Forum Brief Report | 02. November 2023
Report of NFDI4Culture Forum "PERFORMANCE – PRODUCTION – DATA. Modeling and Communicating Event-related Information"
From 14 to 15 September 2023, the NFDI4Culture Forum "PERFORMANCE – PRODUCTIONS – DATA. Modelling and communicating event-related information", organised by the task areas "Cultural Research Data Academy" and "Standards, Data Quality and Curation", took place at the Institute of Theatre Studies at Leipzig University.
The aim of this hybrid event was an interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary exchange on the capture, aggregation and enrichment of event-related data and on perspectives for the development of adequate data models in the field of performing arts.
The event was kicked off on the evening before with three online workshops organised by consortium members. Firstly, Katharina Bergmann and Andrea Polywka, as part of the Cultural Research Data Academy (CRDA), presented an offer from the series of basic courses on research data management (RDM), this time focussing on audiovisual research data. In the first part of the one-and-a-half-hour workshop, important terms from research data management were explained and illustrated using specific examples of audiovisual data. The second part was followed by a project report by Dennis Friedl (University of Paderborn), who provided an insight into the work of the Korngold-Werkausgabe, focussing on works by the film composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. In addition to the annotation of classical music volumes, the project aims to produce a hybrid critical edition that will deal in particular with audiovisual data.
The online workshop "3D models for the performing arts" by Zoe Schubert and Lozana Rossenova (NFDI4Culture task area "Data Capture and Enrichment of Digital Cultural Assets") had to be cancelled, but the task area is planning another workshop for the performing arts community next spring 2024.
A third workshop was offered by Robert Nasarek (Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg) and presented the Wissenschaftliche Kommunikationsinfrastruktur (WissKI), a linked open data extension for the Drupal content management system. This software enables researchers to create data according to the FAIR principles and publish it dynamically on the internet. In the workshop, the most important functions of WissKI were emphasised and illustrated using a simple example from the performing arts. The process and possibilities of semantic data modelling with WissKI were explained in more detail. The event provided participants with a comprehensive introduction to the use and benefits of WissKI in the context of research data management.
On Thursday, 14 September 2023, the forum was officially opened by Prof. Dr. Patrick Primavesi, who outlined the specific needs for curating and standardising data in the field of performing arts. In particular, the reference to specific events or productions as well as their respective contexts is still hardly given in the mostly object-related data of the heritage institutions available to date. A more adequate modelling and clear referencing of event-related data could be achieved through the interaction of various stakeholders, including not only researchers and collections but also the producing artists and mediating institutions. The forum also sees itself as an opportunity for an exchange between these areas of experience and knowledge, each with their own specific digital infrastructures, said Primavesi.
The first panel focused on the topic of "Networking and making accessible". Christine Henniger (International Theatre Institute Germany, Media Library for Dance and Theatre), Dr. Sara Tiefenbacher (University Library Frankfurt/Main, mv:dk) and Dr. Klaus Illmayer (OEAW ACDH-CH) presented the project „Mediatheken der Darstellenden Kunst digital vernetzen” (mv:dk). They presented work processes and the development of a comprehensive data infrastructure for media library metadata for researching and exploring audiovisual collections at theatre and dance research institutes. In particular, the project-related data modelling, which is based on domain-specific ontologies and fundamental specifications for the description of audiovisual resources, was explained in more detail.
Sören Fenner presented what Theapolis is doing within the framework of the Neustart-Kultur project for the development of a production database for the independent performing performing arts. In several interdisciplinary participation forums, the the data model as well as the question of relevance criteria, utilisation and exploitation options for the data and many other topics were discussed with stakeholders and and actors in the performing arts.
Sina Schmidt (Deutscher Bühnenverein) and Tina Lorenz (Augsburg State Theatre) then presented the "Smarte Theaterdienste" project coordinated by the German Stage Association, Use Case 3 of the "Datenraum Kultur". The aim is to develop machine-readable theatre schedules and the resulting added value for the participating cultural institutions.
The second panel discussed the field of "(artistic) research": Prof. Dr. Berenika Szymanski-Düll and Jorit J. Hopp (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) presented their research project "T-MIGRANTS: Theatermigrationen und ihre Daten". The aim of the project is to use a series of case studies to to collect, analyse and make digitally accessible a body of data on theatre migrants. For this purpose, a database was developed as a repository and at the same time as a basis for analysing and the analysis and visualisation of the data used. Subsequently Dr. Vera Grund (University of Paderborn) presented the DFG project "Tanz/Musik digital". The aim of the project is to develop an editing method with which the diverse sources on dance can be digitally linked in a multimodal structural model. Visualisation and analysis of dance poses, animated gestures and dance steps are combined with information from music, images and texts, which illustrates the interdisciplinary approach of the project. The panel concluded with a contribution by David Rittershaus (Mainz University of Applied Sciences) on the project "#vortanz. Automatisierte Vorannotation in der digitalen Hochschultanzausbildung". Within the joint project, the Mainz-based "Motion Bank" project can further develop its software for annotating dance, with a focus on dance education at universities. The software developed can also be transferred to other contexts and subject areas that deal with audiovisual media.
In the late afternoon, a roundtable discussion moderated by Prof. Dr. Malte Hagener brought together representatives of the academic information services (Fachinformationsdienste / FIDs) musiconn, arthistoricum, adlr.link and performing-arts.eu.
Patricia F. Blume (adlr.link & rufus, Leipzig University Library), Dr. Christian Kämpf (musiconn, Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden), Franziska Voß (performing-arts.eu, University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg Frankfurt am Main) and Johannes Wolf (arthistoricum.net, Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden) answered questions from the moderator and the audience after a short presentation of their respective fields of activity and everyday work. During the discussion, the sometimes different funding situations and conditions were addressed, as well as the opportunities and goals of cooperation between the specialised information services and the NFDI consortia. The latter were described as very constructive, especially the role of the NFDI Association, which primarily concerns networking, visibility, strategic development and homogenisation of different data cultures in the disciplines. In this context, it is also important to overcome reservations about the NFDI and to make it clear to the funding authorities that the concept for success lies in the interaction and complementary cooperation between FIDs and NFDI consortia, as well as in the combination of community proximity and expert networking. The question of the internationalisation of the services presented was also raised, whereupon the exchange of the NFDI with the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) was mentioned – this topic is only just being addressed in the FIDs due to the current funding conditions. The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / DFG) in particular was seen as having a duty to become more active in this area. DFG to become more active and to improve the framework conditions for international cooperation, including in funded projects.
A lecture performance by the artist duo TILL&LUBICH took place in the evening to complement the content-related, artistic and research-orientated exchange: Based on their dance and media performance "parallel situation" from 2017, Barbara Lubich and Anna Till presented scenic situations for a seminar room in which dance and photography interact with the help of digital projection. A recording of the performance will be released soon.
On Friday, 15 September 2023, we continued with the third panel "Presentation and Education": Julia Decker and Livia Rutishauser from Dachverband Tanz, the nationwide platform for artistic dance in Germany, presented "tanz:digital", a central streaming and knowledge platform for the dance scene in Germany. tanz:digital offers users of the service networking and presentation opportunities. The second input by Dr. Sarah Youssef (Digi-Kunst.nrw project manager, Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf) and her colleagues, René Bialik and Christian Sievers, presented organisational, conceptual and technical aspects of long-term archiving for art and music academies. The aim of the Digi-Kunst.nrw project is to create a web interface in addition to long-term archiving, which will be available for artistic, academic and public use. At last, the Academy for Theatre and Digitality was presented by Tina Lorenz (Augsburg State Theatre) and Marcus Lobbes (Dortmund Theatre, Academy for Theatre and Digitality), which enables artistic research and at the same time offers technology-oriented training and further education. The ensuing discussion highlighted the growing need for the exchange of experience and information regarding the development of such specialised platforms.
The fourth panel was dedicated to the topic of "Infrastructures and data modelling": Beat Estermann from the Opendata.ch association and the Bern University of the Arts emphasised the relevance of linked data for events in the in the performing arts and referred to existing international projects in this field, including in this field, including wikidata. It was then discussed to what extent NFDI4Culture in terms of a participation structure could facilitate networking and exchange for locations outside of Germany, such as in Switzerland, which require support with data enrichment, for example.
The second contribution by Steffen Wedepohl offered an insight into the "Digitale Archiv der Freien Darstellenden Künste" (DAFDK, Digital Archive of the Independent Performing Arts), which was launched in autumn 2022. In three years' time, a publicly accessible digital platform is to be created on which the holders of holdings can record the documents and materials of their artistic productions and work processes. As a third input, Dr. Melanie Gruß and Franziska Voß provided an insight into the activities of the Performing Arts Working Group of the German National Library's Standardisation Committee. This working group was formed after a one-year exchange and aims to address the specific needs of research and memory institutions within the specialist community and to resolve desiderata with regard to the "Gemeinsame Normdatei" (GND, integrated authority file) in the field of performing arts. Overall, the GND working groups were praised by the audience as functioning exchange formats, but the inaccessibility of the GND had already been criticised in previous panels and presentations. This was taken up again in the subsequent discussion with the wish that the GND should become more open and that user groups should be more involved in data work. Here, too, there is a need for awareness, rapprochement and communication between research and GLAM institutions (galleries, libraries, archives, museums).
In the concluding wrap-up by Prof. Dr. Andreas Münzmay, reference was made to the wide range and interesting insights of the projects presented, as well as to constructive discussions, wishes and ideas – a success also for the NFDI4Culture consortium, which does not want to be perceived as the sole guiding and determining authority for the handling of research data, but primarily sees its task in the joint shaping and mediation of negotiation processes and in a broad range of assistance and information.
A selection of the speakers' presentation slides is available for download here: https://cloud.nfdi4culture.de/s/QE6pYT6jTQtZ4DQ