Re-Packaging Irksome Toil

Proposal Prolog:

I recently retired from George Eastman House where I served as Director of Interpretation (and for a time, by default, as make-shift CIO).   Collecting institutions unaffiliated with muscular university information technology face special challenges in the management, cataloging, interpretation, and sharing of fine-art photographs and related artists’ media.  For medium size or smaller museums and other independent organizations, the production of adequate collections information, mark-up, and data conformation for international aggregation has been difficult to staff and fund.  Even with today’s tools and increasingly powerful open-source cataloging projects, directors and trustees of institutions with other pressing programming priorities view such work as labor-intensive irksome toil – budget lines with the lowest return on the dollar and decades in the wilderness.


My proposal is a thought experiment that would put aside the above conundrum, and imagine refinements to the somewhat industrial systems of Digital Asset Management (DAM) – allowing the museum asset (digital facsimile or born-digital object) to function as an armature for the accumulation of image/object metadata and all manner of links and affiliations.


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About Roger Bruce

Visual arts Funding Coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC; Established and directed New York State's Artists Fellowship Program now operated within the New York Foundation for the Arts, NYC; recently retired from George Eastman House in Rochester, NY after serving as Director of Interpretation and leading the Museum’s collections information initiatives. Slavoj Žižek? As my son Carter Bruce said of his Charlie Rose interview, "Seriously hot shirt-pinching action."