Cloud Culture: Digital collections and the public domain

Public domain access to information, art, and images has democratized the exchange and development of ideas. Join us for a discussion exploring intersections of technology and open access.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


November 17, 2016 from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


$0 - $15

Open access to information, art and images via the public domain has democratized the exchange and development of art and ideas. This discussion dives deeper into questions such as: What can digital humanities reveal about historic artworks or movements, such as Dada? How do we respect the historical context of images, artworks and ideas when they are reconfigured for a digital archive? How do we preserve the integrity and cultural heritage of a work, an idea, or a movement in light of these developments?

Panelists include Sabine Himmelsbach, Director of the House of Electronic Arts, Basel, and Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine.

For the 100th anniversary of Dada, swissnex San Francisco’s Re:Dada exhibition collaborates with Dock18 in Zurich to make the Dada collections of the Swiss National Library and Kunsthaus Zurich available to artists and the public. We encourage anyone to remix historical works from these digital archives with new technologies, and to put theoretical issues of public domain, copyright, the internet, and authorship into practice.

An Artist Trading Card Session will take place during the event.


7pm: Talk begins
8pm: Q&A
9pm: Doors close


Sabine Himmelsbach

Since March 2012, Sabine Himmelsbach is the new director of the House of Electronic Arts Basel (HeK). After studying art history in Munich, she worked for galleries in Munich and Vienna from 1993–1996 and later became project manager for exhibitions and conferences for the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria. In 1999 she became exhibition director at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. From 2005–2011, she was the artistic director of the Edith-Russ-House for Media Art in Oldenburg, Germany. Her exhibition projects include ‘Fast Forward’ (2003); ‘Coolhunters’ (2004); ‘Playback_Simulated Realities’ (2006); ‘Ecomedia: Ecological Strategies in Today’s Art’ (2007); ‘Landscape 2.0’ (2009); ‘MyWar. Participation in an Age of Conflict’ (2010) and ‘Culture(s) of Copy’ (2011).

Mark Graham 

Mark Graham is director of the Wayback Machine. He is responsible for capturing, preserving, and helping people discover and use more than 1 billion new web captures each week. Mark was most recently Senior Vice President with NBC News, where he managed several business units including GardenWeb and Stringwire, a live, mobile, video platform for collaborative citizen reporting. In the early days of the net he managed technology and business development at The WELL and lead their effort to build the first web-based interface for online forums, and also helped bring the pre-web Internet to millions of people by running AOL’s Gopher project as part of their Internet Center. 

Related Events


Re:Dada exhibition
Nov. 5 – Nov. 30, M-F 1-5pm.

Tom Comitta presents Selections from Bill: The Musikill
Nov. 30, 2016, 7 – 9pm

Image: Modified from Clouds by Edward Stojakovic, CC-BY 2.0 via Flickr.