What is CaFÉ™ (back to top)
CaFÉ™ is a Web-based service that allows organizations and administrators to easily and cost-effectively manage artist-application and jury processes related to calls for entry. The service is especially designed for use with public art projects, artist fellowships, and juried visual-arts competitions.
Because slide projectors are being phased out, many organizations are choosing to jury artists' work via high-resolution digital images instead of slides. CaFÉ™ provides artists with an easy-to-use system to enter contact information, upload digital images of their artwork, and enter a number of open calls at one time, eliminating the cost of duplicating slides and mailing individual packets. Organizations using CaFÉ™ benefit by saving considerable time and money with the elimination of data-entry costs. In addition, they experience savings in the areas of communication and jury costs, while gaining an amazingly efficient and high-quality digital-jury process.
System Overview (back to top)
CaFÉ™ enables artists to apply online to multiple calls for entry through a central Web site, www.callforentry.org. The online application process also allows artists to directly upload high-resolution digital images of their artwork for jury presentation. All of the uploaded artwork will be password protected in a consistent, quality, digital format. The high-resolution images will be presented to the jury of each call for entry, and slide projectors will be replaced with high-resolution LCD projectors. The LCD projectors will be connected to a specialized digital-media player called a Roku HD1000, which will hold the high-resolution images. The CaFÉ™ system also enables the jury to score online.
The features of CaFÉ™ are:
How to Apply to Calls for Entry (back to top)
Artists can apply through CaFÉ™ by following these steps:
The Hardware (back to top)
This section is meant to provide more detail on the technical hardware that replaces slides, slide carousels and slide projectors in the jury process.
Images that are uploaded by artists are saved as high-resolution images and transferred to compact flash cards. Compact flash cards hold large quantities of data on a piece of equipment that is the size of a postage stamp. They are replacing the slides and slide carousels previously used. These flash cards are inserted into a Roku High Definition Media Appliance, referred to as the "Roku" in the CaFÉ™ system description. This device is a small computer that reads stored data on compact flash cards. A high-definition display (LCD) projector is connected to the Roku to read images on the compact flash cards and display them. A digital image displayed using a Roku and an LCD projector provides high image< quality suitable for jurying and provides a more accurate representation of the work.
Each artistic discipline or medium category will be saved on a compact flash card. The Roku has been designed to allow "slide shows" at precisely equal intervals-allowing the jury flexibility to time the presentation and score as they see fit. A remote control allows users to pause the image presentation if necessary.
The advantages of using the Roku over regular computers or laptops include:
The advantages of using the Roku/LCD projectors over slide projectors include:
WESTAF chose the Roku as our preferred media server because it is the only high-definition media appliance on the market that has the functionality required by the CaFÉ™ system. If you are interested in reading more about the Roku, please go to http://www.Rokulabs.com.
The Hardware Settings (back to top)
The DELL 4100 MP LCD Projector settings:
The ROKU HD1000 settings:
Security (back to top)
Reliability is a key issue when you are selecting a server to host systems. All data that is accessed through the Internet is stored on computers called servers. They are called servers because they "serve up" information. There are a variety of different kinds of Internet servers, the most common being "Web" (like Apache) which allow the display of Web pages. Servers are physical computers that have a large capacity to retain information and programs. The CaFÉ™ database will physically reside (be hosted) on a Linux server.
A server needs an operating system to allow computer programs like the CaFÉ™ database to run on them. An operating system is a computer program that acts as the central system allowing other computer programs to operate. One familiar operating system is Microsoft Windows. Windows allows other programs such as Word and Excel to work together on your work or home PC. Similarly, the server's operating system will run all the programs needed to create and operate the CaFÉ™ database allowing it to "serve" information to Internet users and maintain security.
The Linux operating system is extremely reliable and stable. It allows multiple users (people who access information on the Internet) to access your information. Other operating systems may cease to work when they have too many users accessing data. Linux is known for its ability to accommodate large numbers of users with little loss of performance.
This server lives at a high-speed broadband Internet-access facility. Many home PCs access the Internet through a dial-up connection. This is a very slow connection. The server has access to the Internet through a much larger connection. Think of this as the highway to the database. The high-speed broadband is a six-lane highway; a DSL or Cable modem is a two-lane highway; and a dial-up connection is a dirt road. The high-speed broad-band connection means lower congestion and better speed for sending and receiving data to the CaFÉ™ database.
CaFÉ™'s first level of redundancy is known as a RAID 5 (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) configuration. This is the hard disk configuration on which the system will operate. This means that the physical computer is made up of multiple hard drives instead of just one. The server will share redundant copies of the same data on separate physical hard drives.
For example, your PC at home has only one hard drive. If your one hard drive breaks down, you can't get to your information, run programs or operate your computer. A server with several hard drives running would allow the server to continue operating, run programs and give out information, even if one of its hard drives breaks down. Basically, the CaFÉ™ server has multiple chances to survive before it cannot operate. It also allows for continued operations while the broken drives are being fixed. This configuration is known as "hot swappable disk drives". There is very little chance of down time due to drive failure.
The second level of redundancy is back up. All the data on the CaFÉ™ server is backed up every six hours off site, protecting precious data in case of fire, natural disaster, or electronic attacks. If the server were to have a catastrophic failure, we could reload the backup data onto a different server and resume operations very quickly. The third level of redundancy is back-up power. The CaFÉ™ server is secured at a facility that has back-up power supplies. This back-up power will provide electricity to the server in case of black or brown outs.
The server is physically located on an Internet-connected network facility in New Mexico. This is called a co-location facility (also known as a Server Farm). The co-location facility safeguards your data on the server from external intruders, whether they are physical or electronic. It also utilizes climate controlled rooms that will protect the physical server from environmental stress. The server is monitored by live persons at this facility and off site 24/7, 365 days a year. Issues are automatically communicated to our network administrator via email, text page and cell phone. In addition, we have utilized password protection to safeguard access to the CaFÉ™ database.
Benefits to Artists (back to top)
Benefits to Arts Organizations (back to top)
Benefits to Jurors (back to top)
CaFÉ System Overview