“Signal to Code” explores 50 years of electronic and digital artwork and ephemera held in the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to experience over 60 original electronic and digital artworks in video, sound, portable media and the internet. The exhibition also features posters, pamphlets and other ephemera documenting the work of international media artists, along with the granting agencies and cultural centers that have supported this work, across multiple artistic boundaries and geopolitical zones. “Signal to Code” places a special emphasis on the influential histories of media art in Ithaca, Cornell, and the Central New York region, along with the Goldsen Archive’s extensive international partnerships.

Founded in 2002 by its curator, Professor Timothy Murray, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art is part of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The archive is named in honor of the late Rose Kohn Goldsen, professor of Sociology at Cornell University. In her publications and radio broadcasts, such as The Show and Tell Machine: How Television Works and Works You Over (Dial Press, 1977), she elaborated a powerful early critique of television and its impact on the social and cultural imagination. The tribute is appropriate: explicitly or implicitly, most of the artists in the Goldsen Archive use new media technology to advance critiques of mass media culture.

Having developed a unique model of collaborative curation and online outreach, the curator has worked closely with global artists and international centers and funders of media art to position the Goldsen Archive as one of the world’s leading repositories of individual artist portfolios and large institutional collections. Preserving more than 4,000 artworks, 10,000 digital images, and twenty archival collections, the Goldsen Archive has become an international innovator in the preservation of endangered media formats, from video to CD-ROM to internet art. Associate Curator Madeleine Casad, who has worked with the Archive since its inception, has created the archive’s complex infrastructure and managed its many initiatives in preservation.

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