In July, Dr. Yanni Loukissas helped run Beautiful Data II at Harvard University. This 9-day workshop sponsored by the Getty Foundation took on challenges and opportunities of working with art museum open data. The underlying theme of the workshop addressed the processes and decisions that occur in the act of collecting. “Collecting inherently involves choices,” writes Christophoro Magliozzi “—what to acquire or not acquire, preserve or not preserve, and what to exhibit or not to exhibit, whether that collecting occurs in the physical or virtual realm.”
As many museums make their archival data accessible, questions arise about what to do with the data or how to make it beautiful in its own right. Participants engaged with collections at the Harvard Art Museums’ galleries, conservation center, and the Arts Study center. They also had space at the Carpenter Center for prototyping ideas in an interdisciplinary environment.