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Cataloging Contemporary Art in the Digital Age

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When the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, publishes its next collection catalog online ( this year, entries on works in the collection will be extensive, dynamic, and free to anyone with an Internet connection. With high-resolution images and rich media, in-depth texts, perpetually updated information, various critical perspectives, and augmented search capabilities, the publication is expansive, alterable, and ongoing—always in production, in pace with discourses on art of our time. This new kind of catalog becomes a platform for presenting and exchanging research on works of contemporary art in a setting that allows for long-term thinking. It gives space, time, and opportunities to engage with complex concepts and processes behind works in the Walker's collection. This article briefly describes the composition of content for an online catalog entry, while discussing the evolution of contemporary arts scholarship in the era of digital humanities publishing.

Keywords: Contemporary Art; Crowd Sourcing; Online Catalogs; Online Publishing; Participatory Art; Social Tagging; Time-Based Art

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2013

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