We are launching the Contemporary Arts X Wiki Workshops!

Chronique Wikipédia

In the coming months, the Regroupement des arts interdisciplinaires du Québec, Artexte, the Conseil québécois des arts médiatiques and the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec will launch their first series of Wikipedia contribution events. The Contemporary Arts X Wiki Workshops will be held at Artexte on the last Thursday of the month, between January and May 2020. 

With these events, our intention is twofold. Firstly, we wish to create a space for meetings and exchanges for the contemporary arts, research and Wikimedia communities. Secondly, we intend to make contributions on the theme of interdisciplinary, media and contemporary arts in Quebec in accordance with the founding principles of the encyclopedia.

A few words about Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a collective, universal and multilingual encyclopedia created in 2001. Its contents, generated by all its contributors, are freely reusable, objective and verifiable. The project is based on the following Five pillars

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia

It is not a place where we can publish original research, and the objects of its articles must meet eligibility criteria, or “nototability” criteria, established by the community (for creative professionals, the criteria recommended by the Canadian visual arts project include either the creation of a significant or well known work or collective body of work which has been the primary subject of an other independent and notable work (book, film, etc.), a representation in the collections of a notable gallery or museum and/or in a significant exhibition).

Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view

Articles should not promote a single point of view, a situation which is prevented by the obligation to cite reliable sources independent of the subject.

Wikipedia is free content

The texts published in the encyclopedia are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 license and the GNU Free Documentation License GFDL 1.3. This means that anyone can copy, modify and distribute the contents of the encyclopedia freely. Nevertheless, copyright must be respected.

Wikipedia’s editors should treat each other with respect and civility

All interactions on the site must be respectful and polite.

Wikipedia has no firm rules

Beyond these principles, each “linguistic” Wikipedia community is self-organized and free to determine its own policies and guidelines. Thus, the modalities of quotation and the criteria of notoriety, for example, can vary between Wikipedia sites in French, Atikamekw or English.

Why Wikipedia?

There are several good reasons to participate in Wikimedia projects. Marina Gallet, Director of Preservation and Collection Development at the Cinémathèque québécoise, presents some of them in this post on the theme of the commons:

  • Wikipedia is the 10th most visited website in the world (as of August 2019), exists in nearly 300 languages, and feeds Google’s knowledge graph (infoboxes on the right in the search results page), so we benefit from this well-established visibility ;
  • Wikipedia has existed since 2001 and belongs to the community, so the encyclopedia cannot be sold to a third party, which ensures that access to the content it hosts will continue;
  • Wikipedia and all the Wikimedia projects form a functional and widely used ecosystem, which allows us not to reinvent the wheel;
  • a dynamic local community is already editing on Wikipedia;
  • editing on Wikipedia is accessible to all, without any programming prerequisites.

Why contribute?

A first goal of the Contemporary Arts X Wiki Workshops is to improve the discoverability of Quebec artists, works and cultural organizations on the web (see this post by Sophie Trolliet-Martial, Digital Cultural Development Officer for the Regroupement québécois de la danse). We also wish to make artists and the community aware of the chain of actions that can lead to a better documentation and preservation of the memory of their works and practices on the web. In doing so, we will inevitably shed light on areas of exclusion to which we will need to pay specific attention, following the example of the work undertaken by Camille Larivée, the first Wikipedian in residence at Artexte in October 2019. The idea is also to encourage exchanges between emerging and established artists and with cultural workers and scholars.

Through the organization of these events, we hope to deepen the understanding of issues related to the online documentation of our content among the members of our groups, while actively contributing to the creation and improvement of the articles dedicated to our artists, works and institutions. We anticipate that this experience and sensitivity will position artists favourably in the face of the challenges of presence and representation, which are, in many cases, exacerbated in a digital context.

I therefore invite you to join us, on site or virtually, on January 30, 2020 between 4 and 7 pm at Artexte for the first edition of our series of wiki workshops!

Practical information

Contemporary Arts X Wiki Workshops

  • Artexte, 2 Sainte-Catherine East, #301
  • January 30, February 27, March 26, April 30 et May 28, 2020
  • Between 4 and 7 pm
  • WikiProject page (in French)
  • Bring your computer/tablet/smartphone
  • Everyone is welcome!


Isabelle L’Heureux