Ethics, Privacy, and Representation in Digital Preservation

This conference, organized by Michael Connor, Rhizome’s Artistic Director, and Aria Dean, Rhizome’s Assistant Curator, took place at the New Museum in New York City on February 2, 2017, and convened a diverse range of experts in various facets of digital social memory for an afternoon of case-studies and conversations addressing the implications of Webrecorder’s model for the web archiving field and for digital social memory as a whole. What follows is an archival narrative of the day created by Lozana Rossenova, PhD Researcher, Digital Archive Design, Rhizome and London South Bank University.

1. Archival Narratives and Counter-narratives

The first session, chaired by Shannon Mattern, Associate Professor of Media Studies at the New School, discussed the challenges of organizing digital archival records, dealing with gaps in the archive and exploring potential ways of making connections.

2. Fair Use, Publicity, and Privacy

The second session, chaired by Michael Connor, Rhizome’s artistic director, looked at more specific issues that arise with the curation of web archives, such as fair use and copyright provisions.

3. Failures of Care

The third session, chaired by artist, educator, and writer Kameelah Janan Rasheed, focused the discussion around the significance of archiving multiple histories of black culture as well as the inherent challenges in resisting the potentiality for archives to become tools of surveillance or oppression.