Richard Rinehart
Since the beginning
Works in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania United States of America

Richard Rinehart is the Director of the Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University. Previous to holding his position at Bucknell, Richard was the Digital Media Director and Adjunct Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. Richard has taught digital art studio and theory at UC Berkeley in the Center for New Media and Art Practice departments. He has also been visiting faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, and JFK University. Richard sits on the Executive Committee of the UC Berkeley Center for New Media and has served on the Board of Directors for New Langton Arts in San Francisco. Richard manages research projects in the area of digital culture, including the NEA-funded project, 'Archiving the Avant Garde', a national consortium of museums and artists distilling the essence of digital art in order to document and preserve it. Richard is a new media artist whose art works, papers, projects, and more can be found at
Discussions (29) Opportunities (4) Events (14) Jobs (8)

Re: Metadata

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

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,,
>spam) shows that it is not useful for work Rhizome artbase will
>actually need to describe.
>Imagine a tag cloud of the artbase. :-)
>- Rob.
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Richard Rinehart
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250



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
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

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

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

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


art world
artificial life
media activism
public space
social space
tactical media
Third World
virtual reality


Richard Rinehart
Director of Digital Media
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250


online artwork explores social class

Reading Class: the Online Game+Blog that Explores Class in America
by Richard Rinehart

Reading Class is what Joseph Beuys called "social sculpture"- engagement with the intangible elements that shape our lives. Reading Class uses social software to explore the social question of class. Specifically, Reading Class is a multimedia game built inside an Internet blog; a blog being a set of standards and software used for online personal journals or conversation. Reading Class explores the idea of class as an semi-emergent taxonomy, a self-organizing system, by taking participants on a journey of cultural choices and values where their own class identity is measured against fixed scholastic markers and against the relativistic play and perception of other participants as measured in real-time (the taste culture choices you make while you play affect the final class score of other players during this project, and vice versa). Reading Class strives to be journal and discussion forum - a cultural engine for revealing, exploring and critiquing social class.

Everyone is invited to view and participate.

Reading Class is also included in the exhibition Other America at Exit Art in New York through May 21, 2005 (


New Media Faculty Position At UC Berkeley

Tue Oct 05, 2004 00:00

Center for New Media, University of California at Berkeley.
History & Theory of New Media.
Rank open, effective July 1, 2005, pending budgetary approval.

In the context of Berkeley’s new Center for New Media, the successful candidate will develop courses, pursue interdisciplinary research initiatives, and help lead UC Berkeley in New Media studies. Teaching and research interests should include the historical contexts and theoretical framing of New Media, including the critical, cultural, and social assessment of New Media production and consumption processes. Applicants should demonstrate substantial background in one or more of the following fields: art history, history of photography, media history, film studies, and visual culture. They should also demonstrate broad knowledge of critical theory in the humanities, significant command of theoretical and technical issues in contemporary new media, and a record of engagement with technologists, designers, artists, and/or social scientists in new media studies. Special consideration will be given to applicants with strong leadership abilities. The successful candidate will be appointed in a relevant department or departments; possible primary departments include History of Art, Film Studies Program (a division of Department of Rhetoric), and the School of Information Management and Systems. Participation on the Executive Committee of the Center for New Media is expected. Applications must include a C.V.; a letter describing the candidate’s background and interests, including brief descriptions of possible courses; a one-page statement outlining a vision for interdisciplinary scholarship in history and theory of new media in the context of interdisciplinary new media studies; two recent essay-length publications or samples of work-in-progress; and names and full contact information for three recommenders. Female and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2004. Mail to: Whitney Davis, Chair, Department of History of Art and Director, Film Studies Program, Doe Library 416, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720-6020. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.


Re: Here is the document

Please read the attached file.