Examples of online full motion video
On April 7, 2009 the Indianapolis Museum of Art announced the launch of ArtBabble.org, an online community created to showcase art-based video content. The site allows visitors to explore works of art online through a collection of interviews with artists and curators, original documentaries and art installation videos. Incorporating cutting-edge technology, ArtBabble features high-definition video, full text transcription of all the videos on site and interactive features including viewer feedback and video sharing.
Conceived and spearheaded by the IMA, ArtBabble is designed to allow other museums and organizations that produce high-quality, art-focused video content to join the IMA in building the premier online art video destination. As of August 2009 the IMA had partnered with 17 non-profit sources, including 13 museums, each of which has provided video content on ArtBabble.
"ArtBabble is a new and innovative way to experience and engage with art, fostering in-depth discussions and dialogues about art in our communities and on the web," said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. "The site provides the IMA and our partnering institutions with the ability to present, annotate and invite comment on a range of art-related videos, allowing greater accessibility to our collections, exhibitions and special projects. "
ArtBabble was developed by the IMA's award-winning new media and technology departments and made possible by a grant from the Ball Brothers Foundation. A leader among museums in harnessing digital technology to engage and educate art audiences, the IMA already provides video on imamuseum.org, iTunes U and YouTube.
ArtBabble's unique design elevates the online presentation of art by selecting and organizing digital video content. A series of "notes" embedded in each video on the site offers visitors the ability to jump from point to point within a video, depending on their interests, and links them to additional content related to the video, such as art events, images on Flickr, books on Amazon, topics on Wikipedia and additional art videos within ArtBabble or on YouTube. Video options include a high-resolution video player with full-screen mode and download options including video iPod, iPhone and HD formats.
For ArtBabble, the IMA has utilized cloud computing, an emerging technology wherein website data is hosted entirely on a virtual server in the "cloud."
"Cloud computing technology allows us to stream high-quality video instantly to site visitors, providing a superb viewing experience," said Robert Stein, chief information officer at the IMA. "Because the technology is elastic, we can dynamically increase ArtBabble.org's server capacity and streaming capabilities to accommodate heavy site traffic, so videos will always load quickly."
ArtBabble showcases videos featuring a range of artists and art-related topics. For example, viewers can log on to watch a major documentary produced by the IMA about landscape sculptor Maya Lin, hear quirky commentary in the IMA's award-winning series of webisodes based on the exhibition Roman Art from the Louvre and watch new videos from Peabody Award-winning producer Art21 about contemporary artists such as Laylah Ali, Arturo Herrera, Oliver Herring and Richard Tuttle. ArtBabble content also includes the online-only miniseries "Design by the Book," in which NYPL partnered with the leading design blog Design*Sponge to invite five New York City-based artists to sift through its collections in search of inspiration. Viewers can watch as the artists create unique works inspired by what they found.
Other content found on the site includes "30 Seconds," an ongoing series created by artist and independent filmmaker Thilo Hoffmann in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art. Hoffmann worked with MoMA members and staff to create short films based on their ideas and experiences in and around the museum. LACMA has included videos related to its current exhibition The Art of Two Germanys, as well as its permanent collection. LACMA curators describe the museum's 11 most significant artworks, and artists like Jacob Lawrence discuss their creative motives.
Additional videos from collaborators San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum present direct access to contemporary artists through engaging documentaries, in-gallery discussion and behind-the-scenes installations. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has contributed interviews with artists Will Barnet, David Beck, Grace Hartigan, Luis Jimenez and Alex Katz discussing the ideas, meaning and inspiration behind their work. Videos from SFMOMA include painter Brice Marden describing his work "Cold Mountain," artist Kerry James Marshall discussing the concepts behind his murals "Visible Means of Support," and Ann Hamilton talking about the inspiration behind her performance/installation "indigo blue," with its roots in Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States."
ArtBabble will continue to evolve and expand as new video content is created and additional partnerships are announced. The IMA plans to create some of its new digital content in response to user interest and will add new content about IMA programs and exhibitions. Videos produced by the IMA also will include at least one major documentary per year on a contemporary artist. ArtBabble also will stream live events in the future.
"We've taken a very non-traditional approach to the presentation of art, making it accessible to a wide-ranging audience through a multimedia platform," said Daniel Incandela, director of new media at the IMA. "ArtBabble not only provides original video content online, but allows viewers to upload videos to their mobile devices, embed the videos on their own websites or respond directly through comments and discussion. We see this new site as an important step supporting the growth of the online art community."
The American Art channel on the site contained 35 videos as of August 9, 2009. Videos include:
-- "The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989" [0:07:01] from Guggenheim Museum
-- "Conserving Norman Rockwell's "United Nations"" from Norman Rockwell Museum [0:14:19]
-- "Norman Rockwell Museum: An Introduction" from Norman Rockwell Museum [0:06:34]
-- "1934: A New Deal for Artists" from Smithsonian American Art Museum [0:30:32]
-- "Meet William Christenberry" from Smithsonian American Art Museum [0:02:54]
-- "Meet Will Barnet" from Smithsonian American Art Museum [0:03:34]
Katz and Washington Crosses the Delaware" from Smithsonian American
Art Museum [0:03:38]
WGBH/Boston Forum Network
The WGBH/Boston Forum Network serves as an aggregator and archivist for cultural lectures. Its web site includes a number of on-demand videos of lectures, including many on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of Boston-area museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. The Forum Network About Us page says "Through this online service thousands of interested people across the world partake of these lectures from the comfort of their home or office at any time they choose." As of 2005 partners had contributed the following videos concerning representational American art:
Boston Athenaeum partnered with the Forum Network for a series of lectures on American art by David Dearinger, who is Susan Morse Hilles Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Boston Athenaeum. An art historian and curator, he received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with a specialty in nineteenth-century American art. Titles include:
also from the Boston Athenaeum:
In August, 2005 TFAO learned from Monica Higgins, Events Director of the Boston Athenaeum, that when her organization associated with the Forum Network, the Athenaeum had already been videotaping lectures. The Forum Network offered to send a camera and operator to tape lectures, but since the Athenaeum had its own equipment the Forum Network's videotaping service was not required.
Recently, the Athenaeum has decided to upgrade their camera and support equipment and is considering a budget of about $11,000 for that purpose. One of the reasons for obtaining a new camera is because the lecture hall's configuration necessitates placement of the camera in the rear of the auditorium, with use of a strong zoom capability and high sensitivity to low lighting levels. Also, the Athenaeum wants to have the type of taping to be in sync with upcoming standards, e.g. high definition's picture aspect.
In terms of speaker releases, the Athenaeum received from its legal counsel a document contemplating web streaming, and is in the process of amending it to include podcasting. A link to the Forum Network page containing the list of lectures partnered with the Athenaeum is available through the Events Calendar link on the Athenaeum web site home page.
Lectures on American art originate also from other partners including:
Museum of Afro-American History:
Julie Crawford of the Museum of Afro-American History shared with TFAO that their production agreement with Forum Network provides for videotaping services at the museum by Forum Network personnel. Forum Network has developed a speaker release form, targeted towards online streaming, which is provided to partners for their use with lecturers. A link to the Forum Network page containing the list of lectures partnered with the museum is available through the Events > Boston pull down menu on the museum's web site home page.
Old South Meeting House:
Simmons College Institute for Leadership & Change
Eli Ingraham of WGBH is project director for the Forum Network. In August, 2005 Ms. Ingraham shared with TFAO information on the Forum Network (FN) and its relationship with partners. Some pointers:
Image rights management is an issue that needs to be carefully considered by museums planning the videoecording of lectures. Images being shown on a screen may need copyright clearance. Absent image rights clearance for some lectures, museums can stream the audio track. About 40% of FN content is audio only.
Another lecture scenario that avoids image clearance issues is the taping of artists with images of their own work for which they hold copyrights. An example is the Wolf Kuhn lecture held at Wheaton College.
FN partners can bring in a FN videographer and equipment for onsite taping, or partners can become trained to do their own videography with their own equipment. FN's method of videotaping lectures entails one camera. If FN provides taping service, FN requires a partner to furnish its own sound system with a sound board accessible to the FN videographer.
If FN tapes a lecture, FN controls the use of the content. If a partner films the lecture, the partner has the right to distribute the content other than through FN. For this reason, and for cost efficiency, some partners are acquiring their own equipment and training their own people. About $1,200 will purchase a camera and tripod of sufficient quality for taping lectures.
FN charges partners a yearly fee for its bundle of services which include storage and streaming services; some onsite videography support; a videography "boot camp" to help train museum staff to handle their own production; promotion within WGBH's service area, and inclusion in FNs website and branded presence.
FN is working with Open Media Network, a back-end technology company that distributes full-screen, high bit rate encoded content, to provide future audio-video material
The WGBH/Boston Forum Network is a component of a growing national network of public television and radio stations offering online lecture webcasts. The Forum Network website states: "These lectures are contributed to our national archive and made available to other participating stations to offer on their local Forum Network Websites." Other stations include:
WBGH's phone number is 617-300-2000.
WGBH/Boston also presents a 3-minute QuickTime video clip in which John Wilson talks about his sculpture Eternal Presence, being installed on the lawn of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Roxbury. The original airdate of the program containing the segment was October 1, 1987. In another 2 1/2 minute clip, artist Sidewalk Sam works with Boston schoolchildren to create a mural.
More WGBH/Boston Forum Network examples on pages 2 and 3
1 Educational examples focus on American representational art.
Go back to introduction for online video
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