Friday, 29 July 2011
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
I think her most interesting points were that archival technicity not just stores knowledge, it informs it. Art history as a discipline is partly understood through the logic of archival technicity, that is that the medium is the message. After examining past technologies of photography and the printed text, she ended with a big question: what do new archival technologies mean to the discipline of art history? Frost brought some examples of online art discussion platforms and the way in which they engage their audience. She then specifically talked about innovative approaches to academic publishing – including her own series Arts Future Book. She also talked about her website DigitalCritic and an online resource for academic book publishing advice for PhD and early career academics.
She was a good, engaging speaker. Because Frost's topic was quite dense, it's a pity she was scheduled as the last speaker on a very, long first day when many people are ready for dinner, and willing everyone else to only ask short questions.
Taking the academic library as an example of an extreme research environment, Catherine described how she visited several universities to find out if their libraries held clues to how particular environments can nurture independent thought and be conducive to work. She also interviewed researchers working in different fields to gain an insight into how they use libraries as part of their own research. Her research found that overall 80% of students and academics now access their library catalogue’s remotely and that, in general, academics prefer working from home. From these results it is difficult to see how the library features in the research process at all but Catherine explained that the problem for many researchers is that they feel they are unable to use the library for every part of the research process. Catherine’s project developed a generic cycle of research to reflect the largely similar stages researchers working in different fields go through. These are: discover, gather, analyse create and share. After distinguishing the different phases of research, the next task was to come up with design solutions to reflect each stage. The challenge was to create designs that could work in co-operation with one another, and designate areas that would not impinge on users carrying out different forms of research. The designs can be viewed here:
The project’s emphasis is timely. The increasingly wide usage of the term ‘knowledge industries’ refers not only to the production of knowledge and cultural artefacts, but also to a valuable economic resource. Knowledge and expertise are now considered to be as, if not more central to businesses than other commodities. The suggestion that the academic library holds the key to the successful production of knowledge is both supported and thrown into doubt by this project but even with the high use of remote access and online research, it seems important to re-assess the physical learning environment. The ‘Living Libraries’ project proposes strategies for cultivating a more stimulating working environment, which can be extended to academic and non-academic workplaces, and in that way it creates an interesting link between different organisations concerned with the production of knowledge.
Monday, 18 July 2011
|Interior of Roger Stevens lecture theatre building|
(constructed 1968-70), at University of Leeds.
From the Leeds University Archive
Two artists, Gerard Byrne and Dorit Margreiter created artworks to display in the Henry Moore institute in 2009 relating not only to the architecture of these stunning and sculptural post-war buildings, but to the voices these buildings have and the memories they impress upon us. Both produced films, with Byrne’s being a black and white film using actors playing students in the 1960s using verbatim dialogue sifted and lifted from various archival material, such as the union magazine, while Margreiter’s video was a more abstract and contemporary affair, using real students. Both videos ran on a loop when displayed, so the excerpts of dialogue were without chronology and instead the viewer captured snap-shots of the voice of the university and had to make meaning and cohesiveness themselves. Both Byrne and Margreiter, with the help of Penelope Curtis, made extensive use of the rich collections available in the Leeds University Archive and the Brotherton Library Special Collections in order to inform their artworks, favouring the raw student voices rather than architectural plans, in essence, their art was a response not only to the shell of the buildings, but to the relationship between a social organisation and the vessel that houses it. They were conscious that a building is not just a building, but a product with an outcome and a means for a way of living and working, and that the soul of a building is the way in which we communicate with it.
The campus has now been listed, which will halt any future evolutions of the building, instead a building projecting an imagined future from the 1960s and 1970s has been preserved, and only its voice will now continue to adapt and grow, in the modular fashion that Chamberlin, Powell and Bon intended it to.
(Publications Committee member)
Friday, 15 July 2011
He defined what are considered to be artistic works, including ‘obvious’ works like paintings and drawings; but these also include collages, maps, forms, sculptures and even signatures, if these are significantly different from the signer’s ‘normal’ script! It is hard to define artistic works sometimes, but if the artist asserts that his/her work is an artistic work, this is usually accepted. The works must have artistic quality; courts say if works are intended to appeal to the eye and are the work of a craftsman, they would qualify. However, video art is definitely not artistic work, as it is protected under film copyright.
For artistic works, the standard duration of copyright is the life of the author plus 70 years; this is standard in the UK, Europe and the USA, and is a very long time! If you don’t know the author, it works in different terms - date of publication plus 70 years. Copyright controls reproductions of artistic works; if you’re outwith the defined exception, you need to get a licence to reproduce artistic works (through licencing agencies like DACS). Also, the artist has 2 principal moral rights - to be identified as the author (though he/she needs to assert the right to be identified as such) and to object to derogatory treatment of the artistic work. The important exceptions for archives and libraries to consider are preservation copyright and copying for users. However, neither of these applicable to artistic works! It is not lawful to create a preservation copy of an artistic work, or to copy it for a reader or student. This was not addressed in the Hargreaves report but it looks like this might be addressed soon by the government. There is also a European directive on copyright of orphan works in the works, along with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) considering a draft treaty on library and archive exceptions at their November meeting. These would all be major movements in copyright law, and strengthening the rights of users rather than authors, which is unique.
Learning to Live with Risk (Peter Hirtle, Cornell University Library)
Peter Hirtle’s 2 main issues in his talk were ‘how do I use other people’s stuff?’ and ‘how do I prevent people from using mine?’. Librarians want to obey copyright law but that is nearly impossible as the laws are too complex; in doing our jobs, we infringe without knowing it. He showed quite a few examples of digital collections put together by libraries (including the George Eastman House collection in Flickr Commons, the Ezra Cornell papers and the Archives of American Art), how they did/didn’t get permission to digitise and post the works online, and how they addressed legality. What else can be done? OCLC and Society of American Archivists have tried to establish guidelines to encourage aggressiveness in dealing with copyright. In addition, some sites are publishing images with limited resolution online and using disclaimers to show issues with copyright. Mostly, the risks are low - what bad things would happen? It could be cheaper to put the material up and take it down if anyone objects than it would be to seek out death date information to determine copyright length. In the UK, if someone wanted damages (rather than just taking material down), it would just be the cost of reproduction to be paid. In a way, our desire to follow the law makes us more cautious than we really need to be! But, going back to Peter’s second point, how do we stop others from using our stuff? Well, you can’t! But you can see it as a positive rather than a negative, with open exchange of information. In conclusion, we need to be respectful of copyright, but not afraid; also, we need to encourage others to use and build on our collections.
(notes by Paula Cuccurullo, EDINA, University of Edinburgh)
A small group of ARLIS delegates visited The Leeds Library, a subscription library tucked away above some shops in the centre of Leeds. The oldest surviving library of its kind in the British Isles, it began life in 1768.
The Librarian, Geoffrey Forster, has incredible knowledge of the library and the history of Leeds. He and Claire (the Assistant Librarian) gave a fascinating overview of the library’s history, current state and future plans, including their current bids for Heritage Lottery Funding.
The library collects books requested by members along with items to add to historic collections and anything they think the members will like. Members are allowed to borrow anything; although as the library collects for perpetuity it has some valuable and fragile items which are restricted. In the early days of the library catalogues were printed so members could select books at home and then send a servant to collect them! Nowadays part of the catalogue is online and accessible through their website.
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Having worked in Leeds at the Henry Moore Institute, Penelope has a great familiarity with the city, especially the architecture.
Her focus was on her work with two artists creating work about the University of Leeds Campus, looking at the futuristic buildings (some of which used in science fiction films such as Blakes 7) built in the 1960s.
Both created films to be installed in a gallery, one (Gerard Byrne) focussing on black and white film and using actors playing students from the 1960s, and the other making a moe contemporary film with actual students.
Since this exhibition this part of the campus has been listed - I know I will certainly be taking a closer look as I walk around campus over the next couple of days!
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Leeds has a long tradition of academic study in fine art and cultural studies, and the University is delighted to host the 2011 conference.
The day of the conference has arrived. Get ready for an exciting programme over the next 3 days, in the lovely city of Leeds. We look forward to greeting you at the University of Leeds Business School.
|Conference accommodation at the University of Leeds|
Photo from University website
If you are coming this afternoon, and want to check-in first, please see this link to accommodation driving directions. If you are coming by train, for £0.50 you can take the shuttle bus (Leeds City bus run by First) from the train station, and alight at the Leeds Dental Institute stop. You can then walk up to Charles Morris Hall, which is number 86 on all the University Maps.
James Storm Court is located in Charles Morris Hall.
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Sela Bar – also does great pizza!
For those wishing to explore slightly further afield, make for Headingley for a ra
nge of bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants. Why not try the lovely Arcadia for real ales and a traditional pub environment:
Or head to Trio for a round of cocktails!
Headingley is a leafy suburb ten minutes bus ride on the number 1, 6 or 28 from the stop at the steps of the Parkinson Building.
(Photo: Market Town Taverns)