If you think of a computer, you imagine a stand-alone machine in front of you. In this team, however, the computer was only a terminal to the cloud. And the cloud is where the data is and the processing takes place.

With the rise of big data and extensive processing as the basis of machine learning, there can be no other concept than cloud computing. And we believe, this is also the future of computing in art history.

The cloud means, you can connect to data and services.

Below you find a simple demonstration of the concept of APIs working together:

  1. The input from the field on the website is sent to a webhook at Integromat. That is nothing but a URL with variables that are sent to the receiving point.
  2. There, the received keyword is sent to the Rijksmuseum API as a request.
  3. It returns a JSON list. In case this contains an artwork with an image, it continues. Else, it aborts.
  4. From the first entry the image URL is sent to the Google Cloud Vision API that returns labels to the image.
  5. Then, the title of the artwork and the first label as a hashtag and the image is sent to Twitter.

Please enter a keyword and if there is a result in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, it appears on Twitter.

[contact-form-7 id=”49″ title=”rijks_hook_form”]

Mind that not every keyword gains a result and, thus, no tweet is created. This bot is for demonstration purpose only and might be itself ephemeral.

This example shows that with a rather simple connection of four endpoints, a tweet bot can be realized.

Has this been difficult to achieve?

  1. We didn’t need to learn or write any code. We decided to opt for a no-code platform. That allows an easy to understand approach.
  2. Even if you write no code, you need to understand the basic principles of API endpoints, keys, JSON data etc. And you need to think into the logic of computers.

Digital Art History does not mean that we will become computer scientists, but rather that we can talk to computer scientists about what we need as art historians. And that requires computational thinking. That, we have certainly experienced in these days.