Semantic Web, Cultural Heritage, and Art Historical Knowledge: Conceptual Models, Ontologies, and Epistemological Implications


March 27-28, 2023

Museo Picasso Málaga / online

Organized by University of Málaga: iArtHis_Lab, Art History Department, Research and Transfer Vicerrectorate, Cátedra Telefónica-UMA

With the collaboration of: Museo Picasso Málaga

Scientific coordination: Nuria Rodríguez Ortega (UMA), M.ª Mar Roldán (UMA), and M.ª Luisa Díez Platas (UNIR)

Academic Secretariat: María Ortiz Tello (UMA), Manuela García Lirio (UMA)

Graphic design and technical coordination: Leticia Crespillo Marí (UMA)

The semantic web is a thriving area in the confluence of artificial intelligence and web technologies that proposes to introduce explicit descriptions about the meaning of resources to allow machines themselves to have a level of understanding comparable to that of human reasoning. In the context of the cultural field, the adoption of semantic web technologies (especially the development of ontologies and knowledge graphs) is of great interest due to their potential to diversify the forms of access to cultural contents, to amplify the narratives that can be developed from them, and to increase the possibilities of extracting implicit knowledge from large datasets. Likewise, semantic web technologies facilitate the structured and semantically enriched recording of cultural contents, make possible their publication as linked open data (LOD), increase the interoperability of distributed information, and provide the mechanisms that allow data reuse for new knowledge and value generation. The results achieved so far are important; however, there are still numerous challenges to be faced. Meanwhile, there are interesting research avenues that demand special attention.

Within the framework of the Andalex II and Complexhibit projects, the iArtHis_Lab research team has been working for some time on the development of OntoExhibit, an ontology that aspires to make a contribution to the advancement of the semantic web research infrastructures in the field of cultural heritage and art historical knowledge. OntoExhibit is an ontology developed in OWL2 and RDF standards that is being designed to enable the representation, publication, consumption, access, and reuse of the semantically enriched encoded information of the art exhibition domain and its associated discursive and socio-communicative practices.

Based on some of the problematic issues encountered in the development of OntoExhibit, in this seminar we particularly want to delve into the epistemological implications involved in the building of conceptual models and ontologies for the cultural heritage and art history fields: fuzzy and ambiguous temporalities, overlapping and interweaving interpretative layers, post-anthropocentric conceptual hierarchies, epistemological biases, cultural conventions embedded in existing models, etc.; these are just some of the issues that will be addressed in this seminar.

This seminar brings together a group of experts with extensive experience in the intersection between semantic web technologies and the cultural field to shed light on these and other questions.

Please, join us on March 27-28, 2023.

The attendance to the seminar is free and open to everyone, with no registration fees. Attendance may be in person or online. Registration is required in both cases due to limited capacity. Registrants will be sent the connection link a few days before the seminar begins.Attendance certificates will be issued on demand.

Program and abstracts

Monday 27th

9:30-10:00h. Opening and Introduction

10:00-10:45h. Fátima Díez Platas (USC): Images, roles and books: the ontology of the Biblioteca Digital Ovidiana

10:45-11:00h. Selenia Anastasi (University of Genoa): Feminist Digital Humanities and the Semantic Web. Towards an
Integrated Research Agenda

11:00.11:30h. Coffee break

11:30-12:15h. Nuria Rodríguez-Ortega (UMA), M.ª Mar Roldán (UMA), M.ª Luisa Díez Platas (UNIR): OntoExhibit: modeling
the art exhibition domain and its discursive and social practices

12:15-13:00h. Etienne Posthumus (FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure): When the Saints go
Marching In. Solving epistemological problems for interlinking Digital Art History Corpora using Linked Data representations of the ICONCLASS subject classification system

13:00-14:30h. Lunch

14:45-15:30h: Aldo Gangemi (University of Bologna and ISTC-CNR, Rome): Ontology networks for cultural heritage and its

15:30-16:15h. Javier Pantoja (Head of the Digital Development Area Museo Nacional del Prado): The Prado on the web:
exploitation of a digital semantic mod

16:15-17:00h. Andrea Vlachidis (University College London): Challenges and Opportunities of Semantic Modelling and
Enrichment in Small and Large Museum collections

17:00-17:15h. Coffee break

17:15-18:00h. Discussion and wrap-up

Tuesday 28th

9:30-10:15h. César González-Pérez (CSIC-Incipit): The Cultural Heritage Abstract Reference Model: Design Criteria,
Choices, Results and Usage

10:15-11:00h. Magdalena Tyżlik-Carver (Aarhus University): Fermenting Data: developing methods for data practices with

11:00-11:30h. Coffee break

11:30-12:15h. Jorge Sebastián Lozano (University of Valencia): Extending CIDOC CRM for Specific Purposes: Some
Lessons Learnt from the SILKNOW Ontology

12:15-13:00h. Charles van den Heuvel (University of Amsterdam): Conflicting Classifications. Epistemological,
methodological, and ethical challenges in modelling cultural heritage and art-historical data

13:00-14:30h. Lunch

14:45-15:30h. Nicola Carboni (University of Geneve), Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel (University of Geneve): Integration and
analysis of exhibition information using Linked Open Data

15:30-16:15h. Javier Sevilla ( University of Valencia): Visualization of knowledge graphs about cultural heritage through

16:15-17:00h. Raúl García Castro (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid): Decalogue of best practices for ontology
development in the cultural heritage domain

17:00- 17:30. Coffee break

17:30-18:00 Discussion and conclusions

Organization of this event is supported through the projects PY20_0058, UMA20-FEDERJA-126, the Vicerrectorate of Research and Transfer (UMA), Art History Departament (UMA), Telefónica-UMA Chair, CEHA, and HDH.