The Art of Open Archives

Expert meeting about archives on new media art.

Nov 2004
15:00 to 18:00

Since the late 1990s, many cultural content providers - archives and cultural heritage institutions - have been making their data collections accessible to the general public via web-based online applications and portals. These contain both large amounts of digitalized material and a wealth of information on digitally-born cultural phenomena. Information on any specific topic (the oeuvre of an important artist, for example) is, however, most likely dispersed over several of these resources, making it difficult for end users - ranging from the general public to a researcher with a very specific profile - to obtain a complete picture of the topic. There is a growing need for initiatives that make connections between these resources possible, enabling interoperability between the variety of data models used by the various repositories.

This expert meeting will bring together specialists in this area - initiators of online resources and archives, academics, artists and theorists - in order to discuss possible strategies and applications related to achieving interoperability between online resources, and developing interesting applications on top of such frameworks.

Several problematic issues are likely to be encountered, such as:

  • How to design conceptual and technical frameworks most appropriate for attaining interoperability between heterogeneous resources, drawing inspiration from already existing models and languages, such as the Open Archives Initiative and the Semantic Web; and how to create an open, low-barrier architecture that allows participation by a variety of content providers, both individual and institutional;
  • How to deal with multiple meanings and languages in terminology for electronic art and culture;
  • How to design appropriate and interesting applications on top of interoperable resources, targeted towards users with diverse profiles and needs.

Specifically, the problems encountered by a network of organizations in the field of electronic art will serve as examples in the discussions. During the past few years, several new web-based resources have emerged in the field of art and technology, resulting in a number of websites highlighting diverse aspects of electronic art, its history, protagonists and themes.

Examples of recent online portals for electronic art are

Representatives of several such resources will be present during the expert meeting. Furthermore, selected Dutch and international experts will present state-of-the-art of relevant research in the area of Semantic Web technologies and presentations from semantically annotated archives.



14:30 Doors open

15:00 Welcome and introduction by Anne Nigten (V2_)

15:10 Ivan Herman (Benelux W3C Office, HU/NL) will present an overview of the current Semantic Web languages. http://www.ivan-herman.net/

15:30 Janneke van Kersen (Vereniging Digitaal Erfgoed, NL) will present a pilot project in interoperability between Dutch cultural resources, using the Open Archives Initiative Metadata Harvesting Protocol (OAI-MHP). http://www.den.nl/projecten/oai.html

15:50 Lynda Hardman (CWI, NL) will present current research work on presenting information extracted from semantically annotated archives. Information about the structure of the topic domain along with the environment and characteristics of the user are used to influence the presentation created. http://homepages.cwi.nl/~lynda/

16:10 Break; information market with demonstrations of archives and initiatives

16:40 3 parallel roundtable discussions:
    •    Community needs and wishes - moderation by Andreas Broeckmann (DE)
    •    Semantic Web and ontologies - moderation by Ivan Herman (HU/NL)
    •    Presenting information from semantically annotated archives - moderation by Lynda Hardman (NL)

17:40 Plenary presentation and discussion of roundtables

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