Highlighted Selections from:

Buckets and Vessels


Cope, A.S., Buckets and Vessels. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2010. http://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/papers/cope/cope.html

p.1: With the mass of digital "stuff" growing around us every day and simple tools for self-organization evolving beyond individuals into communities of suggestions, is the curatorial prerogative itself becoming a social object? -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.2: Managing the volume of data, whether it be cultural production or “pure” information generated by sensors or business transactions, continues to improve with algorithmic clustering and computation, and has yielded some success. But it remains problematic because it still requires computers to be programmed using a rigid understanding of the world that often bumps up against the subtleties of human understanding and association. The act of curation allows us not so much to examine every piece of data, but to have a methodology to slow it down and a force to be considered in a larger, often unrelated, context. Language is magic, and computers are still dumb. -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.3: What is important to recognize is that people are curating outside the normal theory and praxis of curatorial praxis. They are doing it not just out of necessity, but because it is exciting and rewarding. There is an entirely new understanding and appreciation of the act of curation that is taking root. They are building communities of suggestion and, in effect, the professionals are being invited to their own party. -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.3: As George Oates, current lead of the Internet Archive's Open Library Project, remarked recently: “Curation is the new black.” (Oates, 2010) -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.4: The Mirror Project introduced Galleries, and then later, Themes: sub-sections in 2003 as user-curated snapshots, organized around a particular topic, to help create new avenues through which visitors could explore the site. (Another important property of galleries and themes was that each one had a formal, human readable URL that encouraged users to think of them as first-class, and permanent, objects in their own right.) -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.5: The age of mechanical reproduction may have started with the printing press, but the widespread adoption of digital technologies as a means to create and distribute, and just as importantly to market and sell, their work has made for a confusing time for artists, designers and craftspeople. For most of their histories, the carefully crafted roles separating each have been a function of the means of production. -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.6: Cultural heritage institutions are already all too familiar with the burden of collecting and storing and making sense of enormous pools of artifacts. Most institutions have large, and growing, collections of work still to be catalogued sitting in back rooms and storage facilities, to the despair of everyone involved. Why would we want to encourage anything that will exacerbate the problem? How do we attempt to manage it? -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014

p.8: Just like the collapsing geographies between the fine arts, design and craft, or critics and curators and docents, the distinctions between libraries, museums and archives are blurring. That may seem like a daunting prospect because it will probably upset a variety of well-understood and established roles in the process -- Highlighted mar 17, 2014