Critical Writing Index

Digital Decay

by Bruce Sterling

Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2003, pp. 11-22

At the "Preserving the Immaterial: A Conference on Variable Media," Bruce Sterling addresses the issue of preservation: physical and digital. He outlines the physical dangers of preservation such as water, heat, smoke, physical handling, etc, but he also makes a poignant observation that digitalization cannot be relied upon as a trusted archival medium. Technology becomes obsolete, incompatible or suddenly crashes leaving us stranded in regret because these issues are being massively under-appreciated. It is, then, left to the future generations to inherit our unstable technology and deal with these issues as they become increasingly problematic.

ITEM 2003.130 – available for viewing in the Research Centre