Location: Swinburne Studio, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne & Zoom
All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)
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Watch full recordings of keynotes, panels and sessions in the program
We are grateful to the amazing work of ACMI’s Media Lab and staff for these recordings.

Wednesday 29th November

9:30AM – 4:30 PM Disk Imaging Workshop

This workshop is an add-on to #BDCH for those interested in developing skills in software preservation (further information and registrations)

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM Conference Opening & Keynote

#BDCH23 will be officially opened by Sarah Slade, Executive Director, Commerical & Operations, ACMI.

Melanie Swalwell

Professor of Digital Media Heritage, Swinburne University, Melbourne

Research Consortia in Digital Heritage Research: The ‘Archiving Australian Media Arts’ Project and Beyond

Drawing on more than fifteen years’ experience leading multi-disciplinary digital heritage research projects, I will reflect on the quite remarkable consortium that has undertaken the work of the Archiving Australian Media Arts: Towards a Method and a National Collection ARC Linkage Project, and offer an assessment of the utility of a ‘consortial approach’ more generally in born digital cultural heritage research.

Thursday 30th November

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Session 1: Web/Histories

Kieran Hegarty

PhD Researcher, RMIT University; Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society

Avery Dame-Griff

Lecturer, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

Richard Lewei Huang

PhD Researcher, University of Washington, Seattle

Inventing the Archived Web: Lessons from a Prehistory of Australia’s Web Archiving Program

Which born-digital material is designated the status of heritage? How does this process of “heritigatization” occur? This paper focuses on the period between the installation of the first web server in Australia and the commencement of Australia’s collaborative web archiving program, PANDORA (October 1996)…

Kooks of Usenet Past: Hauntings in the Born-Digital Archive

For those active in transgender-focused Usenet groups during the 1990s up to the mid-2000s, few regular posters were as infamous as Laura Blake. Best known for her prolific and pugnacious posting style, Blake engaged in frequent, extended flame wars with her ideological opponents…

Comparing the Archival Rate, Frequency, and Quality of Chinese-language and English-language Web Pages from the late 1990s and early 2000s on the Wayback Machine

How well has The Wayback Machine archived Chinese-Language webpages from the late 1990s and early 2000s? Chinese-speaking users account for more than 20% of the world’s online population. Yet, most existing work  focuses on English-language content…

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM MORNING TEA: Swinburne Studio

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM Session 2: Processes/Tools

Denise De Vries

Research Associate, Swinburne University, Melbourne

Eric Kaltman & Joseph C. Osborn

Assistant Professor, California State University Channel Islands, California

Arda Erdikmen & Ivo Furman

Lecturer & Assistant Professor, Bilgi University, Istanbul

Kirsten Day

Lecturer, University of Melbourne; Director, Norman Day + Associates Architects

Evaluation of Emulation-as-a-Service for 1990’s Videogames

Focusing on the Play It Again: Preserving Australian Videogame History of the 1990s. this paper assesses the quality of user interactions once games are made playable using Emulation-as-a-Service and Emulation-as-a-Service Infrastructure…

The Game and Interactive Software Scholarship Toolkit (GISST): Enabling Interactive Software Reference

The goal of the Game and Interactive Software Scholarship Toolkit (GISST), a US National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded project, is to develop a framework for the citation and sharing of emulated states and input streams for collaborative study and institutional use…

History without an Archive? The Challenges of Collecting, Preserving and Researching Bulletin Board Systems in Turkey

HitNet (Hi! Türkiye Network) – the only Turkish BBS to have a publicly accessible archive – offers a case study of the challenges associated with collecting, preserving and researching BBS archives in Turkey…

The Evolution of Architectural Documentation: A Case Study on Software Adoption and Challenges in Contemporary Practice

The architecture industry’s pursuit of innovation and widespread adoption of various software tools for documentation, rendering, animation, and the integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) raises specific challenges for preservation…

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM LUNCH BREAK

1:15 PM – 2:45 PM Session 3: Local/Global

Helen Stuckey

Lecturer, RMIT University, Melbourne

Taryn Ellis

Digital Preservation Technical Analyst, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

Robin Wright

Head Australasia and Asia-Pacific, Digital Preservation Coalition

Preserving and Emulating Australian Made Videogames of the 1990s

A reflection on the successes, difficulties, and limitations encountered in preserving and emulating a curated selection of 50 game titles for the Play It Again: Preserving Australian Video Game History of the 1990s project and the implications for access and exhibition…

Saving Stan: Preserving the Digital Artwork of Joseph Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski

Digital preservation is rarely a simple, linear endeavour. Preserving and providing access to the Josef Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski archive held at the State Library of South Australia revealed that emulation was not the simplest solution…

Fair Play: Legal Strategies for Ongoing Access to Complex Digital Content

Legal barriers are one of the biggest obstacles to the effective preservation of complex and interactive digital content, including video games. The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has established a task force to address these challenges…

3:15 PM – 4:45 PM Session 4: Workflows/Methods

Candice Cranmer

Time-based Media Conservator, ACMI, Melbourne

Cynde Moya

Postdoctoral Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne

Rebecca Barnott-Clement

Senior Time-Based Art Conservator, Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW)

Joanna Fleming & Lisa Mansfield

Digital Preservation Manager & Time-based Art Conservator, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Balancing Bulk Processing with Responsive Access Methods at ACMI

How do you preserve archives collaboratively, simultaneously and at scale while also ensuring artists’ intent in reimagined exhibition displays? This paper traces ACMI’s collaborative acquisition and preservation workflow for contemporary Australian videogames with reference to select examples…

Building an Environment Creation Workflow for AusEaaSI Using the ACMS Software Accession

EaaSI could make games playable in a browser on the open web or in a museum intranet setting. Driving-games, however, pose particular diificulties with their different requirements for sound and graphics cards…

Preserving Complex Born-digital/Software-based Artworks and the PREMIS Metadata Framework

What does it mean to ‘preserve’ a software-based artwork within digital preservation systems? A case study from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Digital Preservation team’s evaluation of fifteen artworks using a PREMIS metadata framework…

Beyond File Borders: Digital Preservation of Time-based Art

Questions of how to best capture the artwork and bridge the gap between technnical infrastructure, artist’s intent and preservation needs are considered in relation to three artworks recently displayed in the newly built North Building at AGNSW…

4:45 PM – 5:45 PM KEYNOTE

Sean Cubitt

Professor of Screen Studies, University of Melbourne, Melbourne

Emulation and Infrastructure

Confronting yet another new practice of computing in AI, another revolutionary infrastructure in the form of quantum computing, and the very possible end of the era of online platform dominance (with everything that implies for archiving), the mutual dependence of software and hardware has never been clearer or more urgent, or raised so many questions about the emotional and ethical demands of archival practice…


@Riverland Bar, (Pilgram At MCG End) Vaults 15 – 19 Federation Wharf, Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Included as part of registration, this event will also launch the final report from the Archiving Australian Media Arts project, Collecting, Curating, Preserving and Researching Media Arts: A Good Practice Report.

Friday 1st December

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM KEYNOTE

Dragan Espenschied

Preservation Director, Rhizome

Software Is Stuff Unlike Any Other

The Variable Media Initiative and the Matters in Media Art collaboration in between MoMA, SFMOMA, and Tate offered foundational ideas that have been successfully applied to preservation challenges in museums and archives and they remain influential today. This presentation will review some of these ideas in the light of more recent developments in software preservation and digital art conservation. 

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Session 5: Platforms/Ecosystems

Morgan Stricot & Matthieu Vlaminck

Senior Media and Digital Art Conservators, ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany

Melanie Barrett & Fabiola Rocco

Conservator & Contemporary Art Conservator, Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC), Singapore

Software-based Art Preservation: Embracing the Age of Technological Discontinuities

The media technical ecosystem of software-based artworks that ZKM started collecting in 1989 is dying. The potential collapse of this ecosystem with the escalation of disappearing components requires preservation strategies that embrace technological discontinuities…

Documenting Software. A Case Study from the Singapore Art Museum

Three software-based artworks by Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen recently acquired by SAM illustrate the critical challenges for evaluating if software can be modified without compromising the artwork’s identity…

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Session 6: Interactions/Adaptations

Angela Goddard & Patrick Lester

Director & Curatorial and Collections Officer (Access), Griffith University Art Museum (GUAM)

Asti Sherring

Manager Changeable and Digital Collections, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Katherine Mitchell

PhD Researcher, Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum and Birkbeck College, London

From Centre to Museum: Revisiting CDRom works in Griffith University’s Collection

How do artist’s respond once their born-digital works are not only preserved but also emulated and potentially re-exhibited? Interviews with artists with three works in  Griffith’s CD-Rom collection offer insights…

Dynamic Objects, Evolving Collections: A New Approach to Changeability at the National Museum of Australia

What does adopting a lens of change in the museum archival practices reveal when applied to one of the most significant Changeable objects in Australian social history, an operational version of the CSIRO Wireless LAN Testbed – ie: the beginning of WiFi…

Interaction Interrupted: Writing Failure into Born-digital Art and Design Histories

What are the thresholds of failure in collections care and display, and what happens after failure? The exhibition incident report can act as critical device for writing failure into the histories of digital exhibitions…

12:15 PM – 1:45 PM FORMAL LUNCH

Included with registration @ Mama’s Canteen, Federation Square, Melbourne.

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM PANEL: Reviewed/Reconstructed

A discussion with Chris Henschke, Irene Proebsting, and Norie Neumark reviewing the  ‘reconstructions’ of their artworks. This panel involves the premiere of Proebsting and Brown’s, Industrial Vesper #11 (reconstructed), 1995 & 2023: considers Henschke Orchestra of Rust, 1998, an artwork preserved on CD-ROM that can only now be accessed using emulation services as part of  ACMI’s expanding collection Archiving Australian Media Arts, as well as Neumark’s Shock in the Ear, 1998 (with Maria Miranda, music by Richard Vella), a CD-ROM based installation exhibited at Matinaze 97  and emulated as part of the Archiving Australian Media Arts project.

Industrial Vesper #11 Reconstructed was screened in full for those attending this panel. A 6.11 excerpt has kindly been provided by the artists, Barry Brown & Irene Proebsting, for public access.

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM Session 7: Acquisitions/Afterlifes

René G. Cepeda & Constanza Salazar

Director, New Media Caucus’ Header/Footer Gallery & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Cooper Union, New York

Technonecromancy: The Afterlives of New Media Art

What does it mean for an artwork to become deactivated? Has it reached the end of its life and moved into an afterlife where only its memory and physical form remains? Or can it be given, metaphorically, new life through conservation methods?

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM AFTERNOON TEA: Swinburne Studio

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM PANEL: Preservation Futures

What will we be preserving in the future, how and why? A conversation between Seb Chan, (CEO and Director of ACMI), Patrick McIntyre (CEO, National Film and Sound Archive), and Melanie Swalwell (Swinburne University) on current preservation strategies and philosophies, what may be necessary to meet future challenges, and the merits of dialogue across institutions and sectors.


Patrick McIntyre

Chief Executive Officer, National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

Seb Chan

Director and CEO, ACMI, Melbourne

Melanie Swalwell

Professor of Digital Media Heritage, Swinburne University

4:45 PM – 6:00 PM Session 8: Translations/Transitions

Matthew Burgess & Roxi Ruuska

Lead Digital Archivist, State LIbrary of New South Wales, Sydney

Ania Molenda

Independent architecture researcher, curator, writer, and educator

Corinna Gardner & Anna Kallen Talley

Senior Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum, London & PhD Researcher, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Bit by Bit: Preserving Collections on Digital Carriers

The Digital Curation team at the State Library of New South Wales offers a case study, outlining the experience of transferring the contents from over 1,000 carriers to network storage, lessons learned, and next steps required for preservation and access…

Understanding Digital Architecture

The National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, Nieuwe Instituut (NI) manages one of the largest architecture collections in the world, and the management of its growing born-digital collection is raising important questions for the histories of architecture and design practices…

Radical Uncertainties: Collecting Digital Objects at the V&A, Histories and New Acquisitions

A three-month long research project  in the V&A’s Design and Digital department in 2023 explored intersecting concerns between curatorial aims and conservation needs of digital objects at the point of acquisition…