“Internal Server Error.” “Not Found.” “Bad Request.” Today, error messages like these are often returned by servers following a request to access the media art they once hosted. Over half a century of digital art and design continues to go dark everyday, receding into a horizon line of illegible scripts and software programs. The kind of media art that originated on computers, often called “born-digital,” has not aged well. And yet, despite its vulnerability to the passage of time, media art was once synonymous with the future. The panel will address the relevant issues of archiving new media art in Slovenia and beyond, which researchers are dealing with as part of the interdisciplinary project Sustainable Digital Preservation of the Slovenian New Media Art, financed by the Slovenian Research Agency.
Reconstruction of new media artworks: Preserving the conceptual framework [Rekonstrukcija novomedijskih umetnin: Ohranjanje konceptualnih zasnov] – prof. dr. Narvika Bovcon (Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za računalništvo in informatiko / University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science), dr. Aleš Vaupotič (Univerza v Novi Gorici, Raziskovalni center za humanistiko / University of Nova Gorica, Research centre for Humanities)
Right to research knowledge held by museums and other cultural heritage institutions [Pravica do raziskovalnega znanja, ki ga imajo muzeji in druge ustanove za varstvo kulturne dediščine] – dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič (Inštitut za intelektualno lastnino / Intellectual Property Institute)
Preservation of early computer-based art using ChatGPT [Ohranjanje zgodnje računalniške umetnosti s pomočjo ChatGPT] – prof. dr. Franc Solina (Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za računalništvo in informatiko / University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science)
Preservation of early computer-based art using ChatGPT – Franc Solina (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science)
Computer-based art, also known as digital art or new media art, has played a significant role in shaping the art world since its emergence in the 1960s. This form of art utilizes technology as a medium for creating and displaying works, such as computer graphics, digital animation, and interactive installations. Despite its importance in the history of art, early computer-based art is at risk of being lost due to the obsolescence of the technology used to create it and the digital nature of the works themselves. The preservation of early computer-based art is crucial for future generations to understand and appreciate the origins and evolution of this medium. In this article, we will explore the challenges and current efforts being made to preserve early computer-based art. We will also examine the role of ChatGPT, a large language model, in preserving early computer-based art.
Preserving early computer-based art poses several unique challenges. One of the main challenges is the obsolescence of technology. The technology used to create early computer-based art, such as mainframe computers and specialized software, is now obsolete and no longer in use. This makes it difficult to access, display, and preserve these artworks as the necessary hardware and software may not be available or may no longer be functional. Some artists and researchers are working on creating new versions of early computer-based artworks, using modern technology to update the original works, allowing them to be experienced by new audiences.
ChatGPT, a large language model, has the potential to play a significant role in preserving early computer-based art. In this article we will report how the available documentation of early computer-based art can be used by ChatGPT to emulate and simulate early computer-based artworks. For example, we will demonstrate how from the pseudocode for generating computer graphics by Georg Nees (Irrweg 1965) and A. Michael Noll (Gaussian Quadratic, 1963/1865) ChatGPT can create computer code in Processing for generating new versions of the original graphics. This can allow early computer-based art to be experienced by new audiences, and also provide new perspectives on the original works.Franc Solina is a professor of computer science at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He received his Dipl. Ing. (1979) and MS (1982) in electrical engineering from the University of Ljubljana and his Ph.D. (1987) in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1988 he has been teaching at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science at the University of Ljubljana and since 2011 also in the Video and New Media programme at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Ljubljana. In 1991 he founded the Computer Vision Laboratory at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science. His main research interests are 3D modeling of images and the use of computer vision in human-computer interaction and art installations. He is active in both the production of new media art and its preservation. Recently he has been engaged in enriching his stone sculptures with virtual content.