👽 Lee Tusman

Archiving Artist-Run Spaces

2021 - 2023

An archive project to preserve the online activities of DIY and artist-run communities in the era of born-digital media, providing tools, models for preservation and partnerships with longstanding archives invested in digital preservation. The website presents a toolkit for artist-run organizations providing information, training, tools and other resources.

Archiving Artist-Run Spaces was created as a resource for experimental artist communities, both physical spaces as well as online-only creator communities, to build archives of their activities.

It is based on my two decades of experience working in DIY spaces and artist-run communities and identifying unmet needs in the space. Just as these spaces attempt to carve out their own place in the world and make their own home and culture, there is a mismatch with their values when artist-run communities use commercial platforms for presenting or hosting their work. Just as an art space could be forced to close due to rising rents, many platforms have come and gone over the years, changed their business models, or sites or passwords have been misplaced. Recognizing that many exhibits, images, articles, web-based projects, and documentation disappears due to link rot this site’s goal is to help artist-run communities think through the value of what they’re engaged in and how they may want to strategically preserve some aspect of themselves online. This project isn’t meant to replace the needs for professional archivists but rather to provide possibilities in the DIY spirit of these communities who often rely on the strength of their own networks.


Archiving Artist-Run Spaces received financial support from NEW INC, through a grant from Knight Arts Foundation. This project and site is directed by Lee Tusman. Caleb Stone designed and did programming for Experimental Archive Space and Gas. Andrew LeClair provided design support for Gas. Amelia Marzec helped debug archive designs. Eli Mellen graciously gave helpful advice. The copyright guide was created by Batya Kemper and Lindsay Harris at NYU’s Technology Law & Policy Clinic, who also provided legal support for the project. Thanks to Gas Gallery for support. The copyright guide was created by Batya Kemper and Lindsay Harris at NYU’s Technology Law & Policy Clinic. Thanks to members of Space 1026, Babycastles and Flux Factory for their interviews. Site architecture and header and footer design adapted from Compudanzas.


Critical Making & Social Justice June 8 - 10, 2023. Steuben Gallery. HASTAC conference. Brooklyn, NY.


Archiving Artist-Run Spaces June 10, 2023. HASTAC conference. Brooklyn, NY.

Strategic Preservation of Online Communities ISEA 2023. Paris, France.

DIY Approaches to Preserving Creative Communities Online January 17 - 18, 2023. New Media Writing Prize. Electronic Literature Organization. British Library. Bournemouthe University. Online. England.

Archiving Artist-Run Spaces March 3, 2022. New Inc Workshare. New York, NY.


Archiving Artist-Run Spaces Site

Archiving Artist-Run Spaces Copyright Guide (PDF)

Gas Gallery Archive

Experimental Archive Space