From Clay to the Cloud: The Internet Archive and Our Digital Legacy

Watch the Laband's film about the Internet Archivists

January 23 - March 20, 2016

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?

Internet Archivists Nuala Creed

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. View 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.

Internet Archive Laband Exhibition Installation Shot 2

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.

Presented by the Laband Art Gallery and The William H. Hannon Library (all events are free)