GAMA project info


New media art has become an inherent part of artistic and cultural expression. This art form has had an important influence on today’s society and modern thought and perception. It is only logical that there is an increasing demand for analysis and historical assessment of media art. In this light, enhanced access or retrieval of focused material on media artworks becomes a necessity. Only a small number of existing repositories offer their data online for public access, and then it is mostly reduced to written documentation and only in few cases complemented with video extracts or low resolution visuals.

The online portal GAMA is the result of an initiative launched by a consortium of renowned archives, distributors, art and research institutions together with private enterprises to enhance the access to media art for both the expert community and the interested public. Their endeavour is to contribute to the European Community’s effort to enable citizens to access the diverse digitised cultural heritage material.

The launch of the beta version of this ambitious online project is planned for May 2009, connecting eight European media art archives. Currently the partners collaborate to implement the best practice solutions in the face of this challenging enterprise. Each repository of media art has developed their own solution for building their digital archives, according to their own infrastructural requirements and organisational or cultural preferences. The GAMA platform seeks to respect these decisions and differences by providing easy access to all these diverse collections of media art in a harmonised manner.

screen-shot GAMA portal

In this the GAMA platform acts as content broker allowing easy access to all collections by harvesting metadata and content from all archives. By translating local content descriptions into a centralised database, the integrity of the connected archives is maintained but the visibility of the media art is considerably magnified. With the future expansive in mind, the infrastructure has been designed to scale up gracefully when new archives are added.

By bringing together these repositories of media art, the GAMA platform has been able to overcome duplication of effort in metadata collection, annotation and definition. In order to do this, a great deal of effort has been invested in enriching the original metadata attributed to individual works and in exploring new aspects of analysis and interpretation. One of the main strengths of the GAMA consortium is the combined experience and knowledge of partners in this field across Europe and when brought together this allows the GAMA platform to offer specialised academic and technical expertise which helps to add value to isolated national activities. In this way the GAMA platform offers new opportunities to structure and syndicate media art and similar content for a far wider audience, as well as providing access to a wealth of materials which have been brought together for the first time.

When new content is being harvested for inclusion in the GAMA platform, each media file is analysed and transcoded to the most suitable file formats for web-based access. This process enhances an advanced feature of the GAMA platform, namely text-based search and queries using sample images. In this way visual properties (such as colour, texture, motion) and audio features (such as loudness) are automatically detected in videos and still images. In addition, automatic speech recognition enables the retrieval of spoken text in audio tracks of videos and character recognition allows textual inserts in videos to be extracted for related queries.

The Center for Computing Technologies (TZI) of the Universität Bremen coordinates the project.

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GAMA will establish a central platform to enable multilingual, facilitated and user-orientated access to a significant number of media art archives and their digitalized content. The consortium comprises of a majority of the most important digital content holders for media art in Europe. GAMA hopefully will quickly develop to be the European central online interface and search portal for any person interested in media art. The consortium includes highly qualified technical partners with vast expertise in the field of digital media art archives. Most prominent amongst them are members of the Culture2000 project OASIS

The project GAMA focusses on access to media art archives. The goal of this project is to develepe an archiving platform which links the media art databases of several institutes and collections. This system should function as an interface between diverse structured databases and storing systems of the participants and as a web portal for contextualisation. The GAMA portal will offer information and curatorial tools for various artistic and cultural content and operations.

is a market oriented programme which aims to support the production, use and distribution of European digital content and to promote linguistic and cultural diversity on the global networks. To make digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable. The programme aims at facilitating access to digital content, its use and exploitation, enhancing quality of content with well-defined metadata, and reinforcing cooperation between digital content stakeholders. The Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam is a foundator member of the GAMA project.