All types of digital art have a heritage with an analog medium. The original format, can hold hidden treasures, similar to the digital version, that have yet to be discovered. While digital art is becoming the “norm”, analog have their own affordances that can be seen as superior. Analog art can include the traditional practices of art, film, writing, and other cultural documentation. Technology is inherently going to have problems occur, but when used in the right way can open a whole new world of creation. Reformatting analog materials into digital will help preserve them, and keep their information viable in the long run. By combining the old and new, technological advances and traditional art, previously unknown information can be found and a whole new style of art is made.
I was really intrigued by the Thomas Jefferson article in particular. By using technology, historians and conservationists are able to shed a new light on traditionally stagnant documents. The thought provoking discovery is that when writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote the word “subjects,” which he changed to “citizens.” This one word is actually significant because it changes how America’s history could have been versus how it currently is. Until this discovery, it was a part of social knowledge that the Declaration went through various draft, but this makes that idea tangible.
Using a modified version of the kind of spectral imaging technology developed for the military and for monitoring agriculture. By studying the document at different wavelengths of light, including infrared and ultraviolet, researchers detected slightly different chemical signatures in the remnant ink of the erased word than in “citizens.”
Similarly, the “Technology Saves…” where technology not only is utilized, but also saves the analog materials. Carl Haber, an experimental physicist, created a machine that scans the physicality of a record, wax cylinder, or other outdated music devices. With these, it is the physical aspects of the item that holds the information to create music. The people working with IRENE technology were able to digitize and listen to one of the earliest recordings.
It is believed that recordings like these only have around 20 years before they disintegrate and are lost forever. There is a desperate need for this type of technology and services.
According to DeAnna, the Library of Congress digitizes about 15,000 recordings a year, but it is acquiring 250,000 a year. “That disparity is what concerns me,” he said, because the longer some recordings wait, the further they deteriorate.
With the addition of the advancement of 3D printing more and more museums, and other cultural heritage places, are able to digitize their collections. Technology in this area is becoming better, and faster, which means that places will be able to reformat their collections, artifacts, what have you on a larger scale.
Personally I am fascinated by this idea, where technology and analog work together. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I am all for digitization and reformatting. Although that’s not to say we should entirely get rid of the item that is being reformatted. It makes me wonder in what other ways can technology benefit analog, or traditional art? And in the future, with more and more digital art, how will this process change (if at all)? By taking artifacts and other culturally important items and reformatting them does it take away from the originality of it?