This missed the cut in the edit of a book chapter for an anthology the project team is working on. Thought it ought to appear somewhere as vaguely useful to what this project has done. The Circus Oz Living Archive research team have had innumerable, and significant, discussions about content and curation — the very stuff of the archive —… Read more →
It is a methodological field, not an algorithmic process (for those that recognise it, this is from Barthes’ “From Work to Text” as a nod to the importance of grand theory to my own work) which means that it lies between the sorts of new practices that emerge when we apply novel digital techniques to things that can be treated as data using what I’d like to think of as more traditional propositions.
…Finally the more recent decline might reflect the move to a completely digital mode where, to begin with, it was trivial to record a lot (and we all did) but then storage of non–tape media (we could call it non physical but that isn’t really accurate) on hard drives was informal and may have been stored willy nilly then erased, lost, forgotten, deleted and otherwise and indirectly treated as emphemeral.
Fascinating presentation by David Pearson, Director of Culture, Heritage and Libraries for the City of London Corporation about how marginalia shifts something that is more or less anonymous (my words) into an artefact of value. (Reminds me of an old project by computer scientist and ethnographer Cathy Marshall where she made a prototype annotation program for a laptop, her method involved buying heavily annotated second hand editions of text books at university book stores, and interviewing their purchasers, to model existing annotation practices.
Very basically they built their own hardware and software to sell books, realised that what they made others would like to use, that they had a lot of it and so could offer this cheaply, and so sold it. … Offer it for sale, scale it up, and then let anyone who uses this (if they wish) use an ‘elastic’ service that automatically grows to cope with surges (e.g. a sale) and then goes back to normal the rest of the time.
Then we saw the rise of services, the tentative beginnings of what is now sort of social media (though that’s a misnomer since it’s always been social and there are big differences between, say, Facebook and Twitter at every level you bother to think of). … Simply, the web has moved past publishing and searching (discovery) and so the experiential value proposition (there’s a slogan for you) – apart from punters who want to see a show again, or niche users already invested in circus – revolves around “what can I do with what I find?”, rather than “what can I find?”.
Two posts by Trevor Owen on crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage context and keeping sight of the ‘meaning thing': Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage: The Objectives Are Upside Down Meanification and Crowdscafolding: Forget Badges
Pearltrees , bookmark things you like, it makes links between what you curate (the ‘pearls’) – unlike, say, Pinterest which is more like a big flat album – it recognises a visual scale as you can move in and out of your pearl trees, it talks to Twitter and Facebook (both ways), and you can share your pearls and trees with others. … It lets me curate into my stuff things that others have found.
I’ve been posting some thoughts around my PhD work on this project to my own blog. Here’s a few from the last few months: “Because I say so” (on connections in the archive) Documentation, not things (on content in the archive) Rational reframing (on the design process)
A few of the key messages from Circus Oz on how to develop the prototype prior to the community launch in February: 1. Â Provide the ability for comments. Â This will be particularly useful for finding out what data is wrong eg: ‘Paris’ written on a tape means ‘Paris Theatre Sydney’ not Paris, France. 2. Change the names of the videos…. Read more →
For the initial exploratory development of the living archive, we will be experimenting with the use of an iterative prototyping technique that involves using an ’embedded prototype’. What this means is that we will be building a basic working system, giving the inner Circus Oz community access, and then further developing our design directions and prototypes based on quantitative and… Read more →