Posted by: bluesyemre | January 19, 2013

System restore: how archivists salvaged 1,500 volumes of digital art from Sandy’s floodwaters by Joshua Kopstein

  • Eyebeam’s media archive weathers the storm, but backing up is hard to do. Hard drive crashes and corrupted files repeatedly instruct us on the importance of keeping media backups. But when data loss looms as the result of massive physical damage from a major natural disaster, finding better ways to digitally archive our history suddenly becomes a moral imperative. As countless tri-state area residents were left without power, heat, and even their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, art galleries and studio spaces in New York City wrestled with problems of their own. Like many other spaces in Manhattan’s gallery-friendly Chelsea neighborhood, non-profit art and technology lab Eyebeam sat well within high-risk “Zone A” when the superstorm made landfall last October. But despite preparations, the space became completely submerged, leaving its archive — comprised of various storage media containing over a decade of artworks — to drown in three feet of floodwater.

Recovering Eyebeam’s Archive:



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