The Centre of Informatization in the Sphere of Culture
of the Ministry of Culture of Russia
Director: Alexander V. Chernykh, Ph. D.
The Centre of Informatization in the Sphere of Culture of the Ministry of Culture of Russia (Centre PIC) was organised in 1992 from personnel of the computer centre of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR, after the USSR was divided into independent states, to investigate new information technologies and to apply them in the cultural area.
Centre PIC is a state research and design body subordinate to the Ministry of Culture of Russia and works under contracts with the Ministry of Culture of Russia, with the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of Russia and with Russian museums and other cultural institutions. In 1995 the Ministry of Culture of Russia organised the Centre of Multimedia Technologies (as a subsidiary of Centre PIC) to co-ordinate the efforts of different bodies connected with multimedia publishing and distribution in culture and art. The Centre’s services include evaluation of proposed projects and works-in-process. In addition, the Centre prepares drafts for laws in the area of rights and ownership of cultural properties. Centre PIC monitors and analyses new information and communication technologies in culture and art (in Russia and internationally) and presents annuals reports on the topic.
The Centre develops and installs archiving and retrieval systems, including images, in museums. The Centre also creates and produces multimedia CD-ROMs in the areas of culture and art. The latest multimedia CD-ROM projects of Centre PIC are “West European Drawing of XIV - XIX centuries. Kunsthalle Collection in Bremen” (in Russian and German); the encyclopaedia of the works of 500 international masters in the fields of painting, architecture and other fine arts (in Russian); “A.S. Pushkin. Full Collection” (in Russian) – to the 200th anniversary. Multimedia support of the exhibition “Face Reconstruction by skull. The Method of Michael Gerasimov” was designed and installed on the computer at the exhibition hall of the State Biological Museum after K.A. Timiryazev. At the end of 2000 the exhibition “Came from the past. The 90th anniversary of M. Gerasimov” will be opened in the Internet.
Centre PIC took part in providing content to Russian cultural Internet-portals “Museums of Russia” and “Culture of Russia”.
Centre PIC participates in organising the annual CD-ROM contest “Anigraph. Content” and awards the prize “The Best Multimedia edition in Culture, Art and Education” established by the Ministry of Culture of Russia. Since 1996 Centre PIC supports a data-base of Russian CD-ROMs on culture, art and education and a data-base of Russian electronic publishers and distributors. The illustrated catalogue of Russian CD-ROMs on culture, art and education and the catalogue of Russian electronic publishers and distributors are opened in the Internet (http://www.museum.ru/CPIK_KATALOG_CD-ROM/). This project was supported by the Open Society Institute (George Soros Fund - Russia).
Centre PIC takes part in EU Projects. In the framework of EC project EVA Cluster (“Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts”) in 1998 Centre PIC organised EVA’98 Moscow (The State Tretyakov Gallery, 26-30 October 1998), the first international event in Russia and East Europe on new information technologies in the cultural area (600 participants, 70 papers), and EVA’99 Moscow (the State Tretyakov Gallery, 25 – 29 October 1999), which gathered 650 participants and 100 papers. During the conferences the exhibition “Multimedia in Culture, Art, Education” are organised, the illustrated exhibition catalogues are published on the Internet. This year Centre PIC is again organising the third international conference EVA’2000 Moscow and Exhibition “Multimedia in Culture, Art and Education” (The State Tretyakov Gallery, October, 30 – November, 3, 2000, http://www.artinfo.ru/eva). The conference topic is “Digital Convergence: New Technologies for Museums, Galleries, Libraries & Archives”. By now 130 papers of Russian and foreign speakers are presented, 450 delegates from Moscow, St-Petersburg and 30 regions of Russia, from Ukraine, Belorussia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, West-European countries and the USA are registered. The Conference is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Russia, by the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of Russia, by the Russian Fund of Fundamental Studies and by the Open Society Institute (George Soros Fund - Russia).
Specialists of Centre PIC participate and speak at Russian and international professional conferences (ADIT’1997, 1998, 1999, 2000; IOL’1999, 2000; Crimea’1999, 2000; IMS’99; EVA’98 London, EVA’97 Brussels, EVA’98 Cambridge, EVA’99 Florence, EVA’99 Edinburg, EVA’2000 Edinburg, EVA’2000 Gifu and others).