PARIP Explorer: ontologies of digital knowledges in the performing arts database

AA Piccini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


In this short presentation I consider ways of knowing in practice-led research at the point at which knowledges are translated through digital resources, specifically the database. There are a significant number of performing arts databases currently in existence, none of which have considered seriously the problematic of closed taxonomies in the contested field of performance. Many of these resources have been produced out of an underworked notion of ‘access’ and ‘dissemination’ and their value as on-line resources can be questionable. PARIP Explorer is a rich graphical client interface to a Web Service that allows querying and updating of a ‘Friend of a Friend’ Semantic Web database. The database experiments with developing fluid webs of relationships among knowledge objects to allow for multiple, concurrent considerations of performance artefacts. It has been designed to speak alongside PARIP's research concerns around presence and the mediatized and is grounded in the theoretical practices of the project as a whole. This application of the Semantic Web serves as both an extensible record of mixed-mode research practices as well as providing a creative environment for interactively discovering and describing relationships among disparate research activities. The work draws on existing social network visualization software, such as FOAFNAUT (, JUNG ( and TheyRule (, extending the basic directed graph metaphor to allow the creation of customized layers of taxonomy on top of, or instead of, those held in the shared database. This extension reflects the PARIP communities’ need to reinterpret and map between existing taxonomies of the performing media. Database users will be able to add taxonomic concepts to the database and upload additional information. There is, therefore, significant potential for PARIP Explorer to facilitate disseminable peer review of work. Users who have had the opportunity to view mixed-mode research practices will be able to contribute on-line reviews that, in turn, are fed into the expanding taxonomy. My paper thus centres on the problems of institutional discourse and its impact on mixed-mode research practice, with far-reaching consequences for the development of criteria and assessment.
Translated title of the contributionPARIP Explorer: ontologies of digital knowledges in the performing arts database
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPARIP 2005, University of Leeds
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Conference Organiser: Angela Piccini, Ludivine Allegue Fuschini, Laura Cull


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