Blog for the JISC-funded Kultivate project

CAiRO (Curating Artistic Research Output) Summer School

Kultivate represented the role of institutional repositories in the arts at the CAiRO Summer School, held at the University of Bristol’s Drama: Theatre, Film, Television Department. The event was spread over four days (27th-30th June) covering the following themes:

  • Evidencing
  • Managing
  • Delivering
  • Workshops

The following is a partial account of the ‘Delivering’ themed day held on Wednesday 29th June. The audience comprised of about 25-30 researchers from within and outside of UK Higher Education, from MA to PhD and beyond. The timetable for the day was necessarily fluid in order to accommodate the fantastic lively discussion and debate.

Morning session
Dr Paul Clarke spoke about documenting work for assessment. Stephen Gray tackled enquires about completing an AHRC technical appendix after his talk. Stephen mentioned that there had been a lot of discussion around the word ‘curated’ as this was used both in terms of ‘data curation’ and in the sense of curating works in an exhibition. John Hargreaves from JISC Digital Media gave a presentation on Copyright and Creative Commons. He reminded us that just because an item has a Creative Commons License, we shouldn’t assume it has been correctly applied. The issue was also raised of applying licenses to collaborative works, and a member of the audience mentioned that they had used a consortium agreement to establish which license would apply to the works.

Afternoon session
Michael Schwab spoke about the Journal for Artistic Research, which is an online journal that uses the Research Catalogue (RC) software. The RC software is available to all artistic researchers, with or without institutional affiliations, once they have signed and posted an agreement regarding the copyright of their works. The Journal for Artistic Research is an online creative environment in which artistic researchers can expose their work as research for it to be peer-reviewed and published. Some of the challenges that they are encountering include: the split between the academic and non-academic sides of research; the process for peer-reviewing artistic research; and issues with defining the borders between practice and writing. Michael spoke about his own practice and writing during his Royal College of Art PhD in photography and about the relationship between practice and theory in artistic research.

The Kultivate project presented an introduction to the concept of institutional repositories, which is difficult due to the terminology used and their traditional text-based appearance. The participants had mostly signed up to attend the ‘Building an online portfolio’ workshop (for the following day) and so it seemed particularly important to highlight the benefits of using a repository as a ‘secure online showcase’ for your work. The Kultur enhancements (judging by their audible reaction) were well received. Paper-based feedback was gathered about institutional repositories from the audience as part of the talk, and will be written up in another blog post shortly.

Jo Ana Morfin Guerrero spoke about her PhD research into ‘Unstable Documents: Archiving and Preservation Practices’. Her background is as a conservator, but she also has an MA in Curating, and is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Bristol supervised by Dr. Paul Clarke. The audience were shocked to learn that the Dutch government is cutting funding for Media Art from January 2013. Her talk emphasised the importance of documentation in preserving Media Art and raised issues she had encountered in her investigation including: the disorganised state of some archives; the lack of funding for preservation or documentation as the money was needed to support new exhibitions; and the problems with inaccessible data housed in proprietary database programmes.

The event ended with a presentation on the National Review of Live Art’s Video Archive by Amanda Egbe, and further discussion.


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