Friday 9 January 2009

Tearing down the barricades

I would love, love, love to see some New Zealand museums or galleries take part in the Wikipedia Loves Art project that's just kicking off on Flickr.

The point of the project is to gather photos to illustrate Wikipedia articles. A list of desired images will be posted at the end of Jan, and then individuals or small groups can go forth and compete to collect the most shots. From the guidelines that have just been posted on Flickr:

Qualification Notes:

1) Shots submitted must be licensed with the correct creative commons license required by Wikipedia. That's got to be either "Attribution Creative Commons" or "Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons". There is no resolution requirement.

2) You can only shoot works of art in the public domain, so as a general rule, only works of art created prior to 1923 will be able to qualify. This will differ from country to country, so check with the Wikimedians for general help with this.

3) Images can only be taken at participating institutions (following their guidelines posted below) and must uploaded during February 2009.

4) In the caption, your images must include the object's full identification and credit line from the object's label; your team's name; and the category this image defines so that we can assign points. Each institution may ask you to tackle getting this information in different ways, so best to see the each venue's guidelines posted below for more information.

5) Images must be your own work, submitted by you.

This could be a great opportunity to engage with the Flickr community in your area - the Wellington group in particular is very strong. You'll also be in very good institutional company: Shelley Bernstein from Brooklyn Museum put out the call this morning, and LACMA, the IMA, the V&A and the Met are all on board.


Anonymous said...

Are there that many pre-1923 artworks currently on display in NZ?

Courtney Johnston said...

It's not the best of times, no.

There's a load in Toi Te Papa, and also a decent showing at Christchurch Art Gallery. It's years since I've been to the DPAG, and I'm unsure whether they have a ongoing hang of the permanent collection. Auckland Art Gallery is not a great bet, as they're currently limited to the one building, and the Sarjeant only has contemporary and modern up at the moment.

I think a more significant problem will be that the list is likely to skew towards the US, although with the V&A involved it might feature British artists who will cross over to colonial artists in New Zealand.

Another potential trip-wire; I'm almost certain I'm right when I say that in New Zealand 'public domain' is not a legal concept. Our legislation extends copyright until 50 years after the death of the creator. There's another complicating factor in that early artists may have been born in and then resided in a number of countries.

So no, it's not easy, and photography policies are - in this context, at least - comparatively the easiest thing to nut out and alter. But I figure we can need to use challenges/opportunities like this to force ourselves figure these conundrums out.

Sarah Eades said...

if only we (the Auckland Art Gallery) were in the Main Building and allowed photography inside the gallery this would be perfect. Do the galleries in Wellington allow photography inside?

Courtney Johnston said...

City Gallery = fail, the Dowse and Pataka I'm unsure about, and Te Papa allows 'ambient' shots but not close-ups of individual objects.

The photo policies of all the participating institutions are listed on the Flickr page about the project.

Who knows - maybe Chch will come to the party?