DevOps but for artworks in museums

A look into pipelines ending in museums and not in the cloud


Playlists: '37c3' videos starting here / audio

In the original Hacker Ethics, Steven Levy stated that "you can create art and beauty on a computer". That was 40 years ago, creating art and beauty is one thing, but how do you maintain or develop it as a gallery, archive or museum? You know all about CI/CD and deploying to "the cloud"? Well, let me show you how to deploy to a museum or art space. Important note: this talk is not about NFTs.

The preservation and presentation of software/computer-based art in museums presents unique challenges in the contemporary landscape. One prominent issue is the ephemeral nature of digital media, which includes websites, games, software and virtual reality art. Unlike traditional art forms, these works often rely on rapidly evolving technologies, making them vulnerable to obsolescence. Museums are faced with the task of preserving and restoring media art in a way that not only preserves the original intent of the artist, but also ensures accessibility for future audiences.

Another significant challenge is the dynamic and interactive nature of many media artworks. Unlike static paintings or sculptures, digital artworks often require specific hardware, software or immersive environments to be experienced. Museums need to invest in both the technological infrastructure and the expertise to recreate these conditions and provide visitors with an authentic encounter with the artwork.

In this talk we want to look at some solutions from the perspective of software developers who are motivated not only to preserve and present digital media art, but also to develop it with contemporary software development strategies.


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