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
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&cute;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&cute;1999, 2000;
Crimea&cute;1999, 2000; IMS&cute;99; EVA&cute;98 London, EVA&cute;97 Brussels, EVA&cute;98 Cambridge,
EVA&cute;99 Florence, EVA&cute;99 Edinburg, EVA&cute;2000 Edinburg, EVA&cute;2000 Gifu and others).