Eyebeam Resurfaces
After Hurricane Sandy

January 7, 2013 | Marina Galperina

“It’s about the positive outcome of a disaster,” Eyebeam Art+ Technology Center resident artist Jonathan Minard tells ANIMAL. One of New York’s most inspiring creative spaces suffered $250,000 in dammage to AV equipment, books and computers from Hurricane Sandy’s toxic, corroding, 3-foot floods. It took a toil on Eyebeam’s precious archive of analog and digital media spanning 15 years of experimental art and technology, but if the team and volunteer specialists hadn’t acted fast, it could have been destroyed.

“The show is a celebration how important it is to back-up and digitize things,” Minard explains. Curated by Lindsay Howard, the exhibition/event Eyebeam Resurfaces: The Future of the Digital Archive goes beyond the dammage we recorded last year and shows the work that was saved and how. It’s a survey, a collection of archived touch-stones from the various years — efforts in Open Source and Net Art, Cory Archangel’s video game art theory education, Shirin Neshat, Tony Oursler, pods that read your brain waves and immerse you in projections… Mind-blowing technology-based art.

Curator Lindsay Howard was mapping the trajectory of center’s 15 years when the storm hit. “I had an impulse to dig through the digital media archive and see what was there. It’s the silver lining to the tragedy.” The archive has been dried, sterilized, decontaminated, added to a complete inventory of 1,500 objects and is currently being digitized in preparation of being released for internet consumption, shared with all.

Parts of Jonathan Minard’s Archive — a documentary film examining “humanity’s dependence on digital memory” — will be screened during the Thursday fundraiser event.

Eyebeam Resurfaces: The Future of the Digital Archive, Jan 8 – Jan 12, Event Thursday Jan 10 7-9pm, Chelsea, New York