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Wikipedia: Knitting it all Together

Author: Courtney Johnston, Director

As we progress with our summer Wikipedia project, we've realised context really is king.

Warwick Freeman and Karl Fritsch, 'Hook and Sinker', 2014. Shown in 'Wunderruma'. Collection of The Dowse Art Museum.

Warwick Freeman and Karl Fritsch, 'Hook and Sinker', 2014. Shown in 'Wunderruma'. Collection of The Dowse Art Museum.

If you go to our "scratchpad" page on Wikipedia, you can see that our project to add articles about New Zealand craft and applied art practitioners has steamed ahead over the Christmas break.

We've added over 60 new artist pages, from Zena Abbott to Merilyn Wiseman. Some articles (like this one on Baye Riddell) are just "stubs", waiting for more information to be added; others, like this one on John Parker, shows how pages progress as we start moving past mainstream publications and start digging through exhibition catalogues and old journals, adding nuggets of information to pages as we go. As part of this we've also added snippets of information to existing pages.

We've also found as we've gone along that we've started saying things like 'I wish there was an article on Bone Stone Shell, so I didn't have to keep explaining it.' The great thing about Wikipedia, of course, is that if you think something should be there, you just add it. So we've created pages for Bone Stone Shell, for New Vision Gallery, for the Barry Lett Galleries, for Pacific Sisters. Yesterday I created one for the Portage Ceramic Awards, which means we can now make links between all the artists who we've created pages for and the Award; likewise, we've been adding information to the Creative New Zealand and Arts Foundation of New Zealand pages about various recognitions, awards and residencies.

These pages allow us to start threading pages together, and creating those Wikipedia wormholes that are so delicious to disappear into. One day, in the dimly lit future, perhaps all this knitting together could be used to fuel something like MOMA's new Object:Photo visualisation of international photography in the 1920s–30s.

Want to find out more?

You can see all our previous Wikipedia project posts on our blog.

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