Since the summer, the Visual Resources Centre has been busy adding new titles to our collection of DVDs. Below is a selection of the most interesting. To find more details about each film, click on its thumbnail.
A newly launched website, art.sy, has as its mission to make all of the world’s art available to anyone with an internet connection. The website is powered by The Art Genome Project, a collaboration between art historians and computer scientists which studies the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art. The technology behind it is mostly open source, and for those interested in the techie side of it, the Art.sy Engineering Blog has all the information one could possibly need. The important part, however, is that The Art Genome is a giant taxonomy of art-related concepts. There has been some controversy about the way the project relates artists and artworks – some artists are unhappy about how their work is being categorised-, but the scale of the work, and the combination of art-historical research and computer science is fascinating, and it will be interesting to see whether, as the project grows, the genomes and the relationships they establish between artists and artworks continue to be as meaningful.
The site is particularly strong on contemporary art. Looking at their Browse categories, one can look at artworks by style, contemporary art, subject, medium or technique, and region. Clicking on Conceptualism produces 2,516 results, with artists as varied as Tracey Emin and Ai Wei Wei. The quality of the images is excellent and, although the site’s licensing agreements with their artwork image providers do not allow for image downloads, simply browsing through the site is a great way of learning about art.
Art.sy is also establishing collaborations with contemporary artists, such as this short video of artist Cai Guo Qiang’s work, Sky Ladder.
Art.sy is certainly a project to watch, and a great source of inspiration for art students.
The Visual Resources Centre has a substantial collection of DVDs on painting and drawing, both documentaries and feature films. The following is a selection of our highlights. We welcome your recommendations for DVD titles about other artists and artistic periods.
Second year sculpture students will be participating in a really interesting project on the first week of November, called Treasure Hunt/ Research and Destroy! To help with their research on the artists listed for the project, we have created the following list of resources and links to interesting videos and websites.
To find images of the artists’ works that can be downloaded for presentations, use ARTstor or the NCAD Digital Image Library. ARTstor has a YouTube channel, with very useful 3-minute videos on how to use the database. You can also download the ARTstor User Guide. and the NCAD Digital Image Library User Guide.
The following is a list of web links and videos related to some of the artists listed in the project, particularly those for whom there were no images or DVDs in the NCAD collections. Click on the artists’ names to see websites related to them. To see videos of or about their work, click on the links below the names:
The artist Ai Wei Wei has been missing since April 3rd 2011, when he was arrested by the Chinese authorities in Hong Kong airport. It is always difficult to comprehend what is lost when a human being “disappears”, but in this case, there is plenty of evidence of his contribution to art and to the cause of humanity.
The NCAD Library has recently acquired the DVD Fairytale, which documents the project of the same name that the artist created for Documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007. For this project, Ai Weiwei invited 1001 Chinese citizens of different ages and from various backgrounds to Germany to experience their own fairytale for 28 days.
Fairytale can be borrowed from the Visual Resources Centre.
Google has embarked on an Art Project using its Google Maps Street View that allows users to visit entire sections of well known museums and galleries virtually. Although it is an interesting concept, it also highlights the difficulties that projects of this type can encounter: some museums only allowed access to specific sections of their galleries, so the ‘virtual visit’ is not quite complete. The art:21 blog has a really interesting article on this topic:
For those of you in 2nd year sculpture doing research into artists from the Treasure Hunt/ Research and Destroy project, here are a few artist videos that may be interesting:
Students in 2nd year Sculpture at NCAD are currently working on a project called Treasure Hunt/ Research and Destroy, which involves researching pairs of artists, gathering images, media and information about them. Certain artists from the list provided by the sculpture tutors are not well represented either in the NCAD Digital Image Library, in ARTstor or in our video/DVD library. For this reason, we have compiled a list of websites with useful information about those particular artists, with good images of their work. See also our NCADVR video section on the right hand side of this page, which has videos on Isa Genzken, Didier Fiuza Faustino and Richard Wilson.
Lucy Orta: Studio Orta
Roman Signer: Artist’s website
Do-Ho-Suh: Artist profile in art:21
For help on how to create presentations about these artists, and work with images of their work [for instance, in Photoshop], see our Useful Tools section, or come to the Visual Resources Centre for a quick introduction.
Digital Art Museum is an online resource for the history and practice of digital fine art. It informs on historical and on contemporary positions chosen by an advisory panel.
It exhibits the work of leading Artists in this field since 1956. [DAM] is an on-line museum with a comprehensive exhibition of Digital Art supported by a wide range of background information including biographies, articles, a bibliography and interviews.