Publishing The Art Bulletin: Past, Present & Future

This year The Art Bulletin turns 100! To celebrate the publishers have launched Publishing The Art Bulletin: Past, Present & Future. This site is … interesting, if not a bit clunky. The main focus of the site seems to be to link issues through themes and track those themes through time. A lot of emphasis is placed on “visualizing” dialog, and maybe the coolest feature of the site is the elaborate grids, pie charts, crazy floating data points, where all these connections are laid out.

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Here’s the intro from the publishers:

How do we envision the digital future for The Art Bulletin?

In celebration of the centennial year of the first issue in 1913, and building upon the foundations of the “Centennial Anthology” compiled in 2011, now in 2013 we present The Art Bulletin for your consideration of the journal’s digital future in light of its publication history. We feature three articles in two different formats (pdf – as originally published – and tablet). You may look at developments of the print journal through an Interactive Timeline in which all Table of Contents are grouped by decade; changes in format and content are noted by year. The publishing platform used here allows further exploration of this information through links, much like a web site, and by tags, which, unlike links and key words, accommodate the visualization of selected themes (such as cost, editorial statements, illustrations) and permit the reader to choose alternate paths through this information (described in this instructional video). Is this the kind of publishing option The Art Bulletin should consider taking advantage of in its digital future? We ask you to explore this site, imagine the possibilities, and let us know your thoughts.

I like the whole “visualizing” connections part of the site. It’s interesting to see how themes come in and out of favor throughout time. But honestly I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what I’m supposed to gain from this website. Some of the “visualizations” are just down right confusing. Am I missing something? Maybe someone can clue me in down in the comments. Otherwise, having the full archived Table of Contents is helpful, but you can’t access any of the articles other than the ones they choose to “feature”.

I like that The Art Bulletin is thinking about digital publication. I’m confused about the site, but that could just be me. Fellow Clio classmates, what do you make of their recommended browser message? I think that’s a big no-no personally.


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