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Wired! Lab Celebrates 10 Years

October 18, 2019
Nasher Museum of Art | Duke University

**UPDATE 10/17/19: Tonight’s Keynote has been cancelled. The symposium will begin as scheduled at 9:00AM on Friday, October 18th.**

Over the past decade, the use of digital methods has exploded in the study of art history and visual culture. As with other areas of the digital humanities, art historians and visual culture scholars have used a very wide range of approaches. Still, increasingly, one of the core areas that art history and visual culture have particular focused on is the analysis of spatial problems through computational methods and digital visualization.

On Friday, October 18th, please join us to reflect on contributions of art historians and visual culture scholars to the spatial digital humanities at Centering Art History & Visual Culture in the Digital Humanities: A Symposium Celebrating 10 Years of the Wired! Lab at Duke.

Find out more: sites.duke.edu/centeringdh | #centeringdh

Register: https://sites.duke.edu/centeringdh/registration/

Watch the livestream:
Friday Morning – http://bit.ly/CenteringDH-FridayMorning
Friday Afternoon – http://bit.ly/CenteringDH-FridayAfternoon

Schedule

October 17, 2019 — CANCELLED

Keynote: “Digital Architectural and Art History: A View from the Field”

Patricia Morton, University of California, Riverside

October 18, 2019 — BEGINS AT 9:00AM

I. Morning Session: Spatial Problems Across Time 

“No One of Us Is Them: Diverse Proxy Phenomenology in Pompeii”

David Fredrick, University of Arkansas

“Experiencing Temporalities: Space and Pace in Late Ottoman Istanbul”

Burcak Ozludil, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Augustus Wendell, Duke University

“The Rules of Engagement: Thoughts about prolonged user interaction with virtual environments with a focus on UCLA’s reconstruction model of the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893)”

Lisa Snyder, University of California, Los Angeles

II.Afternoon Session: Digital Methods in the Early Modern Moment

“Mapping Social Context: The DECIMA as a Platform for Spatial Art History”

Colin Rose, Brock University

“The Mind of Michelangelo on Paper”

Mauro Mussolin, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and Leonardo Pili, Graphic Designer

“Visualizing Lost Landscapes: Sources, Stratigraphy, and Close Reading in Mapping Qing Imperial Parks”

Stephen Whiteman, Courtauld Institute of Art

III. Roundtable: Past and Futures of the Spatial Humanities for Art History and Visual 

Wired! Lab Faculty and Staff

 

Sponsored by the Wired! Lab for Art History & Visual Culture and the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. Free and open to the public.

CFP: CAA 2020 Lost in Translation: Early Modern Global Art History & the Digital Humanities

July 13, 2019

Wired! Lab director Paul Jaskot is co-chair of a session on digital art history at the College Art Association’s 2020 conference. The session is currently accepting proposals.

Deadline to submit: July 23, 2019

Proposal instructions

Session Date & Time: Thursday, February 13, 2020: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM

Session Location: Wilford C (Hilton Chicago)

Affiliated Society or Committee Name: Digital Art History Society

This session seeks to draw on two current art historical issues: 1) that many leading digital art historical projects are centered on examples from the early modern world; and 2) that there is a widespread need across art historical fields to look to strong exemplars to help model the inevitable acts of translation between and across humanistic and computational scholarship. This panel seeks papers that address any aspect of digital humanities work on an early modern topic. From Latin America to East Asia, from the Mediterranean basin to the Black Atlantic, outstanding work has been done in bringing data-driven methods to bear on art historical evidence. How have art historians negotiated the intellectual world of “technologists,” and do we have successful examples of new “languages” and other outcomes collaboratively forged by art historians and technologists? What have computational scholars found interesting or challenging in working with art historical datasets and questions? And, more broadly, why is the early modern world such a fecund area for art historical and computational discovery? In proposing these questions, we particularly encourage submissions from collaborative presenters and/or about collaborative projects that represent both digital and humanities’ perspectives. Our goal is to invite papers engaging crucial questions in early modern art histories—thus appealing to a large area of CAA interest—and papers that, in the process, also address the incorporation of computational methods. Proposals that emphasize the communication (or failure of communication) between digital and humanities’ approaches are especially welcome.

Field of Study:
Early Modern (1450-1800)
Interdisciplinary
Digital Media (history and studio)
Digital Humanities
World

Chairs:

Paul B. Jaskot, Duke University – paul.jaskot@duke.edu

Meredith J. Gill, University of Maryland – mgill@umd.edu

MA Thesis Showcase Recap


Christine Liu

On April 23, 2019 we had our MA Thesis Showcase to celebrate the work of our Spring 2019 MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media graduates. Here’s a brief recap of the projects that the students presented and a look at some of the digital components they’ve made.

 


Rob Arcand, “Stack Music: Spotify and the Platformization of the Digital Music Commodity”

Rob’s work looks at music’s changing commodity status, arriving at the moment of “digital music as a canary in the coal mine of informatic or cognitive capitalism.” Stack, software platforming, reveal the material basis of platforms in the technological components on which they rely. He focuses on the machine listening aspect of Spotify, which developed as a way to solve data science problems – based on the premise that sound can function as a computational utility. Rob argues that algorithms shape and are shaped by a cultural life. Data and algorithms are the means by which the music, film, and culture industries are each becoming leaner, reshaped by data-oriented practices in an effort to cut costs and streamline cultural production. Music’s commodification no longer exists at the level of digital files but at a whole industry level where platforms like Spotify are an intermediary between users, artists, and advertisers. For his digital component, Rob created a site that you can see here.

 

Angelina Liu: “The Alife Bestiary: An AR Object Recognition Project on the Archivolt of Alife”

Angelina’s project worked with the Alife Arch currently in the Brummer’s Collection at the Nasher Museum of Art, the piece was originally an archivolt on the Alife Cathedral. She worked to study one of the most immediately visual elements of the arch – the iconography on the arch’s surface. For her digital project, Angelina worked with AR to annotate a real world object pseudo-directly. As a tool, AR provides a more immediate experience with the objects. The purpose of app is to use AR interactivity to explore the iconography, using object recognition to encourage users to look at the object and displays directly. Other benefits of AR include the ability to show more complex non-linear explanations about the iconography, promote learning on site rather than through a website or pamphlet. As Angelina argues, AR can be more effective in information retention (as applied to paintings) than guided tours.

 

Kira Xie, “Reimagining Model Minority: An Inquiry into the Post-1965 Chinese Immigration in the United States.”

In her thesis, Kira tackles the Model Minority Theory, from a 1966 article from the US News and World Report. The trope describes Chinese and other Asian Americans based on their education and professional success. Kira’s thesis elaborates on the idea of model minority and on ideas of Chinese immigrants to look at the issues they confront. The projects relies on reports on geographic distribution, census data, Tableau visualization, and oral history. Kira built a website on WordPress, raise history and awareness of issues of Chinese immigration as a means to allow readers to experience the thesis in a non-linear fashion.  She questions the Model Minority Myth as presenting both achievements and challenges.  It has created a problematic image of the minority group as a monolith and obscured problems. Chinese immigrants still face problems with education on a high school basis, glass ceiling in professional settings, and cultural association. Misconceptions of Chinese people not being able to work well in professional settings – image of perpetual stranger still affects their image in America. A cultural emphasis on education for the earlier generations of immigrants was made in hopes of raising a pathway for subsequent generations. Kira hopes that her thesis will be a living history of Chinese immigrants in the US, it will help immigrants learn about their history, and how different perspectives. The accompanying website she created can be seen here.

Image Credits: Hannah Jacobs, Angelina Liu

Jessica Williams ’19: On Robert Willis and Architectural History


Christine Liu

Jessica Williams is a senior majoring in Art History, and minoring in Psychology and Political Science. Her Graduation with Distinction project came out of her work with the Wired! Lab, read more about the project and her future plans below. 

Please describe your thesis project:
My thesis is entitled Robert Willis (1800-1875) and the Historiography of Italian Gothic Architecture. Described as the “father of architectural history,” British academic Robert Willis was extremely influential to the development of methodologies in studying, as well as the nomenclature for, Gothic architecture. In spite of this, he has largely been forgotten by the art historical field, with his early work receiving especially little attention. My thesis focuses on the notes and drawings Willis created for his first publication on architecture, Remarks on the Architecture of the Middle Ages, Especially of Italy, which have to this point been left out of Willis’s narrative. I travelled to London over the summer with a Dean’s Summer Research grant to access Willis’s sketchbooks. I argue that these drawings mark a key moment in Willis’s development as an architectural historian, in which he applies his previously scientific mindset to the study of buildings.

Which Wired! project did it come out of and what are your duties in the project?
My thesis developed from an idea from The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image DatabaseI am currently the team leader of the project, and have worked on the Database since my freshman year. I collect and enter images of Sicilian medieval monuments into our database, including many images I collected from Willis’s materials.

Has your thesis work factored at all into what you hope to do after graduation?
Yes! After taking a gap year working in museums, I plan to go to graduate school to pursue a PhD in art history.

Image Credits: Jessica Williams

MA Student Alan Carrillo on the Wawel, 3D Modeling, and Templar Typology

April 24, 2019
Christine Liu

As the Spring 2019 semester comes to a close, MA Student Alan Carrillo speaks on the models he’s being making in the Wired! Lab, what he’s learned in his first year, and how everything will come together in his thesis.

What are you working on in the Wired! Lab?
I am working on a digital reconstruction of the Wawel Royal Residence in Kraków. It is not merely a reconstruction of what exists today, but instead, we focus on tracing the different construction phases from its conception to the war period. The reconstruction is a part of Paul Jaskot’s broader project, Mapping German Construction. Our attention is currently on occupied Kraków during WWII. I work on one of three fronts, the other being the Ideal Plan and the Ghetto. Our interest in the Wawel stems from Hans Frank’s (the Governor-General of the Generalgouvernement) decision to make it his residence.

How does the project fit into your other academic or thesis work?
Before working here at Wired!, I worked on UCLA’s Paris, Past and Present project where we produced digital models of lost Parisian monuments. I came with a background on architectural modeling, but working on this project has helped me enhance my skills on how to cohesively visualize spaces of transition. Exposure to how we can use these newer methods within a larger framework has definitely influenced my approach to my own thesis. I hope to apply a similar methodology to my own work on analyzing Templar typology.

What is your thesis?
I hope to use digital modeling and GIS to analyze Templar construction. The Knights Templar were a military monastic order founded in the 12th c. following the First Crusade. Initially, they were charged with the responsibility of providing safe passage to pilgrims visiting Jerusalem, but they became a powerful and influential presence in medieval Europe. My work looks at how Templars used models and how we can use both analog and digital models to understand them better. Asking: Is there something new to learn using digital methods?

How has the Wired! Lab helped your work?
What truly sets the Wired! Lab apart from other digital humanities labs is the collaborative environment it produces. Students of varying disciplines come together to work on collaborative projects that draw on each individual’s strengths. This creates the opportunity for external input that helps you break from the monotony of working individually, and I think that’s the best part.

Image Credits: Alan Carrillo

Kristin Huffman on Jacopo de’ Barbari’s View of Venice (1500)

April 16, 2019
Kristin L. Huffman

The Wired! Lab’s Kristin Huffman has published an article on “Jacopo De’ Barbari’s View of Venice (1500) ‘Image Vehicles’ and ‘Pathways of Culture’ Past and Present” in Mediterranea. In her abstract, Huffman writes:

This essay focuses on an iconic and ground-breaking woodcut –Jacopo de’ Barbari (c.1460/70–1516) and Anton Kolb’s View of Venice (1500)–and an interactive museum installation that I first developed for Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. The exhibition uses the View as a point of departure fort he development of multi-media displays about Early Modern Venice and the transfer of knowledge. Adopting Aby Warburg’s illustrative terminology, the essay extends understandings of the woodcut, namely its function as an ‘image vehicle’ and its invention and realization as a product of cultural pathways. This concept, ‘pathways of culture’, also relates to the digital methods and visualized media used in the exhibition where their application advances a new methodology in art history, just as Aby Warburg did in the early twentieth century. And like Warburg who privileged visual imagery and traced its ideological transmission with his Mnemosyne Atlas (1924–1929), the curatorial team of the exhibition uses and systematizes original visualizations to drive the analyses of art, architectural and urban history in new and exciting ways

You can read the full article here.


Publications & Presentations

Huffman, Kristin Love. “Jacopo De’ Barbari’s View of Venice (1500) ‘Image Vehicles’ and ‘Pathways of Culture’ Past and Present.” Mediterranea. International journal for the transfer of knowledge, 4 (2019), 165-214.

Brittany Halberstadt ’19: Social Network Analysis, Data Visualization, and Abstract Expressionism

April 10, 2019
Christine Liu

Brittany Halberstadt is currently a senior majoring in Art History with a concentration in Museum Theory and Practice. Here she shares her distinction project and gives a preview into some of the visualization work she has created. 

My Graduation with Distinction project focuses on the use of Social Network Analysis, Data Visualizations, and Visual Analyses to understand influence, using the development of Abstract Expressionism in the United States as a case study. I use these three methods to suggest new lines of inquiry and to better understand the information gathered from my archival and scholarly sources.

Figure 2. Birth place of 77 individuals in my data set. Created using Tableau on October 10th, 2018.

My current project is a continuation of my work with Professor Paul Jaskot researching exile and émigré artists from Nazi Europe (Dictionary of Art Historians) who traveled to the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. I created a database of exile and emigre artists using information pulled from Varian Fry’s Surrender on Demand, as well as additional scholarly sources.

Figure 3. Jackson Pollock, Troubled Queen, 1945, oil and alkyd (synthetic paint) on canvas, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Image Credits: Brittany Halberstadt

Triangle Digital Humanities Institute on DH Pedagogy

March 25, 2019
John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Smith Warehouse, Bay 4
9:00AM-5:30PM
Hannah L. Jacobs

On Monday, March 25th, the Wired! Lab, Digital Humanities Initiative at the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Triangle Digital Humanities Network, in collaboration with other units at Duke, will host the Triangle Digital Humanities Institute on Digital Humanities Pedagogy:

Join the Triangle Digital Humanities Network (TDHN) for the first Triangle Digital Humanities Institute (TDHI)! This one-day event aims to build community and skills around digital humanities pedagogy. It will include lightning presentations, roundtables, workshops, and discussion sessions by and for instructors, staff (including, but not limited to, librarians and technologists), and graduate students at universities in the Triangle area. Topics will range from assessing the value of dh pedagogy, presenting classroom case studies, scaling research to fit the classroom, and creating open environments for experimentation to developing collaborative teaching models, designing dh assignments, integrating dh into learning objectives, grading digital projects, and building capacity beyond the individual classroom.

This event will kick off a week of digital humanities events at Duke. Find out more: https://digitalhumanities.duke.edu/dhi-week-2019

Registration is free and open to the public.

Jaskot on Digital Art History as Social History of Art

March 12, 2019
Paul Jaskot

Wired! Lab director Paul Jaskot has published a new article, “Digital Art History as the Social History of Art: Towards the Disciplinary Relevance of Digital Methods.” In his abstract, Jaskot writes:

“Can we have a critical art history using digital methods? To answer this question, we need to ask what are the critical questions in art history that demand and are best suited to specific digital methods? This article argues that asking a critical question involves taking up the long art-historical tradition of the social history of art. Social art history is not satisfied with a social context for art, but rather reverses this equation by arguing that an analysis of art, artist, and audience must tell us something structurally about society. It is these kinds of questions that critically engage in broader art-historical debates. When questions such as these rely on large bodies of evidence – which they often do if “society” is their focus of study – then the scale of the project is, in today’s context, best suited for digital methods. In sum, digital art history lets us address the tradition of the social history of art in new ways. The following essay seeks to advance a nuanced triangulation between our art-historical topics of study, our methodological debates, and computational analysis. In specific terms, exploring alternative subjects of art history as well as the particular analytical methods of social art history opens up the debates in the discipline to a more critical intervention with digital methods.”

Read the full article here (note that access to Taylor & Francis Online is required).


Publications & Presentations

Jaskot, Paul B. “Digital Art History as the Social History of Art: Towards the Disciplinary Relevance of Digital Methods.” Visual Resources (2019) DOI: 10.1080/01973762.2019.1553651.

New DH Bibliography

February 15, 2019
John Taormina

The Wired! Lab is pleased to announce the release of a new Digital Humanities Bibliography compiled by John Taormina with assistance from Alexander Strecker, Katherine McCusker, and Michael O’Sullivan.

The idea for this bibliography came about during 2014-2015 as the Digital Humanities Special Interest Groups were being formed in the Visual Resources Association and the Art Libraries Society of North America. With the recent flurry of publications in the digital humanities over the past five years, and increasing interest in digital humanities in academic disciplines, a comprehensive bibliography seemed all the more important. Under the direction of John Taormina, director of the Visual Media Center in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, the project began in earnest during the 2017-18 academic year and continued over the course of three semesters with the assistance of a graduate student or undergraduate each semester for data entry.

Various bibliographies from digital humanities publications (books and journals) were identified, selected, and collated into this new bibliography. The first version of this document was released in February 2019.  Additions to this type of compilation are ongoing and updates will be released quarterly. A filterable online version is in development.