Goal: To introduce and discuss practical strategies for the long term management of your archive
I. 10:00 - 11:10 - Why is this Important?
Facilitator: Randy Gue.
Introduction: “I saw I had a history.” You have a history, your work has a history, your practice has a history. Documenting the creative process is important.
How are artists’ archives being used? (Show-n-tell activity).
1) Do you archive? How do you document?
Workshop participants responded that they keep:
2) Are you interested in other people seeing your creative process?
Workshop participants responded:
II. 11:10-12:30 - What is important?
Facilitators: Julie Newton, Carrie Hintz, Katie Rawson
1) Mapping exercise: Artists draw the spaces that they inhabit, starting with artwork and moving onto the other things they consider important. They’ll mark computers, file cabinets, etc.
How many locations did artists include? Fewest 1: Most 20
Locations are varied: Car, Person, Internet, Garden, Friends and Family, Places in other states, Studios, Computer, Attic/Basement, Garage, Commercial Storage, Galleries, House, Collectors
2) Artist inventory exercise: What do you have? What do you keep? What should I be keeping?
1) How do I organize and keep track of what I have?
Presentation: Remember that you are your own user. When you think about documentation, step back and think, “What is it that I do?” I make art, I sell art, I get inspired, I track where that art goes. Focus your efforts on the most important things that you do.
So, for example, your artist files, things that you use to reate your work, business records. It is important to keep records to facilitate your process. Also, think about the way that you already keep things: some of these are files. And some things you can throw away.
2) Taxonomy: Part of moving towards documentation is having a taxonomy. We’ll be working with these four categories:
What pieces need to come with the work to enhance understandability?
Artists go back to their spaces and think about
a. Use: In these categories, what kinds of things do you want to find easily for your own archival use?
Reference/ Research Materials
Books, journals, supplies, textiles, clippings, files supplies
Questions to consider: Are journals research or process? Do you have a sense of things that you are using now, or things that you are done with?
b. Legacy: What does the future need to know? What’s important to you?
Do you actually think about what people will think?
Take-away: Document what you do. What people want to see is a reflection of you and your work. This differs greatly from person to person. To be most effective show who you are as an artists and a business person.
c. Triage/Priorities: What are your priorities around your materials now?
III. 1:30 - 2:30 – Lightening Talks: Moving from passive to active storage.
Strategies for Organization: Process and Business Records: Carrie Hintz
Think about what you do.
Think about what kind of records you create.
Start with your thought process:
Related to Making Art (Process)
Business of Art (Files)
Think does this thing matter? You don’t need to keep everything. Example: Don’t need to keep receipts to record the price of paint. Your work, however, you probably want to keep.
Business Files (categories)
Tax records: file by year (short)
Gallery and supplier correspondence (long)
Supplier invoices and receipts (short)
Artwork and Process Files
Do you think chronologically or narratively.
Good, better, best practices for Digital Materials – Dorothy Waugh
Digital spaces can be just as big and just as unwieldy as physical spaces. Easy storage can be a blessing and a burden. What will the future want? You don’t know what they’ll want, so forget it. What’s really important is how you use the stuff.
Technology changes so fast, and file formats change. It can be tricky to keep on top of these things. It’s easy to lose files due to equipment failure, disasters. Plan for storage and backup.
To do this:
1) Know what you have. Make a list of where you have stuff stored. Once you’ve made your list: what types of materials matter to you. (E-mail, Social media, Blog). Do social media services allow you do download (ie. google takedown service). Where do you keep sensitive information?
2) Create well-managed content. Use commonly used formats. Use descriptive file names, when you’re looking at your stuff you know what it is. What not to do: Don’t put periods in your file names, or use general and poorly described labels.
How often should you things up? Best: Do it quarterly. But at least once a year.
Takeaways: Establish good habits. Backup your content. Have multiple copies in multiple digital locations (ie. computer, hard drive, cloud, studio, house, etc.) If you use external hard drives, don’t rely on them outright, and be sure to use them frequently. You might consider an internal hard drive doc, as an alternative.
Keeping Track of Your Stuff - Chris Pollette
Tech tools for artists.
Preservation - Julie Newton
What do you need to preserve against? Physical forces (earthquakes, dropping a piece of art), Thieves, Fire, Water, Pests, Pollutants (in environment, and in materials themselves), Light, Incorrect temperature/ humidity, neglect
First line of defense: building envelope. What are the environmental forces?
Best practices: Rose Library. Excellent environmental controls, boxes for individual materials, nice functioning Hvac, etc. But sometimes, low tech is enough. Ex. In metal work, you may just need a fan.
Emergency / Disaster planning - Ann Frellsen
Think about where you put your materials to avoid disaster.
But if disaster strikes remember safety should be your first priority. Then you can be creative: most damage is the result of water. Move wet materials carefully: If you only have cardboard, put plastic bags in them. If you need to absorb liquid use puppy pads, etc.
Types of Materials: