Metadata Literacy and the Blurring of the Relationship between Works of Art and their Representations - Fani Gargova


This talk will look at the central role of metadata in accessing, using, and conceptualizing visual representations of analog objects and monuments. In particular, I will focus on issues connected to multiple instantiations (i.e. copies) of a given representation, usually as a result of a media change. Even though several internationally recognized standards such as VRA Core, CDWA or even EDM actively try to bridge the blurring of description and thus representation levels, their actual implementation often results in confusion on the user level. I will clarify these points through examples from my work with art history students and professionals. Finally, I will aim to suggest possible pathways for overcoming the disconnect between cultural heritage data providers and users. 

About Fani Gargova

Fani Gargova is a Lecturer in Art History at the University of Vienna. She received her doctorate from the same institution in 2019 with a thesis on the Central Synagogue of Sofia. Previously, she was Byzantine research associate at the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives of Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University, and project coordinator of the Digitales Forschungsarchiv Byzanz (DiFaB) at the University of Vienna. Her research has been supported by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv), and the IFK in Vienna. In her various roles, she has worked towards expanding the accessibility and visibility of architectural and art historical documentary material through exhibitions and digital humanities projects, the most recent being the online exhibition Das Erbe von Byzanz on the collection of historic photographs housed at the Vienna Department of Art History (2021).