On Monday 18 May 2009 in Amsterdam Virtueel Platform organized Archive 2020, an international event on the archiving of born digital cultural content. Born digital content describes digital materials that originated in the digital realm, and have no print or analog counterpart. (see full project description)
Virtueel Platform bought second hand diskette disks at Marktplaats and transformed them into name badges. I received a badge with a Windows 3.1 installation disk part 1 which I will never be able to use because I don’t own any equipment with a diskette drive and I don’t have the other disks. The problems archives are facing are addressed before coffee is being served.
Annet Dekker opens the Archive 2020 expert meeting with the remark that Virtueel Platform was slightly surprised that archiving is still hot. Recent publications about the topic point to the urgency of archiving in the case of Australia’s online history ‘facing extinction.’ The Wired article on ‘Forget Storage, If You Want Files to Last Try Movage’ includes Kevin Kelly’s somewhat poetic approach to archiving which he describes as “in, out, in, out. Copy, move, copy, move.”
The title of the event refers to two things:
- The archive as potentially envisioned in 2020. This includes the idea that 2020 is just a year and that the internet as we know it will not be there anymore.
- 20/20 also means perfect vision: archives are looking for a perfect vision.