Objects: Aboutness

Table of Contents

Up: Objects

Introduction

The features described in this section are information about the object, and are mostly interpretive rather than absolute. For example, any number of accurate descriptions of an object could be provided without invalidating the others, whereas only a single set of dimension measurements can be correct at a given time.

Description

The main description of the object is provided in the same manner as other such texts; as the value of a LinguisticObject resource. The classification for descriptions is (aat:300080091). The description can include any content that describes the object, and is useful primarily for display to a human user.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/29", 
  "type": "ManMadeObject", 
  "label": "Example Painting", 
  "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"], 
  "referred_to_by": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/text/19", 
      "type": "LinguisticObject", 
      "value": "The Example Painting is a great example of exampleness.", 
      "classified_as": ["aat:300080091"]
    }
  ]
}

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A list of related objects is often known for any given object, however the reason for the relation is not recorded. In this circumstance, the best that can be done is to record that there is some relationship using the related property. If there are more details known about the relationship then more specific patterns should be used instead.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/30", 
  "type": "ManMadeObject", 
  "label": "Another Example Painting", 
  "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"], 
  "related": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/31", 
      "type": "ManMadeObject", 
      "label": "Yet Another Example Painting", 
      "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"]
    }
  ]
}

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Depiction

Many sorts of artwork depict things that can be pointed out in the artwork. These could be identifiable entities, such as a known Person or Object with a name or identifier, or unidentifiable (perhaps fictional) instances of a class of entity, such as a depiction of a battle but not any particular battle. For example a portrait depicts the person sitting for it, or a sketch of a generic landscape depicts a place even if it's not a particular, known location. The depiction pattern describes what is in the artwork's image.

The model uses a VisualItem resource to stand for the visual content of the object, be it a painting, photograph or statue. The object shows the VisualItem, which in turn represents the things depicted. This is the same model as for digital images of the object.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/32", 
  "type": "ManMadeObject", 
  "label": "Self Portrait", 
  "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"], 
  "produced_by": {
    "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/23", 
    "type": "Production", 
    "carried_out_by": [
      {
        "id": "https://linked.art/example/actor/2", 
        "type": "Actor", 
        "label": "Artist"
      }
    ]
  }, 
  "shows": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/VisualItem/1", 
      "type": "VisualItem", 
      "represents": ["https://linked.art/example/actor/2"]
    }
  ]
}

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Subject

Subjects are the concepts or things that the artwork evokes, as opposed to an object (real or imaginary) that is depicted by the artwork. For example, a portrait of a military commander in full regalia on a battlefield depicts the person and the place, but could be interpreted to have a subject of "war". A painting with an allusion to a piece of literature does not depict the literature, but instead evokes it as a subject. This could be thought of as what the artwork is about rather than what can be seen, or as why the content in the artwork is present.

Given the use of the VisualItem pattern for depiction, we reuse the same pattern but instead of the image being a representation of the depicted resource, it is about the subject.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/33", 
  "type": "ManMadeObject", 
  "label": "Portrait of Lord Nelson", 
  "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"], 
  "shows": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/VisualItem/2", 
      "type": "VisualItem", 
      "about": [{"id": "aat:300055314","type": "Type","label": "War"}]
    }
  ]
}

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Style

Styles are a categorization of the aesthetic qualities of the work being described, and can come from important features, techniques, locations, times or artistic movements. Styles might include "geometric", "abstract", and "limited palette". It is considered that all styles are aesthetic rather than cultural, but the aesthetic style may be related to a particular culture.

The distinction that all styles are aesthetic is somewhat controversial, but simplifies the model significantly at very little cost. A clear example is a perfect imitation of a Navajo dream-catcher made by a factory in China cannot be said to be culturally Navajo as an object, but the image of the object can be said to have an aesthetic that is related to the Navajo culture.

The style is associated with the object using the style property, and must be a reference to an appropriate vocabulary. It is associated with the VisualItem that is shown by the object, to reinforce that it is the way the object looks that determines the style, not the physicality of its production. The style property could be thought of as how the content is presented.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/34", 
  "type": "ManMadeObject", 
  "label": "Example Impressionist Painting", 
  "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"], 
  "shows": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/VisualItem/3", 
      "type": "VisualItem", 
      "style": ["aat:300021503"]
    }
  ]
}

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Model uses predicate from outside of CIDOC-CRM

The notion of style in CIDOC-CRM is typically tied to time and place of creation, not the actual style of the image content, and thus style is modeled as a Period (as discussed in the scope notes of E4 Period). There is also an option to use E55 Type as the style, but no defined relationship to map from the object to its style. For example, a painting done using materials from Japan, in Japan, by a Japanese artist, in a French style would be considered to have a style of Japanese by CIDOC-CRM due to the time/space period. As such, we import the genre relationship from outside our core ontology so that we can use Types. If a new predicate is created for CIDOC-CRM that more closely maps to the usage, we will switch to use it in a future revision.

Classifications

Other classifications can also be assigned to the object's content. If it is possible to say that "the artistic content of this object is an X", then X can be included in the set of classifications using the classified_as property on the VisualItem. This could include classifications such as "Landscape" or "Allusion", compared to classifications that are derived from the physical nature of the object such as a "Painting", "Photograph" or "Sculpture" which are associated with the ManMadeObject.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/object/35", 
  "type": "ManMadeObject", 
  "label": "Example Landscape Painting", 
  "classified_as": ["aat:300033618","aat:300133025"], 
  "shows": [
    {
      "id": "https://linked.art/example/VisualItem/4", 
      "type": "VisualItem", 
      "classified_as": ["aat:300015636"]
    }
  ]
}

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