1st ever Augmented Reality linking to Wikipedia in a museum
Mar de Fons is the title of an art exhibition that is taking place in the Mataró Museum, a local museum not faraway from Barcelona. One of its peculiarities is that you can find more information about the paintings with any mobile devices, thanks to image recognition with augmented reality (AR) that links to Catalan Wikipedia articles. The exhibition - mainly about sea paintings, with an important role of local artists- was inaugurated on March 30, 2012 and will be open until September 29, 2013.
How it works
Visitors can interact with the artworks focusing them with their smart phone. The designed application allows the direct recognition of the artwork, combining virtual elements in a real context. Thus, when the artwork is focused by a smart phone or tablet, the APP automatically identifies it, appearing on-screen information that is superimposed on the camera and allows linking to the related artist or artwork article in the Catalan Wikipedia.
The AR experience is included in the museography of the whole exhibit. As it is a quite newbie technology, even more for a local museum, curators decided to clearly teach how to use it. It is one of the keys of the success.
The exhibition will be evolving with the contributions made by the public via the museum's Facebook page, where you can vote wich of the possible artworks you want to see exposed. You can also upload your own creations (paintings, photography , video, objects, text) to show how each person lives the relationship with the sea. Contributions from visitors may also be voted through Facebook. The public has an important role in the exhibition because, somehow, they can play the role of curators. There is a planed edit-a-thon on June to improve and translate the Wikipedia articles related to the exhibit, where some other local associations and institutions will get involved.
We've got a huge response from the press, even national press, not usual at all for a small local museum. You can read some of the press news here, and some images of the exhibit at Wikimedia Commons here.
Emerging illustrators internship helping Wikimedia Commons. First results!
The Escola de la Llotja is an art and design school located in Barcelona, where several important painters as Picasso studied. Llotja and Amical Viquipèdia started a pioneering partnership in which 6 illustration students are doing their final degree internship at Amical, creating images that are being incorporated under free licenses to Wikimedia Commons to illustrate some Wikipedia articles. We already talked about it some months ago, but now you can see some of the illustrations already uploaded here.
It is an opportunity for them to work in a real context, public and very visible, while contributing to a public good that is being built collaboratively and is useful for many people.
The project aims to be a global precedent for involving other art and design schools with Wikimedia related projects · More than thirty articles are already illustrated in several languages thanks to this agreement of collaboration.
How we are doing it
At the beginning, we identified and listed some entries with missing images, and the emerging illustrators of La Llotja are helping us with the task of creating professional and informative images according to the encyclopedic context which they are be published. Among which there are, for example, outstanding figures of the twentieth century and fictional characters. Also noteworthy illustrations teaching on the drying of the Mediterranean during the Messinian made with scientific advice.
Wikipedia has a strict criteria for the inclusion of images and media files, in order to keep open its contents: works might be public domain or free licensed (CC-BY-SA), which may be freely reproduced for any purpose (also commercial) and which they can freely create derivative works to improve them or adapt them. That's why many Wikipedia entries have no image, because many topics do not have a related free image. One purpose of this collaboration is to begin to fill this gap. Members of Amical Viquipèdia with the participation of Catalan Wikipedians identified articles with missing images difficult to achieve if not creating them again.
All works arising as a result of this project will be exhibited on May 10 in Barcelona. We wait for you at Llotja Sant Andreu at 19:30 pm in a ceremony attended by all participants and organizers!!
Following the exhibition of "Joan Miró. The Ladder of Escape" which opened in Bacelona on October 15, 2011, a collaboration between the Fundació Joan Miró (Joan Miró Foundation) in Barcelona and the Catalan Wikipedia was proposed. The exhibition was open to the public in Barcelona from October 16, 2011 and March 18, 2012. Before it was shown at the Tate in London and later traveled to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
The project intended to stick QR codes alongside some of the most prominent artworks of the exhibition. These codes linked to Wikipedia articles. These QRpedia codes identify the language of the phone and can therefore present the article -in the user's preferred language- on Wikipedia, improving visitor's experience.
On 14 September there was an edit-a-thon at the Fundació Joan Miró as a special contribution to the project, to launch this project.
This project was an example of a new way to visit museums and access to culture. As the mobile Internet is here, the desire to immediately satisfy our curiosity is also here. Visitors to museums do not wait to get home to read what the main features of an artistic movement or expand what he meant an artist to paint a particular job. QRpedia allows access to knowledge in their language, anytime, anywhere and for free.
The Value of FreeKnowledge-Wikipedia Workshop and debate at CCCB
The 25th of April the CCCB, Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, did a special "Whole day" on Wikipedia and free Knowledge, co-organized by Amical Wikipedia.
During the morning we did a 4 hours Wikipedia workshop and during the afternoon we saw The truth in numbers film and we did a debate.
In the afternoon, after the documentary, there was a debate that featured Luis Ángel Fernández Hermana, Marc Garriga, Vincent Puig and Karma Peiró in which raised the question that gave title to the session: What is the value of knowledge. The talk started with a video, where several children were trying to find out what devices so strange to them as a Gameboy, a floppy disk or a floppy 3.5 ". The video was used to introduce also the importance of understanding technology, which is what is allowing access to all knowledge that is being drafted. But it also served to raise another issue: the knowledge disappears when is no longer useful, as noted by Marc Garriga.
Vincent Puig was the first to say that knowledge can not be separated from technology and that the Wikipedia is not the first case of amateur collaboration. Luis Angel Fernandez Hermana spoke of two types of knowledge that we acquire through normal educational channels and you reach the courtyard of the school: a personal and transferable knowledge that only we can decide when to transmit the record to the network. That is when this knowledge becomes a social fact.
But there is another kind of knowledge. Free knowledge, according to Puig, is attached to free software, and must be understood as a social and cultural activity. It is knowledge that allows us to be freer and develop ourselves as a society. However, this knowledge is not available to everyone because it is linked to the provision of new technologies. Hence the importance of Wikipedia, which gives access to metadata, the process of creating information. And, therefore, allows knowledge to be criticized and doubted.
The main challenge, however, is to process all the information produced to generate knowledge that there are important knowledge networks, which are different from social networks (Luis Angel Fernandez Hermana).
This month we did several Wikipedia Workshop for museum professionals and educators. Some of them, like the one's at MACBA and CCCB in Barcelona, where inhouse private activities for museum professionals