Ben Vershbow – Time Machines, Community Gardens, and Other Metaphors for Libraries

Dragan Espenschied – Understanding the Creation of Artifacts of Digital Culture

By in Lectures on February 23, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm

The School of Media Studies invites you to a double feature talk with Ben Vershbow, Director of Digital Library and Labs, New York Public Library and Dragan Espenschied, Digital Conservator, Media Artist, Home Computer Folk Musician.


Video: The Talk


The Speakers

Ben Vershbow, Director, New York Public Library Labs

Abstract: A tour through several projects underway at NYPL Labs, this talk will ponder possible library futures through experiments with historical maps, ebooks, oral history, and digital art.

Bio: Ben Vershbow is Director of NYPL Labs, an interdisciplinary team at The New York Public Library working to share, and inspire new uses of, library collections on the internet. Over the past few years, Labs has become known for crafting imaginative digital experiences around archives and heritage collections, often engaging the public in the work of organizing, enriching, and remixing library data. Before joining NYPL in 2008, Ben worked with digital publishing pioneer Bob Stein at the Institute for the Future of the Book. Ben originally studied theater at Yale, and works as a director and performer around New York.



Dragan Espenschied, Digital Conservator, Media Artist, Home Computer Folk Musician

Abstract: Digital Culture has moved from representing a bright utopia to an everyday mass phenomenon. It is discussed in terms of visual culture, “content,” even put on a progressing line with broadcasting media. The computer itself is vanishing; it becomes an invisible layer through which the “real world” is “experienced.” I want to discuss which elements and behaviors of computers and their users enable a rich and genuine digital culture and what might be a useful way to look at its history.

Bio: Dragan Espenschied (*1975 Germany) is a media artist, digital conservator and 8-bit musician living in New York. As an artist, Espenschied focuses on the historization of Digital Culture from the perspective of computer users. Together with net art pioneer Olia Lialina he created a significant body of work about writing a culture-centric history of the networked age. Since 2011, they together have been restoring and analyzing the deleted online community GeoCities. Espenschied worked with the transmediale festival’s archive and the Vilem Flusser Archive. Since April 2014, he is leading the Digital Conservation Program at Rhizome.



The Class Responds by Group Number

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *