Whether we can show a computer based work running on original hardware 50 years from now, depends very much on the way we have stored and documented this machine. Early personal computers, coarsely until 1990, were built as a mix of standard IC's and components that were designed for a specific model (e.g. interface-, audio- and graphics chips). Since the early 1990's most computers were assembled out of building blocks that were commonly available at that moment. The chance that a computer will just operate after a long time of (optimal) storage is small. Most probably there will be defects in one or more modules. Some of these defects will be repairable by replacing standard parts, some will not be. By keeping a collection (pool) of often used generic modules for certain "era's" of computer hardware it will be possible to replace parts that no longer work. But beside the hardware that must be kept, there is need for information. When we reinstall or repair a computer now, the internet is our main source of information. Can we trust this information to be available in 30 years time. And if not, what can we do to secure it for future use.
Paul Jansen Klomp (NL – 1956) graduated in painting at AKI Academy, Enschede, the Netherlands. After his studies, he worked as an autonomous media artist (audio, video, installation). His fascination for electronics, computers and programming lead him to specialize in developing and creating hardand software solutions for media and interactive works. Early 90's he produced the first commercial version of the Montevideo 'Corporal Syncstarter' that could synchronize up to 16 U-Matic players. Some 10 years he was involved in the Amsterdam Montevideo media lab (now NIMk), as one of the consultants in the weekly 'consultation hour' where artists could freely walk in and discuss plans involving art and technology, often resulting in lab production and exhibitions. In 1995 he founded 'klomp kunst & electro', a small company that is dedicated to developing hard- and software for artists. Since 2000 he teaches Media Art at Artez academy Enschede, Physical Computing at KMT USAT Interaction Design Utrecht and Hardware at Liacs Mediatechnology MA, Leiden University. Recently he contributed to the 'Inside installations' and 'Obsolete Equipment' projects, by working on case studies (J Shaw and others - Revolution and Holzer - Selections from the Survival Series). Related to his research on analyzing/conserving/ emulating electronic installation art he investigated the possibility to develop a component oriented risk analysis.