Museum Archive Group Presentation Art Documentation Pratt Institute School of Information

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  • Net Art Commissions The New York Museum of Art

    Sanam Aarabi & Jenny KornsDecember 7, 2016LIS 661 Art Documentation, Fall 2016Pratt Institute - School of Information

  • Historical Background of New York Museum of Art

    Founded in 1967 by philanthropists whose mission was to provide a space to

    showcase the work of established contemporary artists and emerging artists.

    NYMA collects and exhibits modern and contemporary art, in line with the

    founders vision to make the collection accessible to the public.

    The current permanent collection is comprised of photography, painting,

    sculpture, drawings, prints, video, and new media art. The collection contains

    more than 20,000 works by over 2,000 artists.

  • Net Art Collection at NYMA

    Began commissioning net art in 2006 Works are commissioned under the

    leadership of curator Dana Peze Net art works are only acquired as

    commissions More than 50 net art works in the

    Collection All works are publicly accessible

    through NYMAs websitePhoto from Surian Soosay on Flickr Commons. Licensed under CC 2.0

  • Collection Materials

    Artwork Components Documentation Preservation Materials

    Source code and scripting languages

    Commission agreements

    Artist questionnaires Non-exclusive license

    agreements Images

    Artwork questionnaires

    Artist interviews Web ARChive

    (WARC) files

  • Web ARChive (WARC) Files

    In addition to bit-level preservation of the source code and

    scripts that comprise the artworks, NYMA creates WARC files

    of net art using Archive-It or Rhizomes Webrecorder.

    The WARC (Web ARChive) format specifies a method for

    combining multiple digital resources into an aggregate

    archival file together with related information. - WARC, Web

    ARChive file format,

    WARC file format is an ISO standard (ISO 28500:2009)

  • Status of Materials

    All analog materials are located in the office of the curator Digital documents are housed on NYMAs network share drive on the server Source code and scripts are hosted online via web server

    Issues to address:

    Inconsistent cataloging Conservation measures have not been taken

  • Scope of Work

    This project proposes a systematic approach for properly organizing and processing net art commissions and related documentation.

    Methodology of Work:

    1. Organization and processing of the Collection2. Application of a new naming convention and numbering scheme3. Creation of individual records in xDams

    a. Describe net art works and related documentation to the item levelb. Author a cataloging guide

    4. Creation of a vocabulary guide

  • Organization & Processing of Net Art Collection

    Transfer all analog files to NYMA archives, where they will be appraised and processed

    Processing entails: inventory materials and related documentation, undertake conservation steps for hardcopy and born-digital materials, as needed

    Re-housing materials in acid-free folders Assess file formats for sustainability

  • Naming Convention and Numbering Scheme

    A new numbering scheme has been developed to ensure that each item in the Net Art Collection has a unique identifier.

    This numbering scheme will be used to label and identify analog materials and will also be applied as a filenaming convention to digital materials

    These unique identifiers will be cataloged as inventory number in xDams

  • Components of Naming Convention

    Works of Net Art

    acronym for net art


    year of commission

    number in sequence of commissions

    Components and Documentation

    acronym for net art


    year of commission

    number in sequence of commissions

    number assigned to each document associated with a

    work of net art

  • Creating Records in xDams

    Net Art Works - Individually described, on item level, in xDams

    xDams: used by NYMA to describe and manage collections

    Open source platform: allows users to share information, interoperability between systems and platforms, budget friendly

    Data in xDams structured in accordance to LIDO (Lightweight Information Describing Objects) standard

    LIDO: XML schema for describing cultural heritage items; designed to courier metadata from

    database to linking portals (like web applications)

  • Conceptual Map for organization of materials in xDams

  • Example: xDams Record for an Image File

    Example: xDams Hierarchy for an Image File

  • Cataloging Guide

    Develop a guide containing in-house cataloging rules for describing common forms of net art documentation in xDams:

    Source code and scripts Commission agreements Artist Questionnaires Artwork Questionnaires Artist Interview Non-exclusive license agreements Web ARChive (WARC) files Images

  • Vocabulary Guide

    Develop a controlled local vocabulary for describing net art that includes terms from established standard vocabularies

    Terms from the following established standard vocabularies will be incorporated in the vocabulary guide:

    Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

    Customized terms will be incorporated when established standards fall short

  • Controlled Vocabulary: Excerpted list of terms

  • Controlled Vocabulary: Sample of faceted terms

    BT/NT/RT Term Controlled Vocabulary

    Broader term Art and the internet LCSH

    Narrower term Net Art NYMA

    Related term Interactive Art Getty AAT

  • Technologies

    Desktop Computer running: Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop

    Lightroom CC

    xDams will be the collections management system, utilizing LIDO standards

    Network Server: store born digital and digitized materials

    Password protected directory - set up on the server to house digital materials from Net Art


  • Staff

    Staff will include:

    Museums Permanent Collection Documentation Manager, who oversees -

    Processing Archivist

    Metadata Specialist

  • Supplies

    Acid-free folders, archival storage boxes, etc.

    Workstation - to process materials

    Computer- Windows, Photoshop, Lightroom

  • -Timeline for Completion-

  • Conclusion

    The proposed project offers a systematic approach for organizing and processing files and related documentation in NYMAs Net Art Collection.

    Project Outcomes

    Net Art Collection materials will be prepared for long-term preservation and items in the Collection will be described consistently

    NYMA will be able to manage these Collection materials more efficiently Access to Collection materials will be improved for NYMA staff and

    researchers Methodology and guides developed will be available to other institutions with

    net art collections

  • Questions?

    Contact Information: