Performing Open Access - A Workshop for and with the Performing Arts

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Performing Open Access - on 13th December artists, academics and artistic-scientific staff exchanged came together and shared their needs around Open Access. As part of the open-access.network, the Open-Access-Büro Berlin and the Universitätsbibliothek der Universität der Künste organised an interactive workshop that addressed the performing arts. The 25 participants met in Gather.town for exchange and networking.

At the beginning, Jason Corff (Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz) took the audience on a journey that showed his work, which is situated between cartography and choreography. "Open Access" does not always mean the same - where the sciences have different requirements for making knowledge available, artistic content produces different publication formats - such as video recordings or enhanced publication - and has also a different understanding of one's own work. Corff pointed out the challenges he encounters during his research. For example, "access to research", the search for publications, is already severely hampered by a lack of vocabulary.

From the insights into the practice, the participants got information about practical and the legal aspects. Dr. Paul Klimpel (irights.law) referred to the performative moment of creation, the work, which consists in the performance or the moment of performance itself. Reproduction thus have a somewhat different understanding in the performing arts. To record what has been created might sometimes be less important than the moment of performance. Sometimes artists do have the feeling of loss of control, which is often expressed in choosing the licence CC-BY-NC-ND for their own work. Behind lie fears of unwanted use, not being crediting or a big changes in / of one's own work. A Multitude of legal aspects must be considered, from copyright and the range from personal rights to performance rights.

Dr. Anna Luise Kiss, rector of Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch, emphasised why it is nevertheless important to advocate for barrier-free publications. She states out the performing arts' immanent turn towards openness on many levels: Digital documentation serves as a sounding board outside its own community, she said, and the process enables a backlash towards the Arts. Thus, Open Access publications, such as in the Journal of Artistic Research, are an "instrument of openness" that promotes an examination of what has been created. She also sees the public genesis of the performing arts, the per se desire to present, as the best starting position for Open Access. 

In a part dedicated to the topics of publications and support, Casper Schipper presented the publication platform Research Catalogue. In addition to a Europe-wide institutional connection, the author has the opportunity to "self-publish" files, research data and descriptions of their own work as an "exposition". The platform should fulfill the needs of the arts and offers an all-in-one presentation of one's own work. Compared to other repositories, the Research Catalogue is not just a publication platform, but an exhibition of artistic and scholarly work.
Afterwards, Peggy Große (arthistoricum.net) presented the services and services of the NFDI4Culture, including guidelines, a repository and "Radar4Culture". The consortium's work thrives on participation, in the form of forums, plenaries and #CultureHours.
At two virtual tables, the participants had the opportunity to address their questions to the previous speakers and enter into conversation with each other.

The afternoon's speakers and discussants addressed the opportunities and challenges of Open Access in the performing arts.
The results of a survey by the Fachinformationsdienstes Darstellende Kunst (FID) on the topic of "Publishing Research Data", presented by Franziska Voß and Julia Beck, showed that the respondents have difficulties in finding or re-using data, but that only a small percentage of them publish open research data themselves. The FID provides researchers with access to open access literature via free purchase.
PD Dr. Dr. Grischka Petri (Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur Karlsruhe) addressed questions and concerns about copyright and licensing. He is one of the supervisors of the NFDI4Culture Legal Helpdesk. He pointed out the special challenges associated with the "perception formats" in the performing arts. For example, performance, broadcasting rights and scripts are parallel - but how do property rights relate to each other?

A report by Till Ansgar Baumhauer (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden) shed light on the EU-funded project EU4Art. He emphasised that the process of creation was becoming increasingly important and thus "intermediate data" played an important role. The obligation to make the content of work available in open access poses questions for the international project around data sources and the curation of data volumes.

The day ended with an interactive exchange of experiences according to the motto "Bring your own problem". The participants addressed the questions to each other. Topics included the rights of a theatre publisher to a work resulting from its translation (the author had already been dead for 70 years) or the clarification of rights in the case that a publisher does no longer exists. The discussion revealed a desideratum: so far, there is a lack of a publicly funded possibility to deposit multimedia contents in compliance with the FAIR principles. It remains a challenge for the Kunsthoschulen to contribute their expertise.

The one-day workshop brought together commissioners, artists and academics from the field of the performing arts for the first time and built a way to the future. In addition to a state funding for a legally compliant publication platform, networking within the community is needed. It is important to teach students about open access during their studies and collect existing services. In order to facilitate "access to research", in the words of Jason Corff, a commonly used vocabulary would be needed.
Despite many fields of activity, the performing arts have set out to share their work and knowledge.


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