A NEW SITE, OPEN ART IMAGES WHERE YOU CAN EASILY SEARCH FOR OPEN ACCESS IMAGES OF ART. DESIGNED BY AN ITALIAN DEVELOPER, IT MAY BE A PRECIOUS TOOL FOR PROFESSIONALS BUT ALSO FOR STUDENTS AND ART LOVERS. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
“Not all desires lead to freedom, but freedom is the experience of a desire that is recognized, chosen and pursued. Desire is never about simply owning something but about changing something ”
These are the words of John Berger , the great English art critic who had put images – arts and more – at the center of his research activity. The Open Art Images project claims to take inspiration from his writings, with the aim of expanding the possibilities of access to images as a form of knowledge.
Open Art Images conceived by the web designer Viviana Mei in team with Davide Strudthoff (management), Oleksandr Moccogni (digital marketing), Luisa D’Antonio (art historian and chief-editor), Anna Pirri Valentini (legal) and with the advice of Jandira Moreno do Nascimento (communication), is a search engine for high definition art images that collects materials from every era and from all over the world.
OAI aims to offer a valuable tool to all professionals working in the culture domain, but also to mere art lovers. All the images provided by this search engine are in open access and therefore can be reused for any purpose or context by its users, in particular they can be used to make art by arts, to re-make art. The core idea, of course, is to contribute to the democratization of knowledge, trying to make more and more resources accessible to everybody as many of them would otherwise remain hidden or be difficult to find in the web.
Furthermore, the project maintains an open connotation, encourages users to actively take part in the process in order to improve and increase the number and quality of resources already available. The OAI database, however, does not replicate existing content, taking an ecological position in this sense: “OAI reuses and re-circulates resources and data already present on the web, looking for and recovering data instead of creating another database or duplicating data and resources”, we read in the presentation. Technically speaking, the system uses linked open data from the Wikimedia Commons database and in particular from its art fund.
HOW DOES IT WORK
To search for an image enter one or more words in the search bar at the top of the page, such as an author, a title of an artwork or a keyword. For each image details, source, license type and the link to the high resolution file are provided. If you want to contribute to the database with new images or by enriching or modifying the associated descriptions, you can do it directly on the Wikimedia pages, where you are redirected.
“The purpose of Open Art Images”, explain the authors, “Is to create a shared space dedicated to these images and common heritage. Open Art Images also aims to develop a research platform dedicated to the image as such and to the different ways of seeing. The image will be examined from the point of view of various disciplines and orientations, allowing the researcher to discover new ways of observing, looking and seeing images, to analyze and integrate them into our history, into our way of living and thinking ”.
Released in its Beta version on March 3 2020, at the moment Open Art Images provides almost three million images from open and shared databases. In fact, Open Art Images does not create new databases, but tries to network institutions and individuals and to find new ways of re-appropriating and circulating the collective visual heritage in the present.
The proposed collection of images is therefore constantly expanding. To date, it collects digitized works from more than 400 museums, galleries, archives and libraries from all over the world. Among the institutions that contribute most to sharing their collections we find the MET, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum, the Prado Museum, the Louvre Museum, the Getty Center, the Hermitage Museum, the Tokyo National Museum.
An art platform with an important mission in addition to sharing and disseminating beauty and creativity: to protect privacy and the right to partecipate to the web, without being profiled or having personal data stolen while respecting the environment for a free and transparent web.
The numbers of visits to the site are encouraging: from its release, more than twelve thousand users from 105 different countries have experimented and used the site since. Also through the social networks Open Art Images tries to involve people for an ever wider sharing of knowledge. To date, the Facebook page has more than four thousand likes, Instagram and Twitter will soon follow.
The doors of the potential largest online art collection are open, you just have to enter and discover it.