Oh, the humanities.
Digitizing Fluxus West at the University of Iowa
Emily Frieda Shaw
Digital Preservation Librarian
Univ...
Fluxus
• Avant-garde movement, 1950s-1980s
• Anti-art, anti-commercial, highly experimental aesthetics
Fluxus West
• Est. ...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Incubation
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
We have a
...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Fluxus is
...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Fluxus is
...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Fluxus is
...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Fluxus is
...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Fluxus is
...
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Incubation
English Faculty
Member
The Studio
Digital
Research &
Publishing
Preservation &
Conservation
Special
Collections
Execution
Variations 1-5 by Gustave Cerutti, 1972
Found Art Boyd Envelope sent by Donald Boyd 2007
Sock of the Month (first edition) by Ken Friedman, 1970
Yoko Ono’s hair from a Hair
Cutting Event
3D scanning set up
Photography set up
Flux Year Box
2, George
Maciunas, 1968
Fur-covered dish. Unknown artist. 1959-1981?
New Flux Year, George Maciunas, 1965
Metal Bells; artist unknown, 1968-1970
A few lessons learned so far
• Unconventional collections (like experimental Fluxus art) will
break the mold of well-oiled...
Thanks to everyone who has worked on this project so far,
including Dr. Stephen Voyce, Hannah Scates-Kettler, Matthew
Butl...
VRA2014 Collaboration in archives and special collections, Shaw
VRA2014 Collaboration in archives and special collections, Shaw
VRA2014 Collaboration in archives and special collections, Shaw
VRA2014 Collaboration in archives and special collections, Shaw
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

VRA2014 Collaboration in archives and special collections, Shaw

485

Published on

Presented by Emily Shaw at the Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association, March 12-15, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Session #10: Case Studies in Collaboration within Archival and Special Collection Environments

MODERATOR: Amanda Grace Sikarskie, Western Michigan University
PRESENTERS:
• Edward Benoit III, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
• Jim Cunningham, Illinois State University
• Emily Shaw, University of Iowa
• Amanda Grace Sikarskie, Western Michigan University
Each of the presentations in this session tells a story of collaborations between archivists or special collections librarians and content area scholars. While the content of these speakers’ projects differs greatly—from circus-related images to quilt and embroidery programs on public television to the conceptual art of the Fluxus group—each project benefited from a team approach that made use of various skill sets. Both Jim Cunningham and Amanda Sikarskie worked on digitization projects of collections for which metadata (which was collected in the mid-twentieth century) were initially incomplete, outdated, or just plain inaccurate, prompting partnerships between archivists and content experts at outside institutions. Edward Benoit III’s minimal processing project, on the other hand, dealt with a variety of collections and content areas. It ultimately led to a similar outcome, however, solving the problem of minimal metadata by inviting scholars to participate in social tagging of the collections. Finally, Emily Shaw’s work with the digitization of the Fluxus West collection at the University of Iowa tells the story of forging new relationships through interdepartmental collaboration within a large research university. Please join us for this dynamic session that will be of interest to archivists, librarians, and content experts alike.

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
485
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
7
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • There were five major players who have come together to make this happen.
  • University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections – home to the Fluxus West collection. [Check out our Tumblr and Twitter feeds! We have a great outreach and education coordinator for Special Collections, and she’s all up in social media.]
  • A newly-hired member of the English faculty was drawn to Iowa in large part because of his scholarly interest in Fluxus.
  • This new prof was part of a digital humanities cluster hire
  • Said professor was also affiliated with the Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities (a.k.a. “The Studio”)…
  • …which is “a campus-wide initiative that encourages and supports public digital humanities research, scholarship and learning, facult, staff graduate and undergraduate students.”
  • DRP is a department in the Library, physically co-located in the same workspace as the Studio. The librarians and staff in this Library department serve a liaison role with faculty and researchers working on digital projects, particularly in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and with campus-wide initiatives like The Studio, and also manage the Libraries’ institutional repository (Iowa Research Online) and public-facing digitized collections (The Iowa Digital Library). DRP has a history and culture of innovation and experimentation, so they thought “sure! Let’s do this.”[Plug DIY History here]
  • And finally, the Libraries’ Preservation and Conservation Department. This is where I work. Digital reformatting happens in our Preservation & Conservation Department, where we conform, to the best of our abilities, to standards and best practices for preservation reformatting. We have a lot of experience with paper-based collections (bound and unbound manuscripts, photos, printed material), and are developing workstreams for AV content. Considerably less experience with 3D art objects, such as pervade the Fluxus West collections. We also integrate review of physical collections into the digitization process, so that while collections and individual artifacts are with us and being digitized, they are also cleaned, mended, repaired or rehoused as needed, sometimes before, sometimes during and sometimes after the scanning work is done.
  • So, each of these five main organizational entities played a role in bringing this in-process project to fruition. Each has been essential at different stages. While Special Collections provided curatorial oversight and the initiating Faculty member from English helped to guide the project, when it actually came down to executing this project…
  • …the bulk of the actual work has been done by these 3 units. A temporary librarian position was created by the Libraries to liaise between the Studio and the Libraries to coordinate work on this and other projects.
  • Since this is a multi-media collection, often called “intermedia”, the artifacts took many different forms, both 2D and 3D. These prints from GustaveCerutti were fairly straightforward.Scanned with an Epson 10000XL flatbed scanner
  • Scanned with an Epson 10000XL flatbed scanner
  • And even some 3D objects, like this sock in an envelope sent by Ken Friedman to Fletcher Copp in 1970, could be captured well with a flatbed scanner.Scanned with an Epson 10000XL flatbed scanner
  • But other objects would not lend themselves quite as easily to scanning of the sort we’re used to for book and paper-based collections. We knew we were going to have to experiment with some digitization methods such that, while not new to the world, were new to us.
  • So, while staff in Preservation and Conservation began scanning the 2D content, staff from the Studio and DRP set up a photography studio, as well as a 3D scanning studio.
  • Some objects in the collections, like this Flux Year Box from 1968, contains many different parts. Much of it was intended to be ephemeral, and intended to interacted with. But 45 year-old cardboard, sliips of paper, loose film strips, broken balloons, many incorporating failing adhesives and early plastics are not good candidates for unfettered public access. However, digitizing every piece would be hugely time-consuming, and individual images would be a poor substitute for interacting with the original.
  • MuchFluxus art is very playful, so I think everyone has had a good time working with all of it. There were many times, though, when we found ourselves scratching our heads and discussing questions like “what is the best way to digitize a fur-covered dish with a degrading balloon?”
  • ” Or “how many blank pages of the “Book about nothing” do wereally need to scan?
  • How do we represent an interactive piece like this? Answer: a video.
  • Or these bells? Combination of still photography and sound recording.
  • Like so many of our peers, we have a large, ContentDM repository of collections and associated descriptive metadata the have digitized over the past 10 years or so. We call it the Iowa Digital Library, or IDL Usually, for archival collections staff from Pres/Cons create the digital images and send the high-resolution digital masters to archival storage, DRP uploads copies of the images to the Iowa Digital Library, and staff in our Cataloging-Metadata department flesh out the descriptive metadata. That works well for manuscript collections, photo collections, and other paper-based collections where you have a lot of objects of a similar type, with similar metadata.However, the Fluxus West collection consists of objects captured on many different types of media and by many different artists. Because of this diversity and complexity, and because of the distributed nature of the digital capture, the work of uploading to CONTENTdm and creating metadata was also distributed and performed by the same person who did the digital object capture. AsI’ve already noted, the collection is diverse and contains many pieces that would be ripe for re-imagining. So, at this point in the project, we are continuing to photograph collection items and flesh out the digital collection in the Iowa Digital Library. But staff from the Studio are also building a website that will pull images and metadata from the Iowa Digital Library into a Drupal-based site that will -- at least this is the intent – provide for more robust interaction with the collection. User testing is getting under way, and a public launch will happen some time later this year.
  • VRA2014 Collaboration in archives and special collections, Shaw

    1. 1. Oh, the humanities. Digitizing Fluxus West at the University of Iowa Emily Frieda Shaw Digital Preservation Librarian University of Iowa Libraries emily-f-shaw@uiowa.edu VRA 32, Session 10: Collaboration within Archival and Special Collections Environments March 14, 2014
    2. 2. Fluxus • Avant-garde movement, 1950s-1980s • Anti-art, anti-commercial, highly experimental aesthetics Fluxus West • Est. by Ken Friedman in1966, to represent the work of the Fluxus group and its members in the Western U.S. • incl. George Maciunas, Dick Higgins, Joseph Beuys, Christo, George Brecht, Bob Watts Fluxus West at Iowa • Transferred from Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California [year?] • 19 linear feet, 9 oversized boxes
    3. 3. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Incubation
    4. 4. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections We have a whole bunch of Fluxus West stuff! Incubation
    5. 5. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Fluxus is awesome, let’s do some digital humanities! We have a whole bunch of Fluxus West stuff! Incubation
    6. 6. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Fluxus is awesome, let’s do some digital humanities! We have a whole bunch of Fluxus West stuff! Incubation
    7. 7. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Fluxus is awesome, let’s do some digital humanities! Did someone say digital humanities? That’s our jam. We have a whole bunch of Fluxus West stuff! Incubation
    8. 8. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Fluxus is awesome, let’s do some digital humanities! Did someone say digital humanities? That’s our jam. Sure, we’ll put a digital collection together. 3D? Why not? We have a whole bunch of Fluxus West stuff! Incubation
    9. 9. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Fluxus is awesome, let’s do some digital humanities! Did someone say digital humanities? That’s our jam. Ooh, digitizing Fluxus! That will be fun. Also, preservation. Sure, we’ll put a digital collection together. 3D? Why not? We have a whole bunch of Fluxus West stuff! Incubation
    10. 10. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Incubation
    11. 11. English Faculty Member The Studio Digital Research & Publishing Preservation & Conservation Special Collections Execution
    12. 12. Variations 1-5 by Gustave Cerutti, 1972
    13. 13. Found Art Boyd Envelope sent by Donald Boyd 2007
    14. 14. Sock of the Month (first edition) by Ken Friedman, 1970
    15. 15. Yoko Ono’s hair from a Hair Cutting Event
    16. 16. 3D scanning set up Photography set up
    17. 17. Flux Year Box 2, George Maciunas, 1968
    18. 18. Fur-covered dish. Unknown artist. 1959-1981?
    19. 19. New Flux Year, George Maciunas, 1965
    20. 20. Metal Bells; artist unknown, 1968-1970
    21. 21. A few lessons learned so far • Unconventional collections (like experimental Fluxus art) will break the mold of well-oiled Special Collections digitization workflows. • Innovation requires experimentation, and not all experiments work out. • Have fun with cool collections, but be careful not to over-use them. • Clearly articulate project goals, roles and procedures, but give these all room to grow and change.
    22. 22. Thanks to everyone who has worked on this project so far, including Dr. Stephen Voyce, Hannah Scates-Kettler, Matthew Butler, Candida Pagan, Audrey Altman and Nikki Dudley. Emily Frieda Shaw Digital Preservation Librarian University of Iowa Libraries emily-f-shaw@uiowa.edu
    1. A particular slide catching your eye?

      Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

    ×