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The Association of Academic Museums and Galleries has published The Task Force for the Protection of University CollectionsA Ready Reference Guide for Academic Museum Professionals. The Task Force, which includes CAA and its Executive Director and CEO, Meme Omogbai, aims to serve as a resource and advocate for college and university museums whose collections are or may be under threat. This guide outlines the Task Force’s purpose and has basic information for museum professionals to begin to address challenges related to voluntary deaccessions.


Filed under: Advocacy, Task Force

The College Art Association (CAA), working jointly with the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), has released its Guidelines for the Evaluation of Digital Scholarship in Art and Architectural History for Promotion and Tenure. The guidelines are the result of a Task Force convened by the two associations of ten members from the academic community with experience in digital research, publication, and/or scholarly communications and administration. Established by the Board of Directors in October 2014 and supported by funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this joint task force of CAA and SAH was co-chaired by DeWitt Godfrey, president, CAA and professor of art and art history, Colgate University; and Kenneth Breisch, SAH president and assistant professor, School of Architecture, University of Southern California.

See the SAH announcement.

The project methodology was developed through a collaborative process involving the Task Force, consultant, researcher, and representatives from CAA and SAH. Research components included results from surveys of CAA and SAH members and department chairs, a similar questionnaire for graduate students, interviews with scholars and administrators, research on existing disciplinary and institutional evaluation guidelines, and a review of relevant literature. Alice Lynn McMichael, PhD candidate in Byzantine art history and digital fellow at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and Raym Crow, principal at Chain Bridge Group served as researcher and consultant.

In addition to a review of current guidelines and current literature on the topic, the researcher was charged with balancing broad survey data with more in-depth discussions of topics that resonate with evaluators of digital work. To this end, interviews were conducted with constituents from sixteen institutions across the United States that produce digital work regularly in art and/or architectural history. Institutions were either public and private and research-intensive or teaching-focused. Interviewees at those institutions had varying academic ranks and included department members, librarians, provosts, deans, chairs, and directors of humanities centers or similar.

Highlights from surveys from CAA and SAH members and interviews include the following:

  • Most CAA respondents, across all professional ranks, have never used data gathering and imaging tools (83%), data analysis and visualization tools (80%), three-dimensional modeling (75%), digital storage and preservation tools (73%), and geospatial analysis tools (65%).
  • Many characteristics of digital resources were generally valued as important, with the highest importance placed on permanent archiving, documentation of the resource, and ease of use; and relatively less importance on the availability of underlying data, financial sustainability, and permanent citation.
  • Graduate students report the highest confidence in evaluating digital scholarship.
  • Less than 4 percent of total respondents knew of existing evaluative criteria for digital scholarship in their departments.
  • The largest barrier to digital scholarship is lack of access to training.

Read the full Guidelines here. An essay, “Case Studies and Examples for Evaluating Digital Scholarship”  by Michelle Millar Fisher, a task force member, provides background information on evaluating digital resources and can be found on the College Art Association website.

Members of the Task Force included:

  • Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehall Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
  • Kenneth Breisch, SAH President, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Southern California, and Cochair of Task Force
  • Linda Downs (ex officio), Executive Director, College Art Association
  • Gabrielle Esperdy, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Editor of SAH Archipedia
  • Michelle Miller Fisher, PhD Candidate, Art History, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, and Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art
  • Pamela M. Fletcher, Professor of Art History, Chair of Art Department, and Codirector of Digital and Computational Studies Initiative, Bowdoin College
  • DeWitt Godfrey, CAA President, Professor of Art and Art History, Colgate University, and Cochair of Task Force
  • Anne Collins Goodyear, Codirector, Bowdoin College Museum of Art
  • Paul Jaskot, Professor, History of Art and Architecture, DePaul University, and Andrew W. Mellon Professor, CASVA
  • Bruce M. Mackh, Director, Arts and Cultural Management Program, Michigan State University
  • Tara McPherson, Associate Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California
  • Abby Smith Rumsey, Former Director, Scholarly Communication Institute, University of Virginia
  • Pauline Saliga (ex officio), Executive Director, Society of Architectural Historians
  • Ann Whiteside, Librarian and Assistant Dean of Information Services, Harvard University

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, website, and other programs, services, and events. CAA focuses on a wide range of issues, including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage, preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching. Learn more at

About SAH

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at


Update on CAA Task Forces

posted by April 06, 2015

Task forces are established on occasion by the CAA Board of Directors to carry out research, address issues that are critical to the academic visual arts and art museums and require a limited commitment of time. There are currently seven task forces at CAA that have been established by the Board of Directors.

Task Force on Fair Use

Established in October 2012, this task force is cochaired by Jeffrey Cunard, CAA Counsel and Managing Partner of the Washington, DC, office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Gretchen Wagner, former General Counsel, ARTstor, and former member, Committee on Intellectual Property. Its twelve members have been overseeing a four-year fair use initiative supported by an initial grant from the Kress Foundation and a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Led by the efforts of Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide of American University, the first two years included interviews with 100 artists, art historians, curators, editors, librarians, publishers; a survey of 2,000 CAA members; and discussions with another 100 visual arts professionals. Based on the consensus developed through this process, the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts was published in February 2015 and presented to the CAA membership at the Annual Conference. Over the next two years the task force will assist in the dissemination of the Code through webinars, presentations at conferences, and in small meetings of professionals in the visual arts. The project will be completed in December 2016.

Download the Resolution to Form Task Force to Develop Fair Use Guidelines.

Task Force on Advocacy

Established by the Board in February 2015, this task force is chaired by Jacqueline Francis, Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts. The task force is charged with prioritizing CAA members’ critical advocacy issues.

Download the Resolution for a Task Force on Advocacy.

Task Force on the Annual Conference

Established by the Board in February 2015, this task force is chaired by Suzanne Preston Blier, CAA Vice President for the Annual Conference and Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. The task force is charged with evaluating the structure, format, and technologies of the Annual Conference to facilitate information exchange, presentation of creative work, and professional support of members.

Download the Resolution for a Task Force on the Annual Conference.

Task Force on Committees

Established by the Board in October 2014, this task force is chaired by Charles A. Wright, CAA Vice President for Committees and Professor and Chair, Department of Art, Western Illinois University. The task force is charged with reviewing the nine Professional Interest Practices and Standards (PIPS) committees of CAA in order to ensure that the 2015–2020 Strategic Plan priorities, the structure of the committees, and the organization best meet the needs of CAA members.

Download the Resolution for a Task Force on Professional Interests, Practices and Standards Committees.

Task Force on Design

Originally established by the Board in May 2014 and recently reconfigured, the task force is chaired by Jim Hopfensperger, CAA Board Member and Professor of Art, Western Michigan University. The task force is charged with addressing and making recommendations on how to increase the sessions on design at the Annual Conference, engage designers as members, and address guidelines specific to designers.

Download the Resolution to Form a Task Force on Design.

Task Force to Develop Guidelines for Evaluating Digital Art and Architectural History for Promotion and Tenure

Established by the Board in October 2014 and supported by funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this joint task force of CAA and the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is co-chaired by DeWitt Godfrey, President, CAA and Professor of Art and Art History, Colgate University; and Ken Breisch, SAH President and Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Southern California. The Mellon grant supports a research assistant, Alice Lynn McMichael, Graduate Center Digital Fellow and Digital Dissertations Liaison, The Graduate Center, CUNY and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Hunter College; and a statistician, Raym Crow, Chain Bridge Group. The task force charge is to develop guidelines for digital art and architectural history for use in promotion and tenure.

Download the Resolution to Establish a Joint CAA and Society of Architectural Historians Task Force to Develop Guidelines for Evaluating Digital Art and Architectural History for Promotion and Tenure.

Task Force on Governance

Established by the Board in October 2014, this task force is chaired by DeWitt Godfrey, CAA President and Professor of Art and Art History, Colgate University. The charge is to review the structure and transparency of Board of Directors’ responsibilities to better serve and communicate with CAA members.

Download the Resolution for a Task Force on Governance.

CAA Update from the President

posted by November 13, 2014

DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, is president of the CAA Board of Directors.

CAA is moving ahead on several strategic goals. After a year of investigation and discussion with over 200 artists, art historians, curators, editors and reproduction rights officers, Professors Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi are drafting the new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts which will be reviewed by the Task Force on Fair Use, the Committee on Intellectual Property, the Professional Practices Committee, and an independent Legal Advisory Committee. We anticipate that the code will be presented at the Annual Conference in February 2015.

At the October 26th Board meeting, the formation of two task forces was approved: one to review CAA’s governance structure, and one to review its professional committees. As a greater number of faculty are now part-time, the board and committee requirements have to be adjusted so that the best expertise is brought to CAA within the most economical timeframes. The Board also had a lively discussion on the best directions to be taken regarding advocacy and how CAA can respond quickly and efficiently to issues that affect members’ daily work. We are exploring the creation of a task force on advocacy.

The CAA Board and senior staff held a day-long retreat which focused on a vision for the future of the annual conference—a more flexible structure, greater opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion, serving the needs and interests at each stage of a career in the visual arts, and the ability to quickly address issues that arise in the field, have an international perspective and participation, and reach those members who are not able to attend the conferences.

New, updated volumes of the Directories of Graduate Programs are now available through CAA’s website. From the data published in the directories, CAA will draw statistical information about all the visual-arts subdisciplines, mapping important changes in the field regarding enrollment and employment. We plan to make information from the past four years available to members in the coming months.

The September issue of The Art Bulletin features the third essay in the “Whither Art History?” series, as well as essays on Jan van Eyck and commemorative art, Hans Burgkmair and recognition, Watteau and reverie, and contemporary Indian Art from the 1985-86 Festival of India. The latest issue of Art Journal includes a forum called “Red Conceptualismos del Sur/Southern Conceptualisms Network,” featuring articles printed in their original Spanish and Portuguese alongside new English translations—this is the first foray into multilingual publishing for CAA. Art Journal Open’s first web editor, Gloria Sutton, associate professor at Northeastern University, has commissioned features from the artist Karen Schiff and the new-media historian Mike Maizels, as well as a dialogue between the curator Becky Huff Hunter and the artist Tamarin Norwood. The vision for this website is to provide an online space for artists’ works, experimental scholarship, and conversations among arts practitioners. And, now open access, includes nearly 2,500 reviews of books, exhibition catalogues, and conferences on art, as well as an annual list of completed and in-progress art history dissertations. Thirty-four field editors commission reviewers to address new publications, exhibitions, and exhibition catalogues and videos in every area of the visual arts. The new copublishing relationship between CAA and Taylor & Francis that supports all three CAA journals will complete its first year this month with a marked increase in readership. We are encouraging authors to use the multimedia resources offered at Taylor & Francis Online as well as its citation app.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded CAA and the Society for Architectural Historians a grant to cooperatively carry out research and develop guidelines in digital art and architectural history for promotion and tenure in the workforce. With the increased use of digital platforms in research and publishing there is a need for guidelines that reflect the best practice in evaluating digital art and architectural history. A task force will be formed of two art historians, two architectural historians, a librarian, a museum curator, a scholar from another humanities or social science field with expertise in digital scholarship, and a graduate student or emerging professional in art history or architectural history. CAA will hire a part-time researcher to gather information on current practices from faculty members throughout the country. Please see the Online Career Center for the listing.

CAA, like other learned, membership societies, faces significant challenges and opportunities for the future. The changing landscape of publication, academic workforce issues, advocating for the arts and humanities, serving a changing membership and the field are areas where CAA has and will continue to make a difference, by building on our legacy of leadership and embracing the necessary changes required to meet our mission and vision.

The Task Force on the Strategic Plan seeks member comments on the draft Strategic Plan and invites your participation at the Annual Members’ Business Meeting at the 2014 Annual Conference in Chicago on Friday, February 14, at 5:30 PM.

CAA is pleased to announce the publication of Copyright, Permissions and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report. Endorsed by CAA’s Board of Directors on January 24, 2014, the report is now available on CAA’s website (here) and will also be distributed in printed form at the upcoming Annual Conference in Chicago.  The report was written by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, professors of communications and law, respectively, at American University; and graduate fellows Bryan Bello and Tijana Milosevic.  Aufderheide and Jaszi are the project’s lead researchers and two of its principal investigators. Their report summarizes 100 interviews of art historians, artists, museum curators, editors and publishers describing issues related to the use of third-party images in creative and scholarly work. The research was further informed by a CAA membership survey on fair use and a review of relevant literature and legal precedents.

This issues report reveals a situation in which uncertainty about copyright law and the availability of fair use, particularly in the digital era, has made many practitioners risk-averse, too often abandoning or distorting projects due to real or perceived challenges in using copyrighted materials. The report was read by the project’s Principal Investigators, Project Advisors, and members of the CAA Task Force on Fair Use, its Committee on Intellectual Property, and a Community Practices Advisory Committee. A full list of these individuals appears as an appendix in the report.

By identifying key concerns, the Issues Report makes an important contribution toward addressing questions related to the use of copyrighted materials and the understanding of fair use principles. It represents an important step in CAA’s work to develop and disseminate a Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing in the Visual Arts.  Over the coming year, CAA will host small group discussions in five cities (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.) among visual arts professionals, guided by Professors Aufderheide and Jaszi, to identify areas of consensus in how fair use can be employed. These deliberations will undergird the development of a code of best practices, which will be reviewed by the project’s Principal Investigators, Project Advisors, members of the CAA Task Force on Fair Use, its Committee on Intellectual Property, and a Legal Advisory Committee. Once finalized, it will be presented to the CAA Board of Directors for approval and widely disseminated.

During CAA’s 102nd Annual Conference in Chicago (February 12–15, 2014), Aufderheide and Jaszi will discuss this project publicly with Anne Collins Goodyear, CAA president; Jeffrey Cunard, co-chair of CAA’s Task Force on Fair Use; Christine Sundt, chair of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP), and Paul Catanese, associate chair and associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College and chair of CAA’s New Media Caucus. The session will take place on Saturday, February 15, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago.

CAA’s Fair Use Initiative is supported by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It also received generous preliminary funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

CAA has long been committed to enhancing understanding of copyright and fair-use issues in the field of the visual arts. Over the past year, it began a multiyear project looking toward the development of a code that reflects fair-use practices in the use of copyrighted materials in the field. The project’s methodology is based on the community-based and consensus-driven approach to developing codes of best practices in fair use that is described in Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (2011), which was authored by Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and director of its Center for Social Media, and Peter Jaszi, professor of law and faculty director of the Washington College of Law’s Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic.

To launch the project, Aufderheide and Jaszi, two of the principal investigators of the CAA project, began interviewing visual-arts professionals in October 2012, with the support of a start-up grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Last December, CAA was awarded a major grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the project (see

Aufderheide and Jaszi have now completed one hundred interviews, including art historians, artists, museum professionals, archivists, art librarians, critics, designers, editors, publishers, and rights holders. These interviews have yielded rich data on the experiences and views of practitioners in the field.

To supplement these views, last March CAA circulated to members a survey questionnaire asking about their views on copyright and fair use. The survey results, along with research into legal issues and a literature review, have provided valuable information about copyright-related challenges facing the field.

Aufderheide and Jaszi are now drafting an Issues Report to summarize and analyze the information from the interviews, member survey, and literature review. Later this fall, the Issues Report will be reviewed by a number of groups, including the project’s principal investigators and advisors, the Task Force on Fair Use, and CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP). CAA also has assembled a Community Practices Advisory Committee (CPAC) to review the report in December. The CPAC members are:

  • Maxwell Anderson, Director, Dallas Museum of Art
  • Susan Bielstein, Executive Editor, University of Chicago Press
  • Martha Buskirk, Professor of art history and criticism, Montserrat College
  • Paul Catanese, Chair of Interdisciplinary Arts, Columbia College, and past-chair, CAA New Media Caucus
  • Kenneth Hamma, Consulting at the Intersection of Cultural Heritage and IT
  • Alan Newman, Chief, Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, National Gallery of Art
  • Mari Carmen Ramirez, Curator of Latin American Art and Director, International Center for the Arts of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Timothy Rub, Director, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and President, Association of Art Museum Directors
  • Christine Sundt, Editor of Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation

After this review process is completed, the Issues Report will be presented to CAA’s Board of Directors and, after the board endorses it, it will then be published in advance of the Annual Conference. The report will be the subject of the CIP’s session at the conference, scheduled for NOON on Saturday, February 15.

Over the course of 2014, the Issues Report will be used in the project’s second phase—as the basis for discussions by small groups of visual-arts professionals around the country in meetings led by Aufderheide and Jaszi. Based on these discussions, CAA then hopes to draft a code of best practices that reflects a consensus of practitioners with respect to fair-use practices in scholarly publishing and in creating and curating artworks in the visual arts.


The CAA Committee on Intellectual Property sponsored a well-attended session at the 2013 Annual Conference,  “Developing a Fair Use Code for the Visual Arts,” in support of CAA’s recently inaugurated fair-use project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.  Chaired by Christine Sundt (also the Committee’s chair), this panel included the two principal investigators engaged by CAA to research, write, and disseminate a code of best practices in the use of third-party copyrighted material by practitioners across the arts. Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at the American University Washington College of Law, and Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication and co-director of its Center for Social Media, American University, were joined on the panel by Jeffrey Cunard, CAA Counsel and Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

The discussion among panel members focused on the history of fair use and the background and schedule of CAA’s fair use project. The forthcoming code of best practices will assist individual scholars, artists, teachers, museum professionals, and other creators in analyzing what constitutes fair use of copyrighted works that they wish to employ. Answers to questions from the audience further delineated the scope of the project, which will address two types of users: scholars and museum professionals and those who use third party material in the making of art. The completed code will not constitute legal guidelines, but will document practice as it exists and will help the arts community understand the law regarding fair use. The code will provide a definition of a work of art as far-reaching and as including time-based and other multimedia forms.

Panelists for the session are also members of a Task Force on Fair Use, which oversees the project and is co-chaired by Cunard with Gretchen Wagner, former general counsel of ARTstor. Advisors on this project include Virginia Rutledge, art historian, and lawyer, and Maureen Whalen, associate general counsel for the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Committee on Intellectual Property will continue to support the project by hosting a session at the 2014 CAA Annual Conference on Jaszi and Aufderheide’s Issues Report, developed through interviews and focus groups, and a session to discuss the completed code at the 2015 Annual Conference in New York.

Additional work by the Committee on Intellectual Property included a restructuring of the Intellectual Property section of the CAA website, and presentation to and endorsement by the CAA Board of Directors of fair use guidelines written by the Association of Research Libraries and by the Visual Resources Association.

CAA is now moving ahead with its Fair Use project, which will culminate in developing and disseminating a code of best practices intended to guide visual arts scholars, artists, teachers and museum professionals when they may use the copyrighted works of others under fair use. The project is funded by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. An announcement of the grant can be found here:

Last year, CAA’s Board established a Task Force to guide the Fair Use project. The Task Force is co-chaired by Gretchen Wagner, former general counsel of ARTstor, and me. Its other members include CAA President Anne Goodyear, CAA Executive Director Linda Downs, Committee on Intellectual Property Chair as well as members of the Board, and CAA members at large. During this year’s Annual Conference, the Task Force held its first meeting and the Committee on Intellectual Property sponsored a session that described the background of the project, its goals, and the projected timeline.

CAA’s Fair Use project has four phases. First, a hundred visual arts professionals, representing the broad spectrum of CAA’s membership and the field as a whole, will be interviewed on the use of third-party copyrighted materials in scholarly and artistic works. We also will survey CAA’s membership, so, within the next week, members can expect to see an email with a survey about copyright and the visual arts. Please take the time to fill it out: your participation is critical to the success of the project. This research phase will culminate in an Issues Report, which will be reviewed by a Community Practices Advisory Committee and, prior to the next Annual Conference, will then be made public.

In the second phase, we will convene a series of discussion groups across the country to focus on the issues raised by the Issues Report. These, too, will represent a wide range of CAA members. In these discussions, CAA members will discuss the most common situations identified in the Issues Report, and how they understand fair use to be important to accomplishing the professional goals of CAA members. During the third phase, that consensus will be reflected in a draft code. The draft will be reviewed by a Legal Advisory Committee, to ensure that it is consistent with the current law on fair use, and will be presented to the CAA Board for its approval. In the fourth and final phase, CAA will disseminate the code by making presentations at visual arts conferences around the country and posting webinars on CAA’s website and those of related organizations.

Patricia Aufderheide, University Professor in the School of Communication at American University and co-director of its Center for Social Media, and Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law and faculty director of the Washington College of Law’s Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic, co-principal investigators on the project, are conducting the research. They have considerable experience in developing codes of best practice for a large number of communities, including documentary filmmakers, dance archivists, poets, research librarians, and journalists. Their methodology and experience is described in their book, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, University of Chicago Press, 2011. We are also grateful for the expert input of project advisors Virginia Rutledge, an art advisor, art historian, and lawyer who practices in the areas of both copyright and art law, and Maureen Whalen, associate general counsel for the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Throughout CAA’s Fair Use project, we will post updates in CAA News. We hope you will follow our progress.

Please take time to complete the CAA Creativity and

Copyright Survey, arriving by email on Friday, March 8.

Submitted by: Jacqueline Francis, Vice President for Annual Conference
February 17, 2013

This report is a revised and updated version of the preliminary report delivered to the Board of Directors at its October 28, 2012 meeting. It is offered in four parts:

A. The Task Force Origins and Goals
B. Relevant Task Force Discussions and Findings
C. Future Research and Considerations
D. The Task Force’s Accomplishments and Recommendations

The Task Force members:

Jacqueline Francis, California College of the Arts; Vice President for Annual Conference; Chair
Anne Collins Goodyear, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; CAA President and past-VP for Annual Conference
Randall Griffin, Southern Methodist University; CAA VP for Publications
Patricia McDonnell, Wichita Art Museum; CAA VP for External Affairs
Sabina Ott, Columbia College Chicago; CAA Board Member
Emmanuel Lemakis, CAA Director of Programs
Lauren Stark, CAA Manager of Programs and Archivist
Michael Goodman, CAA Director of Information Technology
Paul Jaskot, De Paul University; CAA Past-president
Bruce Robertson, University of California–Santa Barbara; CAA Past-VP for Annual Conference
Katherine Behar, Baruch College
Conrad Gleber, LaSalle University
Mark Tribe, Brown University

On behalf of CAA, I thank the Task Force members for their service to our organization.

A. The Task Force Origins and Goals

Discussion began in December 2011. The initial meeting was chaired by Anne Collins Goodyear, then Vice President for Annual Conference. At this early stage, Task Force members considered historical perspectives on the Conference, offered by Bruce Robertson, the first CAA Vice President for Annual Conference, and CAA’s Director of Programs, Emmanuel Lemakis. In this collegial and productive discussion, the possibility of providing new member benefits whether via live stream and interactive broadcasts or as a post-conference recorded archive (audio and/or video) arose right away. It was useful to be reminded by CAA Director of Information Technology, Michael Goodman, that our organization’s technology infrastructure is mostly used for communication. For this reason, video recording sessions would require CAA to find volunteers to undertake the task, hire new personnel to do so, or contract outside service providers. Starting in January 2012, the Task Force researched, reviewed, and reported on available information technology strategies. The Task Force considered current strategies in use by other learned societies and professional organizations that regularly host conferences and symposia, and by cultural institutions whose goals resonate, overlap, and are coeval with CAA’s.

B. Relevant Task Force Discussions and Findings

1. Distributing Annual Conference Sessions

Presently CAA members can purchase audio recordings of conference sessions whose participants agree to be recorded. Initially, the product was audiocassettes, and presently, CDs and MP3s (digital) are available. Other available technologies include podcasts in MP4 (Quick Time files), Flash Video format which delivers video on the Internet, Windows Media Video/WMV format for streaming (constant delivery provided to a user), and webcasts (media presentation streamed live or distributed on demand on the Internet). Live streaming and video sharing of conference sessions were at the center of many Task Force discussions.

The benefits of distributing session proceedings online during the conference and in its aftermath include:

    a. offering content to CAA members, including those who attended the sessions and simply want to revisit their subjects, and those who did not attend at all;
    b. attracting new members to CAA who may not ever attend a conference, such as those living outside of the U.S. and/or persons with limited resources;
    c.- generating revenue by making online content a membership benefit;
    d.- expanding and broadening its audience by providing some or all of our online content for free.
    e.- documenting conference proceedings and session participation, which, in the UK is regarded as active research that is assessed in academic promotion and tenure cases, and other performance reviews.

Of course, there are many challenges around recording and webcasting content:

    a. the costs of streaming and delivering high quality visual recordings and limited CAA resources for undertaking this expense at present. The hourly rate for professional videographers in New York is at least $500/hour.
    b. Fair Use limitations for broadcasting modern and contemporary art presented in Power Point, Keynote, Prezi, and other presentation formats. [Fair Use is a limitation and exception to federal copyright laws that allow one to use a text, image, recording, etc., without the permission of the copyright holder.]

There are companies that webcast conference and symposium presentations,c.amplifying (as one website proclaimed) these events. Among the prominent video hosting sites are Vimeo, Art Babble, and YouTube. Making use of these sites, the Institute of Fine Arts (New York University), the National Gallery of Art, the Getty Research Institute, and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom) presently offer streamed and/or recorded content online. All are committed to this kind of programming because it has increased their visibility.

The Getty’s strategy in developing policy that allows it to distribute its event online is exemplary. Advised by its attorneys, the Getty has scripted a release form that each guest speaker must sign; this document informs guest speakers that their presentations may be visually recorded and distributed on Getty sites, which included its YouTube channel, Facebook page, social media sites that might carry the Getty name, and the website. In addition, the Getty posts signs in its auditorium, advising the audience members at events that they may appear in video, still photography, etc., and on Getty websites. The Getty’s approach to recording speaker presentations that include works of art is to shoot around such images.

Following the Getty’s model, CAA might visually record session participants (and not any of the presented images prepared by panelists) who agree to be recorded. Major public sessions at the conference—the convocation, the distinguished scholar session, artist interviews—could be streamed live with presented images relegated to the background or not shot at all. CAA Counsel Jeffrey P. Cunard has confirmed that there would be no issue in visually recording (1) session speakers who have signed release forms, (2) separate Power Points (text only) presented, and (3) the work of an artist who is speaking. The costs of live streaming and recording sessions will be considered, including the possibility of contracting with a company which could both visually record and host captured media on its own server. Investigating the costs of such undertakings remains to be done, and the decision regarding prioritization for future Annual Conference’s falls to the board, in consultation with the executive director.

C. Future Research and Considerations

1. Conference Technologies

    a. CAA could organize and sponsor another session using Skype (or another innovative presentation technology that allows distance participation).
    b. CAA might investigate the possibility of a conference “app” that might make the gathering easier to navigate for participants, re: finding sessions, making use of the conference space, etc.
    c. CAA might weigh the benefits of (a) launching the splash/landing page for the conference further in advance of the gathering, and (b) revising the page with the goal of highlighting certain events.
    d. CAA might consider holding electronic roundtables.
    e. CAA could encourage greater use of social networking services and platforms, e.g., Twitter, Tumblr, etc., at the conference and in the lead-up to it. CAA Board members might host blogs based on their particular interests and affiliations, and interest groups within CAA might take up blogging. To create a stream of comments generated and carried forth by a conference session, CAA might add a Twitter hashtag to each session, or to a limited number of sessions related to particular interest groups. (Notably, artists place great importance on facilitating relationships in sessions.) Hashtags might be published in the conference program or announced at the start of a session. Overall, tweeting, which is like taking notes, gives people a feeling of belonging to a social network, and would signal a change in CAA’s relationship with conference participants.
    f. CAA could consider a price for access to conference recordings. Access might be a benefit of conference registration, set as a charge for non-registrants, or granted following a pay-per-view price for a single recording or a package of recordings downloaded from a CAA-branded website. A disclaimer stating that the quality of the recorded media will vary might be necessary.
    g. Regarding streaming and recorded technology under consideration, CAA might have to accept some loss of control over them for it will not be possible to review all conference media slated for distribution. While CAA strives to provide and distribute high quality recordings to members, determining, assessing, and meeting that standard are responsibilities that our body might share with session participants, including session chairs.
    h. CAA could pursue the prospect of live streaming several sessions that will be distributed either on our website or on another server.
    i. CAA might consider a universal opt-in format for consent related to recording sessions and distributing them. That is, by agreeing to participate in the conference, all participants (presenters and audiences) would agree to be recorded, photographed, etc., and have their images used on CAA sites. Those who do not agree to any or all of these terms would have to submit forms stating their refusal by a set, pre-conference deadline.

2. Post-Conference Documentation of Conference Sessions

CAA’s identity is that of a member organization, and it can further capitalize on its capacity to facilitate relationships within our community. Specific to the visual recording of conference sessions, a Task Force member suggested this design for implementation:

    a. Session chairs could self-document (visual and audio recording, distribution of papers and presentations, setting up URL links, etc.) and post the media to a website they design and control.
    b. The CAA website could provide links to the session websites with abstracts and biographical information about the participants.

Some strategies for implementation:

    a. CAA requests, encourages or requires participation in such documentation.
    b. CAA starts small and works to support the initiative through outside funding.
    c. CAA make copyright issues the session chairs’ responsibility.

Participation in the visual recording of conference events for distribution may be low at first and may require CAA support to reach 100%. Without question, increasing the availability of the conference sessions will be a benefit to members. It also will influence creative, scholarly, and professional interest groups who exist outside of CAA and include individuals who have not or do not attend the Annual Conference. There is unlimited potential for CAA to facilitate the development of new networks and relationships.

3. Digital Communication and Distribution of Scholarship

Digital content is still being driven by individual members. CAA must continue to investigate the benefits and challenges of digital communication and distribution of scholarship using such technologies. The Modern Language Association (MLA) has recently established a new Office of Scholarly Communication with the goal of using digital platforms to promote member communication. MLA’s model of membership privileges openness, rather than the conventional closed dynamic of scholarly associations. A key benefit of membership is the opportunity to use MLA resources to find and communicate with likeminded scholars. Previously, a benefit of MLA membership was sharing one’s work with a relatively small number of people in attendance at an annual conference, or through publication in a journal (itself conceived as a benefit of membership). Now, MLA members will be able communicate with each other throughout the year, and publish digitally through MLA Commons, an open-source, blog-like platform that is being developing in partnership with the City University of New York Academic Commons (and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation). MLA believes that the open practices and flexible network of MLA Commons will cultivate the best scholarship.

D. The Task Force’s Accomplishments and Recommendations

1. Accomplishments

    a. There will be a CAA Board-sponsored session at the 2013 conference on participatory art, curated by Task Force member Mark Tribe and led by Pablo Helguera. A New York based artist, Helguera is an author and multi-disciplinary artist working in unconventional formats, including experimental symposia, audio recordings, exhibition audio-guides, and nomadic museums.
    b. THATCamp CAA (in association with Columbia University and Smarthistory at Khan Academy) will be held on Monday, February 11, 2013 and Tuesday, February 12, 2013. This unconference will be an informal, discussion-based, collaborative meeting to be held at Macaulay Honors College (35 West 67th Street, NY). Attendance is free. THATCamp CAA focuses on digital art history scholarship and is open to those with an active interest in that area. Seventy-five participants were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of Kress Fellowships were made available for graduate students to help defray travel costs to THATCamp CAA. Lastly, there will be a CAA Board sponsored session at the 2013 Conference dedicated to the findings and outcomes of THATCamp CAA.
    c. There is wireless access at the 2013 Conference (NY) in all session rooms; our 2014 Conference (Chicago) also will offer this benefit for participants. CAA director of programs, Emmanuel Lemakis, deserves special recognition for negotiating with Hilton New York Hotel representatives for this perk.
    d. CAA is negotiating with a New York-area university to have student videographers record two to three sessions at the 2013 Conference. Session participants will permit video recording of themselves at the podium (but not their images as presented in Keynote, Power Point, Prezi, etc.). These videos will be made available after the conference. (See Task Force Recommendations section below.)

2. Recommendations

    a.. In 2013 CAA should undertake a pilot project to present two to three visual recordings of Conference sessions on Vimeo. Key CAA staff, the CAA President, and the VP for Annual Conference should review the recordings. High quality video should be uploaded to Vimeo by mid-March 2013 and promoted on CAA’s website.
    b.. Post-2013 conference, CAA should apply for a grant to fund a three-year initiative to research and present best practices of live streaming, audio and video recording, and archiving records of scholarly and professional presentations in which Fair Use is an issue. Grant requests could be made to the Kress Foundation and to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to position CAA as an organization well-suited to create a model for streaming online content. Our grant application should stress both the benefits to CAA and to the cultural sector in which we operate, especially in working out costs and other challenges to presenting images that are under copyright.

3. Budget items may include the following:

    (a) a temporary employee’s salary to professionally visually record a limited number of sessions, upload video to a media hosting site, and pursue image permissions used in a limited number of conference sessions, starting in 2014;
    (b) production costs related to streaming, visual recording, archiving, and posting conference videos for online distribution, live stream or on demand;
    (c) the costs of contracting with recording company that would visually record CAA sessions and host the recordings on its server;
    (d) research on permissions costs to session speakers to reproduce images at conference sessions/events starting in 2014 Conference and extending to 2017.
    e. CAA should identify a suite of conference sessions, presentations, and events suitable for live streaming and video recording, and secure participants’ permission to record, broadcast, and/or archive their discussions (and not their images), starting with the 2014 Conference. The cost of doing so should be recouped from conference fees.
    f. Four sessions at the 2014 Conference—selected in advance by CAA executive director, deputy director, director of programs, director of information technology, director of membership, development, marketing, CAA President, CAA Vice President for Annual Conference—should be streamed live during the conference and made freely available. Cost of doing so should be recouped from conference fees. The Task Force suggests streaming the conference’s keynote speaker’s address and the distinguished scholar session.
    g. The unconference format should be part of the 2014 Conference, and might be organized around the topic of contemporary artists’ use and engagement with emergent technologies. This unconference could be scheduled to run concurrently with the Annual Conference; limited to 60-75 participants in the THATCamp format, the unconference would not compete with the Annual Conference.
    h. CAA should encourage the growth of interest blogs and assign hashtags to our conference sessions. Task Force members recently attended conferences and symposia where social media enhanced the event for participants. The CAA director of programs will contact museum professionals and information management experts who have organized and/or used Twitter in conference settings, and the Annual Conference Committee will investigate the viability of the hashtag proposal.
    i. New technology is created regularly and must be continuously discussed and considered for adoption. A Board-sponsored session at the conference is an appropriate Fostering sustainable and ongoing review of conference In addition to harvesting ideas introduced or technologies tried in conference sessions soon after the forum for such discussion technologies should be the charge of the Annual Conference Committee, which would add some members with expertise in this area and comprise a subcommittee annual meeting’s conclusion, the subcommittee would evaluate older technologies to determine if modifications are necessary or if they have outlived their usefulness.