Craig Dietrich

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Craig Dietrich
Born(1980-06-15)15 June 1980
Mountain View, California

Craig Dietrich is a digital artist, scholar, and educator affiliated with Occidental College in Los Angeles.


Dietrich began his multimedia career as an Exhibit Engineering Assistant at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California. He attended Adrian C. Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California. In 2008, he was a professor in the University of Maine New Media Department and continues as a researcher at UMaine's Still Water lab. Beginning in 2009, before moving to the Claremont Colleges, he was on the faculty of the Division of Media Arts and Practice, part of the School of Cinematic Arts, at the University of Southern California (USC), where he taught media studies and multimedia production. Dietrich often works with scholar and game designer Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz who was at USC at the same time.


Dietrich was the first lead developer of the Mukurtu Archive, a media content manager based on the Warumungu community Dillybag.[1] The project sparked discussion on Digital Rights Management and archival support of non-Western cultural protocols.[2] Lawyer Wendy Seltzer describes, "Rather than fight copyright norms with bad code, we should learn from the Warumungu and build code (and law) to support social practice." [3]

In 2005, he authored the Dynamic Backend Generator (DBG) with his team at the Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular. The tool, at its core a MySQL database manager, has been used by a variety of digital humanities projects including Public Secrets, Blue Velvet and Killer Entertainments,[4] and is described as a scholarly "intellectual sketchpad."[5]

Dietrich is the Info Design Director for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, which produces Scalar, an online publication platform principally designed with Creative Director Erik Loyer.[6] Dietrich has publicly positioned Scalar's framework in opposition to prevalent web-based content managers such as WordPress,[7] whose use, according to Dietrich, equates to "shoving content into rigid frameworks."[8] Rather, as he describes, Scalar's foundation is Semantic Web technology that flexibly stores content and bridges Scalar to partner media archives such as those kept by the Internet Archive and Shoah Foundation.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Dietrich lives in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles near Occidental College.


  1. ^ The Chronicle (May 2008). "Preserving Indigenous Culture in the Internet Age: Online archive provides access while maintaining traditional values". Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  2. ^ kdawson, (2008-01-29). "Aboriginal Archive Uses New DRM". Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  3. ^ Wendy Seltzer (2008-01-11). "Mukurtu Contextual Archiving: digital "restrictions" done right". Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  4. ^ Adobe Education (2010-03-04). "Q & A with Craig Dietrich". Archived from the original on June 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  5. ^ Svensson, Patrik. "The Landscape of Digital Humanities". Digital Humanities Quarterly. online journal. 4 (1).
  6. ^ Jeff Rogers (July 2011). "Scalar and the Digital Messianism of Scholarly Publishing". Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  7. ^ John Bell (2014-03-01). "Digital Scholarly Production and the Semantic Web: An Interview with Craig Dietrich". Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  8. ^ Dale Askey (April 2011). "CNI Spring 2011 notes". Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  9. ^ Fifth IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing. "Keynotes: Digital Humanities". Retrieved 2011-09-30.

External links[edit]