Ars Electronica 2005
Festival-Website 2005
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Festival 1979-2007


The Daniel Langlois Foundation’s Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D)

'Alain Dépocas Alain Dépocas

Since its opening in October 2000, the Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D) has worked to establish a major collection of documents covering the past fifty years of electronic and digital art. This unique resource for the history of new media arts is fully accessible to the public at the CR+D in Montreal. Many resources and tools, such as an extensive database, archive documents and audio and video excerpts are also available online.(1)

The collection extensively covers the artists and projects funded by the Langlois Foundation and the context in which they evolve. Acquisition of older documents and archive collections provides an even larger historical contextualization. Amongst these are the Steina and Woody Vasulka archives; the Collection of Documents Published by Experiments in Art and Technology; the 9 Evenings of Theatre and Engineering archives and the Sonya Landy Sheridan archives. The CR+D’s collection contain a large variety of documents such as books, catalogues, CD-Roms, video and audio documents, slides and digital files.
At the centre of the CR+D’s resources is the CR+D’s Database (2) which link many levels of information through indexation. Far from being only a library catalogue, the database is composed of specialized modules designed to manage seven main types of information: documents (books, catalogues, CD-ROM, articles in periodicals, texts in anthologies, digital files, Web sites, etc.); individuals (artists, critics, curators, etc.); organizations (museums, galleries, research centres, etc.); events (exhibitions, festivals, performances, conferences); artworks; instruments (machines and software used by artists); and terminology.

Using this database, the researchers are able to make queries in all of these modules from the Web site. It is possible to obtain many types of result through cross indexation, such as a list of events in which an artist has participated or in which an artwork has been shown, a list of documents about an event or about an individual, a list of documents about a topic, etc. To achieve this, we have to index and describe documents at a very high or precise level. Even archive material is often processed at the item level, instead of only the file level.
Digital dissemination of archival documents on the Web is also part of the goal of the CR+D. On the CR+D’s Web site, all texts, images and audio-visual documents are presented with their relevant metadata and many search options are offered at the presentation layer.
The CR+D is also engaged in important research projects such as the Variable Media Network and DOCAM,(3) a large research alliance on the documentation and conservation of the media arts heritage. Lead by the CR+D, DOCAM includes Canadian and international partners such as V2 in Rotterdam, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Leonardo, the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the National Gallery in Ottawa.

(1) http://www.fondation-langlois.org
(2) http://www.fondation-langlois.org/flash/e/index.php?Url=CRD/search.xml
(3) http://www.variablemedia.net/; http://www.fondation-langlois.org/e/aruc.html