A zealous group of Artstor users have pitched in to collaboratively catalogue images from the D. James Dee Archive of contemporary art on our crowdsourcing site, arcades.artstor.org. Thanks to a combination of their expertise and a lot of internet sleuthing, 555 works are now a welcome addition to the D. James Dee Archive of Contemporary Art collection in the Artstor Digital Library. You can read more about Arcades on this blog, and about the Dee Archive in the New York Times.
At Arcades, participants are presented with images in a game environment where they are able to enter basic data, such as creator, title, date, medium, and exhibition history in order to accumulate points. In doing so, they “level-up” and progressively acquire titles ranging from “flâneur” and “connoisseur” to “apprentice” and “master” (all references to Walter Benjamin’s unfinished Arcades Project—more about that to come). At the time of our October 2015 launch we wondered what kind of results we would get. General crowdsourcing theory assumes that the more entries, the smarter the results. Would we secure enough participants? Would they feel compelled to return again and again?