Our evening with Jason Scott last Wednesday was possibly the most entertaining archives talk ever in the world. No really. It really was. Jason is passionate and committed to his work and deadly serious about its importance but he is also seriously funny. Enjoy.
Also huffduffed as…
Most of us think nothing of putting our lives in the cloud; photos in Flickr, videos on YouTube, most everything on Facebook. But what about when those services abruptly go away, taking all of our collective contributions with them? Well Jason Scott operates on the assumption that everything online will one day disappear. He explains to Bob why he and the Archive Team are dedicated to saving user-generated content for posterity.
GUESTS: Jason Scott
HOSTED BY: Bob Garfield
For over 20 years the web has provided continuous deluge of cultural production. Digital artifacts such as websites, images, and videos have much to communicate about our social and cultural evolution, and yet their messages or moments can be fleeting or quickly lost. Both the accessibility and longevity of digital content are subject to a wide range of risks, from technological obsolescence to outright deletion by their creator or host. So what is being done to preserve these cultural objects for the long term? Approaching web content from a cultural and artistic perspective, this panel will convene leading writers, archivists, thinkers and technologists to discuss to the questions, challenges, and imperatives involving preserving the creative culture of the web. We’ll cover topics like "what is the long-term significance of a website, and why would it be worth preserving?", "should web sites and artifacts be treated like works of art or architecture?", and "how do we go about archiving digital content to ensure its accessibility and longevity?". Example initiatives to be discussed will be the Archive Team’s various projects (such as the Geocities torrent), the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Internet Archeology, and the Rhizome ArtBase. This panel will be presented by Rhizome, an organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.
Jason Scott is a man on a mission — save all the things.
But what does “save” mean in the modern world, in the waterfall of personal and private data, and where do we even begin? Turning on the history-o-matic, Jason provides a backdrop to our attempts to “save”, what has been done, and what we can do. The talk will be fast-paced and loud, like a hard drive at the end of its life.
Jason Scott is a force of nature, tirelessly dedicated to preserving our digital history, from old-school game manuals to the latest social networking sites hell-bent on sucking our collective culture into “the cloud.”
He is also a documentary film maker. He made BBS: The Documentary and Get Lamp, all about text adventure games.
In the run-up to the destruction of Geocities, Jason set up Archive Team, a collective of volunteers who back up first and ask questions later. He now works for the Internet Archive, though he is at pains to point out that he does not speak for them.
And yet, despite all his achievements, Jason will probably never be as well-known as his cat Sockington, who has over a million followers on Twitter.