Digital art is different from a lot of the traditional media whether it’s sculpture or painting or things of that sort. The reason it’s different is one word: Software. Artists are taking advantage of all kinds of technology to produce their work including computing devices and networks. My name is Vint Cerf and I’m sometimes known as one of the fathers of the internet. We’re in a precarious state with regard to preservation of digital content over long periods of time. Think about the people with mobiles that take pictures hoping that they will preserve those pictures for their descendants. What we don’t know is whether any of the digital media can last for 150 years Partly because either the media disintegrates or we can’t find a reader that can read the bits. It is very laborious for artists and for preservation specialists to constantly keep recreating a piece of software for example or a website keeping the artwork intact. My name is Dragan Espenschied and I’m the preservation director at Rhizome. I used to be a home computer folk musician or a chip tune musician. Rhizome is one of the few institutions that have been created in the 90s out of the artist community, to create tools that are enabling artists to preserve what they think is important on the internet. We have a program that’s similar in many ways to an art museum, but our museum is our website. In order to preserve a digital art object over a long period of time, the software that that object relies on for execution has to work. If you think about removing a painting from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, then the loss of that context would have a really major impact on people’s understanding of that work. So you have to think what is the context, what is the technical surroundings of these kinds of works. Rhizome has focused its attention on preservation methods to capture and render these digital artworks over what we hope will be a long period of time. It is great that Google Arts and Culture is engaging in that field because Google is one of those providers of systems where a lot of artists are actually active. Digital art needs to be preserved for the same reason any art needs to be preserved I think our cultural heritage really is such an important part of telling us who we are. This is how human kind in general is able to grow by looking at what has happened before. We’re going to have to work in order to preserve that knowledge and to preserve the artifacts that go with it because this is a digital world that we live in.