THATCamp College Art Association (CAA) 2014 See you in Chicago in spring 2014! Tue, 11 Mar 2014 02:15:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 THATCamp CAA 2014 Reflection Session at the Hilton, Marquette Room, 3rd Floor Thu, 13 Feb 2014 14:45:29 +0000

After presentations, and reflections this morning, we’ll be working together in informal group sessions to respond to the following discussion, reflection, and action items. The hope is to leave THATCamp and CAA with something to build on, both digitally and through the new, collegial bonds formed from face-to-face interaction.

The Google Doc is here and can be added to by anyone at the session–or following along via Twitter or elsewhere. Please participate!

CAA THATCamp Reflection Session – Feb 13, 2014

Discussion Point:
What are the most pressing issues and/or opportunities for you in the field today—digital, or otherwise? Is it tenure, publishing, sharing your ideas, adjunctification…..

Reflection Point:
How/does the digital offer an opportunity to move forward/press/rethink this issue?

Action Point:
What can you do? What can CAA do? What kinds of panels might you want to see/help facilitate at THATCamp or CAA in the future?

Session Notes: Art Writing On The Web (or “DH is just net art from 1995!”) Wed, 12 Feb 2014 20:12:34 +0000

Becky Huff Hunter introduced the session with some questions: What are some examples of alternative/experimental forms of art writing on the web? Have attendees been involved in web-based writing? What’s the impact of new forms of writing on artistic, curatorial, and scholarly practice?

Charlotte Frost gave us a sneak peek into her forthcoming book—a history of web-based art writing that includes websites, bulletins, mailing lists, blogs, and social media—with the following examples (in chronological order from sometime in the ’90s to the present:

  • Artswire—based on The Well, Judy Malloy
  • Artcom—Carl Loeffler, curatorial and publishing, related to La Mamelle artspace
  • The Thing—PBS-based, Wolfgang Staehle, NY based, moved into mailing list framework, Rhizome recently worked to recreate this and what it would have looked like back in the day
  • Rhizome, started life as Rhizome Raw, a mailing list-based discussion forum—Michael Connor is working to get this online
  • Furtherfield, Net Behavior, DIWO (Do It With Others)
  • ArtFCity, We Make Money Not Art
  • Heath Bunting, Marianne Breeze
  • – Heath Bunting, Marianne breeze, critical / creative crossovers
  • James Elkins, writes publicly and asks people to adapt his writing
  • Laurie Waxman, 60 words a minute in a gallery
  • Jerry Saltz’s Facebook page—comments section now the nexus for mailing-list type discussion of earlier moments

Dewitt Godfrey, CAA President Elect, commented that he wants to engage the ways in which artists and scholars work online, in order to better serve the CAA community. CAA has an online journal, but what else could be offered?

Hussein Keshani spoke about:
Archnet—designed to bring together Islamic world architects and scholars: threads where people discuss things like “how does one define Islamic architecture?”; visual database, image archive detached from text streams; scholarly articles, also disconnected from current text streams and image database; problem maintaining the quality of the conversation.

And my notes get a bit more rushed here as the conversation was really flowing…

Critical Practices Inc., Sol Ostrow—face to face think tank, publishing paper print, discussions forums at biennial

Willoughby Sharp—his Rolodex was like the Facebook of the art world

Media Arts. Curating. List
– networked discussion about the stuff in Charlotte’s book
– arts future book – how the humanities and theory will happen in the future – mailing list component to that project
– fraught success of the mailing lists, lots of archives mentioned that she hadn’t heard of
– Media art histories conference, people messaged her outside of the

– conversations – mailing list replaced with comments on Facebook pages of famous art historians / writers – no one person can own the space – list based intervention – how to have a productive conversation in those spaces – juggling all different information from different platforms, things coming off list but need to share it on list – personal emotions get woven into the list, example of friend passing away

– lists are by definition serial and sequential – not a discussion format
– “epistolary discussion”

– these are all different platforms with different affordances

– we have to re-educate ourselves about how to use different platforms

– why a book – Charlotte set up a project to play around with what an art knowledge object might be. This was for the authors involved in the project, so that they can have something published and peer reviewed. The book was for other people, not so important to Charlotte. She uses herself as a guinea pig.

– fine line in the sand is peer review – this doesn’t acknowledge the way in which peer review has changed
– blog = peer review after being published and the problem is that attention becomes an authority
– another form of peer review is comment press (WordPress add on) – you dump in an entire text then it gets broken up into posts which people can comment on. Public peer review – sometimes by invitation and then sometimes not – Katherine Fitzpatrick “planned obscelence”

– isobel streffer and siofar mcsheerry –
– problem – maintaining quality of the space – curated space vs interactivity
– problem of getting this accepted by their institutions, seeing online practice as a side project in order for it to go with tenure
– this mirrors the language of fine arts peer review tenure 30 years ago – vetting galleries, now we’ll be vetting websites, trying to understand the legitimacy of one thing over another – a peer review after evaluation

– structures
– Charlotte just fell into making a book, this is the structure of the academy
– we don’t have structures that are consistent enough or visible enough to fit

– triple canopy – corrected slogans, recorded the panels, then annotated them – memorialized into a book – triple canopy very enamoured with their own structure – what we are able to do on the web influenced

2004, live critical project with furtherfield  _ virtual artists residencies. – public could log in and akss the the artists questions – using a bespoke chat box – so fast, difficult to keep up – complete meltdown of whether we’d said anything of use or value – same with twitter chats now, storify now useful for grabbing editing creating something

– is there a different approach to using these online tools, or are we using them in the same way as anyone else?
– visual arts – images, projects where you want to connect the words to an image –  residency put together – artists/art historians not talking to each other – even meeting online, level playing field discussion forum

– Terra foundation residency in France – apply for this

– boundaries between disciplines – images are specific to the arts, experimentation is encouraged in the arts

– DH is “just Internet art from 1995”

2010 – Michael Mandlberg collaboratively wrote a book Collaborative Futures (on bookie) – eg, as artists we’re used to experimenting, tradition of being encouraged to break things and to work against the grain – the avant garde role or the irreverent role of the artist.

art is always self published – this is what practice is – many more art historians are know independent scholars – what shift in assumptions can CAA work with in order to help people – the art world / art history world is no longer stable, so how to participate – scholars  are now like artists – the rapidly expanding field of online discourse and the

Digital Art History Research Group, UBC – presentation Wed, 12 Feb 2014 03:33:40 +0000


Here is the pdf of my presentation. The painting discussed can be found here:

Applying Computer Vision to Art History Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:24:11 +0000

Slides and links from the February 11th 2014 THATCamp CAA session on applying computer vision techniques to art history research, facilitated by John Resig.

Learn More About Computer Vision

Computer Vision Software and Libraries

Notes from What Are We To Do About Our Lack of Access to Images of Copyright-Protected Contemporary Art? Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:21:37 +0000

What are we going to do about copyrighted images of contemporary art?
Amy Ballmer on CUNY: we need legal help; librarians and VR professionals are not always copyright experts
Copy Fraud – Christine Sundt mentioned as a great resource for copyright info; doesn’t apply to contemporary art but still relevant; issues is more about contracts and not copyright – most scholarly use is covered under the law, it’s the permissions culture that is getting in the way
Fair Use best practices by Christine Sundt:
Mentioning both CAA copyright best practices:
and VRA copyright best practices:
-One of the main points being that if you’re using images in teaching you can use them
-As far as dissertations are concerned, it is an academic requirement and not a publication, so image use should be considered under fair use
Against Intellectual Monopoly, a book on controlled and managed intellectual property
How much of this is self-censorship? How much are academics and librarians simply afraid of litigation?
Volunteer Lawyers for the Creative Arts:

Read this alongside Lev Manovich’s talk at 4:45pm, THATCamp CAA Day 2 Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:45:19 +0000

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 4.42.38 PM


The full outline for Lev’s talk, which is being given simultaneously (and for a longer 1.5 hr session) at the Graduate Center, CUNY in New York, is here. Use this webpage to supplement the onscreen/on air discussion.

creating a crowdsourced set of readings for the art history survey Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:26:42 +0000
changing the “textbook” from chronological to something else: thematic (like “communication”), then use a crowdsourced materials (“why do we look at old things”) to create a customized syllabus. no need to reinvent the wheel.
learning outcomes//teaching outcomes (partnership opportunities)
what is it to teach thematically?
finding the right tools for the job//teaching portal
do we focus too much on finding the right tool instead of creating the right content?
wiki model//sustainability//editorship
resources as a forum/community
google+/hangout for a community of peers
what value is a community? (teaching outside your area, first time teaching, responding to new groups of students, new teaching methods – expanding the dialogue)
how do we keep art history separate from other disciplines? (do we need to?)
team teaching/interdisciplinary methodology
falling enrollment rates
changing the language of classes: syllabi changing, class titles changing
k-12/common core changing
ideal resource forum: what would it stress? a skill based model (why learn art history) or thematic (art history itself)
end of session: creating a google+ community –
see also:
links: // // //

introducing digital methods to art history undergrads Tue, 11 Feb 2014 20:34:21 +0000 starting point//link to google doc

how are classrooms set up (what sorts of rooms, how do students interact with professors/other students)

how do we evaluate collaboration (digital badging?)

incorporating media – wikipedia, new media techniques, etc.

how to make these not “silos” and instead a new methodology

“in art history, we need to be leaders and not just follow the humanities”

having students blog, sharing that content on social media like twitter, facebook, etc. using twitter to write a joint paper.

crossing national boundaries to collaborate on work (with blogs/digital online writing).

different platforms for different prompts/audiences

re-photography projects

what skills do we need to cultivate with the students? maybe look at k-12 and museum education for guidelines. more opportunities for the visual.

how do you deal with more traditional mindsets against digital/interactive teaching? and how do  you deal with the students who just won’t get involved?

how do you show the material is getting through to the students? (assessment strategies). individualized feedback, etc.

creating projects that are “real world” examples

having students peer-grade

color wheel examples: CMS, tumblr, produced videos, etc

using digital tools students use everyday to create research projects

taking audience voices that aren’t usually heard to create a survey of a museum

recording thoughts as a blueprint for final piece

digital badging (chicago public schools use this: (press release: personal plug: this is something i’m super interested in exploring as well, if you’d like to talk about it, please email me:

links: // shadowpuppet app //

Notes from crowdsourcing, tagging, collective cataloging project Tue, 11 Feb 2014 20:27:40 +0000

Ian McDermott’s original proposal:

I’d like to propose a General Discussion/Working Session hybrid about the D. James Dee Photo Archive, approx. 250,000 transparencies, slides, and negatives documenting contemporary art in NYC (particularly Soho galleries) from the late 1970s – present. Artstor acquired the archive this summer and is in the process of figuring out how to digitize it and, more importantly, catalog it. The collection isn’t cataloged and the slides aren’t labeled so any effort to effectively describe it will be a collective effort. I’m curious to hear what people think about crowd sourcing, tagging, and any other ideas. The BBC’s Your Paintings project is one example of a successful tagging project but what about extensive crowd sourced cataloging, how much metadata is needed before images are released, is it best to open the cataloging to everyone or a select group?

Existing projects resources:

A common theme as people introduce themselves is wanting to get *good* tags in addition to tags at all — possibly using controlled vocabularies.

Ian asks whether people do know of available tools to use — there are problems with using vendors, and there are other problems with “rolling your own” platform. One participant records Artsy’s experience using Mechanical Turk: it took a developer a couple hours to sync the database with Amazon’s, and thereafter it cost about 1 cent per image even with having about 5 people tag each one. Concerns, though, with labor ethics and with image rights.

The Carnegie Mellon program had a Teeny Harris program to get people to identify who’s in the photo.

John Resig brings up a case where a lot of crowdsourced work that had happened over the course of years was replaced in an afternoon by an advanced “computer vision” technique that helped identify things in photos. General point: before you turn to crowdsourcing, talk to advanced computer scientists to make sure that there’s not a computational technique.

Participant wonders what information would be most needed: gallery, creator, year, people, etcetera.

Amanda brings up LibraryThing’s Legacy Libraries and suggests having a “barn-raising” — an event to engage the community as well as to get some items tagged or cataloged. Ian agrees it can be a terrific jumpstart in particular. Participant raises the issue of how you reach people who “aren’t on the Internet all the time.” John Resig also raises a concern about just expecting people to do all the work: important to “chunk” the work so that it’s doable. At the same time, there are many people who do care passionately about particular items or topics. Participant raises the topic of errors in crowdsourcing: Ian mentions that many projects will only accept data once it has been verified by multiple people. Participant brings up the example of the Steve.Museum, where the curation had to happen after all the tagging. John Resig talks about how often it takes thousands of cases in order to train computer software, so unless your set has thousands and thousands of items, in some cases you might as well just do the work manually yourself, or crowdsource it.

Participant brings up search by image — how does it work? John is going to talk about some of that in the next session.

NOTES: Andrianna Campbell and Ellen Tani – The Impact of Digital Media on the Curatorial Process Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:49:28 +0000

-online formats for curatorial practice

-restaging historical exhibitions online as means to reenter those conversations into history

-? tools with students for curating online exhibition (? identify strong visual experience that fits with digital methods and experiences)

-curating electronic literature, sonic experiences

-rel. physical exhibition and online components/correlatives

-multimedial gallery experience and how can drive participation with physical exhibitions

-how to create a digital experience?

-how make intuitive to participant?

-? why chose physical and/or online space?

-mixed platform exhibitions

-digital space as a freer space? fewer authoritative voices?



-? showing works and exhibitions that weren’t conceived to be online  (e.g. historical objects/exhibitions)

-using tablets to look at on own time, in own space

-project  “Decenter” – decenter how think about abstraction, rethink canon re. Armory show, formal comparison early abstraction and digital manipulation (e.g. photoshop); invited other artists to participate so incorporating social media (aspect can’t incorporate in a gallery, something made for online)

-website environment as “native” environment – a different space from physical gallery space


-?computer as frame to a work of art??


-how do digital media change ideas/notions about “curation” – does  curation become a more collaborative/inclusive process? how is process changed?

-do works for art get changed or understandings/perceptions? new questions?


-good e.g. of digital exhibition – Tate “gallery of lost art” – was temporary  – about works that never really had physical object form – experience like an archivist searching


-? of process and exposing process and how online platforms can do more along these lines


-new work drawn from digital archives; artists who work in code

-? new kinds of ephemerality with dig media works and curation?

-new questions of rights for artists and curators


-?s of control – artists working online gives appearance of control, but not really  much control – challenging space for artists and curators

-?s of preservation/archiving – of digital life cycle with digital works and curation?


-?s of didactics/interpretative materials and discursive spaces of galleries – what is lost? how restore immediacy of engagement with objects?

-danger of info overload with online interpretative tools – question of distraction and right amount of info and options

-rethinking authority of curator

-online spaces allow for multiple “authors” of chat labels (e.g. Wikipedia style labels) – how gallery like spaces like Wikipedia without transparent authority


-how think about exchange between digital and physical exhibition spaces? transitions between the environments

-how democratize selection, interpretation and (interactive) experience?


-how does digital curation change curatorial thinking and practices and/or participant experiences/expectations?

-can think more broadly, think/work more collaboratively, think more deeply (options online for greater depth)


-online catalogues that can free download on iPads (iBook author – can look really nice – good widget options) or Word Press

-good opportunities for student participation/contributions