Implementing the infrastructure for Dimitris Papaioannou’s archive:approaching the degrees of separation in his work

TitleImplementing the infrastructure for Dimitris Papaioannou’s archive:approaching the degrees of separation in his work
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsPoulopoulos V, Papalexiou E, Vassilakis C, Xepapadakou A, Vraka V
Conference NameDARIAH 2023 (poster presentation)
Keywordscultural informatics, Cultural Metadata, Cultural Semantics, Performance art

Creating the infrastructure for an archive is considered, nowadays, to be a trivial procedure. Several tools (e.g. Omeka [2], CollectiveAccess[3], CollectionSpace[4]) and prototypes (eg. Dublin Core [5], VRA CORE [6]) are available for use in order to, either directly install and use a CMS for cultural related data (first case), or build a system “from scratch” based on a common prototype (second case). This procedure would lead to the digitization of at least an archive’s metadata and to the organization of the archive itself; it would offer the ability to search for information in the archive in an easy way, it would allow people to access the information of the archive, and it could also be part of a larger cultural data lake (Europeana). The solutions for these use cases, are extant, present and available. On the other hand, occasionally one comes across archives of artists that have a special view of art, are ahead of their time, design their own universe, and they keep evolving it throughout their life. In this paper, we discuss the implementation of the archive for Dimitiris Papaioannou, a diverse archive which includes several different types of data. In this case, we have selected a special approach, in order to fully capture the artistic aspects of the archive’s content, which was analyzed in the context of the GENESIS project [1]. Throughout this project, the procedure through which the artist approaches the performance arts and generates ideas was recorded and analyzed. Following the aforementioned analysis, the archive material provides insight for the artist’s visual arts, his dancing roads and his performances, and unveils his approach to performance arts (or art, in general). Then, the archive is structured in a way that would allow all archive visitors, including the general public as well as researchers, to obtain information about the individual elements of the work, but also locate the “genetic material” of the artist into the archive. To achieve this goal, interdisciplinary research involving the cooperation of scientists and researchers from both the humanities and the technology domains was required. The research team designed an information layer entailing objective information (e.g. works, performances, participants and their roles etc.) and subjective information (e.g. tagging or free text descriptions), and accommodating semantic links between them. Metadata were also associated to information items, where applicable. The information layer fully serves the needs for information search and retrieval, while it additionally provides the underpinnings for data mining procedures that can possibly reveal patterns or data correlations that have remained unobserved.