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Bekky has been doing some research and has come across a number of seriously defiant objects. We’ve decided to describe them in several different ways using different existing metadata schemes: Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1, SPECTRUM, VRA Core 4.0, CDWA, KULTUR and CCO. We’ll be doing it separately so as to see how subjective descriptions can be. The first one is a piece by the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres entitled “Untitled (Public Opinion)”, 1991. It consists of licorice candy, individually wrapped in cellophane and is part of the collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (public Opinion), 1991, Installation view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo by David Heald.

This document, prepared in 2010, comprises preparatory work for the LEAP Multimedia Working Group guide to creating metadata for multimedia repository deposits.

The brief for the guide is to produce “a guide for non-experts in how to recognise different classes of item, what metadata should be regarded as essential to each and where to get expert help”.

In order to meet this brief, the group identified metadata schema that seek to describe classes of non-textual items. A selection of these schemas was used as a basis for analysis and comparison to identify distinctive metadata requirements for different kinds of outputs. The schemas used for this comparison were:

I Visual Resource Association (VRA) core 4.0

I Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA)

I Public Broadcasting Core (PBCore) elements

I KULTUR project metadata elements

I Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access Data Element Set (SEPIADES) core elements

Click LEAP metadata guide draft to download the PDF.

We, Tahani Nadim and Rebecca Randall (both Goldsmiths), have begun work on the SHERPA-LEAP project Defiant Objects. See the About page for more details on the project. The first stage comprises what we call the “Literature Review” though it reviews much more than just the literature: Bekky has been looking at digital archives, institutional and otherwise, while Tahani could be found in the stores of Goldsmiths’ Special Collections trying to find difficult objects.

Some of these have now been tamed into this blog’s banner image, which consists of the following materials (from left to right):

I Materials from Stephen Willat‘s Tower Mosaic, a project that ran from 29 April to 12 May 1991 in the Warwick and Brindley Estate in North London. The project included community participation, an evolving installation, participant research materials and methods, photographs, collages, printed ephemera such as “Mosaic sheets” (see first image), posters and invitation cards (see third image).

I The third issue of LTTR journal entitled “Practice More Failure” published 3 July 2004. Put together by the LTTR member Emily Roysdon, Ginger Brooks Takahashi and K8 Hardy, the journal is an assemblage of very many different parts and objects: It comes in an envelope which contains a bound booklet whose pages can be folded out and turned into individual posters. There is also a smaller envelope (see second picture) that includes a poster by Carrie Moyer and a stapled zine as well as an even smaller envelope containing “IOU” cards by Michelle Marchese.

I A programme booklet by artist Emma Hedditch, entitled “A Political Feeling, I Hope So” produced for her “residency” at Cubitt, London. This lists the events, such as a concert, film screenings and open meetings, that were carried out during the three-day residency, from 30 January to 1 February 2004.

The difficulties that arise in relation to the above items when viewed as research outputs for inclusion in institutional repositories are multiple: Is the research output the entire project or does it need disarticulation? If it’s the entire project, what are its parts and should we be comprehensive, i.e. document as many individual aspects as possible? Who are the authors? Who are the contributors? Does it make sense to retain the category of “author”?

These are just some of the ad hoc issues we’re confronted when trying to include such objects in our digital archives. In the course of the project, we’ll attempt to formalise these issues.