Tuesday, March 3, 2009

at CAA in LA

I had the pleasure of heading down to LA last week with Margo Ballantyne to speak at the College Art Association Annual Conference about accessCeramics. This is the main professional conference for art and art history profs.

The trip started out great on Wednesday evening with mojitos courtesy of Margo at the Figueroa Hotel (a Morrocan themed place that looks better and better as night falls and more mojitos are consumed). Then our panel headed out to the breathtaking Getty Center for the conference's opening reception, which featured the academically fashionable CAA crowd, excellent wine, food, and desserts as well as open access to many of the Getty's galleries and research center.

The next day I was a part of a panel presentation put on by the Visual Resources Association with the theme "You can do it, we can help: building digital image collections together."

The panel started off with an introduction by Maureen Burns from UC Irvine about a shared image collection for teaching that the University of California schools are creating using ARTstor software.

I kept thinking that this would be a perfect collaborative project among NITLE schools. I'll bet someone has already thought of that. Next, Margo and I did our bit on accessCeramics, Lewis & Clark's own collaboratively created digital collection that uses flickr as the underlying digital asset management system.

Next, Alka Patel, a scholar of Islamic Art and Architectual History at UC Irvine described the process of publishing her personal image collection with ARTstor.

We also heard from Ann Whiteside of MIT about the SAHARA project, another collaborative project with ARTstor that will allow scholars of architectual history, librarians, and others to develop a shared collection of archictecture images. It also aspires to be a kind of framework for digital scholarship around the images. Loyal readers of synthesize-specialize-mobilize might recall that I mentioned this project when it was first announced last spring.

Finally, we heard from Cara Hirsch, Assistant General Counsel at ARTstor about the intellectual property issues surrounding collaborative collection building.

ARTstor is clearly interested in distributed collection building and moving into this space on several fronts. Given its network-level software platform, ARTstor is in a good place to do this. With our relatively tiny flickr-based project, Margo and I kind of felt like we were the renegades among the group, though it was clear that our project shared many similarities with the others.

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