An Interactive Digital Art Catalogue for the Humanities: The On-Line Picasso Project
Computers and digital media have become the norm in the cataloguing of artists' works at museums and galleries throughout the world. Use of the internet as a teaching and research tool is also a major motivation in current education philosophy in the Humanities. The On-Line Picasso Project (OPP) presented in this paper links these two trends, proposing an interactive digital art catalogue as an essential tool in promoting and understanding art and culture in the Humanities. The OPP provides the perfect example of multimedia at its finest. The specific architecture of the OPP consists of a set of open relational databases that store digitalized artworks, commentaries and bibliographies on Picasso separately. Vast documentation on up to date scholarship on the artist's oeuvre as it is conducted in institutions throughout the world enhances the thousands of art illustrations available. However, the databases are also fully interconnected. Edited commentaries are directly linked to entries in the other databases. One of the consequences of the OPP is that researchers in the arts and cultural studies can have access to an incredible amount of condensed information from hundreds of sources in one single cyber space. The OPP is open and interactive, including a set of authoring tools that enable the addition and modification of information, as well as the creation of a truly dynamic catalogue. The detailed search methods, enhanced by multiple visualizations permitted, allow researchers and students to create their own system of comparison and re-combination in a variety of media. By providing multiple perspectives on any of the works included, students and scholars are able to determine the validity of the analyses and proposals being presented in the literature, and they can develop their own views, which may then be even added to the OPP itself, thus further enriching the databases.
Keywords: digitalized artwork, catalogue, authoring tools, interactive databases
Dr. Enrique Mallen
Professor, Department of Hispanic Studies, Texas A&M University