Easy Access? Art. Technology. Availability. Impact.

Caribbean InTransit launches in the island of Trinidad, in March 2012, with two exciting events organised under the theme…

 Easy Access? Art. Technology. Availability. Impact.

Caribbean InTransit is a dynamic, new platform for artists and academics. It is the only open access academic journal focused on the Caribbean Arts. Open access is the concept of making published material available in full via the Internet, by removing the price barrier for readers. With its open access stance and its commitment to the Arts, it is fitting that Caribbean InTransit launches with a focus and dialogue on Art and Access. The notion of open access, however, is not without its challenges. Access is not uncomplicated or easy. If the price barrier is removed then how can the project of gratis availability be sustained? And what of the language barrier? If material is truly accessible then it ought to be so in various languages. Access to information technology is also an issue. The digital divide keeps many offline and therefore without access. Caribbean InTransit is interested in engaging these issues, among others, in relation to art. How can art – broadly defined – have reach or impact on societies? What should impact look like? How might we rethink and employ technologies to make art more available? Can access come without commercial/financial suicide?

Google has partnered with some of the world’s respected museums to bring their artworks online (www.googleartproject.com). Using Street View technology you can get free access inside galleries and can view art in high resolution. The Google Art Project also lets you share the artworks you like across social networks like Facebook and Twitter. In the Caribbean, we can look to Trinidad for examples of efforts to consider art in relation to public access. Alice Yard is the backyard space of a house located in the island’s capital (aliceyard.blogspot.com). This informal space hosts artists, writers and musicians and serves as an alternative arena to the formal art galleries, for making artworks available to people and for fostering art’s impact on the society. During the country’s recent state of emergency with an imposed curfew, the organisers of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival instituted Curfew Cinema: entire films were available for viewing online during the stipulated period for remaining indoors, free of charge (www.ttfilmfestival.com). And, when local recording artist Isaac Blackman launched his new album in mid-2011, some of his tracks could be freely accessed and downloaded (www.isaacblackman.com). These are but a few illustrations of the dovetailing of art with the matter of accessibility. Join the Caribbean InTransit conversation about “Art, Technology, Availability and Impact” as we set in motion our efforts to foster a community of artistry, research and entrepreneurship through a unique journal format.

Visit us at Caribbean Intransit on Facebook to share your views and kick-start our celebrations and subscribe to access your free e-copies of our journal at www.caribbeanintransit.com


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