Digital Conservator

New York City
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Created: November 21, 2013


Digital Conservator (full-time w/ benefits, or part-time negotiable)

Deadline: Tuesday, December 3rd at 9am EST
Send a cover letter and resume to:

Rhizome is seeking a digital preservation leader to bring our award-winning digital art conservation program to its next phase, and to steward the ArtBase archive of born-digital, internet-based, software and computer art. The successful candidate will work inside a lively contemporary art museum alongside a dynamic team at the forefront of art and technology culture, with the opportunity to make significant contributions to the digital preservation field. ABOUT US Rhizome is a non-profit art organization based in the iconic New Museum in NYC. Since 1996, its programs, many of which happen on the internet at, have supported contemporary art engaged with technology, as well as critical approaches to the broader aesthetic, social and political implications of new tools and media. The ArtBase is central to this mission, as an online archive of digital art containing over 2,000 artworks – providing free, open, and permanent access to a living and historic collection of seminal digital art objects. A small organization with big impact, Rhizome has a strong international profile and is a leading authority in its field.


The successful candidate will lead the organization’s burgeoning Digital Conservation program into a significant new stage, at the center of Rhizome’s programs and mission. This includes:

+ Hands-on technical conservation work on the ArtBase collection and other special projects, requiring new research to benefit the organization and wider digital preservation field;
+ Collections development and new accessions, working alongside curatorial staff – identifying and facilitating the accession of born-digital materials, often in liaison with artists/creators themselves;
+ Continuously improving Rhizome’s infrastructure for the preservation of born-digital materials (collections management software, metadata structure, etc);
+ Identifying and initiating new projects of strategic importance and wider relevance to the field;
+ Advocacy of the program and organization to the preservation community – maintaining an awareness of and adherence to best practices in digital preservation through participation in relevant conferences, workshops, and professional networks

In addition, the program would benefit from a candidate also equipped and enthusiastic to undertake:

+ Overall strategic thinking – prioritizing activities and resources to consider the longevity and impact of the program;
+ Senior partnership cultivation – developing/maintaining relationships, cultivating new institutional partners, and building an advisory committee. Like all Rhizome staff, the Digital Conservator will be expected to feed into our overall institutional
knowledge of internet culture, technology and contemporary art, and input into the work of the entire team.


+ Demonstrated interest in the arts or visual culture, and technology;
+ A passion for the digital preservation field, with knowledge of current topics, methodologies, networks, ideas and key individuals;
+ Broad, hands-on proficiency with some of the many technologies used in digital art (i.e. basic fluency in one or more programming languages; experience with range of computer hardware), and able to develop new technical skill quickly;
+ An emerging or established leader, who is entrepreneurial, can work autonomously, yet remains accessible, friendly and responsive to alignment from ED and other staff;
+ Clear and effective written and verbal communication, including publishing specialist conversation research papers (formally or informally), presentations, and other advocacy & dissemination;
+ Diplomatic, enthusiastic manner in liaising with artists in the collection, and other stakeholders.


While Rhizome is open to non-traditional candidates who show exceptional promise in this developing field, the following may be preferred:

+ Direct experience with digital preservation and access technologies, standards, and workflows – knowledge of specifications for digital repository systems and related technologies, including write blockers, emulators, file format identification, file migration, and media conversion;
+ Experience with museum collections management systems, such as CollectiveAccess;
+ Master's degree from an ALA-accredited program or equivalent;

Rhizome is accepting applications from national & international candidates who would be willing to relocate to New York.


Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 16:49 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:44 UTC