Lozana Rossenova is a digital designer and researcher, based in London and Berlin. She is currently a PhD candidate at CSNI in collaboration with Rhizome, a leading international born-digital art organization based in New York. Lozana holds a BA (Hons) in Studio Art with concentrations in Graphic Design and Art History from Adelphi University, New York (US), and an MA (Dist) from the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading (UK). She worked in award-winning design agencies, both in London and New York, before beginning her doctoral studies. In her current research and design practice, Lozana is particularly interested in working with open-source and community-driven approaches to digital infrastructures, which organise, store and make knowledge, and different ways of knowing, accessible. She has been a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Reading since 2016, lecturing on digital design and publishing platforms, and has delivered numerous workshops and visiting talks at universities in the UK, Germany, and Denmark. Lozana is also a member of the Steering Committee of the OpenRefine project, an open-source tool for cleaning and reconciling data across multiple sources, and a member of the Advisory Board of The Joan Jonas Knowledge Base, a research project part of the Artist Archives Initiative, founded at New York University to promote research and disseminate knowledge about the display and care of contemporary art.
The rapid pace of change in the field of digital technologies, resulting in obsolete environments and devices and the development of new patterns of interaction between users and computers, creates multiple challenges for the design of digital archives and the long-term provision of access to digital artefacts of cultural value. The primary case study of this PhD project – Rhizome’s archive of net art and its associated history of curatorial and preservation activities – opens up multiple sets of questions closely connected to the issue of defining what constitutes the art object in the archive. Unlike the containable formats of linear text-, image-, or video-based media, net art works are not single digital objects, but rather assemblages, dependent on specific software/hardware environments to be executed and rendered. They oftentimes change over time and require specific user input in order to be performed. These particular properties add complexity to the efforts of any institution to collect, preserve, and make such works readily accessible to the public. This thesis seeks to contribute new knowledge to the field of online archive design for born-digital cultural heritage, by addressing the question of how archived net art works can be made accessible to the public in their native environment – online, while enabling users of the archive to gain an expanded understanding of the artworks’ context. The embedded position at Rhizome provides the opportunity to work closely with Rhizome’s preservation team, and the wider Rhizome community, towards prototyping and iteratively developing a new infrastructure and interface design framework for the archive.
Lozana’s PhD is a collaborative practice-based PhD between LSBU/CSNI and Rhizome, supported by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards 2016.