From Clay to The Cloud explores the human impetus to preserve our knowledge, our memory, and our cultural heritage. Twenty years ago, the Internet Archive took on the challenge of creating a digital repository—a 21st-century Library of Alexandria—where swaths of our lives from the Internet and other sources will be stored for generations to come. In order to be useful, this unfathomably vast collection of data (over 20 petabytes and growing) needs to be explored and activated by humans who seek to tell stories and make sense of it. The exhibition looks at past and present archival practices and asks what are we saving, how will others be able to access it, and what will our cultural legacy be for the future?
Ancient clay cuneiforms will be on view as well as Nuala Creed’s ceramic portraits of the Internet archivists that remind us of the crucial human involvement in this digital archive. Hands-on displays will offer visitors the opportunity to dive into the vast “storerooms” of the Internet Archive. We also will be digitally archiving items from the William H. Hannon Library and the Laband every afternoon using the Table Top Scribe, a state-of-the-art scanner.
About Nuala Creed
Nuala Creed, was born in Dublin Ireland, moved to the U.S. as a young adult, and now lives in Petaluma, California. In 1999 she earned a BFA with high distinction from California College of the Arts. Since then her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, in Korea, Finland, France, Hungary, and Ireland. Nuala has also completed four public ceramic murals. She has received many awards for her work, which is represented in both private and public collections, such as Pro Artibus Foundation Collection, Finland. For the past few years she has been working on a collection of ceramic figures for the Internet Archive in San Francisco. To date there are 113 of them exhibited in the Great Room of the archive. Her work has been featured in books such as Ceramics and The Human Figure, by Edith Garcia, Confrontational Ceramics by Judith Schwartz, 500 Figures in Clay, by Lark Books. Articles about her work appear in several art magazines, which include Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Ireland. Nuala's website
About the Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a San Francisco-based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge.” It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including web sites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. To date, its collection topped 20 petabytes. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.
Founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996, the Internet Archive allows the public to upload and download digital material to its data cluster, but the bulk of its data is collected automatically by its web crawlers, which work to preserve as much of the public web as possible. Its web archive, The Wayback Machine, contains over 150 billion web captures. The Archive also oversees one of the world's largest book digitization projects. Visit the Internet Archive's site.
Talk: Nuala Creed & Brewster Kahle & Opening Reception
Saturday, January 23, 2-5pm
Artist’s Talk (2-3pm) Reception (3-5pm)
Murphy Recital Hall and Laband Art Gallery
Internet Archive Founder Brewster Kahle and artist Nuala Creed offer insight in the archive and the unique artistic commission. The talk will be followed by reception. The talk is co-organized by the Laband Art Gallery and KaleidoLA: The Speaker Series of the Department of Art and Art History.
Ask An Archivist Panel
Wednesday. February 10, 5:30-7:00 pm
Von der Ahe Suite 322, William H. Hannon Library
Archivists from diverse archives across Southern California will discuss the relationship between researchers and the work of archivists.
DIY Archiving Workshop & Exhibition Tour
Saturday. February 13, 9:30am-12:30pm
Von der Ahe Suite 322, William H. Hannon Library
Learn how to best preserve your treasured documents, images, and objects, both print and digital. The workshop will be followed by a tour of the exhibition with curator Carolyn Peter.
Conversation: Gaming, Its Past and Its Future, Tracy Fullerton & Tom Klein
Tuesday, March 8, 7pm
LMU, Von der Ahe Building, Room 190
USC Game Designer/Professor Tracy Fullerton and LMU Animation Professor Tom Klein will discuss how traditions of analog and digital game design inform the creative process of current video game development. This program is co-organized with the School of Film and Television. Read a recent article about Tracy Fullerton in the LA Times.
Talk: The Dark Side: Your Personal Archive, Data Collection, & Privacy
Date and Time TBD
Other types of archiving and data collection are occurring on a daily basis around our shopping, browsing, and physical location. Where is this information going and how do citizens protect their privacy in a digital age? This program is co-organized with the Department of Communication Studies.
Free Little Libraries
Dotted across LMU’s campus are Free Little Libraries where you can take a book and/or leave a book. Stop by the Laband or the Hannon Library for a map and go on a treasure hunt to locate them all.
Images: All Images by Nuala Creed, from the Internet Archivists series, 2010-2015, ceramic. Collection of the Internet Archive. Photo by Don Felton. Top: Group of Internet Archivists, Middle: Jen Kujath, Below: June Goldsmith, Mario Murphy, and Andrea Mills.