Welcome the Diaspora-Artists.net feedback blog

November 12, 2009

The feedback period for diaspora-artists.net via the blog has now ended. Please direct any comments to us via info@diaspora-artists.net

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We hope that this space will provide an opportunity to broker further discussion between users during this testing of the project.

As the digitisation process continues, more emphasis will now be placed on writing further biographical outlines on the artists/writers/curators. At the present time, only a minority of those represented on the site have entries written on them, with no way for users to know (without clicking on individual names) which of the artists/writers/curators have the most substantial biographical entries. So the following is a list of some of the recent entries, should any of the user group wish to get a sense of the nature of the biographical outlines: Mowbray Odonkor, Chila Kumari Burman, Denzil Forrester, Aubrey Williams, Bashir Makhoul, Dr Petrine Archer-Straw, Faisal Abdu-Allah, Godfried Donkor, Hassan Hajjaj, Johannes Phokela, Keskidee Centre, Lesley Sanderson, Michael Forbes, Permindar Kaur, Said Adrus, Ronald Moody, Saleem Arif, Shaka Dedi, Sonia Boyce, Tony Phillips, Tracey Moffatt. More biographies are of course being added on a week-by-week basis.

Similarly, there is still a considerable amount of material yet to be inputted. Much of the material yet to be inputted exists in the collection, though it has to be acknowledged that an amount of material will need to be sourced, in order to make the site truly comprehensive and authoritive. To this end, we’ll be soliciting material to address the gaps that no doubt exist. In years and months to come, we intend to broaden the scope of the site by incorporating the material relating to artists from South Asia, Africa, African America, Aboriginal Australia, and so on.

What we hope to gain through the testing process is a sense of how functional the site will be when subjected to the whims, curiousity, and rigours of its future users. All of us have had the experience – often frustrating – of using sites that don’t quite function as we’d like them to. Karen, Paddy Uglow (who has in effect and with great diligence built the site), all the others involved in developing diaspora-artists.net, and myself: all of us are keen to ensure that the site is as useful and as functional as possible. So to this end we are keen to take note of your comments. We also have an idea that this blog space can in some way serve or function as an ongoing aspect of the site, in which ideas, debates, and arguments about the collecting and the archiving of visual arts material can generate and indeed, germinate.

One other thing. The site will, we hope, eventually function as a gateway to the actual material itself. Of course, users in search or in need of specific material, are free to source books, catalogues, press articles etc from whatever libraries, archives, book shops are most practical to them. Indeed, on that note, diaspora-artists.net should ideally be seen as an addition, or a supplement to whatever provision already exists. Likewise, the site can and should in some ways function as a prompt for bookshops, libraries and archives to increase the attention they pay to pluralising art’s histories and providing greater access to material that pursues this objective and serves this purpose.

Eddie Chambers

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