All of our digital platforms and systems, from the social media networks we post on every day, to the storage services we rely on to back up our most important files, to the infrastructures that power our digital world economy, are vulnerable to irretrievable data loss. Over time, file formats, applications, and operating systems go obsolete. Legacy systems become impenetrable. The migration of data to new systems risks breaking the chain of information transmission.~ Ahmed Kabil from, https://longnow.org/ideas/02020/02/26/the-permanent-legacy-foundation-wants-to-preserve-your-digital-legacy-for-future-generations/
Data loss is a tremendous issue. (I’m setting aside the other problem of data which stays around despite our desire for it to go away.) All forms of data storage “rot” in some fashion or another. (Because, entropy.) It’s not so much about our storing data, as it is about our continuously moving data forward to better—which isn’t always the newer or newest technology at hand—storage. Don’t think “data storage,” but rather think “data movage.”
I’ve absolutely mastered the art of wringing maximum utility for me out of all of the data I create. But in terms of post-mortem— well, it seems a lot harder for me to actually care about that, so I’ve ignored it. While I’ve not gotten behind the Permanent Legacy Foundation myself, it is interesting none the less. I sometimes wonder if my slipbox is worth wondering about preserving? …what about my journals? (They could be a treasure trove of research data on mental illness.) …what about the thousands of pages on this blog? …what about my collection of quotes? …physical (slides, prints) or digital photography?
The History of Philosophy is an interactive tool enabling users to dig into a visual timeline of 2,500 years of philosophical thought and discover lines of agreement and divergence.~ Ahmed Kabil from, https://blog.longnow.org/02019/10/22/the-history-of-western-philosophy/
I glanced at this when it appeared in my RSS feed and I had two simultaneous thoughts: “Wow, I should really dig into—” And, “RUN AWAY!” Because, this is exactly the sort of maximally complicated data visualization that I would create.
In contrast to dramatically slowing a recording down and extending its length, artists have also explored the possibilities of repeating short recordings over and over. The history of looping in modern composing is a story of the accidental beauty of technological imperfection and decay.~ Ahmed Kabil from, https://longnow.org/ideas/02019/03/26/transmissions-from-the-ambient-frontier/
It’s worth the click just for the first photo, which has nothing directly to do with sounds nor music. And then further down you get a photo of a tape loop—the physical device that can play a section of tape forever without interruption. Along the way is a mention of sound art created as very-old [magnetic] audio tape sheds it’s coating. Plus 5 other sound-related shifts in perspective. I read this piece over and over, as if it were itself a tape loop. I see—hear?—several magnificent halls of exploration… which I’m running away from because I do not. need. another. hobby. New genres of music to explore, a full 24hrs [uninterrupted] that I could spend on Beethoven’s 9th, …
I’m a sucker for things which gift me with any shift of perspective. That’s a big part of why I love conversation: Every encounter with another mind is ripe with opportunity for my own growth.
In Part II of our series, we move out of the 01960s to explore the work of three artists who created their major works during the 01970s and 01980s. We see a shift with these artists to a focus on complete control over the exhibition of their work and meticulously curating the experience the viewer has coupled with a goal of permanence of the artwork in situ.~ Ahmed Kabil from, https://longnow.org/ideas/02018/07/30/lightning-stars-and-space-art-that-leaves-the-gallery-behind/
I’ve little to add here, other than to attempt to convey how arresting I find the artwork in the article. The older I get, the more I find myself being delighted into pausing, often at the smallest coincidences. An alignment of trees, the color of the light, or sound traveling long distances or being altered by terrain and structures, are just a few things that catch my attention.
Most of us are content to live in a world where time is simply what a clock reads. The interdisciplinary artist Alicia Eggert is not. Through co-opting clocks and forms of commercial signage (billboards, neon signs, inflatable nylon of the kind that animates the air dancers in the parking lots of auto dealerships), Eggert makes conceptual art that invites us to experience the dimensions of time through the language we use to talk about it.~ Ahmed Kabil from, https://blog.longnow.org/02021/05/18/how-long-is-now/
Thinking about the nature of time always feels like trying to find the other edge of the Mobius strip. At first, I’m mildly excited to be reminded of such a simple thing. It’s such an interesting thing to think about. I go around and around trying to grasp different time scales, and the entire expanse of time. But soon I realize that I’m really only thinking in circles. Is there a takeaway beyond, “being mindful is good”?
Or does simply performing the awareness of time and the circular thinking, somehow reset—or recenter, or realign?—my thinking? Reset my thinking in the same way that one resets the drum-brakes on your car, by backing-up and then braking firmly causes the drum brakes to adjust their grip on the brake cable.
Also, see other branching from when.