Talk:Art Spore

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Some scoping thoughts

In trying to get my head around what is distinct about Wikispore and what this Art Spore can and should not be, I have taken several real examples (in what follows I stripped out actual names to avoid distraction). Maybe these can help formulate the possibilities here? AllyD (talk) 08:31, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

I like it as approach (editing it inline) and would actually love to see some examples made and use these example categories as taxonomies that also influence how content is rendered. Will try to make few myself like: Art:Membrandt,‎‎, ... Zblace (talk) 14:10, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

informal art networks

...a long-standing gallery which over 50 years went through several spaces and forms but was always associated primarily with one individual who successfully built strong international links. Consequently, it is represented on Wikipedia / Wikidata within the biographical article on the individual. Even where that gallery had strong links with for example a noted theatre company in another country, no "friend-of-a-friend" type of relationship is captured by Wikipedia / Wikidata. Although most of this lifespan precedes digital media, sufficient newspaper and critical coverage is probably available to support claims across time and breadth of influence.

art affiliations artist-run gallery which has existed for almost 40 years and is represented on Wikipedia / Wikidata, as are several of the individuals who have been associated with it. The changing individuals and fashions mean that at different times it has had different wider links to other initiatives (magazines, projects, individuals elsewhere). The Wikipedia article captures this very poorly – little more than a long list of names. If a structure for project affinities over time was available, some such affinities could be supported by reference to published sources, though others were subterranean.

art phenomena

... the wider ecosystem of artist-run galleries which come and go. Wikipedia’s "Artist-run space" and related articles are poor, often a spam-my-space magnet. What would be the opportunity here to capture important features of these galleries, both singly and as mutual networks?


... collective projects, as mentioned on the initial Art Spore page. These can be long-lasting, can nurture artists' networks across time and space but in their informality tend to fall beneath Wikipedia’s bar on demonstrable reference-supported notability.

More scoping thoughts: towards a problem statement

The notability criteria for artists on [1] rely strongly on institutional placement of artefacts ("represented within the permanent collections of several notable galleries or museums" in criterion 4) or secondary representation in critical documentation. Such criteria are useful in terms of the encyclopaedia but can miss a large part of contemporary artistic activity, such as that which is community based, which involves transient production and dissemination of multiple objects without exchange value, or which orients towards craft traditions.

Galleries and artists' projects fall under's notability criteria for organizations [2]. Articles on even quite well-established galleries have had difficulty showing sufficient reliable 3rd party coverage that they can survive a Deletion discussion. Temporary event and community based projects would be even more challenged in doing so.

These norms are coherent. A rather traditional strong institutional foundation is sought as assurance of the subject's lasting significance. However, if a significant proportion of artistic activity is outwith these norms, can a complementary initiative take on a role in capturing the currents, their ebb and flow, the ways in which different streams come together, break their banks, and dissipate over a long or short time? Such an initiative can develop along with resources in the related Org Spore and Event Spore.

The notes above draw partly on what I took from the brief call discussion on 12 July. I am tempted towards placing something based on the above onto the main Art Spore page but would be interested in comments first. (Also aware that I've drifted from Wikispore's plant-based metaphor to a water-based one!) AllyD (talk) 11:46, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Well... ArtSpore was kind of doomed to be more of an alga or even fungus than pine ;-)

Thank you for doing this. I also agree much of the content of few spores will likely be overlapping, hybridizing and cross-pollinating, but if it serves new articulations of content and form I am all up for it! Zblace (talk) 14:10, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

I will try to invite more people to join us here by email. Could others also do the same? Zblace (talk) 09:14, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for working to help define this area in a rather more thorough way. Hopefully we can also get some more input from people in the broader Wikimedia movement, especially those who have focused on underrepresentation in the art world.--Pharos (talk) 00:59, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Art Wikis that have/had prominence

--Zblace (talk) 16:21, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

Translation ready?

When could we aim to have this page ready to translate? I would love if possible soon...--Zblace (talk) 09:38, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Just inserted translation bits...hope we can advance for it. --Zblace (talk) 08:16, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

Data structuring

What follows was originally going to be a message to Spinster (I wasn't sure whether to post here or on Wikidata), as I was noting substantial previous thought on developing a data perspective on the arts. After much swithering, I eventually decided to post here, as it overflows a Wikidata structuring query.

Pages on Wikipedia and elsewhere tend to cover individual artists and "art movements" which strike me as retrospective bracketing: freezing the temporal aspect and simplifying those affinities which emerged and then drifted apart. More often, in my observation, there are points-in-time emergent phenomena, sometimes based on the coincidence of friends introducing other friends who find a spark together, or on a shared enthusiasm for some emerging technique or technology, or support for some wider movement. Associating a P135 Movement association seems inadequate to capture these (and even more so, a P61 Discoverer or Inventor for a movement - rarely done in isolation); this may be my under-developed Wikidata understanding, but it also appears to lack the temporal qualification which would be needed for notoriously schismatic movements such as Surrealism.

The lifespan of any movement tends to be marked by key events, from emergence to dissolution, so an Event focus may provide a means towards a more nuanced approach which enables affinity points and networks to be traversed. Would the creation of one or more Event entities, each with a P276 Location, a P581 Inception and a P582 End time (and possibly also a prime mover as P61 Discoverer or Inventor) be a suitable approach? A movement might be better understood through events, and individuals' emerging involvement with a movement might be mapped through such events.

For an example I drafted here (but not yet in Wikidata), the Edinburgh Arts 73 Event could have Richard Demarco as prime mover and be associated (via P135) with Tadeusz Kantor and Joseph Beuys as performers, and also during that Event working together in a Cricot 2 production.

Such an Event orientation can, I think, open new possibilities of developing and exploring graphs of affinities. Or, conversely, arguing against myself, does this Event rapidly become contrived, over-stretched and unwieldy? Are there better alternatives? Views welcome. AllyD (talk) 17:02, 9 August 2020 (UTC)

  • Answering myself, some recent querying showed me that the items for documenta instances (for example documenta 7 in 1982) have P710 Participant lists, so that looks like a decent template structure for events such as those I described above, allowing time- and affinity-based exploration of individual and group involvements. If Wikidata list were to become an available tool here, it would facilitate data-driven page views. AllyD (talk) 13:47, 12 August 2020 (UTC)

Some experimental pages and data queries

In trying to explore what can be distinct from Wikipedia content, I have created several pages to explore how Wikidata may be integrated to enable a user to explore in different ways:

  • Geographical: The textual page can summarise a particular type of art resource and show these on a world map. The user can explore those resources on a zoomable map to the locale of their choice. See Art:Artist-run spaces for an example.
  • Timeline: The textual page can summarise a particular art phenomenon and show a summary diagram. The user can then explore a more detailed view of instances and their emergence dates. Art:Art society is an example.
  • Affinity links: The textual page can summarise a particular art project, the events it has organised and the artists who were associated with these, along with a summary diagram. The user can then explore a more dynamic view of these. Art:Richard Demarco Gallery provides an example.

Each of these can perhaps go beyond what can be said in a Wikipedia article. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. These are all consuming Wikidata and presenting it in what seems the most achievable way: summarising query results in a PNG snapshot and linking to a SPARQL query by which a user can explore further linked items.

Each of the examples is far from ideal. The available Wikidata is often short of instances (for example, when many art projects would fail to demonstrate notability for a Wikipedia page in their own right) and some of the properties are inconsistent (for example, Q12160242 art society and Q1797187 artist society, or just Q18560545 periodical exhibition for some which are missing from the Timeline view). However, I hope this selection of pages can show the potential for a new set of explorable resources and provide impetus for extending and making consistent these Wikidata properties. Thoughts welcome. AllyD (talk) 11:35, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

All of these look good and inconsistencies is exactly what is worth elaborating on in a page and facing as open issue (both technical and ontological I guess). I feel we should maybe add these examples to the front page of ArtSpore so it helps bring understanding to people reading it, rather then just keep them hidden on talk or orphan pages. I boldly moved forward with Laurel candidate and two more I work on, but please add others if OK with this. I also updated the short description to add few more aspects, so please check that also! (would love to translate it to Croatian) -- Zblace (talk) 08:11, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

LOGO ideas?

I am not too happy with our #Experimental #Innovative #Contemporary #Art wiki space using logo that is so classical... Maybe we can come up with something slightly more advanced? Picasso's bull head(photo to turn into icon?) --Zblace (talk) 08:15, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

  • I quite like the Chinese 画 (huà) character, though it may carry too much of a conventional sense of the practice of art as drawing / painting. However, it does also contain the tián idea of a field (the central grid), which could fit the wider cultivation metaphor?! AllyD (talk) 19:33, 19 September 2020 (UTC)
    ...or maybe to adopt a spore-centric style and just vary it for all the spores? (I tried it with QueerSpore) Zblace (talk) 07:36, 20 September 2020 (UTC)