Category Archives: Past Event

DJ Spooky’s QUANTOPIA: THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET

We live in a world that is full of algorithms. We have an unconscious relationship to code and numbers. Even creativity is now quantified by data. — DJ Spooky

The Internet Archive is pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for the World Premiere of DJ Spooky’s QUANTOPIA: THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET—a multimedia hip hop concert experience about the history and exponential growth of the Internet. This new work commissioned by the Internet Archive, created with funding from a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is set to premiere at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater on Friday, January 25, 2019 at 7:30pm.

Get your World Premiere Tickets here

What might the Internet sound like?  How can we visualize the Internet?  Is an algorithm merely an opinion clothed in mathematics?

According to DJ Spooky and his collaborator and data artist Greg Niemeyer, QUANTOPIA is “The utopia of quantification —the dream that we can count, measure, and weigh everything and reach a perfect understanding of the world despite its paradoxes.”

DJ Spooky’s QUANTOPIA: THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNET weaves together new compositions, chorus, a string quartet and algorithmically generated images in an immersive aural and visual experience. Described by the composer as an “acoustic portrait of the Internet,” DJ Spooky will perform live loops and layers of sound, alongside musicians from Classical Revolution and San Francisco Girls Chorus, enveloped by data visualization and interactive video design by Greg Niemeyer, with additional visual design created by MEDIUMLABS, and Roger Antonsen.

“Quantopia” Network Visualization by Roger Antonsen

QUANTOPIA commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first sound transmission on the Internet. On October 29, 1969, two young programmers working together by phone attempted to “LOGIN” from the UCLA computer lab to a Stanford Research Institute computer. The system crashed, but with those two momentous keystrokes, “L-O,” the world would never be the same. The ARPANET, precursor to the Internet, was born. Fifty years later, with the Internet’s complete transformation of society, there is a growing sense that technology and humanity are at a crossroad. Traveling through a barcode forest, the audience will witness fifty years, from 1969 to 2019, to consider the social and technical co-construction of the Internet, from the world of big data to information theory.

QUANTOPIA will be presented in three movements and features text from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and progresses through the creation and expansion of the World Wide Web. The hour-long experience is a multi-sensory journey illuminating ever-present issues of inclusion and exclusion, echo chambers and small-world phenomena. A celebration of the history of the Internet, QUANTOPIA is a tribute to the depth and high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media.

QUANTOPIA is the first public performance of the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This project also represents an artistic extension of the Internet Archive’s work in preservation, open technology, and open access to knowledge. “The idea is having a symphony about the web,” reflects Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Can we go and learn from that in new and different ways what this Internet thing is?” By leveraging the power of music, the Internet Archive seeks to engage new and younger audiences to think about how they engage with the internet. On the day of the premiere, students from selected programs in the San Francisco Unified School District and the wider Bay Area will attend a special educational presentation at YBCA.

We look forward to seeing our Internet Archive community at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on January 25th at 7.30pm.

Get your tickets today.

QUANTOPIA is commissioned by the Internet Archive, created with funding from a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and presented in association with YBCA. Produced by Sozo Artists, Inc. with additional support from Sozo Impact, Inc.

Join us for A Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain

Check out the photos from the event!

Screen shot from Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 silent classic, “The Ten Commandments.” On January 1, 2019, this film and tens of thousands of other works will enter the public domain.

It’s time to celebrate!  For the first time in decades, new creative works such as Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 silent film, “The Ten Commandments,” Kahlil Gibran’s classic “The Prophet,” and Virginia Woolf’s third novel, “Jacob’s Room,” will enter the public domain on the first day of 2019. Please join us for a Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain, featuring a keynote address by Creative Commons’ founder, Lawrence Lessig, on January 25, 2019.  Co-hosted by the Internet Archive and Creative Commons, this celebration will feature legal thought leaders, lightning talks, demos, and the chance to play with these new public domain works. The event will take place at the Internet Archive in San Francisco.

RSVP now before the tickets run out

Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” will enter the public domain on January 1st!

The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. But U.S. copyright law has greatly expanded over time, so that now many works don’t enter the public domain for a hundred years or more. Ever since the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, no new works have entered the public domain (well, none due to copyright expiration). But for the first time this January, tens of thousands of books, films, visual art, sheet music, and plays published in 1923 will be free of intellectual property restrictions, and anyone can use them for any purpose at all.

The cartoons featuring Felix the Cat, 1923, is among the tens of thousands of works that will be full accessible starting 2019.

Join the creative, legal, library, and advocacy communities plus an amazing lineup of people who will highlight the significance of this new class of public domain works. Presenters include Larry Lessig, political activist and Harvard Law professor; Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and co-editor of Boing Boing; Pam Samuelson, copyright scholar; and Jamie Boyle, the man who literally wrote the book on the public domain, and many others.

Continue the celebration at the world premiere of DJ Spooky’s “Quantopia” at the Yerba Buena Center in SF on January 25.

In the evening, the celebration continues as we transition to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the world premiere of Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky’s Quantopia: The Evolution of the Internet, a live concert synthesizing data and art, both original and public domain materials, in tribute to the depth and high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media. Attendees of our Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain event will receive an Internet Archive code for a 20% discount for tickets to Quantopia.

If you’d like to  support the work we do at the Internet Archive, including making these 1923 works available to you for free on January 1,

please donate here.

Schedule of Events:

10am: Doors & Registration

10-11:45am: Interactive public domain demos and project stations with organizations including Creative Commons, Internet Archive, Wikipedia, Authors Alliance, Electronic Frontier Foundation, California Digital Library, Center for the Study of the Public Domain, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Cleveland Art Museum, and many more!

11:45-1pm: Lunch on your own in the Richmond District

1pm-6pm: Program of keynote speakers, lightning talks and panels highlighting the value and importance of the public domain

6pm-7:30pm: Reception

Speakers/Panelists Include:

  • Lawrence Lessig – Harvard Law Professor
  • Cory Doctorow – Author & Co-editor, Boing-Boing
  • Pam Samuelson – Berkeley Law Professor
  • Paul Soulellis – Artist & Rhode Island School of Design Professor
  • Jamie Boyle – Duke Law Professor & Founder, Center for the Study of the Public Domain
  • Brewster Kahle – Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive
  • Corynne McSherry – Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Ryan Merkley – CEO, Creative Commons
  • Jennifer Urban – Berkeley Law Professor
  • Joseph C. Gratz – Partner, Durie Tangri
  • Jane Park – Director of Product and Research, Creative Commons
  • Cheyenne Hohman – Director, Free Music Archive
  • Ben Vershbow – Director, Community Programs, Wikimedia
  • Jennifer Jenkins – Director, Center for the Study of the Public Domain
  • Rick Prelinger – Founder, Prelinger Archives
  • Amy Mason – LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Paul Keller – Communia Association
  • Michael Wolfe – Duke Lecturing Fellow, Center for the Study of the Public Domain
  • Daniel Schacht – Co-chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group, Donahue Fitzgerald LLP

Big Tech Comedy Roast at the Internet Archive

Politics got you down? Feeling like you need some laughter in your life? Have we got the event for you!

Come join us at the Internet Archive for a Big Tech Comedy Roast presented by former Amazon executive and entrepreneur Vahid Razavi, author of “Ethics in Tech, or The Lack Thereof and Age of Nepotism“.

The evening is hosted by Will Durst, and also brings us the comedic talents of Francesca Fiorentini, Chloe McGovern, Nichole Spain and Jared Horning.

The New York Times on Will Durst: “Quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” The Boston Globe: “A modern day Will Rogers.”

Get Tickets Here $12.00

Friday, December 14, 2018
6:00 pm Doors Open
7:00 pm Program
Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

 

Bread and Puppet Theater: The Basic Bye-bye Show

[Now done, some pictures from the event]

The Internet Archive is proud to present a show by the Bread and Puppet Theater on Saturday October 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  The Basic Bye-bye Show is a series of quiet object fantasies in black, white, and grey inside a small fabric stage printed with elementary words — “Resist,” “Bread,” “Yes,” “Sky,” “Riot,” “Byebye.”

Bread & Puppet’s director, Peter Schumann, says of the show: “The Basic Bye-bye Show is based on the fact that our culture is saying its basic bye-bye to Mother Earth by continuing the devastating effects of the global economy on our planet.”

Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Their traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces, to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers. The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.

Get Tickets Here

Saturday, October 27, 2018
6:00 pm Doors Open
7:00 pm Program
Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Soundwave 8 Biennial Festival at the Internet Archive: XUXA SANTAMARIA

We are excited to have the experimental music and video duo XUXA SANTAMARIA perform an original work “Untitled (Wall)” at the Internet Archive as part of the Soundwave 8 Biennial Festival on Friday October 26, 2018 at 7pm.

XUXA SANTAMARIA (artist Sofía Córdova and Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland) have created a visual and musical program from video games, Second Life, early screensavers, chat rooms, Myspace and other holdings from the Internet Archive.

Soundwave is a festival of cutting-edge art and music experiences. Each festival season investigates a new idea through sound. This years’ focus is on Infrastructure.

Get Tickets Here

Friday, October 26, 2018
6:00 pm Doors Open
7:00 pm Performance
Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

 

 

 

 

Physical Archive Party October 28th, 2018

Archive friends and family please join us for the Physical Archive party, 2-6pm 2512 Florida Avenue, Richmond CA.   RSVP please so we can keep a count.  Staff, partners, friends of the Internet Archive are all invited.

RSVP HERE

This is a unique opportunity to see some of the behind the scenes activities of the Internet Archive and millions of books, music and movie items. The Internet Archive is well known for its digital collections — the digital books, software, film and music that millions of people access every day through archive.org, but did you know that much of our online content is derived from physical collections, stored in the east bay in Richmond?

2018 has been a year of focus on inventory and ramping up throughput at our digitization centers. At the physical archive we see collections of film, software, documents, books, and music at least three times before it is finally archived in Richmond. Once coming in the door to be inventoried, secondly as we ship it out to be digitized in Hong Kong or Cebu, and thirdly coming back to us for long term storage.

This year, the staff at the physical archive would like you to to see the physical archive and celebrate our achievements in 2018. Bring your roller skates and drones for competitive battles, get a drink at the ‘Open Container Bar’ and then peruse the special collections in our dedicated space. Uninhibitedly show off your dance skills at our silent server disco and enjoy brews and Halloween gruel.

We will also be showcasing our collection of books, music and film in both a working environment and our special collections room. We will have tours of our facilities, demonstration of how we get hundreds of thousands books a year digitized at our Hong Kong (and now Cebu) Super Centers and safely back again.

Prize for scariest librarian costume.
This is a halloween event so costumes are encouraged!

Let’s Celebrate: Building A Better Web!

White Tie Optional: the stylish Kyle Courtney & Hannah Scates Kettler enjoy Internet Archive’s 2017 Annual Bash.

IA’s Director of Media, Alexis Rossi, sports the most memorable hat of 2017’s Bash.

Once a year, the Internet Archive’s community pulls out its fancy hats, quaffs a cocktail or two, and celebrates the latest breakthroughs in building a better web together. Our goal: to bring you knowledge in all its many forms that is richer, deeper, more trustworthy and openly accessible on the Web. Knowledge that will fuel innovation and understanding for generations to come.  So won’t you join us?  Come to Building A Better Web: The Internet Archive’s Annual Bash, Wednesday, October 3 from 5-10 p.m. at our headquarters in San Francisco.  Tickets start at $15 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Four arms are better than one? The special turntable used in digitizing 78 rpm records.

First order of business: come at 5 PM for taco trucks, cocktails and hands-on demonstrations of how to digitize a rare book, play a virtual reality game, or explore the newest features of the Wayback Machine.  Be sure to grab a library card and get it stamped at each demo station: at the end of the evening we’ll award you with an IA-themed prize.

San Francisco muralist, Ju Young Ku will be painting a new work while the party bubbles around him.

Meanwhile, don’t miss the amazing creativity of muralist Ju Young Ku as he paints a new library-themed scene before your very eyes. Before the night is over, you can take photos in front of his latest work. Be sure to get tattooed (temporarily) with a GeoCities GIF image from the 90s and groove to a 78 rpm mix from our DJ during the dinner hour.

IA’s Mek (Michael Karpeles) shows off experiments from Archive Lab.

Next up: head inside to learn more about the Internet Archive’s latest experiments.  And be sure to find the gallery of works by the Internet Archive’s Artists-in-Residence, including the mind-tripping installation by artist Chris Sollars. He sampled psychedelic screensavers, live recordings of the Grateful Dead, and psychotropic literature from the Internet Archive’s digital vaults to create a commentary on the nexus between drug culture and early tech culture from the 80s and 90s. 

Grab a grassy spot and contemplate Chris Sollars’ installation on display.

At 7 PM head upstairs to the Great Room for an hour-long presentation of the coolest new tools and mind-boggling new collections of 2018.  From the great works of Tibetan Buddhism to 12,000 free audiobooks on your mobile phone, we’ll unveil the latest and greatest breakthroughs of the year.

And don’t go home yet!  At 8 PM we’ll head outside for dessert, gift giveaways, and dancing to the vinyl playlist of DJ Phast Phreddie.  It’s a party with a purpose: to celebrate the open, creative, sharing community of the Web–a Web we’re working hard to make better each and every day.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

 

Dancing anyone?  We’ll end the evening with ice cream and great music.

 

 

Identity in the Decentralized Web

In B. Traven’s The Death Ship, American sailor Gerard Gales finds himself stranded in post-World War I Antwerp after his freighter departs without him.  He’s arrested for the crime of being unable to produce a passport, sailor’s card, or birth certificate—he possesses no identification at all.  Unsure how to process him, the police dump Gales on a train leaving the country. From there Gales endures a Kafkaesque journey across Europe, escorted from one border to another by authorities who do not know what to do with a man lacking any identity.  “I was just a nobody,” Gales complains to the reader.

As The Death Ship demonstrates, the concept of verifiable identity is a cornerstone of modern life.   Today we know well the process of signing in to shopping websites, checking email, doing some banking, or browsing our social network.  Without some notion of identity, these basic tasks would be impossible.

That’s why at the Decentralized Web Summit earlier this year, questions of identity were a central topic.  Unlike the current environment, in a decentralized web users control their personal data and make it available to third-parties on a need-to-know basis.  This is sometimes referred to as self-sovereign identity: the user, not web services, owns their personal information.

The idea is that web sites will verify you much as a bartender checks your ID before pouring a drink.  The bar doesn’t store a copy of your card and the bartender doesn’t look at your name or address; only your age is pertinent to receive service.  The next time you enter the bar the bartender once again asks for proof of age, which you may or may not relinquish. That’s the promise of self-sovereign identity.

At the Decentralized Web Summit, questions and solutions were bounced around in the hopes of solving this fundamental problem.  Developers spearheading the next web hashed out the criteria for decentralized identity, including:

  • secure: to prevent fraud, maintain privacy, and ensure trust between all parties
  • self-sovereign: individual ownership of private information
  • consent: fine-tuned control over what information third-parties are privy to
  • directed identity: manage multiple identities for different contexts (for example, your doctor can access certain aspects while your insurance company accesses others)
  • and, of course, decentralized: no central authority or governing body holds private keys or generates identifiers

One problem with decentralized identity is that these problems often compete, pulling in polar directions.

For example, while security seems like a no-brainer, with self-sovereign identity the end-user is in control (and not Facebook, Google, or Twitter).  It’s incumbent on them to secure their information. This raises questions of key management, data storage practices, and so on. Facebook, Google, and Twitter pay full-time engineers to do this job; handing that responsibility to end-users shifts the burden to someone who may not be so technically savvy.  The inconvenience of key management and such also creates more hurdles for widespread adoption of the decentralized web.

The good news is, there are many working proposals today attempting to solve the above problems.  One of the more promising is DID (Decentralized Identifier).

A DID is simply a URI, a familiar piece of text to most people nowadays.  Each DID references a record stored in a blockchain. DIDs are not tied to any particular blockchain, and so they’re interoperable with existing and future technologies.  DIDs are cryptographically secure as well.

DIDs require no central authority to produce or validate.  If you want a DID, you can generate one yourself, or as many was you want.  In fact, you should generate lots of them.  Each unique DID gives the user fine-grained control over what personal information is revealed when interacting with a myriad of services and people.

If you’re interested to learn more, I recommend reading Michiel Mulders’ article on DIDs, “the Internet’s ‘missing identity layer’.”  The DID working technical specification is being developed by the W3C.  And those looking for code and community, check out the Decentralized Identity Foundation.

(While DIDs are promising, it is a nascent technology.  Other options are under development.  I’m using DIDs as an example of how decentralized identity might work.)

What does the future hold for self-sovereign identification?  From what I saw at the Decentralized Web, I’m certain a solution will be found.

SAVE THE DATE! — Building a Better Web: Internet Archive’s Annual Bash

Please save the date and join us for our annual bash on October 3rd, 2018! This year we’re working to build a better web, one that is useful and reliable, and we hope you will come to celebrate with us!

Get Your Tickets Now!

Fake news, the rewriting of history, power that is too centralized — we know the problems. Now let’s build a better web, together.

Join us as we demonstrate how the Internet Archive is rising to this challenge. Meet others in the community who, like you, are trying to help.

We’ll kick off the evening with cocktails, tacos and hands-on demos.

Let’s bring everything online and make it accessible;
Let’s make what is digital permanent and reliable;
Let’s build a decentralized web that we can trust.

Bring your visions for a better web and your dancing shoes, and together let’s build a stronger and more reliable digital commons.

Wednesday, October 3rd
5pm: Drinks, food trucks, and hands-on demos
7pm: Program
8pm: Dessert and Dancing

Location:  Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco

Tickets start at $15. If you are moved to donate more in support of Universal Access to All Knowledge, we appreciate your support. We will provide tax receipts for all donations made.

Get Your Tickets Now!

The 2018 Internet Archive Artist in Residence: Pickling the Past for Future Edibility

Exhibition Overview on the Archive for download or viewing here: https://archive.org/details/2018ArtistInResidence

or on YouTube:

Article Written by John Held, Jr.

The Internet Archive is near and dear to my heart. First: a disclaimer. When the website provider Geocities went under and scrubbed existing sites, my data loss was incalculable. But all was not lost. The Internet Archive came to my rescue, capturing the site for posterity, giving it a new URL and making it accessible again, along with almost 300 billion (!) other preserved websites. http://web.archive.org/web/20050323100927/www.geocities.com/johnheldjr/

The Internet Archive, which is physically located down the street from me in a majestic former Christian Science Church at the intersection of Clement Street and Park Presidio, captures much more than defunct websites. It also digitizes and makes accessible books and sound recordings. For every person who bemoans the fact that private information put up on the Internet is forever available, there is another viewing the resource as an invaluable service expanding the depth of research on multitudes of topics.

Research takes many paths, and one path especially favored by Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle is providing an open-ended road of creativity for artists to travel down. In a talk he gave last year at the inauguration of the Internet Archive’s Artist in Residence Program exhibition at Ever Gold (Projects), Kahle marveled at the inadvertent uses of the structure he constructed. Yes, the Internet Archive provides a public service by capturing and disseminating information, but the myriad of unpremeditated “happy accidents” resulting from the formation of this highly engineered edifice, is often the most satisfying. Important as the formidable information sharing of the Archive is, we can also be impressed by the ability of the system to transmute information in unexpected ways. It’s the manifestation of alchemy embedded in today’s technology.

Selected by residency founder and director Amir Saber Esfahani, this year’s residency artists Mieka Marple, Chris Sollars and Taravat Talepas and have each approached the mining of the Internet Archive through independent investigation and style of presentation on topics ranging from Hieronymus Bosch, the Grateful Dead and the Iranian Revolution.

Mieke Marple has previously exhibited at Ever Gold (Projects) on the theme of the Tarot. She switches gears in the current exhibition to investigate the imagery of Hieronymus Bosch’s, “What Abomination from the Garden of Earthly Delights Are You,” interpreting her understanding of the work through linking Victorian eroticism with floral embellishments, creating her own version of “Earthly Delights.”

Two installations by Chris Sollars sharply contrast with Marple’s timeless Victoriana. Searching the Internet Archive for psychedelic screen savers and Grateful Dead recordings, and linking them with the literal pickling of information by mixing canning and hardware from the Internet Archive itself, Sollars reveals the endless possibilities the Internet Archive can generate.

Taraval Talepasand was born in the United States to Iranian parents during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. This duality informs much of the work of the widely exhibited artist, who is on the faculty of the San Francisco Art Institute. Instead of dredging the Internet Archive, Talepasand adds to it by creating the “Vali Mortezaie” Archive in collaboration with his son Hushidar Mortezaie. The collection contains vintage publications from pre-revolutionary Iran, including magazines, propaganda posters and advertisements. Talepasand, who studied Persian miniature painting in Iran, translates the Archive’s contents through a series of drawn and painted works.

Kudos to Ever Gold (Projects) gallery director Andrew McClintock, who collaborated with Amir Saber Esfahani, on the exhibition’s organization. Ever Gold (Projects) is known for presentations of in-your-face artworks that scream contemporaneity. The current exhibition’s diversity mirror the range of roads made possible by the capture of billions of websites and petabytes of information. Just as pioneer women in an earlier age pickled the year’s crop, preserving it for later edibility, the Internet Archive, as exemplified by Chris Sollars installation, preserves information for future consumption.

The Artist in Residence Exhibition ran from July 14- August 11, 2018. We have put together a short video with interviews from Brewster Kahle and the artists involved, as well as shots of the actual opening event.