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STARS Workshop 9 December 2008: 11am-3pm

  • Posted by AngelaPiccini on 27 November 2008
  • Attending: Tilo Burghardt, Bex Carrington, Paul Clarke, Jo Elsworth, Peter Flach, Terry Flaxton, Benjamin Miller, Barry Parsons, Angela Piccini, Michael Punt, Nikki Rogers, Damien Steer, Jasper Tredgold

    10.30-11.00 Meet at ILRT, 8-10 Berkeley Square, Bristol

    11.00-11.15 Intro from STARS team
    The STARS team introduced the aims and objectives of the project. Nikki and Angela went back and forth to try to discuss the background to the project in PARIP Explorer. The PARIP project had necessitated the development of an online database of practitioner-researchers. As PARIP researcher at the time, Angela wanted to work towards a database that would reflect the key conceptual and aesthetic issues at the heart of the PARIP project. Specifically, PARIP was concerned with relationships between event and document. Within practice-as-research too often the documents generated by practice come to stand in for the practice itself. How might a database serve to keep the tension between the ephemeral and the artefactual live? By developing the PARIP database as a semantic web application, the aim was to produce an online resource that would be open-ended and user-generated. This was back in 2002 and we were responding to the earliest Web 2.0 innovations. STARS emerged out of the PARIP project and out of a subsequent series of AHRC-funded e-Science workshops. Where PARIP included textual information visualised through an innovative web-based mapping interface, STARS wanted to implement search, play, annotate and re-use functions for moving image content. Adhering to an open source ethos STARS has been working with Watershed and the Arts Council funded Thrive project to develop an application that can be used across a number of institutions – both academic and non-academic – to begin to free up video archives. The goal is for users to be able seemlessly to find, annotate and connect a wide range of materials, to make new meanings and new works from online archives.

    11.15-11.30 Brief intro from Jasper Tredgold and Simon Price about content and login process. Workshop participants will sit in groups of 2 around PCs.

    11.30-11.45 Unstructured ‘play’. The STARS team will observe how workshop participants interact with the tool ‘cold’, without prompt.

    11.45-12.15 More structured session where participants will be given 3 broad questions to explore with the tool. We’re interested in how you go about the task and where you encounter things that you’d like to see work differently. What are your specific needs as individuals and within your disciplinary / practice communities?

    At this point in the day a number of issues were raised by workshop participants that indicated that we needed to do more work to situate the project. Despite the fact that the application is designed to work with online video, some questioned why we had designed the application to work within a browser as that imposed a certain conceptual-aesthetic framing on to the project. This is an important point in terms of the decisions made to work in an open source environment to work with online material. Other participants found it difficult to see the link to their own work, which focuses more on the fragmentation of classificatory systems as a critical-creative practice in itself. Again, this was a really useful observation and we needed to be more explicit about how STARS is situated within the tension between the critical-creative, academic, open source and industrial worlds. We also need to go back to basics to explain what, why and how semantic web.

    12.15-1.00pm Feedback session led by Nikki Rogers, with research details from Jasper Tredgold and Simon Price

    1.00-1.30 lunch (and more informal feedback)

    1.30-2.15 3 x 15-min informal presentations:

    –Barry Parsons of the NRLA/Theatre Collection on the digitisation of the National Review of Live Art archive;

    –Geoff Cox and possibly one other from Plymouth to talk about their work in the Arts and Social Technologies Research group, particularly work with Arnolfini;

    –Peter Flach and Tilo Burghardt on Bristol’s CompSci Visualisation work.

    2.15-2.45 Discussion led by Angela Piccini around common themes and areas for collaborative research

    2.45-3.00 Action points (what do we do next to ensure longevity and future development?) and close

    We generated a lot of feedback from the day that has fed into the next stage of development, which will be blogged about soon.

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