NWO funds new heritage collection search method

31 March 2017

The Sensory Moving Image Archive (SEMIA). Boosting Creative Reuse for Artistic Practice and Research is one of seven research projects to receive funding from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2017 as part of the Smart Culture – Art and Culture research programme. SEMIA aims to develop a search method that will enable visual artists and researchers to search digitised heritage collections on the basis of visual features such as light and colour, form or movement.  The SEMIA project also investigates which analysis software and interfaces are required to explore and reuse this material in this way.

Researchers participating in the SEMIA project will be able to make use of two unique and differing types of heritage collections. EYE makes available 933 silent films from the collection of Jean Desmet (1907-1916); the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision mobilizes its comprehensive collection of news broadcasts aired by Dutch public-service broadcaster NOS and its forerunner NTS (1956-present).

The project takes off in September 2017 with the appointment of two postdocs at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and two senior researchers at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the UvA. Various workshops, expert meetings and a conference are planned to take place in the two years that follow.

SEMIA has been awarded funding in the context of the Smart Culture – Art and Culture research programme. This round is targeted at research in the field of art, culture, heritage and media in relation to the creative industry. EYE will be collaborating in this project with the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and Studio Louter. The programme is a joint initiative of NWO Social Sciences and Humanities and the  Nationaal Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek SIA (The National Taskforce for Applied Research SIA).

The application has been submitted by EYE chief curator Giovanna Fossati in her capacity as Professor of Film Heritage at University of Amsterdam. Co-applicants for the research project are Dr Eef Masson of the University of Amsterdam and Dr Harry van Vliet, Professor of Experience Design for Crossmedia Content at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.