February 20, 2017 - Mon
The STARS project is funded by JISC

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About the STARS Project

STARS roughly stands for Semantic Tools for Screen Arts Research. This project has now finished, but we still blog occasionally as interest in STARS continues. The STARS project is about producing software and linking online content with functionality allowing end-users a good information visualisation tool, to make multi-media annotations in a collaborative online environment and using Semantic Web technology to support easy search, discovery and linking for Screen Arts materials, including audio-visual content.

STARS can also be used as a tool to support Workshops – see for example this nice video by University of Bristol Drama Department Researcher Paul Clarke who describes how STARS was used here as part of a workshop series hosted by JISC Digital Media and the University of Bristol Drama Department in 2009 .

STARS has been a collaboration between ILRT’s Web Futures team at the University of Bristol, together with Bristol University’s Drama department and Bristol’s Watershed Media Centre, and was awarded JISC Capital funding in 2007 for an 18 month project to develop the innovative PARIP Explorer tool and access to Watershed dShed archives among other sources of rich audio-visual, screen-arts data.

Example of PARIPExplorer incorporating audio visual content for replay

Our project aimed to allow researchers to use PARIP Explorer’s intuitive approach in order to browse and search connections between people, online practice-led research data, and networked screen arts media recordings. Behind the scenes Semantic Web and other technologies combine to allow data to be connected ‘seamlessly’ for the user of the system. This powerful new tool allows screen arts researchers to browse and replay moving image content and understand its thematic links to those people and communities involved in aspects of its creation. This has the potential to inspire new collaborations between screen arts researchers across both academia and industry plus also pave the way to more generalised systems that can search and play audio-visual, online content, contextualised for specific domains. In essence we believe we have created a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for Researchers in the Screen or Performing Arts, transferable to other domains.

Where Next?

The software will continue to undergo development and considerable extension in a new subject domain – that of Historical Photographs and resources relating to China in the last century and even earlier. Please see the Visualising China project blog for more information.

Further Background
The PARIP Explorer tool was first created at the ILRT in conjunction with Angela Piccini from the Drama Department as part of the AHRB-funded PARIP (Practice as Research in Performance) project. The Watershed have generously contributed in-kind support for this new project and is allowing access to content from its dShed digital arts wing – content which includes a significant amount of film and other material contributed by not-for-profit organisations, schools, colleges, universities, companies and individuals.

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