Last week I heard that some friends had been burgled. They didn't lose much considering the lovely art pieces they have been collecting over the last 15 years. But they did lose their iMac. My friends were very well organised and had everything backed up on an external hard drive. Which was also stolen!
I have a similar arrangement to them, computer on my desk, back-up drive next to it, the only two complete records of my work utterly vulnerable to a break in.
A lot of my work is in the form of installations, which means that photo's are my only record. I have literally thousands of photos. So the misfortune of my friends is the motivation I've been needing to get myself organised, archive my work and store it securely.
This is my strategy.
First I am going to copy everything, without any discrimination, onto CDs. This will be my master archive. I will keep the discs at my house, in a separate room to the computer.
Next I'm going to sort out my best images from those which are just records of process. These best images will be useful for publicity or applications, so I want them accessible. They will stay on my computer in named files, so that I can get at them easily. The process images, once they have been copied onto the master archive will be deleted from my computer - freeing up useful memory.
I'm also going make two copies of the best images onto CDs. One copy will be stored in my house, next to the master archive. One copy will be given to a willing and responsible friend with whom I have a reciprocal arrangement. We will each keep a copy of the other's best images in case of very thorough art-loving burglar or fire.
So my best and most precious images will be stored on my computer, and on my external hard drive back up, two further copies in my house, and an additional copy in my friends house. Does that sound like overkill? All I know is that it will be a big relief!
Now, what about you?