Technoheritage has a property problem

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1038

"Technoheritage" is the movement to preserve vulnerable history through digitization: making detailed scans of precious places, objects and works from which they can be recovered if they are destroyed by war, climate, or other disaster. Read the rest

Watch: nomination hearings for the next Librarian of Congress, 11:15AM PT

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x968

Carla Hayden is President Obama's pick for the next Librarian of Congress, and she's an extraordinarily good choice: an open-access advocate who opposes mass surveillance and comes out of the library world, Hayden is ideally poised to lead the Library, which, in turn, supervises the Copyright Office and sets the nation's de facto IT policy, for example through things like the Triennial DMCA 1201 hearings). Read the rest

Supreme Court sends Authors Guild packing, won't hear Google Books case

boox

The Authors Guild has been trying to get a court to shut down Google's book-scanning/book-search program for more than a decade. Read the rest

Today is the deadline to nominate for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

science_fiction_fantasy_hall_of_fame_full

Vote for your favorite "Creation" and "Creator." (Disclosure: I'm a volunteer on this year's jury) (via IO9) Read the rest

Artist installs sculptures that are also Tor nodes in the world's galleries

IMG_6969_D01-1024x693

Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum collaborate to create beautiful, acrylic-encased computers that are also Tor nodes, anonymizing data that passes through them, and install the in art galleries all over the world, so that patrons can communicate and browse anonymously, while learning about anonymity and Tor. Read the rest

How libraries can save the Internet of Things from the Web's centralized fate

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1007
Everyone thinks libraries have a positive role to play in the world, but that role differs greatly based on whether you’re talking to a librarian or a patron. Ask a patron what libraries have in common and they’d probably answer: they share books with people. Librarians give a different answer: they share a set of values. It’s time for libraries to step up to those values by supporting access to the Internet and taking the lead in fighting to keep the Internet open, free, and unowned.

Cornell University gets a grant to catalog and preserve Afrika Bambaataa's hiphop archive

hip-hop-family-tree-afrika

Afrika Bambaataa concluded his inaugural three year term as the visiting scholar at Cornell's Hip Hop Collection by donating his personal library of 450 containers of 20,000 hand-annotated vinyl records, as well as other archival materials. Read the rest

To download or stream: 1000 hours of classic jazz, mixed and annotated by a master collector

Louis_Armstrong_Tape_6_Variation_1928-1929

David W Niven began collecting jazz records in 1925, when he was 10 years old. He continued to collect until 1991, amassing a nearly unparalleled collection of 78s and LPs, whose highlights he eventually transferred to cassette, boiling down 10,000 hours of music to 1,000 hours of tape with his spoken commentary, each cassette meticulously annotated with handwritten liner-notes. Read the rest

Covert scan of museum's Nefertiti bust appears to be hoax

20160306-neues-scan-vs-heist-scan-21

Last month I blogged about Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles, a pair of artists who released a high-resolution scan of a looted Egyptian bust of Nefertiti in the collection of Berlin's Neues Museum, which has a reputation for refusing to make data from its collection (including 3D scans) public. Read the rest

Gorgeous new covers for 100 great public domain books

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x980

The New York Public Library's spectacular Digital Public Library challenged designers to create new covers for some of the public domain's greatest books, which had been previously doomed to an undeserved dullness thanks to the auto-generated covers that book-scanning projects stuck them with. Read the rest

Laura Poitras's Whitney show and book are a glimpse into life under full-strength, targeted US surveillance

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x978

Laura Poitras, whose 2014 Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour won the Academy Award for best doc, has a show on at NYC's Whitney Museum called "Astro Noise," which attempts to capture the sense of overwhelming surveillance she's lived under since the US government targeted her while she was shooting a documentary in Iraq. Read the rest

UPDATED Scanning artists de-loot stolen Egyptian treasure from a German museum

TheOtherNefertiti_InstallationView003corp

Update: All is not what it seems: it appears that the artists and the public were duped by a third party into passing off an illicitly obtained official scan as one that had been made by covert means.

Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles, an Iraqi/German artistic duo, covertly scanned a famous looted Egyptian treasure, the Bust of Queen Nefertiti, from its contested perch in Berlin's Neues Museum. Read the rest

Blooks: functional objects disguised as books

4461

About Blooks is a blog devoted to "blooks," objects that look like books but aren't, such as book-shaped handbags, hollow books used to hide valuables, and booze flasks that are disguised as books. Read the rest

Laura Poitras's Astro Noise: indispensable book and gallery show about mass surveillance

laura-poitras-whitney-1024x768

Laura Poitras is the Macarthur-winning, Oscar-winning documentarian who made Citizenfour. Her life has been dogged by government surveillance and harassment, and she has had to become a paranoid OPSEC ninja just to survive. Read the rest

500 hours of random VHS recordings condensed to five minutes

animation (6)

Bob Jaroc used to obsessive record long stretches of random TV on VHS cassettes. Read the rest

New York Public Library does the public domain right

nypl.digitalcollections.29219280-892b-0132-4271-58d385a7bbd0.001.g

The New York Public Library is aggressively digitizing the public domain works in its collections, adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to each of the hundreds of thousands of assets, providing an API, offering residencies to remixers who do interesting things with the collection, and offering all those assets in high-rez with "No permission required. No restrictions on use." Read the rest

Walk through the incredible installation inside the Japan pavillion at Venice Biennale

animation (2)

Last spring, we went to Venice to celebrate my wife's birthday and took a boat to the Biennale, which was pretty disappointing, with one notable exception: 'The Key in the Hand,' Chiharu Shiota's installation at the Japan pavilion, which took our breath away.

Read the rest

More posts