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SAILS Lunch Time Seminar: Martin Berger

Monday 22 January 2024
Online only

Knowledge Graphs as Art Worlds – Using AI and Network analysis to do large-scale provenance research

The most prominent debate in ethnographic museums today revolves around questions of ownership and provenance: how and why did objects move and end up in museum collections – and should they remain where they are today? The main issue in this type of research is that it is highly time-consuming as it requires researchers to manually sift through and read archival material in different museums around the world. Using Large Language Models, Knowledge Graphs, and Network Analysis has the potential to make this research much more efficient. These techniques can enable researchers to study these processes of movement and collecting at unprecedentedly large scales. In this short talk, I’ll speak about how I plan to use some of these methodologies to move the scale of ethnographic object provenance research from the local and incidental, to the global and structural. Additionally, I’ll briefly reflect on how we can embed these new methodologies – and the new questions they raise – in established art historical/museological thinking and theory.

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