Grants/CDLD.ORG / Virtual Documentation Center of the Arts

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CDLD.ORG / Virtual Documentation Center of the Arts

Applicants: Laboratorio Dzityá Documentation Center (CDLD), Débora Carnevali, Omar Góngora
Affiliation: La Periferia Gallery
CC affiliated? No
Contact: Débora Carnevali, Omar Góngora
Coordinator: Débora Carnevali, Omar Góngora
Project Start: 2009/04/01
Project End: 2015/08/30,,
Download budget Discussion

Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.

CDLD.ORG is an free and unlimited online virtual documentation center for the arts. It´s main purpose is to be the largest artistic site in Latin America, archiving thousands of audio, video and image files. It´s content is user generated and artists, curators, musicians and so forth will be able to upload their files without space limits, censor and it will be totally free of cost. The most important part is the internal browser, which can find art works through many different criteria. Since images, texts, audios and videos can be uploaded, this will be an important platform for visual artists, musicians, writers, live performers, curators and cultural promoters.

Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).

The output of the project will be the website and it´s, hopefully gigantic, database.

Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?

The community we´re targeting is conformed mainly of visual artists, musicians, writers, live performers, curators and cultural promoters. The benefit will be being able to collectively build the largest artistic database of Latin America. As art teachers and artists, we found it very hard to find art (on the internet) if you don´t know what you´re looking for exactly. For example, when you type in "performance" you get results that go from laser printers, flat screens to Blue Man Group. We´ve found it necessary to create a website where you can go to find art; a trustworthy source where you can find exactly what you need of just explore. This will be a great tool for artists, art students, art teachers and the cultural community in />

What is your relationship with the community you are targeting? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in related projects?

Since 2006 we have succesfuly run two contemporary art galleries (Laboratorio Dzityá and La Periferia / As part of the second project, La Periferia, we have created a documentation center, Laboratorio Dzityá Documentation Center (CDLD) where we have documented the artistic movement in the Yucatan peninsula and Mexico. Our own file starts in 2005 and up to now we have over 100,000 images, more than 200 hours of video and hundreds of manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and books about contemporary art in the country. Our archive would be the first to be uploaded and it would then be completed by collaborators all over Latin America. Also, as it can be seen at the bottom of our webpage,, Merida´s City Hall Cultural Council and the Superior School of Arts of Yucatan (ESAY) have supported us in the first year of development (a small grant that ran through 2009 and helped us start the programming) and have agreed to let us have access to their own archives, giving us a direct connection with the city´s cultural community (and directives) and the most important art university of southeastern Mexico.

How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?

We will measure it in several ways starting out with web traffic statistics and by the number of users that register themselves in the database. Besides that, the web page´s interface lets any user (registered or not) comment, vote and rate the artworks and files that are uploaded. Due to the fact that the page will generate personal URLs for each user, artists can use the page as a showcase for their work, so we would also expect it to be seen linked to other pages since the users can add them to their contact URLs, personal web pages, business cards, etc.

How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?

Currently we are two people. A big part of the grant will be used to sustain our work throughout the first part of the project, so we can concentrate on uploading our archive and scanning thousands of files. The website is currently online, but it isn´t finished yet. We´ve been programming for over a year now, adding more features and getting the kinks out of the system. This grant would give us the final boost we need to finally finish and launch it.

Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".

All of the files on the page are 100% downloadable. So the CC licensing is a big part of the web page. We would be using the "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Mexico" license, so we would generate hundreds, hopefully thousands, of new users to this license. This way, all these new users would be collectively creating a huge database, granting free and unlimited access to anyone interested, encouraging sharing creative and intellectual property.

Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?

Currently the page is at it´s beta phase and it´s being programmed on Flash. The technical skills and expertise we bring to the project are the programming capacities, design, we both have BA degrees in Visual Arts, a close relationship with out community and the most important part: a huge archive to start out the page with. Our technical needs are basically our laptops and internet access. In the detailed budget, we are also asking for a Neatdesk digital scanner and filing system for Mac to help us out digitalizing the archive.

What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?

At the moment we have an unlimited hosting service, but eventually we figure we´ll run out our quota and we´ll need out own server or at least a virtual/shared one. We have upload limits (up to 50MB per media file and 256 KB per image file), so we think we´ll be OK for the first year. Once it´s up and running (after the CC grant is over), we consider we´ll be able to afford this kind of upgrade.

How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?

Publicity. At first we´ll start out with no adds on the page, at least for duration of the grant. After that, when to page has enough traffic, it will be easy enough to get advertisers interested. At that time, the heaviest work for us (scanning and uploading our file) will be done, and the costs for the page will be much lower, making it easier for it to survive solely with advertisers. Besides that, we plan to add a "donations" option on the page.

How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?

Easy. Right now we are focusing on Latin America for one reason: the page is in Spanish. Once it´s up and rolling we can translate it to other languages, and this way we can expand to many other countries. Besides that, we plan to add new features and sections to the website, like a net art section (where net art and internet art projects can be made collectively online), a live channel (where we would stream videos 24/7) and also be able to use the site a curatorial tool, where online digital art shows can be made out of the archive, among others.

What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?

Other than supporting the project with the grant, if CC can provide a better hosting service, we would appreciate that. Besides that, we would like for you guys to help us out spreading the word about our site!

Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)

Currently, the gallery and the CDLD use Facebook and mailing lists to spread information (We have a 4,000+ mailing list and over 5,000 contacts on our FB). Besides that, we are linked to many other cultural sites and word of mouth has always worked great for us in the past.