History

In 1998, in consultation with Steve Deitz, then Director of New Media Initiatives of Walker Art Center; and Richard Rinehart, Director of Digital Media at the Berkeley Art Museum (BAM) and a member of the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley; Michael Katchen, Senior Archivist, began designing an in-house relational resource to document Franklin Furnace's records by focusing on events. Ten years later, our Forging the Future partners, especially Jon Ippolito, of Still Water at the University of Maine, and Richard Rinehart at BAM, developed a suite of tools, of which the FFDB is one, to document variable media art. Work on the individual databases that comprise the FFDB was accomplished by a small army of volunteers and interns who tirelessly assisted in the cataloging efforts over the years. First and foremost, Leilani Dawson built the Vocabulary database and the VocabWiki, one of the four tools in the Forging the Future toolkit. Sunny Yoon, an actual librarian, provided invaluable strategic advice and sagacious counsel. The reference collection was cataloged by Audrey Jajic; the audio collection by Sherri Liberman; the video collection by Seiko Yoneda; data transfer was done by Grace Kirchhofer; and Julie Sengle did database layout and design. Susie Tofte, Project Cataloger, scanned images from the first ten years of Franklin Furnace's history, and additionally provided metadata to ARTstor. Sinda Karklina and Grace Miceli attached the images and finalized descriptions. Jenny Korns created the online Event Archives; Angel Nevarez and Eben Shapiro coordinated the Franklin Furnace website. We are indebted to Mascia Accordi, Sandra Badelt, Jonathon Borah, Lyndsay Brill, V. Burger, Alex Burke, Heather Cassils, Katrina Dixon, Andrew Elmore, Peter Hutchins, Meaghan Kennedy, Ayuko Kunimatsu, Joana Lorente Roig, Melka A. MacCloud, Marie Guylene Riche, Stephanie Rubino, Simone Schild, Clare Sullivan, Kate Thomason, Brooke Toczylowski, Anne Townsend, Joe Ullman, Kevin Vincent, Maria Wallace, Alexander J. G Walsh, Christopher C. Webb, and Magdalen Wong for cataloging our event records in preparation for online publication.

The Event Archives supersedes our Giant-Ass List online database, launched in 2003. Our grand plan is to digitize and provide online accessibility to all of Franklin Furnace's archival event records. With our Forging the Future partners, Franklin Furnace developed an interactive interface which will allow the public to supplement cataloging with tags. As the years go by, we hope the avant-garde art community will enhance this record of performance art works, temporary installations and exhibitions which changed cultural discourse.

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