Conference PaperPDF Available

Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and Information

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

The space between digital life and real life continues to fade and nowhere is this more apparent than in arts and cultural contexts. Facilitated by digital capture and curation, social media, the network, Internet, and the web, these forces combine to empower artists to be digital curators of their own work, giving voice and narration to their artistic expression. In the paper entitled Digitalism: the New Realism, the authors focus on how digital tools and technology have changed ways of doing, knowing, and being, while here we look at how today’s digital landscape is changing ways of artistic expression, narration, communication, and human interaction. The growing use of digital tools and technology in the arts and culture is dramatically transforming traditional curatorial practice and by extension archival practice, so that we are moving from a gatekeeping model to an open model steeped in digital relationships across global networks and the Internet. As we immerse ourselves in the digital world, where anyone with a smartphone can be a digital curator and marshal a range of Internet services, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more specifically for example Behance (for online portfolios), artists are enabled to freely engage and interact with their audience using to their advantage crowdsourcing, “likes”, chat, blogs, games and email. Emerging artists are particularly expert digitally and are able to curate their life and work directly, living naturally between physical and digital states. To demonstrate this, our study presents specific examples of how artists and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museum) institutions are adapting to new digital ways of curating collections and conveying meaning. Additionally, we show how notions of what constitutes artistic expression are evolving as art traverses digital media boundaries, especially in terms of visual and textual media. Importantly, as life in the 21st century plays out on the digital stage of the Internet, artists and GLAM institutions find themselves more than ever working at the intersection of art and information which is leading to new and innovative ways of curating contemporary art that are expressive of artistic vision and digital aesthetics, while conveying social and political meaning capable of influencing and impacting our lives.
Content may be subject to copyright.
http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/ewic/EVA2016.46
237
Curating Digital Life and Culture:
Art and information
Tula Giannini
Jonathan P. Bowen
Tula Giannini
Pratt Institute
School of Information
New York, USA
http://mysite.pratt.edu/~giannini/
London South Bank University
Department of Informatics
London, UK
http://www.jpbowen.com
Pratt Institute
School of Information & Library Science
New York, USA
http://mysite.pratt.edu/~giannini/
giannini@pratt.edu
jonathan.bowen@lsbu.ac.uk
giannini@pratt.edu
The space between digital life and real life continues to fade and nowhere is this more apparent than
in arts and cultural contexts. Facilitated by digital capture and curation, social media, the network,
Internet, and the web, these forces combine to empower artists to be digital curators of their own
work, giving voice and narration to their artistic expression. In the paper entitled Digitalism: the New
Realism, the authors focus on how digital tools and technology have changed ways of doing,
knowing, and being, while here we look at how today’s digital landscape is changing ways of artistic
expression, narration, communication, and human interaction. The growing use of digital tools and
technology in the arts and culture is dramatically transforming traditional curatorial practice and by
extension archival practice, so that we are moving from a gatekeeping model to an open model
steeped in digital relationships across global networks and the Internet. As we immerse ourselves
in the digital world, where anyone with a smartphone can be a digital curator and marshal a range of
Internet services, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more specifically
for example Behance (for online portfolios), artists are enabled to freely engage and interact with
their audience using to their advantage crowdsourcing, likes, chat, blogs, games and email.
Emerging artists are particularly expert digitally and are able to curate their life and work directly,
living naturally between physical and digital states. To demonstrate this, our study presents specific
examples of how artists and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museum) institutions are
adapting to new digital ways of curating collections and conveying meaning. Additionally, we show
how notions of what constitutes artistic expression are evolving as art traverses digital media
boundaries, especially in terms of visual and textual media. Importantly, as life in the 21st century
plays out on the digital stage of the Internet, artists and GLAM institutions find themselves more
than ever working at the intersection of art and information which is leading to new and innovative
ways of curating contemporary art that are expressive of artistic vision and digital aesthetics, while
conveying social and political meaning capable of influencing and impacting our lives.
Curation. Digitalism. Digital art. Digital culture. GLAM. Social media.
1. BACKGROUND
Over the past two decades, the Internet and Web
have developed from a niche resource to a
ubiquitous phenomenon, especially with the advent
of mobile devices (Filippini-Fantoni and Bowen
2008). This has had a significant effect in the field of
arts and culture (Bowen et al. 2013). Museums have
increasingly provided an online presence to
augment their physical spaces since the 1990s
(Bowen et al. 1998, Bowen 2000) and later
collaborative projects have enabled synergistic
relationships to provide improved online resources
(Giannini and Bowen 2014, 2015). The rapid
technological development has meant that it is
progressively easier for tech-savvy individuals with
artistic talent to curate their own work online directly
to a potential audience.
2. INTRODUCTION
In this paper, we explore new ways in which digital
technology and computing increasingly become part
everyday life through a myriad of digital devices
(Bowen and Giannini 2014). These empower users
to capture not only their experiences but also their
reactions and behaviours, allowing them to create
both personal and visual narratives, communicated
across global networks. For example, a story in The
Huffington Post (Tongco 2015), shows work by the
artist Audrey Wollen, described in the title as, The
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
238
Feminist Art Star Staging a Revolution on
Instagram”, for which, “the photosharing platform is
Wollen’s primary medium for her digital artwork.” As
artists adopt new digital ways of creating art, they
challenge the very definition of what constitutes art,
as their work populates an expanding universe of
artistic expression.
A Paradigm Shift Narrating Digital Life Art as
Information Information as Art (by T. Giannini)
Curating my digital life
Looking through my cell
phone in hand
Capturing digital days
senseless arrays
of image displays
a cacophony of faces and places
My digital museum
through a virtual prism
Life floating on a cloud
I’m a star
in my digital museum
A chaotic exhibition
just intuition
no submission
Life in digits focus, click
no code
à la mode
stories untold
still to unfold
Art for art’s sake seems to have faded, as artists
take up digital tools to make art that is imbued with
political and social messages, often using the
Internet as a platform to connect with their audience.
The journey of creative expression from Silence by
John Cage, and White on White canvases of Clifford
Still. The crowded visual landscape of the Internet
extends the artist’s reach beyond the walls of
museums and galleries to multiple digital displays
that dominate our vision and waking hours. We are
witness to an expanding world of art in which the
number of artists and their works grow exponentially,
especially on the Web where gatekeepers no longer
hold sway, and where videos broadcast information
of life in motion. Digital life and culture now flow
through human activity via networks, platforms and
digital devices as laptops, tablets, phones and wrist-
watches, to devices embedded in our daily activities
and environment from the home, to cars, trains,
planes, streets, subways, elevators, escalators,
sometimes called the “Internet of Things”, become
part of daily experience and extend to museum and
educational spaces.
These trends are exemplified in recent gallery and
museum shows, where we experienced art and life
at intersection of physical and digital expression and
information as art narrating life.
Late at Tate Britain Young artists curate
notions of “power” with digital expression
Art and digital life were on display at the Tate Britain
for the Late at Tate Britain: Power Tate Britain,
Friday 2 October 2015, curated by 15 to 25 year olds
from Tate Collective London who were asked to
tackle ideas of power through music, art and talks,
with The Age of L.U.N.A, Skinny Girl Diet and Native
Sun.”
Not unexpectedly, the museum was taken over by
digital installations, displays, sounds and images
conveying the somewhat wild expressions of
London’s youth culture, which were simultaneously
communicated through tweets and Instagram, as
well as being mirrored in cyberspace on various
websites with virtual participants. “Power” became in
essence that of digital tools and technology
empowering youth to challenge ideas of gender,
race, and class, through their art as a performance
of self.
3. EXAMPLES
New York City Street Art makes Internet
connections The Chaulkit Show
From December 2015 to 24 February 2016, the
exterior cement walls of the massive stone building
housing the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on
7th Avenue in New York became a street gallery
displaying original works by students in FIT’s fine
arts program. Works were chalked onto the walls so
that passers-by could watch art being created. This
was an act of group curation for which artists
chalked Internet addresses on their works as if part
of its artistic expression, connecting the street to the
digital world.
Following these links, which could be done via a
smartphone while viewing the show, led viewers to
the artists’ curation of their lives and art. When the
show closed, on the Chaulkit Facebook page
(https://www.facebook.com/ChalkFITNYC/) we see
a photograph of the show being washed off the
cement walls of the FIT building, which links to an
Instagram by Kevin Nadal. He writes:
What goes up must come down. They're erasing
the #ChalkFIT display this morning. The whole
erasure process is hauntingly beautiful. The fact
that you can erase parts of your life leaving a
few traces at first symbolizes how life goes on
and how we always need to move forward and
create new art.
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
239
Figure 1: Chaulkit wall art (mural), December 2015
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Jess Riess,
artist (age 21), FIT student (Jessriess.tumblr.com)
[Photograph by T. Giannini, reproduced with permission.]
Figure 2: On view cement walls of the FIT building on
7th Avenue in NYC displaying student art from the
Chaulkit show 2015. [Photograph by T. Giannini taken on
her daily walk down 7th Avenue. from Penn Station to
Pratt on 14th Street, New York.]
And yet, because Internet links were a feature of the
Chaulkit experience, the ephemeral nature of the
show takes another turn because its works were
digitally captured and curated not only by the artists,
but as well by passers-by who tweeted and posted
to blogs. This impressive show, viewed by
thousands of people, brought the artistic vision of
young artists to New York City streets, the
blogosphere and beyond, giving them voice to
narrate their art and lives.
Figure 3: A Chaulkit work by Aaron Pedrone
[Photograph by T. Giannini, December 2015, FIT, 7th
Avenue. https://www.behance.net/sharkeyrex]
Curating digital life through Fashion Coded
Couture
Fashion, computing and digital technology merged
when the much anticipated Coded Couture show
opened on 11 February 2016 at Pratt Institute’s
Manhattan Gallery, located 14th Street off 7th Avenue
in New York. The interactive clothing was as much
an artistic statement as a reflection of a new and
emerging fashion and design trend. These were
indeed wearable works of art set in motion by the
human body, while enhancing the wearers’ physical
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
240
abilities to communicate and express feelings and
emotions while digitally capturing the resulting data.
Figure 4: Holy Dress, 2012 by Melissa Coleman, Leonie
Smelt and Joachim Rotteveel.Gold-plated metal dress,
lie detector, shock training dog collar, custom electronics,
video LED lights. [Photograph by T. Giannini, Pratt
Manhattan Gallery, 2 November 2015 16 March 2016.]
Figure 5: iMimiSkirt, 2015, LED Lights. Collection Pratt
Institute. [Photograph by T. Giannini, Pratt Manhattan
Gallery, 2 November 2015 16 March 2016.]
The show, curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and
Judith Hoos, opened on 11 February 2016 and
captured the imagination of viewers, who eagerly
interacted with fashion turned digital objets d’art.
Digital capture and curation of political and
social history in the making
Increasingly, we use our smartphones and other
digital devices to capture and curate day to day life
experiences. As a cacophony of digital activity
moves to the centre of human life overwhelmed by
digital interactions, digital space is the place where
people spend the lion’s share of their time, curating
their digitally mediated life. Although, many
archivists are still thinking in terms of digital curation
as a simulation of existing systems derived from
physical archival practice such as the life-cycle of
documents, in the digital realm, judging which
material is valuable is moving from the institutional
domain to that of the individual curating in
cyberspace where issues of physical storage
become less and less relevant, so that everything
captured gets saved. Often digital works are self-
curating taking on a life of their own once on the
Internet, where they can migrate via emails, tweets
and Facebook posts, and be remixed and re-used to
form new art.
The social impacts of individual curation are great as
we all are at once, audience, participants and
creators of content. We have moved our banking,
shopping (Pin It with Pinterest), communicating,
storytelling, and the curation of our lives to the
Internet.
Born digital news is important because it shifts the
nature and use of primary source materials from the
back room, to centre stage through the daily content
production on the web involving millions of
participants. This combined with big and small data
analytics create new types of narratives that
subsequently trickle down to the scholarly world of
publishing on topics and issues of broad national
interest to those of niche communities.
Today, much of the content of news is user
generated from twitter, blogs, websites, YouTube
and Facebook. Narratives drawn from these sources
and from archival material, physical and digital, are
being transformed into compelling original art works.
Digital art has moved from simulating traditional art
to inventing new art forms that are time-based
narrations with political and social messaging.
Information as Art Digital expressions of the
archive. Astro Noise by Lauren Poitras at the
Whitney Museum, Spring 2016
Lauren Poitras, noted film maker/journalist, and now
artist with a large-scale show at the Whitney called
Astro Noise, makes art from the digital archive of her
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
241
life’s experiences of government surveillance and
war. Using this digital realism together with
symbolism of documents and documentary video,
she curates this show in ways that reveal the unseen
world of national surveillance and its effects. Visitors’
interactions with her installation work across four
interconnected galleries expose digital objects and
messages that seem to evoke deep-felt emotions
such as fear of the unknown, anxiety over the loss
of privacy and a sense of uncertainty about the
future.
A postcard on the show reads, Dear Visitor, your
attendance at Astro Noise has been permanently
recorded think privacy.” Juxtaposing the show with
visitor reactions brings together artist and audience
participation as intrinsic to the exhibition experience
and meaning of Poitras’ book, Astro Noise: A
Survival Guide for Living under Total Surveillance
(Poitras 2016), provides vivid narrations to her life’s
experiences curated as art and acts as an
information backdrop to the show.
An article in The Guardian, Jason Fargo (2016)
compares the films and textual narratives of Poitras
to the installation art of Astor Noise finding the
former more effective. He quotes Poitras as
questioning her reasons for making long-form
documentaries when other ways of working are so
much more energizing. Although Fargo finds Astro
Noise lacking, he loses sight of the materiality of this
politically charged installation that allows the visitor
to be a participant physically inside the show’s
content.
Figure 6: Visitors lying on a carpeted platform in a pitch-
black room, view overhead projections of images of night
skies over Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, making
reference to drone strikes. [Photograph by T. Giannini.]
An iconographic/symbolic language of a new
digital aesthetic emoji art
As we celebrate the 500th anniversary since the
death of the great 17th century Netherlands painter,
Hieronymus Bosch, and contemplate his well-known
triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, we can
revel in a remix of this iconic work recreated for the
21st century by the digital artist, Carla Gannis
(http://carlagannis.com), Assistant Chair of the
Digital Arts Department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn,
New York. She has cleverly reinterpreted Bosch’s
work into The Garden of Emoji Delights, matching
each Bosch image to an emoji of remarkable
likeness.
Figure 7: The Garden of Emoji Delights by Carla Gannis (animated version, 2014, https://vimeo.com/158156834).
[Shown with artist’s permission.]
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
242
Figure 8: Detail from centre panel of
The Garden of Emoji Delights by Carla Gannis.
[Shown with artist’s permission.]
Today, the use of emojis is inextricably tied to digital
communication with smart phones and other digital
devices functioning as a new symbolic language
universally understood, conveying gesture, feelings
and emotions in ways that enhance textual meaning.
The emoji animations of Gannis take the notion of
emoji art to new digital heights of sensual delight
within the realm of digital aesthetics about which she
notes that, to think about the 21st century and the
time we exist in today, which is very dynamic, hyper-
mediated we’re used to seeing moving images all
the time.
Gannis’ work also expresses a social and political
thesis about consumerism and environmental
degradation, as seen in the image of “the isle of lost
tech. The right panel centre, shows a pile of
discarded obsolete computer devices. Gannis’
innovative use of emojis as a new shared symbolic
digital language for making art, demonstrates that
new modes of digital expression are transforming
how we define art, and how art and information are
inextricably linked to today’s ocean of digital
creativity.
Blurring the lines between art and information
According to the Society for New Design lead by
academics, a big trend today is data visualisation
using specialised software but is it information or
is it art? John Grimwade (2010), information
graphics director at Condé Nast Travelerand a long-
time supporter, teacher, mentor for SND
infographics, writes that:
Dreary spreadsheets can be transformed into
beautiful artwork. Spirals, circles, piles of dots
and other assorted shapes. Lots of overlapping
info in brilliant colours. Population trends turned
into a wheel of interconnecting dots. I love it, but
to be honest, I often have no idea what’s going
on.
This work seems to reside at the intersection of art
and information, where the design elements are
being generated through computer software as a
creative tool and where the boundaries between
information and art are blurred. Yes, visualisations
need text to convey meaning, while text uses
visualisation to enhance meaning and user
engagement. This speaks to a broader trend in
which artists intertwine digital and physical media for
installation and performance art framed by social
meaning conveyed by a documentary archive
digitally captured by the artist.
New software applications for curating digital life on
the Internet now abound online including Snagit
(http://discover.techsmith.com/screen-recorder) by
TechSmith, Camtasia also provided by TechSmith
(https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html), Movavi
(http://www.movavi.com/mac-screen-capture), used
for creating video capture of screen devices
(computer, smartphone, tablet) so that capturing
digital life on the Internet now becomes easy and
automatic. The Chaulkit artist, Aaron Pedrone notes,
As an artist in this day and age it's near impossible
not to be considering technology when you're
making art thought.
Curating Knowledge: (Europeana DPLA
Archive-it linked open data projects)
The Internet Archive (https://archive.org), through its
Archive-it service (https://archive-it.org), is curating
collections on significant events that they call:
Spontaneous Event collections are created by
the Archive-It team in collaboration with other
organisations and individuals with the purpose of
establishing a corpus of web content related to a
specific event, capturing at risk content during
times of crisis, and providing open access to the
archived content for research and general
browsing.
For example, there are curated collections on Black
Lives Matter, and the Boston Bombing.
The 1998 Exhibition, Tous les saviors du Monde (all
the knowledge in the world) was mounted for the
opening of the then new Bibliothèque Nationale de
France (http://classes.bnf.fr/dossitsm) (Giannini
1998b).
At the heart of the exhibit are encyclopaedias and
libraries from Sumer to the 21st century highlighted
by the Encyclopédie of Diderot and d’Almbert, a
monumental work symbolizing the Age of
Enlightenment. Being at once scientific, political,
and philosophical, it makes a strong argument in
support of the rising tide of democratic ideas and
equality, while its challenge to the social and
religious order of the aristocracy that in 1749 landed
Diderot in prison in Vincennes for a year, was causal
to the French Revolution.
Fast forward to today’s Wikipedia, we move from a
multi-volume work written over 20 years by the great
minds of the 18th century to the 21st century digital
age of global knowledge and participation, and from
the world of print and privilege to one of global
sharing. We ask, how much of all the knowledge in
the world can be found on the Web and Internet
between the formal and informal, the individual and
corporate, the commercial and scholarly. The
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
243
answer seems to lie more in the framework and
structure of the Internet than in the information itself.
The Web being more a vehicle of expression and
interaction of digitally curated lives on a global stage.
The technology enabling this altered state of digital
being seems to transcend the value of specific
information and knowledge to the higher value of
open and free access, information creation and use.
Most importantly, the gatekeepers have lost control
and cannot contain the exuberance and power of
individual expression.
In 1998, Giannini took up the notion of the
information process as having three modes:
seeking, receiving, and using (Giannini 1998a).This
is illustrative of the paradigm shift of the information
process which now extends to information creation,
interaction and curation which dramatically
redefines these modes. It was relatively recently, the
1980s, that archives were still just dusty documents
of a distant past. Today, a digital photograph, video
or document is captured on a smartphone and
instantly becomes a saved document waiting to be
curated and tell a story that can be shared with
friends or everyone on the Internet.
This seismic shift away from the centrality of
published information to that of individual curation of
content continues to gain ground and importance.
Often, digital capture by smartphones as
photographs and video become pivotal to findings
for truth and justice and are increasingly a part of
judicial evidence. In the past, it was reporters,
journalists, writers and communication corporations
that controlled the capture and curation of such
information. With digital tools empowering
individuals, this ability to narrate the story is shared
with the public in ways that can be instantaneous.
An image from the Black Lives Matter demonstration
at the Mall of America shows a police line with guns
drawn, while they faced a crowd of demonstrators
with digital cameras drawn ready to shoot and
capture the moment. Information as art, a new digital
aesthetic and mode of expression emerges as art
drawn from experience, documentary narratives,
social critique, and of course the digital self.
4. CONCLUSION
Digital curation is an issue for museums and
professional curators (Cairns and Birchall 2013).
Museums have provided facilities for curation of their
collections for individual use, e.g., for didactic
purposes (Filippini-Fantoni and Bowen 2007).
However increasingly user-friendly software and
easy cheap access to the Internet ubiquitously
through smartphones, tablets, and other devices,
means that online curation is now easily possible by
the motivated individual.
This paper has explored a number of successful
examples of digital self-curation. The authors
believe that this paradigm is set to increase in novel
ways yet to be explored fully. Further developments
such as the Internet of Things means that objects in
the real world will be even more interconnected
digitally as human life becomes increasingly
mediated in digital realms. While many applications
will be practical, it is natural that those that spark
artistic inclination will inspire new uses of
technologies not originally conceived by their
inventors. This in turn situates art and information,
now curated across digital platforms, where digital
life and culture converge and transform.
5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Jonathan Bowen is grateful to Museophile Limited
for financial support.
6. REFERENCES
Bowen, J. P. (2000) The virtual museum. Museum
International, 52(1):47.
Bowen, J. P., Bennett, J., and Johnson, J. (1998)
Virtual visits to virtual museums. In MW'98:
Museums and the Web.
http://www.museumsandtheweb.com/mw98/papers/bowen/bo
wen_paper.html (accessed 7 April 2016).
Bowen, J. P. and Giannini, T. (2014) Digitalism: the
new realism? In K. Ng, J. P. Bowen, and S. McDaid
(eds.), EVA London 2014: Electronic Visualisation
and the Arts. British Computer Society, Electronic
Workshops in Computing, pp. 324331. DOI:
10.14236/ewic/eva2014.38
Giannini, T. and Bowen, J. P. (2016) Curating digital
life and culture: Art and information. In J. P. Bowen,
G. Diprose, and N. Lambert (eds.), EVA London
2016: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. BCS,
Electronic Workshops in Computing, pp. 237244.
(This volume.)
Bowen, J. P., Keene, S., and Ng, K. (eds.) (2013)
Electronic Visualisation in Arts and Culture.
Springer, Series on Cultural Computing.
Cairns, S. and Birchall, D. (2013) Curating the digital
world: Past preconceptions, present problems,
possible futures. In MW2013: Museums and the
Web 2013, Portland, USA, 1720 April.
http://mw2013.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/curating-the-
digital-world-past-preconceptions-present-problems-possible-
futures/ (accessed 7 April 2016).
Fargo, J. (2016) Laura Poitras: Astro Noise review
Citizenfour director loses the plot. The Guardian, 5
February.
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/feb/05/laura-
Curating Digital Life and Culture: Art and information
Tula Giannini & Jonathan P. Bowen
244
poitras-astro-noise-review-whitney-review (accessed 2
April 2016).
Filippini-Fantoni, S. and Bowen, J. P. (2007)
Bookmarking in museums: Extending the museum
experience beyond the visit? In MW 2007: Museums
and the Web 2007, San Francisco, USA, 1114
April.
http://www.museumsandtheweb.com/mw2007/papers/filippini-
fantoni/filippini-fantoni.html (accessed 7 April 2016).
Filippini-Fantoni, S. and Bowen, J. P. (2008) Mobile
multimedia: Reflections from ten years of practice.
In L. Tallon and K. Walker (eds.) Digital
Technologies and the Museum Experience.
AltaMira, pp. 7996.
Giannini, T. (1998a) All the knowledge in the world,
an exhibition celebrating the new Bibliothèque
Nationale de France, from the real to the virtual,
comparing CD-ROM, WWW and print
representations. In Proceedings of the 19thNational
Online Meeting. Medford, NJ: Information Today,
Inc., pp. 153162.
Giannini, T. (1998b) Information receiving, a primary
mode of the information process. In Proceedings of
the 61st ASIS Annual Meeting. Pittsburgh, USA, 25
29 October, pp. 362371.
Giannini, T. and Bowen, J. P. (2014) The Brooklyn
Visual Heritage website: Brooklyn’s museums and
libraries collaborate for Project CHART. In MW2014:
Museums and the Web 2014, Baltimore, USA, 25
April. http://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/the-
brooklyn-visual-heritage-website/ (accessed 1 January
2016).
Giannini, T. and Bowen, J. P. (2015) A New York
Museums and Pratt partnership: Building Web
collections and preparing museum professionals for
the digital world. In MW2015: Museums and the
Web 2015, Chicago, USA, 811 April.
http://mw2015.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/a-new-york-
museums-and-pratt-partnership-building-web-collections-and-
preparing-museum-professionals-for-the-digital-world/
(accessed 1 January 2016).
Grimwade, J. (2010) Visualize this: Is it information
or is it art?Society for New Design, 2
February.http://www.snd.org/2010/02/visualize-this-is-it-info-
or-is-it-art/ (accessed 4 April 2016).
Poitras, L. (ed.) (2016) Astro Noise: A Survival
Guide for Living under Total Surveillance. Yale
University Press.
Tongco, T. (2015) Meet Audrey Wollen, the feminist
art star staging arevolution on Instagram. The
Huffington Post, 12 April.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/audrey-wollen-the-
feminist-art-star-staging-a-revolution-on-
instagram_5660dddde4b079b2818e0993 (accessed 4
April 2016).
... This paper has taken inspiration from a recent book [21] and previous EVA London conference [47] papers [5], [10]- [13], [18]- [20]. The paper has an associated sister paper [22] in EVA London 2020 [48]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Italian Renaissance started a rebirth of culture and knowledge not experienced since Roman times. Leonardo da Vinci was arguably the leading polymath of the era. We are now in the throes of a Digital Renaissance, arguably started by Alan Turing in England. This paper draws some parallels between these two periods and speculates on the future of digital developments, especially in the context of the EVA Florence conference in Italy and the EVA London conference in the UK.
... This paper has taken inspiration from a recent book [21] and previous EVA London conference [47] papers [5], [10]- [13], [18]- [20]. The paper has an associated sister paper [22] in EVA London 2020 [48]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Italian Renaissance started a rebirth of culture and knowledge not experienced since Roman times. Leonardo da Vinci was arguably the leading polymath of the era. We are now in the throes of a Digital Renaissance, arguably started by Alan Turing in England. This paper draws some parallels between these two periods and speculates on the future of digital developments, especially in the context of the EVA Florence conference in Italy and the EVA London conference in the UK.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This half-day Symposium explores themes of computational culture and artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of digital art especially, as well as digital culture and heritage in general. The increasing ubiquity of AI and machine learning raises questions for technology and art in the future, and for the transformations that have already occurred concerning technology and the nature of being. Each symposium speaker approaches the issues from significantly different standpoints, illustrating the complex uncertain nature of the dynamics involved. Keywords: Computational culture. AI art. Digital aesthetics. Digital art. Digital culture. Digital heritage. Digitalism. Postdigital.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
I first encountered EVA London in 1995 through my establishment of the Virtual Library museums pages (VLmp), part of the World Wide Web Virtual Library. In 2003, I was invited back as a keynote speaker on the subject of website accessibility for cultural heritage resources. Since then I have been involved with every EVA London conference either as an author or since 2007 as a proceedings editor. This paper summarises the developments of the EVA London conference over the past 25 years from a personal viewpoint and celebrates the 30th anniversary of EVA London and the whole family of international EVA conferences. The development of the community around EVA (Electronic Visualisation and the Arts) is evaluated in the context of a Community of Practice. The paper also considers possible future directions for EVA.
Article
Full-text available
The impact of digital platforms on different areas of the museum practice has been widely explored in museology. What is less clear is to what extent the adoption of digital platforms is connected to strategic choices and if it leads to organizational transformations. The paper addresses this issue through the case study derived from a project coordinated by the Department of Management, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice at the Civic Museums of Treviso. A qualitative study was implemented to explore the impact of the introduction of new digital practices on how the members of the museums conceive the relationship with audiences, the curatorial function and the predominant museum’s modes. The research outcomes show how the adoption of digital platforms can foster a broad reflection upon the underlying values and beliefs that shape behaviours in museum, but this reflection it is not enough in itself to trigger an organizational transformation.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This half-day Symposium explores themes of digital art, culture, and heritage, bringing together speakers from a range of disciplines to consider technology with respect to artistic and academic practice. As we increasingly see ourselves and life through a digital lens and the world communicated on digital screens, we experience altered states of being and consciousness in ways that blur the lines between digital and physical reality, while our ways of thinking and seeing become a digital stream of consciousness that flows between place and cyberspace. We have entered the postdigital world and are living, working, and thinking with machines as our computational culture driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning embeds itself in everyday life and threads across art, culture, and heritage, juxtaposing them in the digital profusion of human creativity on the Internet.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Once quiet places protected by walls, museums are increasingly besieged by activist groups. Spurred by social and political causes, they storm the gates bypassing the gatekeepers, to deliver their message and insist that museums become relevant, participatory and interactive, and give voice to their communities and audience. With no place to hide in a sea of digital connections, museums are challenged to find new directions and strategies for the post-digital world. This paper traces these trends, illustrating them using recent examples of art and activism at museums in New York and London, and explores strategies for museums to collaborate with their community and find common ground.
Chapter
Full-text available
In the past decade, museums have experienced a revolution with the arrival of new technologies, capable of enhancing their visitors’ experiences by introducing multimedia content. Amid these new technologies, website and computer-based interactives in the gallery have augmented exhibitions to provide additional educational material. However, the web is mainly suitable for access to information before, after or often even instead of visiting an exhibition or museum. A kiosk provides a physically fixed facility that can be used during a visit to an exhibition, but only for part of it generally. In contrast, a multimedia tour delivered through a handheld device allows the visitor to gain information at any point during the visit and in any order, without interfering with the aesthetics of the gallery. This means it has some unique properties that could be beneficial, if used suitably.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) involves the research libraries of the Brooklyn Museum, Frick, and MoMA. Together with the Pratt Institute, the Brooklyn Museum and then NYARC have undertaken partnership projects to implement digitization of collections in a museum-education setting. This paper explores challenges including integrating digital information within the physical museum and on the Web, recognizing the crucial role this plays in user engagement. Education is a key aspect, and information on a new master program to support professionals in the interdisciplinary skills needed is also presented. Leading museums realize the importance of an integrated digital approach. The Cooper Hewitt Museum’s newly redeveloped display is presented as a model example. Educational underpinning and inventive use of digital technology, with regard for social and cultural issues, are key aspects for success.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Today’s society is increasingly digitalised, with mobile smartphones being routinely carried and used by a significant percentage of the population. This provides an augmented experience for the individual that does not depend on their geographical separation with respect to their community of friends and other contacts. This changes the nature of relationships between people. Individuals may live in a “digital bubble”, close to others physically, but far away from them in their digital world. More specifically, digital images can be generated and shared with ever greater ease. Sometimes the digital image takes on an important part of the individual’s experience of reality. This paper explores examples of the phenomenon, within the context of the arts in particular and culture in general. We also consider the assortment of terms used in a variety of ways by researchers in different fields with regard to our ever more digital society, such as digitalism, digitality, digitalisation, digital culture, digital philosophy, etc. We survey these terms, exploring them from alternative viewpoints, including sociological and philosophical aspects, and attempt to pinpoint some of these terms more precisely, especially in a cultural and artistic context.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Brooklyn Visual Heritage website (http://brooklynvisualheritage.org) represents a new visual resource for cultural heritage. The site was created as part of Project CHART (Cultural Heritage, Access, Research and Technology), a three-year collaborative project (2010-2013) funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) between Pratt School of Information and Library Science and three of New York’s leading cultural Institutions, the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, and Brooklyn Public Library. This paper examines the Brooklyn Visual Heritage website from the diverse perspectives of these cultural institutions and the communities they serve, from geographic communities to those of scholars, historians, and educators, while also addressing technical aspects of user experience and the challenges of cross institutional collaboration. We consider questions of shared decision-making on website design, public access and use as well as issues regarding how the BVH collections will continue to grow, while expanding the use of social media to promote greater community participation as part of a sustainable model.
Article
Full-text available
Traditionally museum visitors have had to physically go to a museum to experience what it has to offer. However, many museums can now be accessed directly from anywhere in the world via an Internet connection. Of course the facilities on offer on-line are different and not of the same quality as the real museum itself. However access to some resources such as the museum store and records could potentially be better than those available at the actual museum. This article explores how museums have been using the Internet for access to their collections, and how they could use it in the future, especially from the virtual visitor's point of view. Two case studies of a large and small museum which have embraced the technology seriously are included. Mud sometimes gives the illusion of depth. -- Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
Article
Full-text available
Over the past few years, some museums have launched multimedia projects (on PDAs, kiosks, and Web sites) that allow visitors to bookmark information of interest for later use at home or in the classroom, in at attempt to prolong the museum experience, build a stronger relationship with the visitor, and facilitate the learning process. Despite its great potential, however, there is still very little evidence that bookmarking actually works in the terms envisaged by its promoters. To consider this question, we will analyze examples of different on-line and on-site applications, accompanied by a detailed investigation of usage statistics and evaluation results carried out in part by the authors and in part by museums. We will consider case studies from Tate Modern, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Science in Boston, and The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, among others.
Article
Full-text available
This study, based on a survey of 40 LIS students and observations made from teaching online information retrieval since 1993, takes as its focus 'information receiving' which is defined as one of the three primary modes of the 'Information Process,' the process of becoming informed, consisting of information receiving, seeking and using from a person-centered perspective. Information science has devoted considerable study to information seeking viewed in response to information needs leading to the selection and acquisition of information. Information receiving, on the other hand, is characterized by a person taking in information with no specific information agenda nor information need identified. It is thus a contrasting mode to seeking - the yin-yang of the information process, where the mode of information using can be seen to result from either information receiving or seeking. The relationship between these three modes is studied with an eye to the causal effects between them, placed in the context of our evolving global information landscape. The ways in which people receive information have developed over the course of the 20th century resulting in a dramatic increase in the quantity of information in our environment and its potential and capacity to inform. An additive process of development from word-of-mouth to the World Wide Web, we live in a global information receiving environment with shared content and technology. Importantly, studying the information process from the perspective of information receiving can influence the way in which libraries and information professionals define their role for the 21st century.
Book
Presenting the latest technological developments in arts and culture, this volume demonstrates the advantages of a union between art and science. Electronic Visualisation in Arts and Culture is presented in five parts: • Imaging and Culture • New Art Practice • Seeing Motion • Interaction and Interfaces • Visualising Heritage Electronic Visualisation in Arts and Culture explores a variety of new theory and technologies, including devices and techniques for motion capture for music and performance, advanced photographic techniques, computer generated images derived from different sources, game engine software, airflow to capture the motions of bird flight and low-altitude imagery from airborne devices. The international authors of this book are practising experts from universities, art practices and organisations, research centres and independent research. They describe electronic visualisation used for such diverse aspects of culture as airborne imagery, computer generated art based on the autoimmune system, motion capture for music and for sign language, the visualisation of time and the long term preservation of these materials. Selected from the EVA London conferences from 2009-2012, held in association with the Computer Arts Society of the British Computer Society, the authors have reviewed, extended and fully updated their work for this state-of-the-art volume.
Article
Jonathan Bowen is considered by many as the ‘founding father’ of the Virtual Library museums pages, one of the premier Internet sites in the museum field. He is a lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, University of Reading (United Kingdom), where he leads the Formal Methods and Software Engineering Group, and was previously a senior researcher at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory. He has worked in the field of computing in both industry and academia since 1977 and has served on more than fifteen programme committees including a major working group within the European Union information technologies programme, ESPRIT. The author of 140 publications including nine books, Jonathan Bowen won the 1994 IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) Charles Babbage Premium award. In 1997 he was honorary chair, workshop presenter and an invited speaker at the first ‘Museums and the Web’ conference and has been an active participant in subsequent conferences.
Curating the digital world: Past preconceptions, present problems, possible futures http://mw2013.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/curating-the- digital-world-past-preconceptions-present-problems-possiblefutures
  • S Cairns
  • D Birchall
Cairns, S. and Birchall, D. (2013) Curating the digital world: Past preconceptions, present problems, possible futures. In MW2013: Museums and the Web 2013, Portland, USA, 17–20 April. http://mw2013.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/curating-the- digital-world-past-preconceptions-present-problems-possiblefutures/ (accessed 7 April 2016).