January CommQuote

Perpetual Art Machine (PAM) is an on-line video database begun in 2005 that provides community for artists, curators, scholars, and students….In addition to the Web site, PAM sponsors an interactive, traveling video installation that allows viewers to function as curators, choosing video programs by selecting various keywords…

Colette Copeland: How does PAM differ from other on-line media databases, such as Rhizome or Eyebeam?

Lee Wells: The biggest difference is probably funding. In operation for over ten years, both Rhizome and Eyebearm are bankrolled by institutions and key patrons… Most of our funds come out of pocket and a lot of free labor on the part of the founders and volunteer PAM artists at large. Although PAM engages multiple forms of new media, our primary focus is on the growing international video art community. Rhizome and Eyebeam broadly cover the entire spectrum of new media.

CC: …what are some of the concerns that collectors have regarding archiving and preserving video long term?

LW: In my opinion, it’s all about the digital archive files. It’s just a matter of time before everyone is up to speed. The days of Gigi-beta and DVDs will come to pass as we rapidly move into the era of HD video on-demand relayed through high-speed, fiber-optic networks and secured in on-line (bank-like) storage databases. The problem is that most people who buy art still want an object to hold. At this point it still takes an enlightened and progressive collector to invsest in video and new media art.”

–from “Predicate, Participate & Perpetuate: An Interview with Perpetual Art Machine” by Colette Copeland, afterimage, Volume 36, Number 3, pp. 18-19

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