Into the Future

architectgroundhogInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Into the Future


PUTTING

THE NATIONAL REVIEW OF LIVE ART

(1986
-
2010) VIDEO ARCHIVE

ONLINE




SIMON JONES

PROFESSOR OF PERFORMANCE

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

Practice
-
as
-
Research:

Bodies in Flight


Documentation of performance:

Catalogues; CDs; DVDs


CD
-
ROM Archival project:

Flesh & Text
(2001,

AHRB & Arts Council funded,

CI Sara Giddens NTU)




LAA research context @ Bristol


2005
-
06: transfer of archives from Nottingham Trent University,
refurbishment of archive
-
store & research space, transfer of staff: Prof
Barry Smith & Bex Carrington Keeper of LAA.


2006
-
09:
Capturing the Past, preserving the Future: Digitizing the
National Review of Live Art Video Archive
: PI for final year; original PI
Prof Barry Smith (AHRC
-
funded Resource Enhancement: £297k).


2006
-
09: GWR Fellowship in the Creative Arts:
Performing the
Archive:
PI, 3
-
year project with Arnolfini and Exeter University Department of
Drama (Great Western Research funded: £105k).


2010
-
12:
Into the Future
: PI, 1
-
year project with Theatre Collection
to complete and enhance access to Live Art Archives (CIs Drs Paul
Clarke & Angela Piccini) (AHRC
-
funded digital equipment and
database scheme: £115k).


2011
-
14:
Performing Documents
: PI, 3
-
year project with Arnolfini,
Inbetween Time Productions and the Theatre Collection to model
creative engagements with performance archives (CIs Dr Paul Clarke &
Prof Nick Kaye [Exeter]) (AHRC
-
funded: £453k).


INTO THE FUTURE’S AIMS:


1. To make the complete and definitive archive of the National Review of Live Art (NRLA) available in an online version,
providing a virtual research environment of direct use to academics, professional practitioners, artists and curators,
students and the public.



2. To maximise the sustainability, usability, interoperability and stability of the data created from the AHRC funded
project
-

Capturing the Past, Preserving the Future: Digitisation of the NRLA Video Archive.



3. To explore issues of accessibility and usability in terms of providing breath and/or depth of digitised (predominately
moving image) data, metadata and also enhanced metadata delivered through the Performing Arts Documentation
System (PADS).



4. To develop and enhance user
-
friendly "visual" ways of disseminating and exploring data through developing the
JISC
-
funded Semantic Tool for Arts Research (STARS) project, which arose out of the AHRC
-
funded Practice As
Research In Performance (PARIP) project.



5. To develop a sustainable, user
-
friendly, web
-
based system for delivering digitised content and metadata, in
partnership with the Institute of Learning and Research Technologies, Advanced Computing Research Centre and
High Performance Computing (ILRT, ACRC, HPC), which can then be used as a model for other projects.



6. To provide the widest possible dissemination to a range of audiences and users through the online platform, and so
extend the impact of the NRLA digital archive, which is currently only accessible to Theatre Collection visitors in
person.

NRLA FESTIVALS ONLINE

ARCHIVE / PROJECT STATISTICS


584 artists or groups over 30 years of the festival
running


1811 video files


existing in four formats, ranging from U
-
Matic to Mini
DV tape


the raw dataset on HPC: 43.5TB, 6.5TB from 2007
-
10,
plus 37TB from 1986
-
2006


587 DVDs from 2007
-
10


332 users [@ 22mar13] with 3 registering per day

MATRIX OF AGENTS

PROJECT PARTNERS

LIVE ART ARCHIVES

THEATRE
COLLECTION

CO
-
INVESTIGATORS

NRLA/ NEW MOVES

INSTITUTE OF
LEARNING &
RESEARCH
TECHNOLOGIES

JISC DIGITAL MEDIA

HIGH
-
PERFORMANCE
COMPUTING


EXTERNAL
COMMUNITIES


ARTISTS &
PRODUCERS


PEFORMANCE &

VISUAL ARTS

ACADEMICS

ARCHIVES &
MUSEUMS

STUDENTS &
TEACHERS

INSTITUTIONAL


ETHICS COMMITTEES:

FACULTY & UNIVERSITY


MANAGEMENT BOARDS:

TC & HPC


IT SERVICES


LEGAL SERVICES


CONTRACT SERVICES


PUBLIC RELATIONS

NATIONAL


REGULATOR:

JANET


LEGAL

PROJECT COLLABORATORS



Co
-
investigators: Paul Clarke & Angela
Piccini

[PADS & STARS case
-
studies]



Project staff:

Research assistant: [technical & processes]




Project assistant [digitizing & databases]




Administrative assistants

[artist communications]



Theatre Collection [databases, artists liaison] & [ethical & IPR]



From NRLA: Nikki
Milican

[artistic director & visiting professor 2006
-
10]



From ILRT [interface/ site development & user
-
interactivity/ STARS development]



From JISC Digital Media [interface/ site development]



From HPC [data storage & retrieval, new protocols for long
-
term data storage]



From RED [IPR artists’ contracts] & Birgit Whitman [research governance]



From Legal Services [Director of Legal Services, ethical & legal issues; IPR issues, contracts,
provenance of archives]



Arts Faculty Ethics Committee [ethical approval]



From Information Services [Director, leading university approval & internet security issues & liaison
with regulator JANET]



From Public Relations [director, reputational issues]

TECHNICAL ASPECTS


PRESERVATION: Every tape captured and held for archival purposes as raw .avi files,


then converted to MPEG
-
2 files as a working format for trans
-
coding into DVDs for the TC archive and copies for artists,


then .flv files for the site.



Each file has a unique metadata profile, which was an implementation of the Performance Arts Data Structure [PADS].



ONLINE ARCHIVE: website combines data modelling, video streaming, large
-
scale data storage, video annotations, relational
-
data visualisations, bookmarking, collaboration, user
-
contributed material, searching and case
-
studies.



Integrated together into cohesive site using the open
-
source Drupal Content Management System.



The open
-
source Red5 streaming server provides the video
-
streaming functionality on a scale normally only associated with
commercial providers.



Custom modules integrate research efforts from the earlier JISC
-
funded Semantic Tools for Arts Research [STARS] and
Visualizing China projects, thus enhancing the STARS approach to user
-
generated functionality and graphic visualisation of
data, pioneered by the Institute for Learning and Research Technology since 2004..



Users can annotate and tag video via its innovative player/editor interface;


add new resources to the database via third
-
party sites;


create new links between existing data;


generate and share data
-
visualisation maps.



Open Source software underpins the online archive.

ETHICAL PROCESS


Review archive for “challenging material.”


University regulations governing the use of IT facilities prohibit access, storage, display, receipt,
downloading etc of offensive or obscene material. The researchers consider that these AV records are
documents of art
-
works. Thus, University regulations in this regard should not apply, as the art
-
works
recorded and to be made accessible will be covered by the defence of being in the “interests of
science, literature, art or learning, or of other objects of general concern.”


The national regulator JANET, there is a risk that the project may fall outside of its acceptable use
policy.


A risk to the University’s reputation of adverse public comments or publicity.


A risk that some of the files contain material of “extreme pornographic images”, defined by the
Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. The original recordings will be restricted to viewing in
person in the Theatre Collection by bona
fida

over
-
18 researchers only in accordance with its revised
Access Policy.


A risk that, following the completion of the project and the formal handing over of the data
stewardship to the Theatre Collection, future issues might arise with the challenging nature of some
of this material. The Access Policy will be in place in time for the transfer of data stewardship to the
TC.

LEGAL CONTEXT


OBSCENE PUBLICATIONS ACT 1954 AND 1967



CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND IMMIGRATION ACT 2008


Section 63
criminalises possession of what it refers to as "
extreme pornographic
images
".


Whether an image is "pornographic" or not is up to the magistrate or jury to
determine simply by looking at the image; it is not a question of the intentions of
those who produced the image. If an image is held in a person's possession as part
of a larger series of images, the question of whether it is pornographic is also
determined by the context in which it appears. Therefore an image might be legal in
some contexts, but not in other contexts.


The definition of "obscene" is not the same as that used in the Obscene
Publications Acts, which requires that an image "deprave and corrupt" those likely
to view it; instead this is the ordinary dictionary definition of "obscene". "Grossly
offensive" and "disgusting" are given as examples of "obscene".

CHALLENGING MATERIAL PROCESS


Investigators reviewed each file.


U

File contains no challenging material


CS

File contains challenging material of a sexual nature


CV

File contains challenging material of a violent nature


CR

File contains challenging material of a religious, ethnic or racially based nature


VCM

File contains very challenging material of a more extreme nature



Investigators met to discuss their use of the above categories, identifying seven files
relating to four works which they agreed should be referred to Legal Services in order to
obtain external independent legal opinion.



Overall statistical analysis of the kinds of material as a percentage of the total number of
files:




U: 87.1%;








CS: 8%;








CV: 4%;








CR: 0.6%;








VCM: 0.3%.



Investigators referred 4 works to the lawyers, plus an extra 3 works identified by the
archivists for context.

INSTITUTIONAL APPROVAL


University and JANET regulations:


JANET confirmed that the University has discretion to approve use and storage of material of the nature under
consideration on the basis of properly authorised teaching or research activity.


A review panel considered all of the points relating to the academic context, ethical and legal issues.


The home page of the NRLA website will contain a warning about the nature of the archive, indicating that it is not
suitable for viewing by under 18s.


Online registration process will have an in
-
built delay of 48 hours before access is given.


Procedures will allow users of the material to request removal of either specific material within the archive or content
posted by users of the website online. The Theatre Collection Management Committee will have operational
responsibility for these procedures.


The suppressed material will only be available for viewing to bona fide adult academics and researchers on personal
application and visit to the Theatre Collection in the University. Under no circumstances will under 18s be given access
to the suppressed material.


The online archive will only give access to materials where consent has been given. Where consent has not been given
the material concerned will still be contained in the archive and stored on the RSDF, but access will only be given to
bona fide academics and researchers visiting the Theatre Collection in person.

Into the Future: online archive


http://bristol.ac.uk/nrla/online
-
archive