. community —

Metadata

Hello everyone,

So on the heels of the recent ArtBase discussions on RAW, I

Comments

Richard Rinehart April 25 2006 13:57Reply

Hello Rhizomes,

I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the Rhizome ArtBase
and to kick off a conversation about the language we use to describe
works in the ArtBase.

There are different types of metadata relevant to works in the
ArtBase and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators, Dates,
and Titles. But the type of metadata that is most problematic and at
the same time most community-driven is descriptive metadata such as
Type, Genre, and Keywords. The data-values used to fill out those
metadata are terms taken from vocabularies (the lists of different
types, genres, etc.) If you have ever submitted a work to the
ArtBase, you know what these look like: Types include animation-art,
audio-art, etc.; Genres include abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and
Keywords include access, animation, archive, etc. (a full list of
Rhizome's data-values/vocabularies follows below).

Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for changing;
the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are however key as
they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome site, and lastly, but
not least, there is no canon or authoritative source for terms
related to digital art, so Rhizome can take this practical need and
turn it into an opportunity to engage a community discussion about
vocabularies and to set an example for others to follow. All metadata
specific to one discipline, but especially vocabularies, need to
arise from the community's practice and not be imposed from outside
or the descriptions and the artifacts being described will never
quite match up. It is also important to collaborate and coordinate
with other groups working on digital art metadata and preservation,
so that's another reason to have this conversation on RAW and why
Rhizome will also be convening people from the Variable Media,
Archiving the Avant Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to discuss
this as well.

Some questions and considerations that might get the conversation started:

1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?

Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they call
"controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For instance the
art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus for
years
(http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/).
Systems are then built using these vocab standards. If Rhizome were
in some way compatible with these standards, then new search engines
could search across distributed art resources online from Getty
databases to Rhizome's ArtBase ensuring that digital art is not
"ghettoized" because of incompatible languages. Interoperability is
important in a semantic as well as technical sense, but luckily
compatibility does not necessarily require that one adopt the
"authoritative" vocabulary completely, or exclusively.

2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish
given limited resources?

The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
"standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
afford to implement them and thus they go unused and interoperability
remains a theoretical concept. We should be smarter than that. A
simple system that works and can be realistically maintained is worth
more than a complex solution that never happens.

3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into
type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient? Should
we add others?

Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
categories similar to this. For instance, in various art-world/museum
metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a broad category
("painting"), then Type to indicate a format within the Genre
("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to indicate "intellectual
access points" ("landscape") that people will search on to find the
record.

4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing descriptive
terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make folksonomy also
an option?

Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems to keep a
vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of compatibility with
other standards?

5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
affect our re-design of the metadata.

Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the long-term use
of the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that with
better vocabularies?

So, let the games begin! What do you think?

Richard Rinehart

—————————-
Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies

TYPE
The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.

-Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a significant role
-Audio-art work has strong audio component
-Game-art work is a game or involves gaming in significant ways
-Installation-art object documents a physical installation
-Performance-art object documents a performative art work
-Software-art work is an executable program or involves original
stand-alone software
-Video-art object uses Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based video
-Virtual-art work creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
-Visual-art work is particularly graphical or especially visual in nature
-Text-art work is ASCII or otherwise text-based

GENRE
The genre field describes the general category of your art object
defined through style, form, or content.

-Abstract-art object is visually abstract
-Allegory-art object uses allegory or metaphor
-Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic conventions or codes
-Collaborative-art object was created by more than one person
-Collider-art object dynamically combines material from various sources
-Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by ideas
-Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires a specific
situation to function
-Database-art object incorporates databases or archives
-Documentary-art object uses found material as evidence; art object
records events for posterity; art object uses documentary data
-Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
-Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics of form
-Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing according
to certain contingent factors
-Historical-art object is about the recording or revealing of past events
-Homepage-art object is (or resembles) a personal website
-Information map-art object is about the visual display of
statistical or other quantitative information
-Narrative-art object tells a story
-Offline-art object has a major offline component
-Participatory-art object requires input from users
-Readymade-art object involves found material not originally meant to be art
-Tactical-art object is example of tactical media; art object is
resistive, political or otherwise confrontational
-Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
remote manipulation of objects

KEYWORDS

access
animation
archive
art world
artificial life
audio
bio
body
broadcast
browser
CD-ROM
censorship
cinema
colonialism
commercialization
community
conference
corporate
death
design
desire
digital
disappearance
education
email
exhibition
film
fund
futurism
game
gender
globalization
identity
immersion
interact
interface
Internet
labor
language
live
machine
marginality
media activism
meme
memory
nature
net.art
network
nostalgia
performance
posthuman
postmodern
privacy
public space
publish
queer
radio
resistance
responsibility
robot
rumor
security
social space
space
surveillance
tactical media
technophobia
television
Third World
3D
underground
utopia
video
virtual reality
VRML
War





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

David Chien April 25 2006 14:48Reply

Hi Richard:

My responses are below:

> 1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other metadata
> standards? If so, which, and how much?
>

I think Rhizome vocabularies should be taken with the current folksonomy
philosophy as seen most notably on http://del.icio.us/ and
http://flickr.com/

Through the collective mind of a wealth of taggers, you can craft
algorithms that can acknowledge all variants of the same tag (ie.
net-art versus internet-art) and also allow for unique implementations
as seen in Flickr's Interestingness.
http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/


>
> 2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish
> given limited resources?

Tagging resources are readily available on an open source level at
multiple places. One notably is FreeTag: http://getluky.net/freetag/
which is used, I believe, with Upcoming.org. Also crafting a homegrown
tagging schema is also pretty straightforward.


> 3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into type,
> genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient? Should we add
> others?

Under the guise of the general tagging approach, I think the
'categories', 'genre', and 'keywords' all become redundant. All pieces
should be categorized by a collection of tags (maybe under the simple
label of "category").


> 4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing descriptive
> terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make folksonomy also
> an option?

I think keeping with the folksonomy approach would be ideal. The most
daunting task of submitting a piece to the Artbase is the fact that you
have to go through a series of check boxes to try and adequately
describe you piece. The folksonomy approach of just describing the
piece via general terms is ideal.


> 5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that affect
> our re-design of the metadata.

With the folksonomy approach, you can easy provide multiple tools for
people who are simply browsing the Artbase. For submitters it'll
greatly simplify their submission process. But what needs to exist
would the ability for them to update their tags and to tag other pieces
– currently the Artbase doesn't even let you edit your pieces.

My two cents.

-David-
http://nakedgremlin.com/
http://thestoryoffillintheblank.com/
http://residency.glasstire.com/spamgraffitti/

Rob Myers April 25 2006 14:49Reply

I think folksonomy is best. Tagging works, people understand it, it
doesn't take lots of resources up-front, and it can be made
compatible with other standards using a good thesaurus. :-)

A quick check of the AAT for some common terms (generative, net.art,
spam) shows that it is not useful for work Rhizome artbase will
actually need to describe.

Imagine a tag cloud of the artbase. :-)

- Rob.

Richard Rinehart April 25 2006 16:17Reply

Thanks David, Rob,

Folksonomies are of course interesting and appropriate, but
exclusively? Also, are there any existing folksonomies that Rhizome
could build upon, or would either of you suggest starting from
scratch?

I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
thesaurus. Do you have an example of this? Whether or not one goes
with standards, folksonomies, or a hybrid model, knowing how to map
between them would be terrific. Although, if one did use a hybrid
model, then that would itself create the mapping (each work would
have both standardized terms and folksonomic terms applied, so
averaging among many works, you'd be able to tell what terms mapped
to each other.

Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is not
yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the single
standard used most by museums and other organizations collecting new
media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the AAT as irrelevant;
but another might be to work with the Getty to update and improve the
AAT with relevant terms so that (digital) community-specific practice
becomes (museum) community specific practice rather than creating a
ghetto (though I'm not sure which is the ghetto of the other here :)
In the past, the Getty unit that had maintained the AAT had expressed
interest in updating the AAT based on feedback from the relevant
community (us).

Rick Rinehart


At 9:50 PM +0100 4/25/06, Rob Myers wrote:
>I think folksonomy is best. Tagging works, people understand it, it
>doesn't take lots of resources up-front, and it can be made
>compatible with other standards using a good thesaurus. :-)
>
>A quick check of the AAT for some common terms (generative, net.art,
>spam) shows that it is not useful for work Rhizome artbase will
>actually need to describe.
>
>Imagine a tag cloud of the artbase. :-)
>
>- Rob.
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Pall Thayer April 25 2006 16:21Reply

I just want to remind everyone that the original idea behind my
proposition of extending the ArtBase to accept open-sourced code for
projects was a way to bring 'preservation' back into the ArtBase
which is being used more often to link to projects than to clone
them. So if a project is based on a server-specific setup in a way
that it can't be cloned and remain functional, cloning of the source-
code would still provide an element of preservation in the ArtBase.

Pall

On 25.4.2006, at 15:39, Richard Rinehart wrote:

> Hello Rhizomes,
>
> I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the Rhizome
> ArtBase and to kick off a conversation about the language we use to
> describe works in the ArtBase.
>
> There are different types of metadata relevant to works in the
> ArtBase and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators,
> Dates, and Titles. But the type of metadata that is most
> problematic and at the same time most community-driven is
> descriptive metadata such as Type, Genre, and Keywords. The data-
> values used to fill out those metadata are terms taken from
> vocabularies (the lists of different types, genres, etc.) If you
> have ever submitted a work to the ArtBase, you know what these look
> like: Types include animation-art, audio-art, etc.; Genres include
> abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and Keywords include access,
> animation, archive, etc. (a full list of Rhizome's data-values/
> vocabularies follows below).
>
> Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
> descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for changing;
> the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are however key
> as they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome site, and lastly,
> but not least, there is no canon or authoritative source for terms
> related to digital art, so Rhizome can take this practical need and
> turn it into an opportunity to engage a community discussion about
> vocabularies and to set an example for others to follow. All
> metadata specific to one discipline, but especially vocabularies,
> need to arise from the community's practice and not be imposed from
> outside or the descriptions and the artifacts being described will
> never quite match up. It is also important to collaborate and
> coordinate with other groups working on digital art metadata and
> preservation, so that's another reason to have this conversation on
> RAW and why Rhizome will also be convening people from the Variable
> Media, Archiving the Avant Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to
> discuss this as well.
>
> Some questions and considerations that might get the conversation
> started:
>
> 1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
> metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?
>
> Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they call
> "controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For instance
> the art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus
> for years (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/
> vocabularies/aat/). Systems are then built using these vocab
> standards. If Rhizome were in some way compatible with these
> standards, then new search engines could search across distributed
> art resources online from Getty databases to Rhizome's ArtBase
> ensuring that digital art is not "ghettoized" because of
> incompatible languages. Interoperability is important in a semantic
> as well as technical sense, but luckily compatibility does not
> necessarily require that one adopt the "authoritative" vocabulary
> completely, or exclusively.
>
> 2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish
> given limited resources?
>
> The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
> "standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
> afford to implement them and thus they go unused and
> interoperability remains a theoretical concept. We should be
> smarter than that. A simple system that works and can be
> realistically maintained is worth more than a complex solution that
> never happens.
>
> 3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into
> type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient?
> Should we add others?
>
> Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
> categories similar to this. For instance, in various art-world/
> museum metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a broad
> category ("painting"), then Type to indicate a format within the
> Genre ("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to indicate
> "intellectual access points" ("landscape") that people will search
> on to find the record.
>
> 4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing
> descriptive
> terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make
> folksonomy also
> an option?
>
> Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems to keep
> a vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of compatibility
> with other standards?
>
> 5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
> affect our re-design of the metadata.
>
> Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the long-term use
> of the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that with
> better vocabularies?
>
> So, let the games begin! What do you think?
>
> Richard Rinehart
>
> —————————-
> Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies
>
> TYPE
> The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.
>
> -Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a significant role
> -Audio-art work has strong audio component
> -Game-art work is a game or involves gaming in significant ways
> -Installation-art object documents a physical installation
> -Performance-art object documents a performative art work
> -Software-art work is an executable program or involves original
> stand-alone software
> -Video-art object uses Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based video
> -Virtual-art work creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
> -Visual-art work is particularly graphical or especially visual in
> nature
> -Text-art work is ASCII or otherwise text-based
>
> GENRE
> The genre field describes the general category of your art object
> defined through style, form, or content.
>
> -Abstract-art object is visually abstract
> -Allegory-art object uses allegory or metaphor
> -Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic conventions or codes
> -Collaborative-art object was created by more than one person
> -Collider-art object dynamically combines material from various
> sources
> -Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by ideas
> -Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires a specific
> situation to function
> -Database-art object incorporates databases or archives
> -Documentary-art object uses found material as evidence; art object
> records events for posterity; art object uses documentary data
> -Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
> -Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics of
> form
> -Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing according
> to certain contingent factors
> -Historical-art object is about the recording or revealing of past
> events
> -Homepage-art object is (or resembles) a personal website
> -Information map-art object is about the visual display of
> statistical or other quantitative information
> -Narrative-art object tells a story
> -Offline-art object has a major offline component
> -Participatory-art object requires input from users
> -Readymade-art object involves found material not originally meant
> to be art
> -Tactical-art object is example of tactical media; art object is
> resistive, political or otherwise confrontational
> -Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
> remote manipulation of objects
>
> KEYWORDS
>
> access
> animation
> archive
> art world
> artificial life
> audio
> bio
> body
> broadcast
> browser
> CD-ROM
> censorship
> cinema
> colonialism
> commercialization
> community
> conference
> corporate
> death
> design
> desire
> digital
> disappearance
> education
> email
> exhibition
> film
> fund
> futurism
> game
> gender
> globalization
> identity
> immersion
> interact
> interface
> Internet
> labor
> language
> live
> machine
> marginality
> media activism
> meme
> memory
> nature
> net.art
> network
> nostalgia
> performance
> posthuman
> postmodern
> privacy
> public space
> publish
> queer
> radio
> resistance
> responsibility
> robot
> rumor
> security
> social space
> space
> surveillance
> tactical media
> technophobia
> television
> Third World
> 3D
> underground
> utopia
> video
> virtual reality
> VRML
> War
>
>
> –
>
>
> Richard Rinehart
> —————
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> —————
> University of California, Berkeley
> —————
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
> subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
> 29.php
>




Pall Thayer
p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
http://www.this.is/pallit

ryan griffis April 25 2006 17:25Reply

On Apr 25, 2006, at 2:39 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:

> 1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other metadata
> standards? If so, which, and how much?

i would think a multi-tiered system would address a lot of Rob and
other's (myself included) preference for folksonomic methods. having
worked in situations where a more cohesive standard was needed, i also
understand the function of a hierarchal meta-data system. this gets at
the question of audiences as well. for many uses, a folksonomy system
works great, but for others it's not the ideal. translations of those
systems into multiple languages, for example can be very problematic in
the most standardized of systems.
in terms of the artbase, i would think that a folksonomic system works
well for "keywords" (just like the tagging process already described)
while the classification of "type" "genre" - i would add some other
standards for "technology" and some contextual options for "geography"
or something - could be something linked up to larger needs, whether
it's the Getty or whatever.
the hierarchal system however, seems like it would need to be managed
based on a coherent and consistent, yet easily applied, set of rules,
so that artists aren't subscribing a "type" (for example) that's only
based on some idiosyncratic interpretation of "net.art" or "web art"
thus foiling the purpose of standardization. i guess i'm saying that
those properties of artbase works could/should be managed by some
collective, responsible party (someone at Rhizome or a set of
volunteers) rather than by the artists. let the artists/"localized"
community deal with the folksonomy and tagging. the community tagging
process (letting others attach keywords of relevance i.e. del.icio.us)
could also be very useful here.
i guess as an artist and someone who's had to go through lots of
archives, i'm more invested as an artist in the keywords (the
"intellectual access points") than the definitions of "type" or "genre"
- i'm sure that for conservators however, notions of type, technology,
etc are pretty crucial.
just my $0.02, but thanks for including us all in the discussion.

Richard Rinehart April 25 2006 18:48Reply

Thanks Ryan,

You also brought up something I neglected to mention (I thought my
email too long already :) and that is vocabularies for "technology".
I'm just thinking out-loud that this might be the easiest metadata to
populate with vocab terms, because can't we just use MIME types for
this? Right now I think all the Rhizome "tech" terms are software
rather than hardware based, so it seems we could just solve that
little nugget by adopting a well-known and used existing standard, no?

Rick Rinehart



At 6:25 PM -0500 4/25/06, Ryan Griffis wrote:
>On Apr 25, 2006, at 2:39 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>
>>1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
>>metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?
>
>i would think a multi-tiered system would address a lot of Rob and
>other's (myself included) preference for folksonomic methods. having
>worked in situations where a more cohesive standard was needed, i
>also understand the function of a hierarchal meta-data system. this
>gets at the question of audiences as well. for many uses, a
>folksonomy system works great, but for others it's not the ideal.
>translations of those systems into multiple languages, for example
>can be very problematic in the most standardized of systems.
>in terms of the artbase, i would think that a folksonomic system
>works well for "keywords" (just like the tagging process already
>described) while the classification of "type" "genre" - i would add
>some other standards for "technology" and some contextual options
>for "geography" or something - could be something linked up to
>larger needs, whether it's the Getty or whatever.
>the hierarchal system however, seems like it would need to be
>managed based on a coherent and consistent, yet easily applied, set
>of rules, so that artists aren't subscribing a "type" (for example)
>that's only based on some idiosyncratic interpretation of "net.art"
>or "web art" thus foiling the purpose of standardization. i guess
>i'm saying that those properties of artbase works could/should be
>managed by some collective, responsible party (someone at Rhizome or
>a set of volunteers) rather than by the artists. let the
>artists/"localized" community deal with the folksonomy and tagging.
>the community tagging process (letting others attach keywords of
>relevance i.e. del.icio.us) could also be very useful here.
>i guess as an artist and someone who's had to go through lots of
>archives, i'm more invested as an artist in the keywords (the
>"intellectual access points") than the definitions of "type" or
>"genre" - i'm sure that for conservators however, notions of type,
>technology, etc are pretty crucial.
>just my $0.02, but thanks for including us all in the discussion.
>
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Richard Rinehart April 25 2006 18:48Reply

Pall,

Good idea. Did you go into how you'd get the source code for
proprietary software? Or how the legal issues might work out in doing
that? I'd be curious to know. Source code is really, REALLY, nice to
have for preservation purposes; I agree.

Rick Rinehart


>I just want to remind everyone that the original idea behind my
>proposition of extending the ArtBase to accept open-sourced code for
>projects was a way to bring 'preservation' back into the ArtBase
>which is being used more often to link to projects than to clone
>them. So if a project is based on a server-specific setup in a way
>that it can't be cloned and remain functional, cloning of the
>source-code would still provide an element of preservation in the
>ArtBase.
>
>Pall
>
>On 25.4.2006, at 15:39, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>
>>Hello Rhizomes,
>>
>>I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the Rhizome
>>ArtBase and to kick off a conversation about the language we use to
>>describe works in the ArtBase.
>>
>>There are different types of metadata relevant to works in the
>>ArtBase and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators,
>>Dates, and Titles. But the type of metadata that is most
>>problematic and at the same time most community-driven is
>>descriptive metadata such as Type, Genre, and Keywords. The
>>data-values used to fill out those metadata are terms taken from
>>vocabularies (the lists of different types, genres, etc.) If you
>>have ever submitted a work to the ArtBase, you know what these look
>>like: Types include animation-art, audio-art, etc.; Genres include
>>abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and Keywords include access,
>>animation, archive, etc. (a full list of Rhizome's
>>data-values/vocabularies follows below).
>>
>>Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
>>descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for changing;
>>the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are however key
>>as they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome site, and lastly,
>>but not least, there is no canon or authoritative source for terms
>>related to digital art, so Rhizome can take this practical need and
>>turn it into an opportunity to engage a community discussion about
>>vocabularies and to set an example for others to follow. All
>>metadata specific to one discipline, but especially vocabularies,
>>need to arise from the community's practice and not be imposed from
>>outside or the descriptions and the artifacts being described will
>>never quite match up. It is also important to collaborate and
>>coordinate with other groups working on digital art metadata and
>>preservation, so that's another reason to have this conversation on
>>RAW and why Rhizome will also be convening people from the Variable
>>Media, Archiving the Avant Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to
>>discuss this as well.
>>
>>Some questions and considerations that might get the conversation started:
>>
>>1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
>>metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?
>>
>>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they call
>>"controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For instance
>>the art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus
>>for years
>>(http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/).
>>Systems are then built using these vocab standards. If Rhizome were
>>in some way compatible with these standards, then new search
>>engines could search across distributed art resources online from
>>Getty databases to Rhizome's ArtBase ensuring that digital art is
>>not "ghettoized" because of incompatible languages.
>>Interoperability is important in a semantic as well as technical
>>sense, but luckily compatibility does not necessarily require that
>>one adopt the "authoritative" vocabulary completely, or exclusively.
>>
>>2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish
>>given limited resources?
>>
>>The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
>>"standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
>>afford to implement them and thus they go unused and
>>interoperability remains a theoretical concept. We should be
>>smarter than that. A simple system that works and can be
>>realistically maintained is worth more than a complex solution that
>>never happens.
>>
>>3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into
>>type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient?
>>Should we add others?
>>
>>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
>>categories similar to this. For instance, in various
>>art-world/museum metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a
>>broad category ("painting"), then Type to indicate a format within
>>the Genre ("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to indicate
>>"intellectual access points" ("landscape") that people will search
>>on to find the record.
>>
>>4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing descriptive
>>terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make folksonomy also
>>an option?
>>
>>Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems to keep
>>a vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of compatibility
>>with other standards?
>>
>>5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
>>affect our re-design of the metadata.
>>
>>Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the long-term use
>>of the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that with
>>better vocabularies?
>>
>>So, let the games begin! What do you think?
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>
>>—————————-
>>Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies
>>
>>TYPE
>>The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.
>>
>>-Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a significant role
>>-Audio-art work has strong audio component
>>-Game-art work is a game or involves gaming in significant ways
>>-Installation-art object documents a physical installation
>>-Performance-art object documents a performative art work
>>-Software-art work is an executable program or involves original
>>stand-alone software
>>-Video-art object uses Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based video
>>-Virtual-art work creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
>>-Visual-art work is particularly graphical or especially visual in nature
>>-Text-art work is ASCII or otherwise text-based
>>
>>GENRE
>>The genre field describes the general category of your art object
>>defined through style, form, or content.
>>
>>-Abstract-art object is visually abstract
>>-Allegory-art object uses allegory or metaphor
>>-Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic conventions or codes
>>-Collaborative-art object was created by more than one person
>>-Collider-art object dynamically combines material from various sources
>>-Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by ideas
>>-Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires a specific
>>situation to function
>>-Database-art object incorporates databases or archives
>>-Documentary-art object uses found material as evidence; art object
>>records events for posterity; art object uses documentary data
>>-Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
>>-Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics of form
>>-Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing according
>>to certain contingent factors
>>-Historical-art object is about the recording or revealing of past events
>>-Homepage-art object is (or resembles) a personal website
>>-Information map-art object is about the visual display of
>>statistical or other quantitative information
>>-Narrative-art object tells a story
>>-Offline-art object has a major offline component
>>-Participatory-art object requires input from users
>>-Readymade-art object involves found material not originally meant to be art
>>-Tactical-art object is example of tactical media; art object is
>>resistive, political or otherwise confrontational
>>-Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
>>remote manipulation of objects
>>
>>KEYWORDS
>>
>> access
>> animation
>> archive
>> art world
>> artificial life
>> audio
>> bio
>> body
>> broadcast
>> browser
>> CD-ROM
>> censorship
>> cinema
>> colonialism
>> commercialization
>> community
>> conference
>> corporate
>> death
>> design
>> desire
>> digital
>> disappearance
>> education
>> email
>> exhibition
>> film
>> fund
>> futurism
>> game
>> gender
>> globalization
>> identity
>> immersion
>> interact
>> interface
>> Internet
>> labor
>> language
>> live
>> machine
>> marginality
>> media activism
>> meme
>> memory
>> nature
>> net.art
>> network
>> nostalgia
>> performance
>> posthuman
>> postmodern
>> privacy
>> public space
>> publish
>> queer
>> radio
>> resistance
>> responsibility
>> robot
>> rumor
>> security
>> social space
>> space
>> surveillance
>> tactical media
>> technophobia
>> television
>> Third World
>> 3D
>> underground
>> utopia
>> video
>> virtual reality
>> VRML
>> War
>>
>>
>>–
>>
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>—————
>>Director of Digital Media
>>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>—————
>>University of California, Berkeley
>>—————
>>2625 Durant Ave.
>>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>ph.510.642.5240
>>fx.510.642.5269
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>
>
>
>
>–
>Pall Thayer
>p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
>http://www.this.is/pallit





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Pall Thayer April 25 2006 21:29Reply

Hi Richard,
The suggestion generated a bit of discussion and the thread is
available here:

http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread 893&page=1#40140

The suggestion was just for open-sourced code and didn't address
proprietary software at all. The idea is that if the need or desire
arises to reconstruct the work when technology has changed then the
reconstruction could be based on the functionality of the original
code rather than being based on some vague memories and screenshots.

Pall

On 25.4.2006, at 20:40, Richard Rinehart wrote:

> Pall,
>
> Good idea. Did you go into how you'd get the source code for
> proprietary software? Or how the legal issues might work out in
> doing that? I'd be curious to know. Source code is really, REALLY,
> nice to have for preservation purposes; I agree.
>
> Rick Rinehart
>
>
>> I just want to remind everyone that the original idea behind my
>> proposition of extending the ArtBase to accept open-sourced code
>> for projects was a way to bring 'preservation' back into the
>> ArtBase which is being used more often to link to projects than to
>> clone them. So if a project is based on a server-specific setup in
>> a way that it can't be cloned and remain functional, cloning of
>> the source-code would still provide an element of preservation in
>> the ArtBase.
>>
>> Pall
>>
>> On 25.4.2006, at 15:39, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>>
>>> Hello Rhizomes,
>>>
>>> I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the Rhizome
>>> ArtBase and to kick off a conversation about the language we use
>>> to describe works in the ArtBase.
>>>
>>> There are different types of metadata relevant to works in the
>>> ArtBase and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators,
>>> Dates, and Titles. But the type of metadata that is most
>>> problematic and at the same time most community-driven is
>>> descriptive metadata such as Type, Genre, and Keywords. The data-
>>> values used to fill out those metadata are terms taken from
>>> vocabularies (the lists of different types, genres, etc.) If you
>>> have ever submitted a work to the ArtBase, you know what these
>>> look like: Types include animation-art, audio-art, etc.; Genres
>>> include abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and Keywords include
>>> access, animation, archive, etc. (a full list of Rhizome's data-
>>> values/vocabularies follows below).
>>>
>>> Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
>>> descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for
>>> changing; the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are
>>> however key as they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome
>>> site, and lastly, but not least, there is no canon or
>>> authoritative source for terms related to digital art, so Rhizome
>>> can take this practical need and turn it into an opportunity to
>>> engage a community discussion about vocabularies and to set an
>>> example for others to follow. All metadata specific to one
>>> discipline, but especially vocabularies, need to arise from the
>>> community's practice and not be imposed from outside or the
>>> descriptions and the artifacts being described will never quite
>>> match up. It is also important to collaborate and coordinate with
>>> other groups working on digital art metadata and preservation, so
>>> that's another reason to have this conversation on RAW and why
>>> Rhizome will also be convening people from the Variable Media,
>>> Archiving the Avant Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to discuss
>>> this as well.
>>>
>>> Some questions and considerations that might get the conversation
>>> started:
>>>
>>> 1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
>>> metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?
>>>
>>> Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they
>>> call "controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For
>>> instance the art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture
>>> Thesaurus for years (http://www.getty.edu/research/
>>> conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/). Systems are then built
>>> using these vocab standards. If Rhizome were in some way
>>> compatible with these standards, then new search engines could
>>> search across distributed art resources online from Getty
>>> databases to Rhizome's ArtBase ensuring that digital art is not
>>> "ghettoized" because of incompatible languages. Interoperability
>>> is important in a semantic as well as technical sense, but
>>> luckily compatibility does not necessarily require that one adopt
>>> the "authoritative" vocabulary completely, or exclusively.
>>>
>>> 2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically
>>> accomplish given limited resources?
>>>
>>> The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
>>> "standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
>>> afford to implement them and thus they go unused and
>>> interoperability remains a theoretical concept. We should be
>>> smarter than that. A simple system that works and can be
>>> realistically maintained is worth more than a complex solution
>>> that never happens.
>>>
>>> 3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into
>>> type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient?
>>> Should we add others?
>>>
>>> Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
>>> categories similar to this. For instance, in various art-world/
>>> museum metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a broad
>>> category ("painting"), then Type to indicate a format within the
>>> Genre ("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to indicate
>>> "intellectual access points" ("landscape") that people will
>>> search on to find the record.
>>>
>>> 4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing
>>> descriptive
>>> terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make
>>> folksonomy also
>>> an option?
>>>
>>> Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems to
>>> keep a vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of
>>> compatibility with other standards?
>>>
>>> 5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
>>> affect our re-design of the metadata.
>>>
>>> Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the long-term
>>> use of the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that
>>> with better vocabularies?
>>>
>>> So, let the games begin! What do you think?
>>>
>>> Richard Rinehart
>>>
>>> —————————-
>>> Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies
>>>
>>> TYPE
>>> The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.
>>>
>>> -Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a significant role
>>> -Audio-art work has strong audio component
>>> -Game-art work is a game or involves gaming in significant ways
>>> -Installation-art object documents a physical installation
>>> -Performance-art object documents a performative art work
>>> -Software-art work is an executable program or involves original
>>> stand-alone software
>>> -Video-art object uses Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based
>>> video
>>> -Virtual-art work creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
>>> -Visual-art work is particularly graphical or especially visual
>>> in nature
>>> -Text-art work is ASCII or otherwise text-based
>>>
>>> GENRE
>>> The genre field describes the general category of your art object
>>> defined through style, form, or content.
>>>
>>> -Abstract-art object is visually abstract
>>> -Allegory-art object uses allegory or metaphor
>>> -Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic conventions or codes
>>> -Collaborative-art object was created by more than one person
>>> -Collider-art object dynamically combines material from various
>>> sources
>>> -Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by ideas
>>> -Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires a specific
>>> situation to function
>>> -Database-art object incorporates databases or archives
>>> -Documentary-art object uses found material as evidence; art
>>> object records events for posterity; art object uses documentary
>>> data
>>> -Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
>>> -Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics
>>> of form
>>> -Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing
>>> according to certain contingent factors
>>> -Historical-art object is about the recording or revealing of
>>> past events
>>> -Homepage-art object is (or resembles) a personal website
>>> -Information map-art object is about the visual display of
>>> statistical or other quantitative information
>>> -Narrative-art object tells a story
>>> -Offline-art object has a major offline component
>>> -Participatory-art object requires input from users
>>> -Readymade-art object involves found material not originally
>>> meant to be art
>>> -Tactical-art object is example of tactical media; art object is
>>> resistive, political or otherwise confrontational
>>> -Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
>>> remote manipulation of objects
>>>
>>> KEYWORDS
>>>
>>> access
>>> animation
>>> archive
>>> art world
>>> artificial life
>>> audio
>>> bio
>>> body
>>> broadcast
>>> browser
>>> CD-ROM
>>> censorship
>>> cinema
>>> colonialism
>>> commercialization
>>> community
>>> conference
>>> corporate
>>> death
>>> design
>>> desire
>>> digital
>>> disappearance
>>> education
>>> email
>>> exhibition
>>> film
>>> fund
>>> futurism
>>> game
>>> gender
>>> globalization
>>> identity
>>> immersion
>>> interact
>>> interface
>>> Internet
>>> labor
>>> language
>>> live
>>> machine
>>> marginality
>>> media activism
>>> meme
>>> memory
>>> nature
>>> net.art
>>> network
>>> nostalgia
>>> performance
>>> posthuman
>>> postmodern
>>> privacy
>>> public space
>>> publish
>>> queer
>>> radio
>>> resistance
>>> responsibility
>>> robot
>>> rumor
>>> security
>>> social space
>>> space
>>> surveillance
>>> tactical media
>>> technophobia
>>> television
>>> Third World
>>> 3D
>>> underground
>>> utopia
>>> video
>>> virtual reality
>>> VRML
>>> War
>>>
>>>
>>> –
>>>
>>>
>>> Richard Rinehart
>>> —————
>>> Director of Digital Media
>>> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>> bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>> —————
>>> University of California, Berkeley
>>> —————
>>> 2625 Durant Ave.
>>> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>> ph.510.642.5240
>>> fx.510.642.5269
>>> +
>>> -> post: list@rhizome.org
>>> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
>>> subscribe.rhiz
>>> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>> +
>>> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
>>> 29.php
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> –
>> Pall Thayer
>> p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
>> http://www.this.is/pallit
>
>
> –
>
>
> Richard Rinehart
> —————
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> —————
> University of California, Berkeley
> —————
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
> subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
> 29.php
>




Pall Thayer
p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
http://www.this.is/pallit

Rob Myers April 26 2006 05:51Reply

Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:

> I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
> folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
> thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?

I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in mind for
paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies are both
formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the word "blue"
but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF using
wordnet or a thesaurus.

> Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is not
> yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the single
> standard used most by museums and other organizations collecting new
> media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the AAT as irrelevant;
> but another might be to work with the Getty to update and improve the
> AAT with relevant terms so that (digital) community-specific practice
> becomes (museum) community specific practice rather than creating a
> ghetto (though I'm not sure which is the ghetto of the other here :)
> In the past, the Getty unit that had maintained the AAT had expressed
> interest in updating the AAT based on feedback from the relevant
> community (us).

Yes I think that might be a very good project.

Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a process to add
more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a list of
terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people could add
terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome community) could then
keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.

A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though. :-)


On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for Rhizome to get
licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software unfortunately
written
for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time having this stuff
available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue stream. ;-)

- Rob.

Sal Randolph April 26 2006 09:43Reply

I second rob & david's arguments about why folksonomies are great,
and I think they would mix amazingly well with rhizome membership
(all members would get to tag the artbase as they like). tag cloud
of the artbase indeed!! It would naturally evolve as the field of
inquiry evolves. Also as someone who has implemented a tagging system
with freetag recently, it's *really* easy to do (freetag is php, and
I know rhizome's using ruby, but it doesn't look all that hard to
write one either, just from surveying the code).

Personally I would advocate for a double system, as some have done:
free folksonomy tagging by everyone, and then a layer of curated
language for either genre or keyword. multiple points of
intellectual access are a good thing.


On Apr 26, 2006, at 7:51 AM, rob@robmyers.org wrote:

> Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>
>> I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>> folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>> thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>
> I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in
> mind for
> paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies
> are both
> formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
> word "blue"
> but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF
> using
> wordnet or a thesaurus.
>
>> Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
>> not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the
>> single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>> collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>> AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>> update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>> community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>> practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure which
>> is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty unit
>> that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in updating the
>> AAT based on feedback from the relevant community (us).
>
> Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>
> Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a
> process to add
> more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a
> list of
> terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people
> could add
> terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome community)
> could then
> keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>
> A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement
> though. :-)
>
>
> On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for
> Rhizome to get
> licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
> unfortunately written
> for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time having
> this stuff
> available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue
> stream. ;-)
>
> - Rob.
>
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
> subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
> 29.php

Lauren Cornell April 28 2006 16:02Reply

Hi:

I've really enjoyed this conversation so far. A couple of follow-up
questions:

1) Sal: By members tagging the ArtBase, were you thinking that the tags of
both artist and audience would be reflected on an individual ArtBase page?
Or are you suggesting a member link to a select work from their profile page
– and have a cloud of their own, so to speak. Just a note: This would also
mean that tagging – besides being a part of the artbase/ text submission
process – would become a Member benefit which is a good thing in my mind.
The non-paying public can, as you know, view the most recent year of works
in the ArtBase but they wouldn't be able to describe them.. Could you
elaborate a bit on what you were thinking?

2) General: In terms of balancing folksonomy and a controlled vocabulary for
genre/keyword, its important to consider who the controlled vocabulary is
for. It would need to be considerate of different people (students,
curators, collectors, programmers, those familiar with new media, those
unfamiliar). Taking into consideration that one of our most limited
resources as a very small staff is time, I'm wondering how to move ahead on
this. Do we add words through research/ conversations with these
constituencies within the Rhizome community, or do we rely on pre-existing
vocabularies or our own knowledge. What do people think?

Lauren



On 4/26/06 12:44 PM, "Sal Randolph" <salrandolph@gmail.com> wrote:

> I second rob & david's arguments about why folksonomies are great,
> and I think they would mix amazingly well with rhizome membership
> (all members would get to tag the artbase as they like). tag cloud
> of the artbase indeed!! It would naturally evolve as the field of
> inquiry evolves. Also as someone who has implemented a tagging system
> with freetag recently, it's *really* easy to do (freetag is php, and
> I know rhizome's using ruby, but it doesn't look all that hard to
> write one either, just from surveying the code).
>
> Personally I would advocate for a double system, as some have done:
> free folksonomy tagging by everyone, and then a layer of curated
> language for either genre or keyword. multiple points of
> intellectual access are a good thing.
>
>
> On Apr 26, 2006, at 7:51 AM, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
>
>> Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>>
>>> I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>>> folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>>> thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>>
>> I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in
>> mind for
>> paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies
>> are both
>> formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
>> word "blue"
>> but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF
>> using
>> wordnet or a thesaurus.
>>
>>> Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
>>> not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the
>>> single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>>> collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>>> AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>>> update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>>> community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>>> practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure which
>>> is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty unit
>>> that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in updating the
>>> AAT based on feedback from the relevant community (us).
>>
>> Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>>
>> Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a
>> process to add
>> more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a
>> list of
>> terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people
>> could add
>> terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome community)
>> could then
>> keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>>
>> A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement
>> though. :-)
>>
>>
>> On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for
>> Rhizome to get
>> licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
>> unfortunately written
>> for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time having
>> this stuff
>> available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue
>> stream. ;-)
>>
>> - Rob.
>>
>> +
>> -> post: list@rhizome.org
>> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
>> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
>> subscribe.rhiz
>> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>> +
>> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
>> 29.php
>
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php

Sal Randolph April 30 2006 09:42Reply

Hey Lauren & everyone,

On Apr 29, 2006, at 6:00 AM, Lauren Cornell wrote:
>
> 1) Sal: By members tagging the ArtBase, were you thinking that the
> tags of
> both artist and audience would be reflected on an individual
> ArtBase page?

Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind. They could be presented
separately, but both on the page (this can be pretty discreet, design
wise, on opsound the tags are almost invisible until you mouse over
them - or little ajax windows could open). The reasons to keep them
on the ArtBase page are twofold. One, it can help someone to get a
feel for what kind of piece it is, as they're browsing through –
this is a rather modest benefit, I think. More importantly, though,
a visitor can use these tags as links to wander through the ArtBase
and discover other works which they might not have found – the more
paths through the forest the better, imho. Also, I think the
community-created folksonomy tags are potentially quite useful for
research in the future. If you add a date_tagged field, for
instance, someone could use the database to map the evolution of
terms and ideas in new media art during a particular period.

> Just a note: This would also
> mean that tagging – besides being a part of the artbase/ text
> submission
> process – would become a Member benefit which is a good thing in
> my mind.

Yes! I thought this too. I like it as a benefit of membership.
Helps build the idea of a community.

> Do we add words through research/ conversations with these
> constituencies within the Rhizome community, or do we rely on pre-
> existing
> vocabularies or our own knowledge. What do people think?

If it's combined with a free-form tagging system, I'm pretty
comfortable with just using your own knowledge and common sense,
building from the keyword/genre system that's in place – it might be
nice to present the list to the list (so to speak) and get a little
feedback first, and to other curators etc. as well. Some provision
(at least in the form of acknowledgment) should be made for adding
new terms as new forms and ideas develop over time. Letting the
Artbase curators add the controlled vocabulary seems natural – and a
good use for the curators ;-)

Also, of course it's pretty easy to combine tags and rss feeds. This
means you could potentially subscribe to a feed for let's say
'animation' or 'database' and keep tabs on what's coming in (great
for curators!).

You could also consider offering an API to the rhizome ArtBase
database, so anyone could configure their own presentation of it.
This way, you could give people access to data that you don't
necessarily want to display on the page (for clutter reasons perhaps)
– for instance the date_tagged type of data I mentioned above.
Someone could use the API to extract that data and present it
(possibly, of course, as an artwork, Rhizome beginning to eat itself).

S

Sal Randolph April 30 2006 22:11Reply

a brief follow-up….

Just poking around the existing ArtBase for a moment, I see that the
existing genres etc are presented as links, but not links to a list
of ArtBase pieces using that particular genre or keyword, instead you
are given a search result page which also includes the TextBase,
Member Directory, and ReBlog – so clicking on the genre "conceptual"
gave me a full page of results with no ArtBase pieces at all – this
doesn't make navigating the ArtBase particularly fluid or conducive,
imho. I'd rather see a page full of ArtBase pieces in the conceptual
genre…..

Lauren Cornell May 1 2006 09:12Reply

Hi Sal: Thanks so much for taking the time to elaborate – I really
appreciate your ideas, and the API idea is a great one as well.. Lauren

On 4/30/06 11:42 AM, "Sal Randolph" <salrandolph@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey Lauren & everyone,
>
> On Apr 29, 2006, at 6:00 AM, Lauren Cornell wrote:
>>
>> 1) Sal: By members tagging the ArtBase, were you thinking that the
>> tags of
>> both artist and audience would be reflected on an individual
>> ArtBase page?
>
> Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind. They could be presented
> separately, but both on the page (this can be pretty discreet, design
> wise, on opsound the tags are almost invisible until you mouse over
> them - or little ajax windows could open). The reasons to keep them
> on the ArtBase page are twofold. One, it can help someone to get a
> feel for what kind of piece it is, as they're browsing through –
> this is a rather modest benefit, I think. More importantly, though,
> a visitor can use these tags as links to wander through the ArtBase
> and discover other works which they might not have found – the more
> paths through the forest the better, imho. Also, I think the
> community-created folksonomy tags are potentially quite useful for
> research in the future. If you add a date_tagged field, for
> instance, someone could use the database to map the evolution of
> terms and ideas in new media art during a particular period.
>
>> Just a note: This would also
>> mean that tagging – besides being a part of the artbase/ text
>> submission
>> process – would become a Member benefit which is a good thing in
>> my mind.
>
> Yes! I thought this too. I like it as a benefit of membership.
> Helps build the idea of a community.
>
>> Do we add words through research/ conversations with these
>> constituencies within the Rhizome community, or do we rely on pre-
>> existing
>> vocabularies or our own knowledge. What do people think?
>
> If it's combined with a free-form tagging system, I'm pretty
> comfortable with just using your own knowledge and common sense,
> building from the keyword/genre system that's in place – it might be
> nice to present the list to the list (so to speak) and get a little
> feedback first, and to other curators etc. as well. Some provision
> (at least in the form of acknowledgment) should be made for adding
> new terms as new forms and ideas develop over time. Letting the
> Artbase curators add the controlled vocabulary seems natural – and a
> good use for the curators ;-)
>
> Also, of course it's pretty easy to combine tags and rss feeds. This
> means you could potentially subscribe to a feed for let's say
> 'animation' or 'database' and keep tabs on what's coming in (great
> for curators!).
>
> You could also consider offering an API to the rhizome ArtBase
> database, so anyone could configure their own presentation of it.
> This way, you could give people access to data that you don't
> necessarily want to display on the page (for clutter reasons perhaps)
> – for instance the date_tagged type of data I mentioned above.
> Someone could use the API to extract that data and present it
> (possibly, of course, as an artwork, Rhizome beginning to eat itself).
>
> S
>
>
>
>
>
>
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php

Richard Rinehart May 1 2006 16:25Reply

Ah yes, capital idea. It's a little off the vocabularies discussion,
but well-worth folding in.

Source code will be, of course, probably the most useful thing to
preserve from the original digital work, other than perhaps specific
instructions on how to re-construct the work. Perhaps, as a first
step, artist submitting cloned work to the ArtBase could just include
their source code as one of the files they send. It's not exactly the
model of a sharable code-archive that is itself open-source (in the
sense that anyone could download and share code), but it's at least
an important piece of the preservation puzzle, and once the practice
is begun, then one can always build the other services (shareable,
tagging the code itself, etc) on top of say the ArtBase.

You bring up an interesting point in your original Rhizome post about
how it gets complicated when the work uses several pieces of code for
different components. I had proposed a ways back a metadata model
for describing digital works in such a way that they could be
re-created (the Media Art Notation System - see
http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/about_bampfa/formalnotation.pdf). This
model argues that you do indeed need a more granular level of
description of the multiple components of works if you are going to
try to preserve them for the long-term. In my mind, a simpler,
overall description of works results in a Registry of works as
opposed to a long-term Preservation Repository, for which more
in-depth metadata is just necessary. In that way too, one can connect
relevant bits of code (or other media files) to the appropriate
component of the work, along with descriptions.

The Media Art Notation System is my attempt to formalize the model
developed in the Variable Media questionnaire and projects. It occurs
to me too that Jon Ippolito has been working in the context of the
Open Art Network (three.org/openart/) and with Creative Commons to
address how to license open-source components of art works. That may
apply here too.

So, there is a line to think about: is the ArtBase a registry or a
true preservation repository, and if the latter, what metadata
*minimally* is required to support that? The metadata in the ArtBase
right now (the whole ball of wax, not just the vocabularies now) is
actually fairly simple and short. One upside to that is that like
simple standards such as HTML, it actually gets used, whereas there
are plans for much more complex repositories that never get built. I
would suggest that the ArtBase probably does need a more complex
metadata schema (at least for cloned works) in the long-term, but for
now, it's good to start simple and grow. So, two good areas that
might be improved soon could be the inclusion of source-code in
cloned objects (optional) and the improvement of the vocabularies (as
we've been discussing on-list). After that; Rhizome could perhaps
build in a) more preservation metadata (via something like the Media
Art Notation System) and b) a way to actually open up and share
collected code (via Open Art Network license, etc). But simplicity
means feasibility and early buy-in, then one can build complexity
over time.

Richard Rinehart



At 11:30 PM -0400 4/25/06, Pall Thayer wrote:
>Hi Richard,
>The suggestion generated a bit of discussion and the thread is available here:
>
>http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread 893&page=1#40140
>
>The suggestion was just for open-sourced code and didn't address
>proprietary software at all. The idea is that if the need or desire
>arises to reconstruct the work when technology has changed then the
>reconstruction could be based on the functionality of the original
>code rather than being based on some vague memories and screenshots.
>
>Pall
>
>On 25.4.2006, at 20:40, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>
>>Pall,
>>
>>Good idea. Did you go into how you'd get the source code for
>>proprietary software? Or how the legal issues might work out in
>>doing that? I'd be curious to know. Source code is really, REALLY,
>>nice to have for preservation purposes; I agree.
>>
>>Rick Rinehart
>>
>>>I just want to remind everyone that the original idea behind my
>>>proposition of extending the ArtBase to accept open-sourced code
>>>for projects was a way to bring 'preservation' back into the
>>>ArtBase which is being used more often to link to projects than to
>>>clone them. So if a project is based on a server-specific setup in
>>>a way that it can't be cloned and remain functional, cloning of
>>>the source-code would still provide an element of preservation in
>>>the ArtBase.
>>>
>>>Pall
>>>
>>>On 25.4.2006, at 15:39, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>>>
>>>>Hello Rhizomes,
>>>>
>>>>I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the Rhizome
>>>>ArtBase and to kick off a conversation about the language we use
>>>>to describe works in the ArtBase.
>>>>
>>>>There are different types of metadata relevant to works in the
>>>>ArtBase and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators,
>>>>Dates, and Titles. But the type of metadata that is most
>>>>problematic and at the same time most community-driven is
>>>>descriptive metadata such as Type, Genre, and Keywords. The
>>>>data-values used to fill out those metadata are terms taken from
>>>>vocabularies (the lists of different types, genres, etc.) If you
>>>>have ever submitted a work to the ArtBase, you know what these
>>>>look like: Types include animation-art, audio-art, etc.; Genres
>>>>include abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and Keywords include
>>>>access, animation, archive, etc. (a full list of Rhizome's
>>>>data-values/vocabularies follows below).
>>>>
>>>>Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
>>>>descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for
>>>>changing; the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are
>>>>however key as they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome
>>>>site, and lastly, but not least, there is no canon or
>>>>authoritative source for terms related to digital art, so Rhizome
>>>>can take this practical need and turn it into an opportunity to
>>>>engage a community discussion about vocabularies and to set an
>>>>example for others to follow. All metadata specific to one
>>>>discipline, but especially vocabularies, need to arise from the
>>>>community's practice and not be imposed from outside or the
>>>>descriptions and the artifacts being described will never quite
>>>>match up. It is also important to collaborate and coordinate with
>>>>other groups working on digital art metadata and preservation, so
>>>>that's another reason to have this conversation on RAW and why
>>>>Rhizome will also be convening people from the Variable Media,
>>>>Archiving the Avant Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to discuss
>>>>this as well.
>>>>
>>>>Some questions and considerations that might get the conversation started:
>>>>
>>>>1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
>>>>metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?
>>>>
>>>>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they
>>>>call "controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For
>>>>instance the art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture
>>>>Thesaurus for years
>>>>(http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/).
>>>>Systems are then built using these vocab standards. If Rhizome
>>>>were in some way compatible with these standards, then new search
>>>>engines could search across distributed art resources online from
>>>>Getty databases to Rhizome's ArtBase ensuring that digital art is
>>>>not "ghettoized" because of incompatible languages.
>>>>Interoperability is important in a semantic as well as technical
>>>>sense, but luckily compatibility does not necessarily require
>>>>that one adopt the "authoritative" vocabulary completely, or
>>>>exclusively.
>>>>
>>>>2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically
>>>>accomplish given limited resources?
>>>>
>>>>The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
>>>>"standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
>>>>afford to implement them and thus they go unused and
>>>>interoperability remains a theoretical concept. We should be
>>>>smarter than that. A simple system that works and can be
>>>>realistically maintained is worth more than a complex solution
>>>>that never happens.
>>>>
>>>>3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into
>>>>type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient?
>>>>Should we add others?
>>>>
>>>>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
>>>>categories similar to this. For instance, in various
>>>>art-world/museum metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a
>>>>broad category ("painting"), then Type to indicate a format
>>>>within the Genre ("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to
>>>>indicate "intellectual access points" ("landscape") that people
>>>>will search on to find the record.
>>>>
>>>>4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing descriptive
>>>>terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make folksonomy also
>>>>an option?
>>>>
>>>>Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems to
>>>>keep a vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of
>>>>compatibility with other standards?
>>>>
>>>>5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
>>>>affect our re-design of the metadata.
>>>>
>>>>Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the long-term
>>>>use of the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that
>>>>with better vocabularies?
>>>>
>>>>So, let the games begin! What do you think?
>>>>
>>>>Richard Rinehart
>>>>
>>>>—————————-
>>>>Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies
>>>>
>>>>TYPE
>>>>The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.
>>>>
>>>>-Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a significant role
>>>>-Audio-art work has strong audio component
>>>>-Game-art work is a game or involves gaming in significant ways
>>>>-Installation-art object documents a physical installation
>>>>-Performance-art object documents a performative art work
>>>>-Software-art work is an executable program or involves original
>>>>stand-alone software
>>>>-Video-art object uses Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based video
>>>>-Virtual-art work creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
>>>>-Visual-art work is particularly graphical or especially visual in nature
>>>>-Text-art work is ASCII or otherwise text-based
>>>>
>>>>GENRE
>>>>The genre field describes the general category of your art object
>>>>defined through style, form, or content.
>>>>
>>>>-Abstract-art object is visually abstract
>>>>-Allegory-art object uses allegory or metaphor
>>>>-Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic conventions or codes
>>>>-Collaborative-art object was created by more than one person
>>>>-Collider-art object dynamically combines material from various sources
>>>>-Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by ideas
>>>>-Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires a specific
>>>>situation to function
>>>>-Database-art object incorporates databases or archives
>>>>-Documentary-art object uses found material as evidence; art
>>>>object records events for posterity; art object uses documentary
>>>>data
>>>>-Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
>>>>-Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics of form
>>>>-Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing
>>>>according to certain contingent factors
>>>>-Historical-art object is about the recording or revealing of past events
>>>>-Homepage-art object is (or resembles) a personal website
>>>>-Information map-art object is about the visual display of
>>>>statistical or other quantitative information
>>>>-Narrative-art object tells a story
>>>>-Offline-art object has a major offline component
>>>>-Participatory-art object requires input from users
>>>>-Readymade-art object involves found material not originally
>>>>meant to be art
>>>>-Tactical-art object is example of tactical media; art object is
>>>>resistive, political or otherwise confrontational
>>>>-Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
>>>>remote manipulation of objects
>>>>
>>>>KEYWORDS
>>>>
>>>> access
>>>> animation
>>>> archive
>>>> art world
>>>> artificial life
>>>> audio
>>>> bio
>>>> body
>>>> broadcast
>>>> browser
>>>> CD-ROM
>>>> censorship
>>>> cinema
>>>> colonialism
>>>> commercialization
>>>> community
>>>> conference
>>>> corporate
>>>> death
>>>> design
>>>> desire
>>>> digital
>>>> disappearance
>>>> education
>>>> email
>>>> exhibition
>>>> film
>>>> fund
>>>> futurism
>>>> game
>>>> gender
>>>> globalization
>>>> identity
>>>> immersion
>>>> interact
>>>> interface
>>>> Internet
>>>> labor
>>>> language
>>>> live
>>>> machine
>>>> marginality
>>>> media activism
>>>> meme
>>>> memory
>>>> nature
>>>> net.art
>>>> network
>>>> nostalgia
>>>> performance
>>>> posthuman
>>>> postmodern
>>>> privacy
>>>> public space
>>>> publish
>>>> queer
>>>> radio
>>>> resistance
>>>> responsibility
>>>> robot
>>>> rumor
>>>> security
>>>> social space
>>>> space
>>>> surveillance
>>>> tactical media
>>>> technophobia
>>>> television
>>>> Third World
>>>> 3D
>>>> underground
>>>> utopia
>>>> video
>>>> virtual reality
>>>> VRML
>>>> War
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>–
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Richard Rinehart
>>>>—————
>>>>Director of Digital Media
>>>>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>>>bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>>>—————
>>>>University of California, Berkeley
>>>>—————
>>>>2625 Durant Ave.
>>>>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>>>ph.510.642.5240
>>>>fx.510.642.5269
>>>>+
>>>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>>>+
>>>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>–
>>>Pall Thayer
>>>p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
>>>http://www.this.is/pallit
>>
>>
>>–
>>
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>—————
>>Director of Digital Media
>>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>—————
>>University of California, Berkeley
>>—————
>>2625 Durant Ave.
>>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>ph.510.642.5240
>>fx.510.642.5269
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>
>
>
>
>–
>Pall Thayer
>p_thay@alcor.concordia.ca
>http://www.this.is/pallit





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Richard Rinehart May 1 2006 16:45Reply

This is very helpful. It makes me think that perhaps Rhizome could
(with all of your help :) compile a list of relevant terms from a
variety of sources, include that in a new metadata model and
submission form (terms along with sources are listed as options), and
then add on a dynamic folksonomies function. I don't want to speak
for what Rhizome could do, but it seems to make sense.

Richard Rinehart


>gh replies:
>
>I just did a search on the Getty for digital art. It has no such
>category. I then did a search on Wikipedia and got a fairly concise
>definition page for digital art. I would suggest that you look at
>wikipedia as one source for a search taxonomy. They are real good at
>this. Definitions for art works are always tricky. For example,
>animation art is a good term. It can cover a really broad category
>that goes from animated photography to cartoons. Here's a quick
>rumination on animation ;-)
>
>Animation:
>paper
>flip book
>zoetrope
>cartoon
>digital
>vector
>photo
>morph
>hand made
>illustration
>Disney
>commercial
>Flash
>early
>story board
>artists
>performance
>
>I could go on…
>
>
>
>On Apr 25, 2006, at 9:28 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>
>>
>>To view this entire thread, click here:
>>http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread!206&textA392#41392
>>
>>+ + +
>>
>>Hello Rhizomes,
>>
>>I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the Rhizome ArtBase
>>and to kick off a conversation about the language we use to describe
>>works in the ArtBase.
>>
>>There are different types of metadata relevant to works in the
>>ArtBase and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators, Dates,
>>and Titles. But the type of metadata that is most problematic and at
>>the same time most community-driven is descriptive metadata such as
>>Type, Genre, and Keywords. The data-values used to fill out those
>>metadata are terms taken from vocabularies (the lists of different
>>types, genres, etc.) If you have ever submitted a work to the
>>ArtBase, you know what these look like: Types include animation-art,
>>audio-art, etc.; Genres include abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and
>>Keywords include access, animation, archive, etc. (a full list of
>>Rhizome's data-values/vocabularies follows below).
>>
>>Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
>>descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for changing;
>>the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are however key as
>>they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome site, and lastly, but
>>not least, there is no canon or authoritative source for terms
>>related to digital art, so Rhizome can take this practical need and
>>turn it into an opportunity to engage a community discussion about
>>vocabularies and to set an example for others to follow. All metadata
>>specific to one discipline, but especially vocabularies, need to
>>arise from the community's practice and not be imposed from outside
>>or the descriptions and the artifacts being described will never
>>quite match up. It is also important to collaborate and coordinate
>>with other groups working on digital art metadata and preservation,
>>so that's another reason to have this conversation on RAW and why
>>Rhizome will also be convening people from the Variable Media,
>>Archiving the Avant Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to discuss
>>this as well.
>>
>>Some questions and considerations that might get the conversation started:
>>
>>1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other
>>metadata standards? If so, which, and how much?
>>
>>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they call
>>"controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For instance the
>>art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus for
>>years
>>(http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/).
>>Systems are then built using these vocab standards. If Rhizome were
>>in some way compatible with these standards, then new search engines
>>could search across distributed art resources online from Getty
>>databases to Rhizome's ArtBase ensuring that digital art is not
>>"ghettoized" because of incompatible languages. Interoperability is
>>important in a semantic as well as technical sense, but luckily
>>compatibility does not necessarily require that one adopt the
>>"authoritative" vocabulary completely, or exclusively.
>>
>>2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish
>>given limited resources?
>>
>>The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
>>"standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
>>afford to implement them and thus they go unused and interoperability
>>remains a theoretical concept. We should be smarter than that. A
>>simple system that works and can be realistically maintained is worth
>>more than a complex solution that never happens.
>>
>>3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into
>>type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient? Should
>>we add others?
>>
>>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
>>categories similar to this. For instance, in various art-world/museum
>>metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a broad category
>>("painting"), then Type to indicate a format within the Genre
>>("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to indicate "intellectual
>>access points" ("landscape") that people will search on to find the
>>record.
>>
>>4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing descriptive
>>terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make folksonomy also
>>an option?
>>
>>Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems to keep a
>>vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of compatibility with
>>other standards?
>>
>>5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
>>affect our re-design of the metadata.
>>
>>Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the long-term use
>>of the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that with
>>better vocabularies?
>>
>>So, let the games begin! What do you think?
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>
>>—————————-
>>Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies
>>
>>TYPE
>>The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.
>>
>>-Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a significant role
>>-Audio-art work has strong audio component
>>-Game-art work is a game or involves gaming in significant ways
>>-Installation-art object documents a physical installation
>>-Performance-art object documents a performative art work
>>-Software-art work is an executable program or involves original
>>stand-alone software
>>-Video-art object uses Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based video
>>-Virtual-art work creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
>>-Visual-art work is particularly graphical or especially visual in nature
>>-Text-art work is ASCII or otherwise text-based
>>
>>GENRE
>>The genre field describes the general category of your art object
>>defined through style, form, or content.
>>
>>-Abstract-art object is visually abstract
>>-Allegory-art object uses allegory or metaphor
>>-Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic conventions or codes
>>-Collaborative-art object was created by more than one person
>>-Collider-art object dynamically combines material from various sources
>>-Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by ideas
>>-Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires a specific
>>situation to function
>>-Database-art object incorporates databases or archives
>>-Documentary-art object uses found material as evidence; art object
>>records events for posterity; art object uses documentary data
>>-Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
>>-Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics of form
>>-Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing according
>>to certain contingent factors
>>-Historical-art object is about the recording or revealing of past events
>>-Homepage-art object is (or resembles) a personal website
>>-Information map-art object is about the visual display of
>>statistical or other quantitative information
>>-Narrative-art object tells a story
>>-Offline-art object has a major offline component
>>-Participatory-art object requires input from users
>>-Readymade-art object involves found material not originally meant to be art
>>-Tactical-art object is example of tactical media; art object is
>>resistive, political or otherwise confrontational
>>-Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
>>remote manipulation of objects
>>
>>KEYWORDS
>>
>> access
>> animation
>> archive
>> art world
>> artificial life
>> audio
>> bio
>> body
>> broadcast
>> browser
>> CD-ROM
>> censorship
>> cinema
>> colonialism
>> commercialization
>> community
>> conference
>> corporate
>> death
>> design
>> desire
>> digital
>> disappearance
>> education
>> email
>> exhibition
>> film
>> fund
>> futurism
>> game
>> gender
>> globalization
>> identity
>> immersion
>> interact
>> interface
>> Internet
>> labor
>> language
>> live
>> machine
>> marginality
>> media activism
>> meme
>> memory
>> nature
>> net.art
>> network
>> nostalgia
>> performance
>> posthuman
>> postmodern
>> privacy
>> public space
>> publish
>> queer
>> radio
>> resistance
>> responsibility
>> robot
>> rumor
>> security
>> social space
>> space
>> surveillance
>> tactical media
>> technophobia
>> television
>> Third World
>> 3D
>> underground
>> utopia
>> video
>> virtual reality
>> VRML
>> War
>>
>>
>>–
>>
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>—————
>>Director of Digital Media
>>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>—————
>>University of California, Berkeley
>>—————
>>2625 Durant Ave.
>>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>ph.510.642.5240
>>fx.510.642.5269
>>
>>+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
>>
>>Rhizome.org is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization and an affiliate of
>>the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
>>
>>Rhizome Rare is supported by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the
>>Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and with public funds from
>>the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
>>
>>+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
>>
>>Rhizome Rare is filtered by Rhizome SuperUsers, a dedicated group of
>>volunteer editors. To learn more about becoming a Rhizome SuperUser,
>>please email editor@rhizome.org.
>>
>>To unsubscribe from this list, visit http://rhizome.org/subscribe .
>>
>>Subscribers to Rhizome Rare are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Member Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php.





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Richard Rinehart May 1 2006 16:51Reply

Hi again,

Yes, perhaps a hybrid model would work. Actually, I think that
technically, the folksonomy/tagging bit might be the hardest to
implement (but worth it), whereas also having the AAT/etc terms in a
list is a pretty easy and fairly static entity to include.

You mention an interesting note about ArtBase including licenses for
commercial software as having the original software (or better yet,
source code, see previous post) is helpful for preservation. I do
rememeber that Howard Besser at NYU had mentioned a couple years ago
the idea of convincing Congress to give software companies a tax
break to release their old software into the public domain because it
has little value for them, but great value for preservation. Does
anyone else know about this project and what became of it. It might
be relevant here……

Richard Rinehart


At 12:51 PM +0100 4/26/06, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
>Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>
>>I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>>folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>>thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>
>I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in mind for
>paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies are both
>formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the word "blue"
>but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF using
>wordnet or a thesaurus.
>
>>Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is not
>>yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the
>>single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>>collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>>AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>>update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>>community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>>practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure which
>>is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty unit that
>>had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in updating the AAT
>>based on feedback from the relevant community (us).
>
>Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>
>Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a process to add
>more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a list of
>terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people could add
>terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome community) could then
>keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>
>A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though. :-)
>
>
>On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for Rhizome to get
>licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
>unfortunately written
>for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time having this stuff
>available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue stream. ;-)
>
>- Rob.
>
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Dirk Vekemans May 1 2006 17:45Reply

cool game.
ima still wkinda workin on the flip book thingie anna the zoetrope is 4ever
gone missin but yeah: all true on ze rest of 'm. So what's the high score
todate u said?

Dirk Vekemans, poet - freelance webprogrammer,
Central Authoring Process of the
Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends
http://www.vilt.net/nkdee

dv@vilt.net

http://www.vilt.net
http://www.viltdigitalvision.com



> —–Oorspronkelijk bericht—–
> Van: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org]
> Namens Richard Rinehart
> Verzonden: dinsdag 2 mei 2006 0:37
> Aan: G.H. Hovagimyan; list@rhizome.org
> Onderwerp: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: RHIZOME_RARE: Metadata
>
> This is very helpful. It makes me think that perhaps Rhizome
> could (with all of your help :) compile a list of relevant
> terms from a variety of sources, include that in a new
> metadata model and submission form (terms along with sources
> are listed as options), and then add on a dynamic
> folksonomies function. I don't want to speak for what Rhizome
> could do, but it seems to make sense.
>
> Richard Rinehart
>
>
> >gh replies:
> >
> >I just did a search on the Getty for digital art. It has no such
> >category. I then did a search on Wikipedia and got a fairly concise
> >definition page for digital art. I would suggest that you look at
> >wikipedia as one source for a search taxonomy. They are real good at
> >this. Definitions for art works are always tricky. For example,
> >animation art is a good term. It can cover a really broad
> category that
> >goes from animated photography to cartoons. Here's a quick
> rumination
> >on animation ;-)
> >
> >Animation:
> >paper
> >flip book
> >zoetrope
> >cartoon
> >digital
> >vector
> >photo
> >morph
> >hand made
> >illustration
> >Disney
> >commercial
> >Flash
> >early
> >story board
> >artists
> >performance
> >
> >I could go on…
> >
> >
> >
> >On Apr 25, 2006, at 9:28 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>To view this entire thread, click here:
> >>http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread!206&textA392#41392
> >>
> >>+ + +
> >>
> >>Hello Rhizomes,
> >>
> >>I'm writing to follow up on Lauren's email about the
> Rhizome ArtBase
> >>and to kick off a conversation about the language we use to
> describe
> >>works in the ArtBase.
> >>
> >>There are different types of metadata relevant to works in
> the ArtBase
> >>and some are fairly straightforward such as Creators, Dates, and
> >>Titles. But the type of metadata that is most problematic
> and at the
> >>same time most community-driven is descriptive metadata
> such as Type,
> >>Genre, and Keywords. The data-values used to fill out those
> metadata
> >>are terms taken from vocabularies (the lists of different types,
> >>genres, etc.) If you have ever submitted a work to the ArtBase, you
> >>know what these look like: Types include animation-art, audio-art,
> >>etc.; Genres include abstract-art, allegory-art, etc; and Keywords
> >>include access, animation, archive, etc. (a full list of Rhizome's
> >>data-values/vocabularies follows below).
> >>
> >>Rhizome would like to update the vocabularies it uses for this
> >>descriptive metadata. Rhizome has cited three reasons for changing;
> >>the vocabularies are incomplete, the vocabularies are
> however key as
> >>they are how visitors search the vast Rhizome site, and lastly, but
> >>not least, there is no canon or authoritative source for
> terms related
> >>to digital art, so Rhizome can take this practical need and turn it
> >>into an opportunity to engage a community discussion about
> >>vocabularies and to set an example for others to follow.
> All metadata
> >>specific to one discipline, but especially vocabularies,
> need to arise
> >>from the community's practice and not be imposed from
> outside or the
> >>descriptions and the artifacts being described will never
> quite match
> >>up. It is also important to collaborate and coordinate with other
> >>groups working on digital art metadata and preservation, so that's
> >>another reason to have this conversation on RAW and why
> Rhizome will
> >>also be convening people from the Variable Media, Archiving
> the Avant
> >>Garde, and Canadian DOCAM projects to discuss this as well.
> >>
> >>Some questions and considerations that might get the
> conversation started:
> >>
> >>1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with
> other metadata
> >>standards? If so, which, and how much?
> >>
> >>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use what they call
> >>"controlled" vocabularies or authoritative thesauri. For
> instance the
> >>art world has used the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus for
> >>years
> >>(http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabular
> ies/aat/).
> >>Systems are then built using these vocab standards. If
> Rhizome were in
> >>some way compatible with these standards, then new search engines
> >>could search across distributed art resources online from Getty
> >>databases to Rhizome's ArtBase ensuring that digital art is not
> >>"ghettoized" because of incompatible languages. Interoperability is
> >>important in a semantic as well as technical sense, but luckily
> >>compatibility does not necessarily require that one adopt the
> >>"authoritative" vocabulary completely, or exclusively.
> >>
> >>2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish
> >>given limited resources?
> >>
> >>The larger cultural world is cursed with a plethora of metadata
> >>"standards" and vocabularies that are so complex that no one can
> >>afford to implement them and thus they go unused and
> interoperability
> >>remains a theoretical concept. We should be smarter than that. A
> >>simple system that works and can be realistically
> maintained is worth
> >>more than a complex solution that never happens.
> >>
> >>3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided
> into type,
> >>genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient?
> Should we add
> >>others?
> >>
> >>Thoughts: Many other disciplines and communities use metadata
> >>categories similar to this. For instance, in various
> art-world/museum
> >>metadata standards they use Genre to indicate a broad category
> >>("painting"), then Type to indicate a format within the Genre
> >>("watercolor"), and then Subject (keywords) to indicate
> "intellectual
> >>access points" ("landscape") that people will search on to find the
> >>record.
> >>
> >>4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing
> >>descriptive terms or keep the current controlled vocab as
> is, and make
> >>folksonomy also an option?
> >>
> >>Thoughts: Can one use folksonomies or other dynamic systems
> to keep a
> >>vocabulary fresh yet still retain some level of compatibility with
> >>other standards?
> >>
> >>5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that
> >>affect our re-design of the metadata.
> >>
> >>Thoughts: Related to this is the question of what the
> long-term use of
> >>the ArtBase should or will be and how can we support that
> with better
> >>vocabularies?
> >>
> >>So, let the games begin! What do you think?
> >>
> >>Richard Rinehart
> >>
> >>—————————-
> >>Rhizome ArtBase Vocabularies
> >>
> >>TYPE
> >>The type field describes the abstract media type of the art object.
> >>
> >>-Animation-art work in which motion graphics play a
> significant role
> >>-Audio-art work has strong audio component -Game-art work
> is a game or
> >>involves gaming in significant ways -Installation-art
> object documents
> >>a physical installation -Performance-art object documents a
> >>performative art work -Software-art work is an executable
> program or
> >>involves original stand-alone software -Video-art object uses
> >>Quicktime, RealVideo, or other time-based video -Virtual-art work
> >>creates a 3D, immersive or otherwise virtual world
> -Visual-art work is
> >>particularly graphical or especially visual in nature
> -Text-art work
> >>is ASCII or otherwise text-based
> >>
> >>GENRE
> >>The genre field describes the general category of your art object
> >>defined through style, form, or content.
> >>
> >>-Abstract-art object is visually abstract -Allegory-art object uses
> >>allegory or metaphor -Anti-art-art object overtly rejects artistic
> >>conventions or codes -Collaborative-art object was created by more
> >>than one person -Collider-art object dynamically combines material
> >>from various sources -Conceptual-art object is driven primarily by
> >>ideas -Contextual-art object is site-specific, or requires
> a specific
> >>situation to function -Database-art object incorporates
> databases or
> >>archives -Documentary-art object uses found material as
> evidence; art
> >>object records events for posterity; art object uses
> documentary data
> >>-Event-art object is/was an event such as a performance or netcast
> >>-Formalist-art object is primarily concerned with the aesthetics of
> >>form -Generative-art object is created afresh for each viewing
> >>according to certain contingent factors -Historical-art object is
> >>about the recording or revealing of past events
> -Homepage-art object
> >>is (or resembles) a personal website -Information map-art object is
> >>about the visual display of statistical or other quantitative
> >>information -Narrative-art object tells a story -Offline-art object
> >>has a major offline component -Participatory-art object
> requires input
> >>from users -Readymade-art object involves found material not
> >>originally meant to be art -Tactical-art object is example
> of tactical
> >>media; art object is resistive, political or otherwise
> confrontational
> >>-Telematic-art object uses distance communication, or allows for
> >>remote manipulation of objects
> >>
> >>KEYWORDS
> >>
> >> access
> >> animation
> >> archive
> >> art world
> >> artificial life
> >> audio
> >> bio
> >> body
> >> broadcast
> >> browser
> >> CD-ROM
> >> censorship
> >> cinema
> >> colonialism
> >> commercialization
> >> community
> >> conference
> >> corporate
> >> death
> >> design
> >> desire
> >> digital
> >> disappearance
> >> education
> >> email
> >> exhibition
> >> film
> >> fund
> >> futurism
> >> game
> >> gender
> >> globalization
> >> identity
> >> immersion
> >> interact
> >> interface
> >> Internet
> >> labor
> >> language
> >> live
> >> machine
> >> marginality
> >> media activism
> >> meme
> >> memory
> >> nature
> >> net.art
> >> network
> >> nostalgia
> >> performance
> >> posthuman
> >> postmodern
> >> privacy
> >> public space
> >> publish
> >> queer
> >> radio
> >> resistance
> >> responsibility
> >> robot
> >> rumor
> >> security
> >> social space
> >> space
> >> surveillance
> >> tactical media
> >> technophobia
> >> television
> >> Third World
> >> 3D
> >> underground
> >> utopia
> >> video
> >> virtual reality
> >> VRML
> >> War
> >>
> >>
> >>–
> >>
> >>
> >>Richard Rinehart
> >>—————
> >>Director of Digital Media
> >>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive bampfa.berkeley.edu
> >>—————
> >>University of California, Berkeley
> >>—————
> >>2625 Durant Ave.
> >>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> >>ph.510.642.5240
> >>fx.510.642.5269
> >>
> >>+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
> + + + + +
> >>
> >>Rhizome.org is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization and an
> affiliate of
> >>the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
> >>
> >>Rhizome Rare is supported by grants from the Rockefeller
> Foundation,
> >>the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and with
> public funds
> >>from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
> >>
> >>+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
> + + + + +
> >>
> >>Rhizome Rare is filtered by Rhizome SuperUsers, a dedicated
> group of
> >>volunteer editors. To learn more about becoming a Rhizome
> SuperUser,
> >>please email editor@rhizome.org.
> >>
> >>To unsubscribe from this list, visit http://rhizome.org/subscribe .
> >>
> >>Subscribers to Rhizome Rare are subject to the terms set out in the
> >>Member Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php.
>
>
> –
>
>
> Richard Rinehart
> —————
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive bampfa.berkeley.edu
> —————
> University of California, Berkeley
> —————
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in
> the Membership Agreement available online at
> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

Richard Rinehart May 2 2006 12:47Reply

Thanks Sal,

You summed it up nicely. It's great to see convergence on some of
these issues on the list.

Richard Rinehart


At 12:44 PM -0400 4/26/06, Sal Randolph wrote:
>I second rob & david's arguments about why folksonomies are great,
>and I think they would mix amazingly well with rhizome membership
>(all members would get to tag the artbase as they like). tag cloud
>of the artbase indeed!! It would naturally evolve as the field of
>inquiry evolves. Also as someone who has implemented a tagging
>system with freetag recently, it's *really* easy to do (freetag is
>php, and I know rhizome's using ruby, but it doesn't look all that
>hard to write one either, just from surveying the code).
>
>Personally I would advocate for a double system, as some have done:
>free folksonomy tagging by everyone, and then a layer of curated
>language for either genre or keyword. multiple points of
>intellectual access are a good thing.
>
>
>On Apr 26, 2006, at 7:51 AM, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
>
>>Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>>
>>>I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>>>folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>>>thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>>
>>I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in mind for
>>paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies are both
>>formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
>>word "blue"
>>but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF using
>>wordnet or a thesaurus.
>>
>>>Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
>>>not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the
>>>single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>>>collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>>>AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>>>update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>>>community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>>>practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure which
>>>is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty unit
>>>that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in updating the
>>>AAT based on feedback from the relevant community (us).
>>
>>Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>>
>>Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a process to add
>>more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a list of
>>terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people could add
>>terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome community)
>>could then
>>keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>>
>>A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though. :-)
>>
>>
>>On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for Rhizome to get
>>licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
>>unfortunately written
>>for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time having
>>this stuff
>>available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue stream. ;-)
>>
>>- Rob.
>>
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php





Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Jennifer Crowe May 3 2006 05:30Reply

Hi All,

I just got back from a conference in Leicester, England (The Museum - A World Forum) where I presented a digital artwork that they, along with Phoenix Arts (local contemporary art organization,) commissioned for the conference at a local museum. I was also asked to talk about taxonomy and archival issues for work such as mine in the context of museum collections.

Of course, the Artbase and the Variable Media Initiative came up.

Since I was very involved with the early work on the Artbase, I'm happy to see the conversation about metadata picked up again on Rhizome.

My responses to Rick's original questions are below:


>1) Do Rhizome's vocabularies need to be compatible with other metadata >standards? If so, which, and how much?


Absolutely.

A willingness to be compatible with existing standards whilst building unique terms for artworks of this sort is crucial to accessibility and, therefore, the future viability of the Artbase project.


>2) What can we propose here that Rhizome can practically accomplish >given limited resources?

A hybridized, tiered system where existing standards are the starting point and rhizome folksonomies create the bulk of the lower level descriptive terms will probably be the best model moving forward.


>3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into type, >genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient? Should we add >others?


Possibly, but I would use these existing well-established metadata categories as a starting point and then expand from there as needed. Most likely, you'll have to work from the bottom up here in order to gain any legitimacy.

More detailed analysis of various organizations metadata systems is still needed. I'm not at all saying do what everyone else does, but there must be an informed starting point.


3) Currently the metadata that uses vocabularies is divided into type, genre, and keywords – are these categories sufficient? Should we add others?

Possibly, but I would use these existing well established metadata categories as a starting point and then expand from there as needed.


>4) Do we want to enhance/ elaborate/ add on to our existing descriptive >terms or keep the current controlled vocab as is, and make folksonomy >also an option?

Do both.

Folksonomies are works in progress. The results are tools by which consensus emerges. Any "consensus-es" reached will only be relevant if there are mechanisms to play nice with, but not be a slave to codified standards.

I'm not afraid of standards and I don't think anyone here should be. They are merely tools that can be manipulated if you are just diligent enough. Until the larger library science/informatics people come around to folksonomies as a mainstream way to drive standards, we'll have to just bear with them and use a flying under the radar approach to make change. It is happening already, albeit rather slowly and that's probably OK.

However, if folksonomies govern the formation of all Rhizome standards without an examination and strategic, selective adaptation of existing well-established standards the Artbase will become further ghettoized.

>5) who is the artbase for? Who is its audience, and how does that >affect our re-design of the metadata.

That is an excellent question.

Collections have different needs dependent upon context and purpose. The current context and mission of the Artbase seems rather fuzzy. Since I was involved with it back in its earliest days, it has evolved from an archive-in-progress/development with an archival/preservation mission, to primarily a list of informative links out to artworks, described with Rhizome-defined keywords.

How do the needs of a collection of art objects (like adaweb, Artbase's cloned objects) differ from a list of links (the current majority of the Artbase)? Rhizome must address this question for the Artbase before proceeding.

The Artbase first needs to decide if it's an archive of art objects or if it's an online resource that links out to art, as this will surely inform the kind of structure is needed, as well as the terms that come out of any folksonomy exercise.

Tag clouds, collective filtering, etc. are the easy part. It's taking the results to the outside world as part of an accessible metadata structure and accompanying documentation that will be more difficult and a longer-term exercise.

I would also argue that in additional artists, curators, art fans, etc., a key audience should be the museum/library informatics community. These are the people who have traditionally set the standards and who still currently hold the power.

I'm not saying pander to them. Rather, show them how to do it better.

Best,
Jen

PS: On an added note, Pall's suggestion to archive code is excellent. Rhizome must first be prepared to clarify the Artbase's mandate regarding preservtion/archiving, however, in order proceed effectively.


Richard Rinehart wrote:

> Thanks Sal,
>
> You summed it up nicely. It's great to see convergence on some of
> these issues on the list.
>
> Richard Rinehart
>
>
> At 12:44 PM -0400 4/26/06, Sal Randolph wrote:
> >I second rob & david's arguments about why folksonomies are great,
> >and I think they would mix amazingly well with rhizome membership
> >(all members would get to tag the artbase as they like). tag cloud
> >of the artbase indeed!! It would naturally evolve as the field of
> >inquiry evolves. Also as someone who has implemented a tagging
> >system with freetag recently, it's *really* easy to do (freetag is
> >php, and I know rhizome's using ruby, but it doesn't look all that
> >hard to write one either, just from surveying the code).
> >
> >Personally I would advocate for a double system, as some have done:
> >free folksonomy tagging by everyone, and then a layer of curated
> >language for either genre or keyword. multiple points of
> >intellectual access are a good thing.
> >
> >
> >On Apr 26, 2006, at 7:51 AM, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
> >
> >>Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
> >>
> >>>I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
> >>>folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
> >>>thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
> >>
> >>I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in
> mind for
> >>paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies
> are both
> >>formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
> >>word "blue"
> >>but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF
> using
> >>wordnet or a thesaurus.
> >>
> >>>Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
> >>>not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the
> >>>single standard used most by museums and other organizations
> >>>collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
> >>>AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
> >>>update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
> >>>community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
> >>>practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure which
> >>>is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty unit
> >>>that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in updating the
> >>>AAT based on feedback from the relevant community (us).
> >>
> >>Yes I think that might be a very good project.
> >>
> >>Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a
> process to add
> >>more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a
> list of
> >>terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people
> could add
> >>terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome community)
> >>could then
> >>keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
> >>
> >>A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though.
> :-)
> >>
> >>
> >>On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for
> Rhizome to get
> >>licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
> >>unfortunately written
> >>for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time having
> >>this stuff
> >>available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue
> stream. ;-)
> >>
> >>- Rob.
> >>
> >>+
> >>-> post: list@rhizome.org
> >>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
> >>-> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> >>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> >>+
> >>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> >>Membership Agreement available online at
> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
> >
> >+
> >-> post: list@rhizome.org
> >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
> >-> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> >+
> >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> >Membership Agreement available online at
> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>
>
> –
>
>
> Richard Rinehart
> —————
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> —————
> University of California, Berkeley
> —————
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269

Richard Rinehart May 3 2006 15:40Reply

Hi everyone,

The tagging sounds very interesting indeed. Would this be the same as
the folksonomy or parallel to it (same system)? I could see the two
types of terms living in the ArtBase easily: controlled vocabularies
and the folksonomic terms. On the former, controlled vocabularies,
Lauren's question is important: who is it for? I have found that
controlled vocabularies are mainly for "professionals" in the field
as they are more precise terms (ie. the AAT prefers 'serigraph'
instead of 'silkscreen'), but the main benefit of controlled vocabs
are manifold. First, they can, if done well (AAT does this, and
Rhizome's hybrid model could too) provide a mapping between the
"popular" and "professional" versions of a term (the thesaurus
model), they provide a consistency that allows for consistent results
during machine manipulation of the data (ie searching), and perhaps
more importantly they provide a standard so that the any particular
data-set that uses them can be shared and transported between systems.

In the cultural heritage field there's been increasing emphasis on
broad sharing of data; we all know that our data needs to live on our
own websites, yes, and we can provide great functionality with that,
but we need to be able to share the data-source in such a way that it
can be incorporated into other systems too. For instance, I can
easily see in the future, that Rhizome might want to export the
entire ArtBase and allow the records to be used inside another
portal/system such as one of the following: Univ. of California
Digital Library (http://www.oac.cdlib.org/),Univ. of Michigan OAIster
(http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/o/oaister/), or the Library of
Congress' American Memory (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html).
Additionally, some might want to incorporate the ArtBase terms
(rather than the records/data) in software tools like the Variable
Media Questionnaire (http://variablemedia.net). To achieve any of
these, there has to be some structure to the ArtBase that others will
understand (ie. shared standards). The benefits of this sharing
include: new functionality, new data-contexts, new audiences and
uses. Some of this sharing can be achieved via dynamic linking/API's
while other forms require static record export/import. This does not
prohibit local practices or folksonomies, but it argues for a hybrid
system.

Terms for the ArtBase could come from two streams. First is the
folksonomies/tagging aggregated by the ArtBase from us. The second
could be existing controlled vocabularies (such as the AAT) that are
mined for appropriate terms and incorporated into a list for the
ArtBase (Rhizome members could suggest sources). Submitters of new
works to the ArtBase could be encouraged to both choose a
"controlled" term or two, some previously "tagged" terms, or a new
term.

Whew…what do you all think?



Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269


>Hey Lauren & everyone,
>
>On Apr 29, 2006, at 6:00 AM, Lauren Cornell wrote:
>>
>>1) Sal: By members tagging the ArtBase, were you thinking that the tags of
>>both artist and audience would be reflected on an individual ArtBase page?
>
>Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind. They could be presented
>separately, but both on the page (this can be pretty discreet,
>design wise, on opsound the tags are almost invisible until you
>mouse over them - or little ajax windows could open). The reasons
>to keep them on the ArtBase page are twofold. One, it can help
>someone to get a feel for what kind of piece it is, as they're
>browsing through – this is a rather modest benefit, I think. More
>importantly, though, a visitor can use these tags as links to wander
>through the ArtBase and discover other works which they might not
>have found – the more paths through the forest the better, imho.
>Also, I think the community-created folksonomy tags are potentially
>quite useful for research in the future. If you add a date_tagged
>field, for instance, someone could use the database to map the
>evolution of terms and ideas in new media art during a particular
>period.
>
>> Just a note: This would also
>>mean that tagging – besides being a part of the artbase/ text submission
>>process – would become a Member benefit which is a good thing in my mind.
>
>Yes! I thought this too. I like it as a benefit of membership.
>Helps build the idea of a community.
>
>> Do we add words through research/ conversations with these
>>constituencies within the Rhizome community, or do we rely on pre-existing
>>vocabularies or our own knowledge. What do people think?
>
>If it's combined with a free-form tagging system, I'm pretty
>comfortable with just using your own knowledge and common sense,
>building from the keyword/genre system that's in place – it might
>be nice to present the list to the list (so to speak) and get a
>little feedback first, and to other curators etc. as well. Some
>provision (at least in the form of acknowledgment) should be made
>for adding new terms as new forms and ideas develop over time.
>Letting the Artbase curators add the controlled vocabulary seems
>natural – and a good use for the curators ;-)
>
>Also, of course it's pretty easy to combine tags and rss feeds.
>This means you could potentially subscribe to a feed for let's say
>'animation' or 'database' and keep tabs on what's coming in (great
>for curators!).
>
>You could also consider offering an API to the rhizome ArtBase
>database, so anyone could configure their own presentation of it.
>This way, you could give people access to data that you don't
>necessarily want to display on the page (for clutter reasons
>perhaps) – for instance the date_tagged type of data I mentioned
>above.
>Someone could use the API to extract that data and present it
>(possibly, of course, as an artwork, Rhizome beginning to eat
>itself).
>
>S
>
>
>
>
>
>
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php


Lauren Cornell May 8 2006 08:57Reply

Hi Rick, and all

I agree with your proposed approach below: controlled vocabularies as well
as a social tagging/ folksonomy element. To your point of "shared
standards", I do think its important to emphasize similarities between
systems of metadata, as there are so many, and the controlled vocabularies
are an area we can do this. We would like to expand our current
controlled vocabularies, and suggestions of terms people would like to see
added or sources from which to draw from would be helpful. It does go back
to "who is the ArtBase for." To answer that partially now, I'd say the
artists, and also "professionals" as you say. Rhizome membership is
constituted significantly by academic communities, also curators,
researchers and writers go to the Artbase to learn more about particular
artists or genres or uses of different kinds of technologies. So, yes
"professionals" , but also importantly, the ArtBase is also the first
place people go to learn about about digital and new media art. So, there
is a wide audience to speak to..

L



> Hi everyone,
>
> The tagging sounds very interesting indeed. Would this be the same as
> the folksonomy or parallel to it (same system)? I could see the two
> types of terms living in the ArtBase easily: controlled vocabularies
> and the folksonomic terms. On the former, controlled vocabularies,
> Lauren's question is important: who is it for? I have found that
> controlled vocabularies are mainly for "professionals" in the field
> as they are more precise terms (ie. the AAT prefers 'serigraph'
> instead of 'silkscreen'), but the main benefit of controlled vocabs
> are manifold. First, they can, if done well (AAT does this, and
> Rhizome's hybrid model could too) provide a mapping between the
> "popular" and "professional" versions of a term (the thesaurus
> model), they provide a consistency that allows for consistent results
> during machine manipulation of the data (ie searching), and perhaps
> more importantly they provide a standard so that the any particular
> data-set that uses them can be shared and transported between systems.
>
> In the cultural heritage field there's been increasing emphasis on
> broad sharing of data; we all know that our data needs to live on our
> own websites, yes, and we can provide great functionality with that,
> but we need to be able to share the data-source in such a way that it
> can be incorporated into other systems too. For instance, I can
> easily see in the future, that Rhizome might want to export the
> entire ArtBase and allow the records to be used inside another
> portal/system such as one of the following: Univ. of California
> Digital Library (http://www.oac.cdlib.org/),Univ. of Michigan OAIster
> (http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/o/oaister/), or the Library of
> Congress' American Memory (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html).
> Additionally, some might want to incorporate the ArtBase terms
> (rather than the records/data) in software tools like the Variable
> Media Questionnaire (http://variablemedia.net). To achieve any of
> these, there has to be some structure to the ArtBase that others will
> understand (ie. shared standards). The benefits of this sharing
> include: new functionality, new data-contexts, new audiences and
> uses. Some of this sharing can be achieved via dynamic linking/API's
> while other forms require static record export/import. This does not
> prohibit local practices or folksonomies, but it argues for a hybrid
> system.
>
> Terms for the ArtBase could come from two streams. First is the
> folksonomies/tagging aggregated by the ArtBase from us. The second
> could be existing controlled vocabularies (such as the AAT) that are
> mined for appropriate terms and incorporated into a list for the
> ArtBase (Rhizome members could suggest sources). Submitters of new
> works to the ArtBase could be encouraged to both choose a
> "controlled" term or two, some previously "tagged" terms, or a new
> term.
>
> Whew…what do you all think?
>
>
>
> Richard Rinehart
> —————
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> —————
> University of California, Berkeley
> —————
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
>
>
>>Hey Lauren & everyone,
>>
>>On Apr 29, 2006, at 6:00 AM, Lauren Cornell wrote:
>>>
>>>1) Sal: By members tagging the ArtBase, were you thinking that the tags
>>> of
>>>both artist and audience would be reflected on an individual ArtBase
>>> page?
>>
>>Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind. They could be presented
>>separately, but both on the page (this can be pretty discreet,
>>design wise, on opsound the tags are almost invisible until you
>>mouse over them - or little ajax windows could open). The reasons
>>to keep them on the ArtBase page are twofold. One, it can help
>>someone to get a feel for what kind of piece it is, as they're
>>browsing through – this is a rather modest benefit, I think. More
>>importantly, though, a visitor can use these tags as links to wander
>>through the ArtBase and discover other works which they might not
>>have found – the more paths through the forest the better, imho.
>>Also, I think the community-created folksonomy tags are potentially
>>quite useful for research in the future. If you add a date_tagged
>>field, for instance, someone could use the database to map the
>>evolution of terms and ideas in new media art during a particular
>>period.
>>
>>> Just a note: This would also
>>>mean that tagging – besides being a part of the artbase/ text
>>> submission
>>>process – would become a Member benefit which is a good thing in my
>>> mind.
>>
>>Yes! I thought this too. I like it as a benefit of membership.
>>Helps build the idea of a community.
>>
>>> Do we add words through research/ conversations with these
>>>constituencies within the Rhizome community, or do we rely on
>>> pre-existing
>>>vocabularies or our own knowledge. What do people think?
>>
>>If it's combined with a free-form tagging system, I'm pretty
>>comfortable with just using your own knowledge and common sense,
>>building from the keyword/genre system that's in place – it might
>>be nice to present the list to the list (so to speak) and get a
>>little feedback first, and to other curators etc. as well. Some
>>provision (at least in the form of acknowledgment) should be made
>>for adding new terms as new forms and ideas develop over time.
>>Letting the Artbase curators add the controlled vocabulary seems
>>natural – and a good use for the curators ;-)
>>
>>Also, of course it's pretty easy to combine tags and rss feeds.
>>This means you could potentially subscribe to a feed for let's say
>>'animation' or 'database' and keep tabs on what's coming in (great
>>for curators!).
>>
>>You could also consider offering an API to the rhizome ArtBase
>>database, so anyone could configure their own presentation of it.
>>This way, you could give people access to data that you don't
>>necessarily want to display on the page (for clutter reasons
>>perhaps) – for instance the date_tagged type of data I mentioned
>>above.
>>Someone could use the API to extract that data and present it
>>(possibly, of course, as an artwork, Rhizome beginning to eat
>>itself).
>>
>>S
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>
>
> –
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

Patrick May May 16 2006 10:40Reply

Hello,

On May 1, 2006, at 6:33 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:

> Yes, perhaps a hybrid model would work. Actually, I think that
> technically, the folksonomy/tagging bit might be the hardest to
> implement (but worth it), whereas also having the AAT/etc terms in
> a list is a pretty easy and fairly static entity to include.

Making the Artbase a folksonomy will go beyond adding tags to the
metadata. Websites like Flickr or del.icio.us give up some control
in an effort to encourage participation. The premise is that the
main constraint on the success of a classification system is the
actual work of tagging. These sites focus first on getting more
people to tag and assume that valuable information can be aggregated
from the result.

To implement a folksonomy with the Artbase, I suggest we create
other rewards besides the act of tagging itself.

Instead of submitting to the Artbase, artists could "send a Linked
Artwork to RAW". The artwork could be online, linked from the
artist's profile, and a notification could be sent to the RAW mailing
list. There also could be a way to browse the RAW Linked Artworks,
just like there are ways of browsing the calendar or opportunities.

At the same time, these RAW Linked Artworks could be queued for
selection into the curated Artbase, just like RAW emails are queued
for selection into RARE.


> You mention an interesting note about ArtBase including licenses
> for commercial software as having the original software (or better
> yet, source code, see previous post) is helpful for preservation. I
> do rememeber that Howard Besser at NYU had mentioned a couple years
> ago the idea of convincing Congress to give software companies a
> tax break to release their old software into the public domain
> because it has little value for them, but great value for
> preservation. Does anyone else know about this project and what
> became of it. It might be relevant here……

This does not directly relate to metadata, but I'd like to make
suggestion about Artbase preservation techniques. At present we
"clone" an artwork onto our server. This requires a review of the
artworks being cloned, making the cloning process more time-
consuming. I think we could have a smoother process by focusing just
on "preservation":

+ The artist could upload an archive ( zip / sit / tgz / etc ) of the
project.
+ The archive would be preserved for future reference.
+ If the original link goes dark, either Rhizome or other interested
parties could choose to clone the project

This would allow us to preserve more artworks, including those which
do not match Rhizome's hosting environment. I'm sure on the internet
there are artworks created in LISP that are worth preserving :-)

Cheers,

Patrick



Patrick May
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: (212) 219-1288 x202
AIM: cyclochew
+ + +



> At 12:51 PM +0100 4/26/06, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
>> Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>>
>>> I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>>> folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>>> thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>>
>> I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in
>> mind for
>> paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies
>> are both
>> formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
>> word "blue"
>> but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the
>> RDF using
>> wordnet or a thesaurus.
>>
>>> Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
>>> not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is
>>> the single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>>> collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>>> AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>>> update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>>> community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>>> practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure
>>> which is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty
>>> unit that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in
>>> updating the AAT based on feedback from the relevant community (us).
>>
>> Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>>
>> Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a
>> process to add
>> more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have
>> a list of
>> terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people
>> could add
>> terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome
>> community) could then
>> keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>>
>> A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement
>> though. :-)
>>
>>
>> On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for
>> Rhizome to get
>> licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
>> unfortunately written
>> for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time
>> having this stuff
>> available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue
>> stream. ;-)
>>
>> - Rob.
>>
>> +
>> -> post: list@rhizome.org
>> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
>> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
>> subscribe.rhiz
>> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>> +
>> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
>> 29.php
>
>
> –
>
>
> Richard Rinehart
> —————
> Director of Digital Media
> Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> —————
> University of California, Berkeley
> —————
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/
> subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/
> 29.php

Richard Rinehart May 16 2006 17:32Reply

Patrick,

These are great ideas. Here are some additional thoughts in two
separate emails:

On submitting artwork to Rhizome/RAW/ArtBAse, it looks like we'll
need to ask for more metadata in the future, in which case it will
require a form, etc. I guess as long as it's clear that one is
submitting to the ArtBase as well as RAW, that would let folks know
why it requires a form, etc. Of course there would presumably still
be the option of sending a quick announcement to RAW without
submitting to the ArtBase, no? But having the incentive that when you
submit to the ArtBase, you are also submitting to RAW, is of course
appealing and, hopefully, motivating.

In addition to a full blown folksonomy, I think it would still be
important to have the contributor/artist tag their work with a
controlled vocabulary standard term (AAT, etc) as well. The
controlled list is much easier to include in a system (it's just a
static list) and I think would be in parallel to the folksonomic
system. This would, however, provide a) immediate and near term
compatibility with the large range of external systems using these
standards and b) provide a long term mapping between the controlled
terms and the developing folksonomies that could help, in the end, to
improve and expand said controlled vocab sources. Thus, Rhizome's and
Rhizome members' are able to impact and educate the larger art world.



Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269



At 12:39 PM -0400 5/16/06, Patrick May wrote:
>Hello,
>
>On May 1, 2006, at 6:33 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>
>>Yes, perhaps a hybrid model would work. Actually, I think that
>>technically, the folksonomy/tagging bit might be the hardest to
>>implement (but worth it), whereas also having the AAT/etc terms in
>>a list is a pretty easy and fairly static entity to include.
>
>Making the Artbase a folksonomy will go beyond adding tags to the
>metadata. Websites like Flickr or del.icio.us give up some control
>in an effort to encourage participation. The premise is that the
>main constraint on the success of a classification system is the
>actual work of tagging. These sites focus first on getting more
>people to tag and assume that valuable information can be aggregated
>from the result.
>
>To implement a folksonomy with the Artbase, I suggest we create
>other rewards besides the act of tagging itself.
>
>Instead of submitting to the Artbase, artists could "send a Linked
>Artwork to RAW". The artwork could be online, linked from the
>artist's profile, and a notification could be sent to the RAW
>mailing list. There also could be a way to browse the RAW Linked
>Artworks, just like there are ways of browsing the calendar or
>opportunities.
>
>At the same time, these RAW Linked Artworks could be queued for
>selection into the curated Artbase, just like RAW emails are queued
>for selection into RARE.
>
>
>Cheers,
>
>Patrick
>
>
>–
>Patrick May
>Director of Technology
>Rhizome.org
>phone: (212) 219-1288 x202
>AIM: cyclochew
>+ + +
>
>>At 12:51 PM +0100 4/26/06, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
>>>Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>>>
>>>>I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>>>>folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>>>>thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>>>
>>>I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in mind for
>>>paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies are both
>>>formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
>>>word "blue"
>>>but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF using
>>>wordnet or a thesaurus.
>>>
>>>>Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
>>>>not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is
>>>>the single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>>>>collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>>>>AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>>>>update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>>>>community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>>>>practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure
>>>>which is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty
>>>>unit that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in
>>>>updating the AAT based on feedback from the relevant community
>>>>(us).
>>>
>>>Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>>>
>>>Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a process to add
>>>more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a list of
>>>terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people could add
>>>terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome
>>>community) could then
>>>keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>>>
>>>A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though. :-)
>>>
>>>
>>>On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for
>>>Rhizome to get
>>>licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
>>>unfortunately written
>>>for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time
>>>having this stuff
>>>available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue stream. ;-)
>>>
>>>- Rob.
>>>
>>>+
>>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>>+
>>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>
>>
>>–
>>
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>—————
>>Director of Digital Media
>>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>—————
>>University of California, Berkeley
>>—————
>>2625 Durant Ave.
>>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>ph.510.642.5240
>>fx.510.642.5269
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php


Richard Rinehart May 16 2006 17:40Reply

I would propose that the artist be able to choose/select if they want
their entire archive to be downloadable. Some of these submitted
works will include multi-purpose source code, etc. and I know from
collecting such work into a museum that some artists are skittish
about giving such code away. But I also agree that having an open
archive of digital works would be a boon to the community of working
artists and educators too. If you default to giving everything away,
then you might lose some people from participating/submitting, but if
you allow the option then you are able to include the skittish as
well as the generous and everyone can play. no?



Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269


At 7:06 PM +0200 5/16/06, anniea wrote:
>This does not directly relate to metadata, but I'd like to make
>suggestion about Artbase preservation techniques. At present we
>"clone" an artwork onto our server. This requires a review of the
>artworks being cloned, making the cloning process more time-
>consuming. I think we could have a smoother process by focusing just
>on "preservation":
>
>+ The artist could upload an archive ( zip / sit / tgz / etc ) of the
>project.
>+ The archive would be preserved for future reference.
>+ If the original link goes dark, either Rhizome or other interested
>parties could choose to clone the project
>
>This would allow us to preserve more artworks, including those which
>do not match Rhizome's hosting environment. I'm sure on the internet
>there are artworks created in LISP that are worth preserving :-)
>
>
>This might be a very good idea.
>I hope this does include that everybody can download these archives?
>
>Annie Abrahams
>
>
>Cheers,
>
>Patrick
>
>
>–
>Patrick May
>Director of Technology
><http://Rhizome.org>Rhizome.org
>phone: (212) 219-1288 x202
>AIM: cyclochew
>+ + +


Richard Rinehart May 16 2006 17:52Reply

Hi Patrick, Rhizomers,

Here are some thoughts on the second part of your proposal:

This portion of your proposal deals with "cloned" works in the
ArtBase. One thing to clarify is that this is more of a storage
solution than a preservation solution. It's important to draw a
distinction to set up realistic expectations in the community. One
difference is that a preservation solution would require that the
files be stored in an archival or semi-archival format and from what
I've heard, compressed files or compressed file groups are the worst
for archival storage. But perhaps compression is just for the initial
upload, whereupon they are unpacked and stored in "raw" form. But a
more important distinction is that preservation would require that
upon ingest into the ArtBase, the files are checked for file validity
and that, in perpetuity, they are periodically checked so that
obsolete formats can be migrated to new formats in addition to
migrating the files themselves to newer storage solutions.

BUT, even if a true "preservation repository" is too expensive to
achieve initially, I agree that Rhizome could prove invaluable to the
community by taking some early steps such as offering a storage
solution. Then future grants, funding, and staff could be sought to
flesh out the thornier, more labor-intensive preservation issues.

In relation to source code, I guess it would also make sense to
ask/prod the submitting artist to include the original source code
and/or editable/extractable versions of the files too. For instance,
when uploading C-based works; they would upload source as well as
compiled programs and For Flash-based works they would upload .fla
files as well as .swf. The closer to the source; the easier to
preserve because you can generate new copies.

Anyway, I think the idea of having a level of service at Rhizome that
is storage (and not committing to keeping the project running online
forever) would be a good move and a huge help to a growing community.
And you've suggested two good ways to improve the workflow, thus
allowing Rhizome to collect/ingest/store even more works.



Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

>
>
>>You mention an interesting note about ArtBase including licenses
>>for commercial software as having the original software (or better
>>yet, source code, see previous post) is helpful for preservation. I
>>do rememeber that Howard Besser at NYU had mentioned a couple years
>>ago the idea of convincing Congress to give software companies a
>>tax break to release their old software into the public domain
>>because it has little value for them, but great value for
>>preservation. Does anyone else know about this project and what
>>became of it. It might be relevant here……
>
>This does not directly relate to metadata, but I'd like to make
>suggestion about Artbase preservation techniques. At present we
>"clone" an artwork onto our server. This requires a review of the
>artworks being cloned, making the cloning process more
>time-consuming. I think we could have a smoother process by
>focusing just on "preservation":
>
>+ The artist could upload an archive ( zip / sit / tgz / etc ) of the project.
>+ The archive would be preserved for future reference.
>+ If the original link goes dark, either Rhizome or other interested
>parties could choose to clone the project
>
>This would allow us to preserve more artworks, including those which
>do not match Rhizome's hosting environment. I'm sure on the
>internet there are artworks created in LISP that are worth
>preserving :-)
>
>Cheers,
>
>Patrick
>
>
>–
>Patrick May
>Director of Technology
>Rhizome.org
>phone: (212) 219-1288 x202
>AIM: cyclochew
>+ + +
>
>>At 12:51 PM +0100 4/26/06, rob@robmyers.org wrote:
>>>Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart@berkeley.edu>:
>>>
>>>>I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>>>>folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>>>>thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?
>>>
>>>I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in mind for
>>>paintr (http://paintr.robmyers.org/). Folksonomies and taxonomies are both
>>>formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the
>>>word "blue"
>>>but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF using
>>>wordnet or a thesaurus.
>>>
>>>>Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is
>>>>not yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is
>>>>the single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>>>>collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>>>>AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>>>>update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>>>>community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>>>>practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure
>>>>which is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty
>>>>unit that had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in
>>>>updating the AAT based on feedback from the relevant community
>>>>(us).
>>>
>>>Yes I think that might be a very good project.
>>>
>>>Possibly collaborating to make AAT net.art aware and having a process to add
>>>more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a list of
>>>terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people could add
>>>terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome
>>>community) could then
>>>keep an eye on those and see if they should go into AAT.
>>>
>>>A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though. :-)
>>>
>>>
>>>On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for
>>>Rhizome to get
>>>licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
>>>unfortunately written
>>>for them can still be run in the future. In a few years time
>>>having this stuff
>>>available for galleries to hire might actually provide a revenue stream. ;-)
>>>
>>>- Rob.
>>>
>>>+
>>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>>+
>>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>
>>
>>–
>>
>>
>>Richard Rinehart
>>—————
>>Director of Digital Media
>>Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>—————
>>University of California, Berkeley
>>—————
>>2625 Durant Ave.
>>Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>ph.510.642.5240
>>fx.510.642.5269
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php







Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269

Marisa Olson May 17 2006 10:13Reply

Dear Rhizomers,

I've really appreciated your comments, in this thread. I wanted to take
some time to observe and absorb before jumping into the conversation. Of
course, I bump up against Metadata issues every day, as Editor & Curator,
because these tags are used to describe not only ArtBase entries but also
TextBase pieces–i.e. posts to Raw that get filtered into Rare. I'll be
the first to point out the datedness or frustrating aspects of the current
language, but I would also err on the side of caution before totally
discarding the system.

It seems obvious to me that we can't throw out all of the old terms, because:

* They are attached to so many works;
* Whether or not they were excited by the terms, artists have previously
used them to describe their work, so we're in the domain of artistic
intention; and
* The terms are a historical reflection upon the evolving discourse of new
media, and as such they index not only texts and artworks, but other
historically important things like trends, vernaculars, etc.

In my opinion, they should be augmented with additional terms and then the
architecture of these options could be improved. There is currently some
redundancy–perhaps even some contradiction, between the tags offered in
the type, genre, and keyword categories, which I believe can be easily
smoothed out. David Chien pointed this out, here, when he suggested that
these all be collapsed under the heading "category."

But, backing up, we would really like to hear from *you* what terms you'd
like to see added. Perhaps we can think of this as a preliminary form of
folksonomy, as it will clearly be generated by you folks! And then I think
that the tagging system can be opened up to additional, simultaneous
self-tagging.

The concerns many have expressed over the practice of choosing from an
existing menu of tags, or a "controlled vocabulary," I think relate to
larger concerns that many of us have about the insider vs. outsider nature
of the field. When I look back over some of the more memorable Raw threads
related to the criticism and historiography of new media art, I see a
tension between those who want to rebel against existing aesthetic models
(and all that they imply, from art stardom to the military industrial
complex), and those who see a need to situate work in relationship to
these models. I also know that the notions of hierarchy and control often
get pitted against those of collaboration and sharing, but I think that
there is a need for both–and that they need not be mutually exclusive.

I personally think that a dual-model in which ArtBase contributors and
Site Editors can engage with the controlled vocabulary while also
augmenting it with their own expressions is the best way to reach a happy
medium.

This really gets to Rick's question as to the audience of the ArtBase and
TextBase. I tend to imagine a future-tense audience looking back on works
and texts and trying to take them not only for face value, but also to
understand them in relationship to other works and texts of that time
period and/or of that self-identified genre. This is a scenario in which
an existing, shared vocabulary is extremely helpful. It would also
enrichen the study of a work's context, as Rick pointed out when he said:

"Although, if one did use a hybrid model, then that would itself create
the mapping (each work would have both standardized terms and folksonomic
terms applied, so averaging among many works, you'd be able to tell what
terms mapped to each other."

I would like to conclude with one more plea for you to contribute
constructive suggestions for "category" tags to include among our
Metadata. I would also say that our collectively-authored "shared
vocabulary" has potential not only to impact the preservation and
interpretation of works and texts in our own archives, but that it can
also be shared with the field at large. This is an incredible opportunity
for us to share our insights with the field.

I thank you for continuing to share your thoughts.

Marisa


+ + +
Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator at Large
Rhizome.org at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art

Richard Rinehart May 17 2006 13:32Reply

Thanks Marisa,

That's a great summary, and I totally agree that we can have our cake
and eat it too. As a digital or net.artist, I often feel I want to
defend/promote/identify what is unique about digital practice in
contrast to the larger art or cultural worlds.

[In an interesting aside about language; at UC Berkeley we had a long
debate about what to call this "genre" for our campus Center for New
Media and decided that 'computational media' was the most accurate at
defining what is unique about these media and separate them from
other artistic media and separate this artistic practice to some
extent because computation affords functions and opportunities that
are new and unique - BUT in actually naming the Center in a way that
is not too geeky and is understandable to campus administrators, we
went for 'new media'. Ironic, eh?]

But in my day job at a museum, I don't want to see digital media
continue to be ghetto-ized the way
performance/conceptual/installation art still is (let's face it,
museums never really solved the problems inherent in collecting those
genres either). I agree that we can develop our own vocabulary and at
the same time deploy a parallel standardized one. I also hadn't
thought of it, but of course the existing artbase terms are perhaps
the beginnings of the new folksonomy.

As to Type/Genre/Keywords specifically; I still feel that type and
genre are distinct ideas: one is more general and conceptual
(Genre=Impressionism), whereas the other is more about the format of
the work (Type=painting). If we wanted to simplify things (not a bad
idea) it would be important to define what we mean by Category if
it's to be a useful metadata element. And, if indeed a folksonomy is
used, then Keyword, however, becomes obsolete. Just my 2c again, and
to echo Marisa, it would be great to hear from more people on this
list; we're talking about creating the historic record here and this
can't be the purview of just a few people (well, shouldn't anyway!)



Richard Rinehart
—————
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
bampfa.berkeley.edu
—————
University of California, Berkeley
—————
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
ph.510.642.5240
fx.510.642.5269


At 9:13 AM -0700 5/17/06, marisa@rhizome.org wrote:
>Dear Rhizomers,
>
>I've really appreciated your comments, in this thread. I wanted to take
>some time to observe and absorb before jumping into the conversation. Of
>course, I bump up against Metadata issues every day, as Editor & Curator,
>because these tags are used to describe not only ArtBase entries but also
>TextBase pieces–i.e. posts to Raw that get filtered into Rare. I'll be
>the first to point out the datedness or frustrating aspects of the current
>language, but I would also err on the side of caution before totally
>discarding the system.
>
>It seems obvious to me that we can't throw out all of the old terms, because:
>
>* They are attached to so many works;
>* Whether or not they were excited by the terms, artists have previously
>used them to describe their work, so we're in the domain of artistic
>intention; and
>* The terms are a historical reflection upon the evolving discourse of new
>media, and as such they index not only texts and artworks, but other
>historically important things like trends, vernaculars, etc.
>
>In my opinion, they should be augmented with additional terms and then the
>architecture of these options could be improved. There is currently some
>redundancy–perhaps even some contradiction, between the tags offered in
>the type, genre, and keyword categories, which I believe can be easily
>smoothed out. David Chien pointed this out, here, when he suggested that
>these all be collapsed under the heading "category."
>
>But, backing up, we would really like to hear from *you* what terms you'd
>like to see added. Perhaps we can think of this as a preliminary form of
>folksonomy, as it will clearly be generated by you folks! And then I think
>that the tagging system can be opened up to additional, simultaneous
>self-tagging.
>
>The concerns many have expressed over the practice of choosing from an
>existing menu of tags, or a "controlled vocabulary," I think relate to
>larger concerns that many of us have about the insider vs. outsider nature
>of the field. When I look back over some of the more memorable Raw threads
>related to the criticism and historiography of new media art, I see a
>tension between those who want to rebel against existing aesthetic models
>(and all that they imply, from art stardom to the military industrial
>complex), and those who see a need to situate work in relationship to
>these models. I also know that the notions of hierarchy and control often
>get pitted against those of collaboration and sharing, but I think that
>there is a need for both–and that they need not be mutually exclusive.
>
>I personally think that a dual-model in which ArtBase contributors and
>Site Editors can engage with the controlled vocabulary while also
>augmenting it with their own expressions is the best way to reach a happy
>medium.
>
>This really gets to Rick's question as to the audience of the ArtBase and
>TextBase. I tend to imagine a future-tense audience looking back on works
>and texts and trying to take them not only for face value, but also to
>understand them in relationship to other works and texts of that time
>period and/or of that self-identified genre. This is a scenario in which
>an existing, shared vocabulary is extremely helpful. It would also
>enrichen the study of a work's context, as Rick pointed out when he said:
>
>"Although, if one did use a hybrid model, then that would itself create
>the mapping (each work would have both standardized terms and folksonomic
>terms applied, so averaging among many works, you'd be able to tell what
>terms mapped to each other."
>
>I would like to conclude with one more plea for you to contribute
>constructive suggestions for "category" tags to include among our
>Metadata. I would also say that our collectively-authored "shared
>vocabulary" has potential not only to impact the preservation and
>interpretation of works and texts in our own archives, but that it can
>also be shared with the field at large. This is an incredible opportunity
>for us to share our insights with the field.
>
>I thank you for continuing to share your thoughts.
>
>Marisa
>
>
>+ + +
>Marisa Olson
>Editor & Curator at Large
>Rhizome.org at the
>New Museum of Contemporary Art
>
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php


Marisa Olson May 18 2006 20:47Reply

Hi, Rick. Thanks or your response.

> As a digital or net.artist, I often feel I want to
> defend/promote/identify what is unique about digital practice in
> contrast to the larger art or cultural worlds.

Yep, this is exactly what I was getting at with the suggestion that we
build a shared vocabulary together, but then allow individuals to..
individualize it.

> As to Type/Genre/Keywords specifically; I still feel that type and
> genre are distinct ideas: one is more general and conceptual
> (Genre=Impressionism), whereas the other is more about the format of
> the work (Type=painting).

Yes, I agree that this is true in the world at large, but I think that
there is redundancy in our case. Some words appear on both the Type &
Genre list (at least for the TextBase), while others are obviously
missing. There also continues to be debate, in our field, about how to
classify & categorize works of new media art. (This is, perhaps, most
often manifest in the distinction between whether one uses a
technology as a tool or as an object, in their work. To say nothing of
using it as a subject!)

One issue (or at least this is how I interpret it) is that these lists
are a holdover from the listserv nature of Rhizome's origin. I always
look at the 'Type' terms as terms that describe the type of listserv
posting being archived… But then these terms, on these lists, cross
over between specific works (ie ArtBase index pages) and list posts
(ie TextBase 'pages').


> If we wanted to simplify things (not a bad
> idea) it would be important to define what we mean by Category if
> it's to be a useful metadata element.

Category may or may not be a great word. Perhaps we could even use
something like 'search terms.' In the end, that does seem to be the
whole point–or a major point.

Actually, I just peeked at the area in which MySpace users can upload
videos and they distinguish between 'categories' and 'tags' this way:

<< >>
Categories:
Select 1-3.

Animals
Animation/CGI
Automotive
Comedy and Humor
Entertainment
Extreme Videos
Instructional
Music
News and Politics
Schools and Education
Science and Technology
Video Blogging
Sports
Travel and Vacations
Video Games
Weird Stuff

Tags:

Tags are keywords associated with your video. Separate tags with spaces.
For example: Tom snowboard face plant

<< >>

The point is that people who come to search can now compare what two
different people called 'Weird Stuff;' they could see what personal
words the artist used to describe the work; they could get a
suggestion of what to look for if they don't know what they are
looking for; or they could search for random tags; etc….

But what we'd need, in order to do something like this, is an agreed
upon list of [search terms]. I think the old ones should stay there,
even if no one uses them now, to acknowledge that people once used
'collider' and there are works indexed under that heading. In fact,
none of these terms are so bad, it's just that they desperately need
to be augmented. So many things are missing. And who decides (and how
much does it matter) whether we use the word(s) audio, sound,
phonography, radio, music, podcast, mp3, wav, etc…?

I would say, though, going back to people's tag cloud suggestions,
that it would be nice to offer these, too. Del.icio.us does this, if
you're bookmarking something that's been bookmarked before. It
suggests tags that others have used. You can take them, leave them,
edit them, etc. And I think that a cloud in which more popular tags
are bigger (common among tag clouds–see the one at the bottom of the
blog We Make Money Not Art:
http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/#more_cat) could give a nice
sense of the popularity or folksonomic effects of a tag.

We could even look into visualizing not only the frequency but also
the duration of a tag. (ie Many people starting using the term 'meme'
around this time, but then it lost popularity in early 2008.) And
there are many ways to track the connectedness of terms–so one could
easily see that, say, 17 people who selected the "shared vocabulary"
term "broadcast" also used the tag "reality_tv," and then navigate to
those 17 database objects.

I think that these are the kinds of things that many people appreciate
about taxonomies/ taxonomic interfaces that happen to be 100%
folksonomic, but I think that they can still be done (if not done
better–building a stronger archive, delivering better search results,
providing deeper documentation & contextualization) by combining the
shared vocabulary and the opportunity for folksonomy.

> we're talking about creating the historic record here and this
> can't be the purview of just a few people (well, shouldn't anyway!)

Yes! Absolutely! So please send [search term/category] suggestions, everyone!

Thanks so much,
Marisa