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a paintbrush poised over a palette, with a keyboard sitting beside it

You can look at a Leonardo picture today almost exactly as he painted it (though time and light fades the colours). Today’s digital artists create in a world of formats. Their images are JPEGs, their moving sculptures are MPEGs. All these formats are just codes that store the information in images in a particular way. These formats need computer programs to translate the instructions into the image we can see and enjoy. The question is how will these formats go forward? Just a few years ago music was recorded on plastic discs at 78rmp (the turntable moved at 78 revolutions per minute). Now you can’t buy a turntable that does this. The format has died. So will the formats of art today still be viewable in a hundred years time? If not then we will lose images and creativity from our generation, simply because the artists chose to go digital.

Lesson for the future: to preserve digital art, you need to preserve more than the image!