Francesco Aprile @ MEDIA ART RESEARCH THESAURUS by The ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL ART (Danube University, Krems / Austrian Science Fund)
The ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL ART is pleased to announce the official publication of the MEDIA ART RESEARCH THESAURUS, one core achievement of a 3-year project supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)!
Based on a newly developed keyword index, our ‘bridging’ THESAURUS enables the comparative analyses between contemporary Digital Art and its art historical predecessors, by making visible the genealogical conflictions and correspondences between their aesthetic, subject and technology.
This keyword index semantically links artworks on the ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL ART (ADA) and online graphic print collection of GÖTTWEIG ABBEY (GSSG). While further art historical databases will be added in the future, because of the GSSG’s curation and content, a provenance of ideas for Digital Art can be singularly traced through its graphic prints. These images are viewable not only as artworks, but information-carrying visual media. In their day central to the production of knowledge, the graphic prints of the GSSG collection represent many of the inspirations, innovations, and inventions in disciplines such as architecture, astronomy, biology, botany, medicine, and psychology that preceded Digital Art.
With the resources used in the development of any controlled vocabulary defining its very foundation, the primary resources of terms and concepts selected by the project team for AT.MAR included (1) ‘traditional’ art history vocabularies as well as (2) Media Art databases, (3) festivals, and (4) literatures. The art historical vocabularies cited were those most widely accepted scientific tools used for the description, linkage, and retrieval of images in art history. These included Iconclass, an alphanumeric classification scheme designed for the iconography of art; the Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), a structured thesaurus used for describing items of art, architecture, and material culture that contains only generic terms; and the Warburg-Index, an index of iconographical terms.
Systematically archived in the early 18th century from across Europe by Abbot Gottfried Bessel, conservationist, diplomat, and patron of the arts, Renaissance and Baroque woodcuts, engravings, and lithographs constitute the heart of the GÖTTWEIG ABBEY COLLECTION. With over 30,000 prints, this preserves not only one of the most encompassing private holdings in Austria, but realizes the Enlightenment ideal of encyclopaedic knowledge.