And Now, The BBC Genome Project

Issue from 1935: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Project Website

Issue from 1935: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Website

Recently the BBC have launched an exciting online project that catalogues the listings information printed in the BBC Radio Times from 1923 to 2009. Created by the BBC Archive Development in conjunction with BBC Research and Development, each page of the Radio Times since 1923 have been scanned and processed through optical character recognition systematically  to extract information – such as the title, time of showing, synopsis, contributors and so on – automatically.

Issue from 1943: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Project Website

Issue from 1943: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Website

Beginning in November 1922 the British Broadcasting Company published its first Radio Times on the 28th September 1923 after  the Newspaper Publisher’s Associated refused to print the BBC programme details without payment for the advertising. Since then, the Radio Times has continually published the BBC listings missing only 8 issues in its lifetime. Documenting the changes in programming, and the shifting dynamic between TV and radio this resource provides a useful starting point to investigate the role of media and the history of a publication so widely used and known in Britain.

Issue from 1968: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Project Website

Issue from 1968: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Website

As optical character recognition can only accomplish so much the project is giving users the opportunity to edit, correct and add to existing entries with information that may not have been included in the listing generally (for example, if a programme was cancelled or relpaced) in order to create a far more comprehensive and contextualised record.

Issue from 1994: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Project Website

Issue from 1994: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Website

Interestingly the addition of information by external users has become a popular method of gathering data that may simply not be held within the record, and of highlighting resources in different ways to make them more accessible to researchers. This can be seen in the recent project by the National Archives, Operation War Diarythat was launched this January to mark the centenary of the First World War (Operation War Diary – you archive needs you!), a project that encourages users to tag the data they discover within the entries, such as names, dates and places in order to make it easier for subsequent users to find.

Issue from 2007: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Website

Issue from 2007: Image courtesy of the BBC Genome Website

Find the BBC Genome project here and see if you recognise any of these issues!

Something Old, Something New

As you may have noticed from our recent posts, we have been looking at how archives can inform future decisions and inspire new creations. To join the recent opening of the Anchor Line Restaurant that took inspiration from the University of Glasgow’s Anchor Line Ltd company archive, the BBC project Artist and Archive: Artists Moving Image at the BBC has recently concluded and the artist’s pieces are now online!

Left to right: Stephen Sutcliffe, Kathryn Elkin, Torsten Lauschmann, Luke Fowler, Kate Davis,and Alia Syed  Image courtesy of the BBC

Left to right: Stephen Sutcliffe, Kathryn Elkin, Torsten Lauschmann, Luke Fowler, Kate Davis,and Alia Syed
Image courtesy of the BBC

As part of this project (see our past post for the project’s original details) the six artists chosen have worked over the course of 6 months to create new moving-image artworks that take footage and inspiration from the BBC’s large film archive. All of these films can now be watched on the BBC’s website here.

BBC announces six artists chosen to be part of Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC

The BBC has chosen the six Scottish moving image artists who will be given access to explore the BBC archives in order to create their own artworks inspired by classic and lesser-known BBC programmes from throughout its history. The selected artists are Kate Davis, Kathryn Elkin, Turner Prize-nominated Luke Fowler, Torsten Lauschmann, Alia Sayed and Stephen Sutcliffe.

BBC Scotland, Creative Scotland and LUX arts agency have partnered to create Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC, a unique and unparalleled initiative that for the first time will create six new moving image works to be hosted online at bbc.co.uk/arts and around the country. This initiative marks the start of the BBC’s on-going commitment to allow artists access to archives.

Jonty Claypole, Head of Arts for BBC Productions, says: “We were bowled over by the quality of moving image artists in Scotland and are looking forward to seeing what the chosen six are able to produce. The BBC Archive is a rich and unrivalled resource so this is a unique opportunity for some of Scotland’s most interesting artists to create an eclectic mix of new works. We want to learn from these artists and see the archive used in new ways.”

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, says: “Creative Scotland is delighted to be supporting LUX to deliver these residencies in partnership with BBC Scotland through the Creative Futures Programme. The BBC archive is a rich resource that will offer these artists significant source material and access to production facilities, allowing them to develop their practice and create wonderful new works.”

The six artists are:

Kate Davis

Born in New Zealand, Kate Davis lives and works in Glasgow. Questioning how to bear witness to the complexities of the past, Davis’s artwork is an attempt to reconsider, reclaim and reinvent what certain histories could look, sound and feel like. Informed by successive waves of feminist art and theory, Davis works across a range of media, including drawing, installation, bookworks and film/video.

Kathryn Elkin

Kathryn Elkin works predominantly in performance, video and writing. She is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Goldsmiths College and participated in the LUX Associate Artists Programme 2012/13. Her work concerns a comparison of the way in which we experience art to the ways and means it is understood culturally.

Luke Fowler

Luke Fowler (born 1978) is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in Glasgow. He collaborates regularly with Richard Youngs, Eric La Casa, Toshiya Tsunoda and Lee Patterson. Fowler was awarded the inaugural Derek Jarman Award in 2008 and, in 2012, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. His latest film, The Poor Stockinger, The Luddite Cropper And The Deluded Followers Of Joanna Southcott won awards at the Mexico and Lima film festivals.

Torsten Lauschmann

Torsten Lauschmann’s diverse practice continually shifts and plays with expectations of images and the interpretation of meaning. He is concerned with both the aesthetic content of images and the ‘decoding’ of meaning and narrative. Since moving to Glasgow in 1993 to study Fine Art Photography at Glasgow School of Art, Lauschmann has been exhibiting, screening and performing his work throughout the UK and internationally.

Alia Syed

Alia Syed is an experimental filmmaker and artist. She grew up in Glasgow, moving to London at 17. She earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from University of East London in 1987 and a Postgraduate degree in Mixed Media from Slade School of Fine Art in 1992. Syed’s work has been screened and exhibited in museums, galleries, and festivals worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) in London, and the Talwar Gallery, which has represented her for over a decade, in New York and in New Delhi.

Stephen Sutcliffe

Stephen Sutcliffe (born 1968, Harrogate) lives and works in Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include Tramway, Glasgow (2013) Rob Tufnell, London (2012), Stills, Edinburgh (2011), Whitechapel Auditorium (2010), Cubitt, London (2009), Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin (2008) and Art Now, Light Box, Tate Britain (2005). Group exhibitions include: Frieze Projects, ‘Project 35’, Independent Curators International, touring to various venues in the United States (2010), ‘The Associates’, Dundee Contemporary Arts (2009) and ‘Nought to Sixty’ and ‘Talk Show’ at the ICA, London (2008 and 2009 respectively).

Mackintosh clocks feature on BBC News

ClockYou may remember our previous post about the Mackintosh Clocks Project. Well,  after many months of hard work by horologists Nick Sanders and Ken Chappelle, the clocks are ready to be installed.

Yesterday we welcomed BBC Scotland’s Arts Correspondent Pauline McLean to the Archives and Collections Centre where she interviewed Curator Peter Trowles about the project. She also spoke to Nick and Ken on location in Ken’s workshop. You can read today’s BBC news article here.

The clocks are also to be featured on today’s Reporting Scotland.

Horologist Kenneth Chapelle conserving one of the clocks. Image courtesy of BBC.

Horologist Kenneth Chapelle conserving one of the clocks. Image courtesy of BBC.

In June 2011, the Archives and Collections Centre was awarded a grant by Museums Galleries Scotland under its Recognition scheme. The amount awarded was £16,800.

The Mackintosh Studio Clocks restoration project intends to conserve and reinstate the original studio clocks, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1910. The importance of these wooden clocks is that they were run as an electrically operated ‘master and slave’ system – a rare and important technical innovation of the time. The 19 distinctive square studio clocks are linked to a master clock which should send an electrical pulse ensuring they all show the same time. As horologist Nick Sanders has said “With this system they all move together, they are all very precise and very, very accurate.”

Since the early 1990s the clocks have no longer worked (caused mainly by the failure of various technical components). The project seeks to reinstate the clocks back to their original working condition and to provide evidence as to their significance to early 20th century British horology.

GSA painting collection part of UK wide on-line resource

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Night Crossing by James Downie Robertson. GSA Collection.

The GSA’s collection of over 120 oil paintings has recently been added to an on-line image database established by the Public Catalogue Foundation. The Foundation’s Your Paintings website (www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings) currently lists over 145,000 oil and acrylic paintings held in some 1,700 public collections throughout the UK, with a further 10,000 works likely to be added before the project is finally complete.
The Your Paintings website has already proved to be an invaluable on-line resource and allows for the first time ever, searching of works by individual artists across all UK public collections.