Ortelia Publications, Research and Reviews
Curator Review - Georgia O'Keeffe Museum


In 2017, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum decided it was time to find a new digital layout tool. The Museum had used the same custom tool for eight years. This tool was simple to navigate and accurately mapped out the building’s peculiar architectural features, like curved and tilted walls. This custom tool, however, had not aged gracefully. It was time consuming and difficult to import images, the system grew slow from housing too much data, and it crashed if an image was placed in the wrong spot. Additionally, annual licensing was costly and the company was phasing out customer support. The curatorial team knew it was time to make the switch. After some online research, testing trials, interviewing of other users, and many back and forth email questions, the Georgia O’Keeffe decided to go with Ortelia Curator.

Ortelia Curator is easy to use. It’s clearly laid out and intuitive so we don’t have to work in it all the time to remember how to use it. The amount of power in this tool is astounding. We never imagined being able to check how the winter sun would expose and affect sensitive works in our sunnier galleries. Nor did we expect to be able to test how sound from our video room would travel through to the other galleries. It’s truly amazing! Moreover, the customer support that comes with Ortelia Curator really sets it apart. Despite the 16 hour time difference, Lazaros or Darren respond to emails within 24 hours – and we send a lot of emails!

For a little extra, the Ortelia team custom-built the O’Keeffe Museum galleries, casework, benches, and donor boards, saving us time, energy, and money. We sent ~600 photographs of our 5,000 square feet of exhibition space along with many measurements. The communication was frequent to ensure that measurements were accurate. Ortelia even added the fire alarms so we are mindful of where large paintings are placed! The Ortelia team worked quickly and diligently and had the gallery files to us within a few weeks – it probably would have happened faster if the O’Keeffe team had not been traveling during some of the designing. When we received the files, we identified a few key changes, like how the sun filters through the skylights, and Ortelia updated them right away. The file looks exactly like the galleries at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Any and all critiques we have had about the system, Ortelia has fixed rapidly. We found that the number of lights we were placing in the galleries slowed the system down, so Ortelia added a performance option to toggle how many lights surrounding the camera view turn on. We wished we could navigate more quickly through the galleries, so they added a rapid point and jump option. We love that Ortelia is working with Vernon CMS to build a quick import tool. The current import tool from CVS file is plenty quick, as well.

Ortelia Curator is a beast of a program, which means that it can slow down the program and your computer. We recommend using this on newer computer for the best performance; however, we are frequent in our feedback and Ortelia is fine tuning this. We am confident this will be improved over the next few updates.

The Ortelia team encourages and welcomes feedback that improves their software. Even more, the customer support has not dwindled since our gallery files were designed and completed. We love that we can email our questions and feedback and have a next day response. We are so pleased to work with such a wonderful, kind, and professional team. We highly recommend Ortelia Curator. Not only is the design beautiful, but the team is a delight to work with.

Curator Review - Museums & Galleries of NSW

Museums & Galleries of NSW have been using Ortelia Curator in our touring exhibitions for over 4 years now and it has proved to be a vital tool for exhibition design across distance. In 2012, NETS Australia embarked on a new 4 year project, managed by M&G NSW, with the aim to provide cutting-edge, contemporary digital media art to regional and remote audiences across Australia and develop a series of virtual curatorial and online engagement tools. We first approached Ortelia Interactive with a proposal to include moving image and sound based art work into their Curator program, which would allow us to test sound bleed between digital and audio visual works as well as the other essentials such as light, space and scale. Ortelia more than rose to the challenge and have continued to deliver a professional service as well as an eagerness for progress and further refinement. We are now using Ortelia Curator in our national touring exhibition People Like Us, which allows curators from Sydney to Swan Hill or Bunbury to collaborate on the design and presentation of the exhibition for each individual gallery space.

Staging Supernatural Creatures in a Computer-based Visualization of London’s Sixteenth-Century Rose Theatre

Tompkins, Joanne, and Lazaros Kastanis. “Staging Supernatural Creatures in a Computer-based Visualization of London’s Sixteenth-Century Rose Theatre.” International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, forthcoming 2017.

Theatre’s Heterotopias: Space and the Analysis of Performance

Tompkins, Joanne. Chapter Five in my book, Theatre’s Heterotopias: Space and the Analysis of Performance.  Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. This chapter deals with the digital, using Ortelia as one of three examples to map space.

aking the Invisible Visible: Virtual Stage Props and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus

Tompkins, Joanne. “Making the Invisible Visible: Virtual Stage Props and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.” Performing Objects and Theatrical Things. Ed Marlis Schweitzer and Joanne Zerdy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Reproduction, Mediation, and Experience: Virtual Reality, Motion Capture and Early Modern Theatre

Delbridge, Matthew, and Joanne Tompkins. “Reproduction, Mediation, and Experience: Virtual Reality, Motion Capture and Early Modern Theatre.” SPACE–EVENT–AGENCY–EXPERIENCE. Open Access E-Publication of the DREX Project. Ed. Teemu Pavolainen and Riku Roihankorpi. Tampere, Finland. 2012.

Available here:  http://t7.uta.fi/drex/DREX/11_TextsAndPublicationsEn.html

Using Virtual Reality Modelling In Cultural Management, Archiving And Research

Tompkins, Joanne, and Matthew Delbridge. “Using Virtual Reality Modelling In Cultural Management, Archiving And Research.” EVA London 2009: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. [refereed] Conference Proceedings. Ed. Alan Seal, Suzanne Keene, Jonathan Bowen. London: British Computing Society. July 2009. 260-269.