CONFERENCE PAPER: “Where Did It Come From? Deep Learning for Event Extraction in Art Provenance”, 10/06/2022 – 10/07/2022.

From October 67th, 2022, Lab member Fabio participated in the 10th annual “New Directions in Analyzing Text as Data” conference (TADA), which is a leading forum for research on the study of politics, society, and culture through computational analysis of documents. At this year’s conference, Fabio presented a talk titled “Where Did It Come From? Deep Learning for Event Extraction in Art Provenance”. 

In the talk, he explored the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence in the structuring of provenance events, where events are composed of parties, locations, dates, and methods of transfer. In particular, Fabio focused on the possibilities of applying deep learning methods, i.e. tools using artificial intelligence, for event extraction from provenance. From a computer science perspective, the extraction of knowledge from a provenance text relates to an event extraction problem in Natural Language Processing (NLP), an area of research where computer science, linguistics, and, more recently, artificial intelligence intersect. Using a museum dataset of over 11,000 provenances, Fabio showed how it is possible to solve NLP tasks by training artificial intelligence. 

CONFERENCE PAPER: “The Expert in the Loop: Developing a Provenance Linked Open Data Management Platform”, 07/25/2022 – 07/29/2022.

Following a hiatus in 2021, the international Digital Humanities Conference (DH2022)  took place again this year. The event, which ran from July 25th to 29th, 2022, was an opportunity to share research results and exchange knowledge among international research teams.

On behalf of the Provenance Lab, Fabio participated with a presentation entitled: “The Expert in the Loop: Developing a Provenance Linked Open Data Management Platform”. In the talk, Fabio presented for the first time the development of a ‘human-in-the-loop’ platform to extract, structure, and enrich provenance data from texts compiled by institutions. The ‘human-in-the-loop’ approach consists of providing a digital interface that allows a human (in our case, a provenance expert) to easily interact with artificial intelligence without any technical prerequisites. In this way, we can combine the quantitative benefits of automatic knowledge extraction via machine learning with the intellectual work of domain experts.

The abstract to the talk can be found in The Book of Abstracts of DH2022.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATION: “Probably Sold to Paalen, Possibly by Exchange”, 06/09/2022.

On June 9th and 10th, 2022, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) hosted the second edition of the Workshop on Computational Methods in the Humanities (COMHUM 2022). Fabio participated in the event with a presentation entitled “Probably Sold to Paalen, Possibly by Exchange: Vagueness, Incompleteness, Subjectivity, and Uncertainty in Digital Art Provenance”. Taking the example of the provenance of Picasso’s  ‘Head of a Woman’ (1927) now preserved at the MET, the talk focused on the challenges of, as well as modeling solutions for, VISU information (Vagueness, Incompleteness, Subjectivity, and Uncertainty). 

VISU information—from the Latin ‘de visu’ meaning “with your own eyes”—represents the effort and difficulty in reconstructing the provenance of a work of art. In digitizing and publishing art provenance as linked open data, Fabio argues, it is important that we include and model the complexity of VISU information. In so doing, we can avoid making historical records clear, complete, objective and certain, when they are simply not.

PANEL DISCUSSION: “Frenemies? – Provenance and Art Market Studies”, 02/17/2022.

On February 17th, 2022, Max chaired a panel discussion called “Frenemies? – Provenance and Art Market Studies”, hosted by the The International Art Market Studies Association (TIAMSA). Against the backdrop of digitalization of research and knowledge production, as well the increasing availability of art market information, the panel brought together three experts in provenance and art market research to discuss shared challenges: Executive Director of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc., Elizabeth Gorayeb, head of The Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance at the Getty Research Institute, Sandra van Ginhoven, and the director of the Provenance Lab, Lynn.

TEACHING: “Old Knowledge, New Techniques – Understanding Museum Data”, Winter Semester 2021/2022.

In the winter semester 2021/2022, Lynn and Fabio co-taught the seminar “Old Knowledge, New Techniques – Understanding Museum Data” as part of the Media Cultures module of the Digital Media Bachelor, a joint degree of Leuphana University and Hamburg Media School. The teaching proposes an experimental hybrid learning of provenance studies with digital knowledge representation.

“In the brave new electronic world, few bastions of the humanities have withstood the march of technology more tenaciously than the art museum.”

—Everett Elin, 1969

With the first Executive Director of the Museum Computer Network, Everett Elin’s, observation in mind, students were provided with theoretical and practical insights to critically analyze the current digital practices of museums in publishing art provenance online. On the one hand, the course presented the traditional methodology of provenance studies, providing literature and case studies. On the other, with continuous cross-disciplinary references, students learned the techniques and logic necessary to publish structured and machine-readable knowledge. These notions thus allowed students to practice what they had learned, experiencing the potential and the limits of the multidisciplinary approach. Working in groups, the students produced new and unique application scenarios of digital art provenance. Below you will find some examples of their work.

Fundamentally, the seminar was an opportunity to experiment on an educational level with what is already taking place at the Provenance Lab. It was motivated by the belief that academic training with a hybrid background is essential for providing institutions with adequate museum professionals who can meet digital challenges head-on.

AUTHORS: Nele Husen, Melanie Neuer, Hannah Prasuhn and Luise Pohlmann.

CONCEPT: “On a large screen in the museum there is a map of the world and a timeline, on which colourful dots represent different artworks. On Tablets or smartphone visitors can choose paintings, events and people they would like to learn more about.”

AUTHORS: Lelia van Hees, Isobel Hingston, Viktoria Dorothea Kamps and Nemanja Pulja.

CONCEPT: “Provenance data is displayed on a map paired with timestamps, making visible the space and time dimensions of a painting, as well as its possible network dimensions. This map is both accessible on the museum website and by way of a QR code in the museum itself .”

AUTHORS: Rebekka Skjørestad Halter, Marek Jakob Gollan, Charlotte Albert and Felizitas Klara Sophie Bader.

CONCEPT: “An interactive exhibition game in which school children go on a journey through time and space to track down a painting, collecting provenance data along the way. A trained educator guides them through the game, filling in any gaps and providing further context.”

CONFERENCE PANEL: “Digital Provenance and the Art Market”, 01/22/2022.

On January 22nd, 2022, on a panel called ‘Art Market, Art Trade, Cultural Property Smuggling’, Lynn talked to her colleague Meike Hopp about digital art market and provenance research at the annual conference ‘Collections – Provenance – Cultural Heritage 6.0’, hosted by the Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg. This year, the focus of the conference was expanded to include aspects of digital collection. Among other things, Lynn and Meike discussed historical art market realities, such as joint businesses, the role of agents versus owners on the auction market and the challenge of recording the complexities of provenance research in a structured way. This is especially difficult, they concluded, when you want to include all the nuances and uncertainties.

CONFERENCE PAPER: “The History of Art is Linked but the Data is Not: Georgia O’Keefe, Provenance and Scholarship”, 07/21/20.

On July 21st, 2020, Lynn presented a paper called “The History of Art is Linked but the Data is Not: Georgia O’Keefe, Provenance and Scholarship” at DH2020, the annual Digital Humanities Conference, organized by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. With the theme of “carrefours/intersections,” the conference invited proposals from the sub-disciplines of public digital humanities and the open data movement. The reason why, Lynn argued, that she is advocating for Linked.Art—a community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data—is “because the history of art is linked but the data of cultural institutions is not”.

NEWS STORY: “Lynn Rother Brings Art Research Forward”, 01/08/2020.

On January 8th, 2020, the German daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung ran an article on Lynn‘s appointment to the prestigious Licthenberg-Professorship, which is described as “the first chair on provenance research methods that exists in Germany”. In her position, the TAZ reports, Lynn hopes to “advance the humanities through computer-assisted methods”.

You can read the article here.

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search