads are smart collaborative documents. .

Patsy Baudoin

920 days ago
Matthew B Lara Baladi. Arrived from Egypt./ Fellow at MIT in comparative media studies. Interested in archiving the Egyption revolution (and all of history!). Developing a media archive of the revolution, which could support an installation of a timeline and other projects embodying and animating media archives. 
 
There is incredible work being done, I want to look at it in parallel to my own project which is an interactive timeline of the Egyptian revolution. How can we develop *federated* media archives, make them useful to stakeholders, produce knowledge from them, address the issues that develop from them.
 
Goal: Write an agenda/overview of the questions that we feel are necessary to address in archiving projects to prepare a symposium on federated research across the Internet. The symposium, we propose, would generate a map or a schema or a field guide or a white paper or an interactive periodic table and/or &c. and all or none of the above. We're asking this meeting today to brainstorm design possibilities for federated archives, communities of users and keepers of the same, and ways in which such resources can be managed sustainably, openly, ethically, and in generative dialogue.
 
Tim M Symposium Goal: save time for people in the field, so that people don't have to go back and re-invent the wheel.
 
  • Group Intros
Patsy B Matthew Battles: scaling and projecting projects like Lara's for others (for whom? for scholars, students, etc.). 
 
Dalida B Dalida Maria Benfield; artist, scholar, activist, working with media-making in participatory contexts. Organized one day symposium on "Re-envisioning Online Video Archives" at Berkman. Other projects: losarchivosdelcuerpo [bodyfiles]; women's media archive; occupy research; histories of now...Berkman fellow/faculty associate; professor at Vermont College (1)
 
Tim M Chantal Thomas: Visiting at Harvard Law (from Cornell) . Also happened to spend a bunch of time in Egypt at the right moment as Lara's 'art groupie'. A series of conversation about art and law. Speaking truth to power. The need for the law and state to preserve space for artistic expression. (3)
 
Nico Cesar: From Argentina, familiar with revolutions. A software engineer, interested in tech and possibility of predicting, tracking, and archiving a revolution. Should we have a memory? (1)
 
Jessica Yurkofsky: Creative technologist at metaLAB. Worked with Lara and DocShop about this. Also involved in the digital archive of the 2011 Japan disaster. (2)
 
Patsy Baudoin: Librarian at MIT trained as archivist 10 years ago. (3)
 
Sarah Moawad: Graduated middle eastern studies. Met Lara at first event. Had strong effect on thinking in depth about this topic. What it was like to track the revolution from afar. Thesis plan on use of humour in and after the revolution. IRB did not approve her being in Egypt so the thesis never happened. Saw the systematic revolution being erased from the public memory in Egypt. (3)
 
Tim Maly: metaLAB fellow, RISD lecturer, design journalist. Much of work relies on the work of archvists. (2)
 
whitney b whitney erin boesel: working on Media Cloud at Berkman and MIT Center for Civic Media; also working on issues related to harassment online (in particular things like revenge porn, doxxing, etc). Questions about what should be online that isn't, and stuff that shouldn't be on the Internet that is. (3)
 
Matthew B Jack Cushman: Berkman fellow; Working on PermaCC and on a project to distribute dark archives to libraries. Internet Preservation Consortium, and the Personal Digital Archiving conference: two communities coming at these issues from very different perspectives. We have told people everything on Facebook will be there forever but it won't… interested in what can be added to the view that would add something new to the conversation, between the comprehensive institutional scale and the individual initiative scale. (MB: Something perhaps in the vein of communities?) (2)
 
 
Tim M Jessa Lingel: post doc as MS research, working in social media collection. PhD in libraruy science digital media librarian. Worked with people's library at Occupy Wallstreet. Working to get AtoZ library into institutional holding. Came back from trip to Palestine on an archiving project.  Librarian not an Archivist and open hater of misuse of 'archive'. (3)
 
Kyle Parry: metaLAB also. PhD in film & video studies, coming to the end of that… These questions are utterly beyond one person's capacity to tackle them. Requires both broad and deep engagement with things. My own attempt was case studies of individual archives. Practices of participation. (1)
 
 
  • Lara's Presentation
 
Lara project is Vox Populi the nature of how the revolution started. Archiving a revolution in the digital age. Started with downloading at much as she could. She sees the documentation and social media conversations are part of the revolution. How people dealt with and talked about the volume. Overwhelming amount of creative materials across platforms. There is the comprehensive aspect of creative production, expression, documentation (by ordinary citizens, not just artists or journalists), to consider. After two years of working, Lara looked at others' projects and began collecting information on ongoing archiving projects. 
 
 
whitney b I am #jan25 http://iamjan25.com "At the time [of the revolution], archiving meant revolting." There are a number of different archiving projects taking place, most of which aren't connected to each other. 
Patsy B 18daysinEgypt -- interactive documentary and archive http://beta.18daysinegypt.com
Mosireen http://mosireen.org -- how to store their arhcive when they lost their office (see below)
 
Documentary about the vocabulary of the revolution (and new words were created)
 
whitney b Late last year, a law passed in Eqypt that outlawed foreign funding for non-profits (etc); as a result, many of them—including orgs working on archiving the Egyptian revolution—have no funding at this point, which has impacted ongoing curation/archiving efforts.
Tim M How does Mosireen deal with their archives how to store it how to distribute and share?
 
whitney b In December 2014, Lara organized "Vox Populi: Notes from El Saniyya" that invited people to interact with archive. Multiple media - video, photographs, documents - were organized on an interactive timeline and participants experimented. (One question is how to show now/in the future what the significance of a given media object was at the time it was created.)
 
Dalida B We watched the stop motion paper prototype. Who makes the decision about what is to be preserved and shared? 
 
Tim M MB: Can you say more about what you have? The media, the materials, the infrastructure, the way it might link to other databases?
 
Matthew B Lara has created two archives: 1) chronological, including downloaded videos, online articles, blogs (unsystematic), original film and photography, screenshots; also lists of links, and 2) associated material (e.g. Jean-Paul Sartre's address to strikers, 1960s, and films and pop music &c. &c., associative material on censorship, protest, activism, revolution, and so on).
 
whitney b Hoping to save other researchers/artists/etc. the work of having to track down all the places where media from the revolution has been archived. Project became not just Lara's archive, but connecting her archive to the other archives. (There will be a symposium on how to solve the "save others the search process" problem.)
 
Tim M Today Goal: Write an agenda/overview of the questions that we feel are necessary to address in archiving projects to prepare a symposium on federated research across the Internet. Symposium Goal: save time for people in the field, so that people don't have to go back and re-invent the wheel.
 
Dalida B We will work in small groups and address: With Lara's work as a case study (along with each of our projects and interests), what are the problems that we identify? What section of the problem? Let's establish a field of questions that a symposium could address. From there, we'll work on refining it. 
 
Possible questions to begin: We have events happening all the time. Relationships between the individual and the institutional archivist? What could it mean to federate "individual" nodes of research/archiving? 
 
Sarah M
  • Themes to discuss: 
 
Matthew B GROUP 1 Matthew, Kyle, Dalida, Nico
Sarah M Tech/big data
Metadata 
Storage
Matthew B NC: Who is storing the media? Who pays for the storage of the history? Government agencies want to keep data for the sake of their power, to serve their needs. How do "we" (the rest of us) put together the resources for storage and conservation? There is real-time collection and retrospective (tagging, geotagging, metadata creation. But much of the "federated" collection activity depends on the good graces of Twitter, Facebook, etc. How can the storage be federated, insulated, made open and sustainable
 
KP: linger on the question of "federated": take IA as an example, which sees itself as a Utopian "one to rule them all"; how sustainable is that? IA is highly viable for now, but how will it last? Federation is one term for distributed power, but are there better ones?
 
NC: prefer P2P to federated logics. "Data is easy to do peer to peer" Torrent is a peer to peer storage. P2P computation is the cutting edge technology. Think of BitCoin, the block chain, the public ledger, which has a powerful incentive built in, in the form of the economic incentive
 
DMB: Relationships between P2P, federation, and "movements" as such. Instances Mayo Fuster Morrell's work on relations between social movements and P2P production, finding important frictions between software motivation and movement motivation. Thinking too of the open video movement, which has an identity crisis: is it a technology movement or a social movement? Example: https://pad.ma (based on https://pan.do/ra) Inviting open video/media people to think through organization, structural and technical issues.
 
Dalida B Also: f2f interactivity/materiality in relationship to digital archives poses important "technology" questions? 
 
Architecture...
 
Centralized vs. decentralized? 
 
Matthew B NC: What is the economic motivation?
 
KP: What would an economic motivation look like? I'm skeptical.
 
NC: http://maidsafe.net/ (a project NC is working on) software runs a hard drive that allows people to post to it, encrypted, to exchange cryptocurrency.
 
other examples: Torrent... storage in politically agnostic 
 
  • THREE QUESTIONS:
What are some of these TECHNOLOGIES and ARCHITECTURES of storage? etc
 
SOCIOTECHNICAL implications of some of these technologies, e.g., federation v. P2P; block chains v. server farms. What are the politics of these systems? There is an irreducible economic relation inherent in questions of storage, architecture. "Is it a single big wallet or lots of little ones? (NC). CAPITAL and the archive, ultimately: how are archives about concentrating power? 
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