Monday, April 19, 2010

GPS for Art

Recently, a friend called my attention to an article about an effort to document of public art via Wikipedia. According to the article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education,

Documentation of public art, particularly digital documentation, lags behind other art forms. Jennifer Geigel Mikulay, an assistant professor and public scholar of visual culture at Indiana-Purdue, started the project, Wikipedia Saves Public Art, with Richard S. McCoy, an associate conservator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. They taught a course together last fall at Indiana-Purdue, in which they asked students to write Wikipedia articles with a local and art-historical context about pieces of public art on the campus. The students used a GPS tracking device to obtain coordinates for each piece so that article readers could find it in real life.

Now Ms. Mikulay, Mr. McCoy, and some students are writing Wikipedia entries for pieces of public art around Indianapolis. They also tag pre-existing entries that fit the project with a Wikipedia Saves Public Art banner. So far, they've tagged more than 900. At this point, there aren't many members on the project's Wikipedia page, and participation hasn't moved much beyond Indianapolis. Still, those involved are hopeful that people across the globe will use Wikipedia to document the public art in their communities.

The list is not comprehensive but could be a good starting point for people who want to write Wikipedia articles about local sculptures, Ms. Mikulay said. In fact, the group in Indianapolis is attempting to convert the list for their city into Wikipedia entries.

It is a novel but logical idea and I hope its success will facilitate broader usage of modern technology in the art world.

I always want to have a system, maybe a GPS system, which can tell the locations of particular paintings, sculptures, or drawings at given period of time. Which is not only a great tool for museums and galleries to advertise their treasures, but a wonderful instrument for tourist industry as well, particularly for people like me who plan their trips to the hours.

Apple, Google, are you listening?

Matthew Felix Sun's Drawing_7231

1 comment:

  1. Someone pointed out to me two interesting websites, relating to this blog entry:

    "Tales of things"

    and "Google's Pink"