Caroline Bruzelius Receives Dean’s Award for Leadership

May 2, 2016

This past week, our own Professor Caroline Bruzelius was awarded the Trinity College Dean’s Award for Leadership. Congratulations, Professor Bruzelius!

Professor Neil McWilliam’s speech from the award ceremony:

There are any number of reasons one might wish to honor a scholar as accomplished, dynamic and original as Caroline Bruzelius, but today we come together to recognize the extraordinary role she has played in promoting digital art history at Duke, and establishing the Wired! Lab as one of the country’s most active and innovative centers in this rapidly developing field. The Dean’s Leadership Award is intended to honor “a distinctive contribution to research, teaching and service”. In spearheading digital art history, Caroline has made signal contributions to the university in all of these areas. As a leading architectural historian of the medieval period, she took an early lead in recognizing the great potential of digital reconstruction of the built environment as a new and versatile research tool. She understood, too, the extraordinary potential of digital technologies as a pedagogical aid that encouraged students to pose searching questions of historical evidence and adapt it in engaging new ways.

Over the last few years, Duke students have constructed imaginary cathedrals, whose design is rooted in a detailed analysis of the techniques that shaped the great churches of Europe, they have rebuilt whole neighborhoods in Venice by directly engaging with archival and visual records, and they have used digital projections to restore color to the sculptural fragments displayed in the Nasher Museum. These, and many other projects promoted under the auspices of the Wired! Lab, are shining examples of what Duke does best. Caroline’s leadership as a teacher committed to new technologies has expanded opportunities for undergraduate research, and for collaborative investigation more generally, in an environment that is both deeply focused and expansively interdisciplinary. In the words of one of the department’s doctoral candidates: “Through her advocacy of digital innovation in art historical research, Dr Bruzelius has instilled in her students the value of cultivating an inner hunger for experimentation and teamwork. The bustling environment of the Wired! Lab encapsulates Dr. Bruzelius’s vision of “the future” of art history, one in which a research community thrives on the sharing of diverse technical expertise and critical perspectives.”

None of this could have been achieved without Caroline’s tireless commitment to the nuts and bolts of establishing and expanding a new initiative. Since the opening of the Wired! Lab in Smith Warehouse in 2010, Caroline has been hugely successful in attracting support from within and beyond the university, notably through Bass Connections, the Trent Foundation, Humanities Writ Large (Mellon), the Mellon, the Getty Foundation, the Delmas Foundation, the NEH, the Kress and others. Thanks to her energy, students and researchers at Duke enjoy outstanding facilities in a project-based humanities lab that provides a model for the university. The Wired! Lab has become a vibrant meeting place for students from all over campus—art historians, engineers, artists, computer scientists, documentarians, and others —and is forming a rising generation of thinkers who work together to produce new knowledge and share it with the public. As a former student remarks on the Wired! experience: “Not only did this form of teaching expose me to new-found information and histories, but it offered something much more that is vital to the learning process: a new form of decision making came to light. If scholarship and teaching is communication, Caroline was pushing the boundaries of how to reach her students and convey complex ideas in an engaging and innovative fashion.”

Caroline’s achievement is conspicuous in the bricks and mortar, the bits and bytes of the Wired! lab. It can be measured through the MA program she has established in Digital Art History, in the collaborations with other departments and international institutions, in the invitations by colleagues across the nation and beyond to share her ideas about the role of new technologies in art-historical research. Above all, though, Caroline’s achievement is rooted in her extraordinary personal qualities as a teacher, a colleague, and an example. There is, perhaps, no better way to sum up what true leadership might mean in a university than these words of one of Caroline’s undergraduate students: “Her enthusiasm is contagious, and her constructive criticism has made me a better writer and art historian. Dr. Bruzelius  spreads her affection to everyone in the department. She takes art history very seriously, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She is kind, generous with her time, and sincerely interested in what is going on in the department.” For all of these reasons, it is a privilege to introduce Caroline Bruzelius, Anne M. Cogan Professor of Art History, as recipient of the Dean’s Leadership Award for 2016.

Visualizing Venice Workshop receives funding from The Getty

March 17, 2016
Venice, Italy

The Visualizing Venice workshop, an annual digital art history training opportunity for graduate students and early career scholars held at Venice International University, has been granted $140,000 by The Getty Foundation to support the 2016 summer institute. The Getty’s generous support enables the workshop to offer participants scholarship for tuition, travel, and accommodation.

The 2016 workshop will introduce a range of digital skills in mapping, 3D modeling, mobile application development, web technologies, and time based media authorship to enable participants to engage historical questions with emerging digital tools. The technologies are taught through the use of a theme, which for the summer of 2016 is “The Ghetto of Venice”. During the first week of the course participants will learn techniques for digital production by drawing upon existing research materials. Each day, participants will learn about a different type of digital media production within the context of how that type of reconstruction is typically used in digital art and architectural history. During the second week, the participants will work collaboratively to create projects using the tools they have learned, with the goal of creating high-quality, public-facing research products suitable for a general audience, as well as identifying potential areas to explore in their own future research.

Read more about the workshop or Apply Now!

Henrietta Miers: Mapping Venetian Ceiling Paintings

December 16, 2015
Henrietta Miers

The Wired! Lab’s Master’s program in Historical & Cultural Visualization was begun in August 2014. Three students recently completed the program.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Bronxville, New York, a one square mile town where I attended Bronxville High School. In 2010, I attended Princeton University and graduated in 2014 with a BA in Art History. I wrote my senior thesis on the art of the British Nigerian Artist Yinka Shonibare. At Duke, I wrote my MA thesis on sixteenth-century ceiling paintings in Venetian churches at a time of religious reform. I created an extensive database of 17 ceiling cycles consisting of two collections, about 350 items, 3 interactive maps, and 3 exhibitions. After graduation, I hope to work in a museum position and eventually get my Ph.D. in Art History.

Why did you choose to attend the MA in Historical and Cultural Visualization program?

First, I explored the projects the Wired! lab was working on, especially Visualizing Venice, and thought it would be great to work on the project and eventually write my thesis on a Venetian topic. Second, the idea of learning about how to digitize art history made me want to be part of the program because art history is constantly changing, and it is exceptionally useful to know how to utilize digital tools and programs such as SketchUp and Omeka (to name a few).

What is the most valuable skill or concept you have learned in the MA program?

The most valuable concept I learned is how powerful and important visualization is to the future of art history. Art history is constantly evolving, and digitization of this discipline is the direction it is heading, which is already evident in certain museums.

How do you see this MA advancing your career goals?

This MA degree will advance my career goals because the program gave me a skill set that I did not have prior to entering Duke. The MA allowed me to learn to code scenes with BabylonJS, design a website using HTML, build a windmill in SketchUp, and construct a database of about 350 items using Omeka. These are only a few of the things I was able to accomplish during this program, and I believe these skills will be useful for a museum position.

Henrietta is a member of the MA program’s inaugural graduating class. Her thesis is titled “Mapping All Above: Sixteenth-Century Ceiling Painting at a Time of Religious Reform.” During her time at Duke she worked on the Venice Interactive Visual Atlas (VIVA). She also worked on a class project, “Troyes Cathedral: Stained Glass” in which students recolored black and white images of a stained glass window as a way of showing how the medieval window, whose colors are now dimmed with the passage of time, may have first appeared. 

UPDATE: Henrietta is now employed at an art gallery in New York.

Digital Thinking & Art History: Re-Imagining Teaching, Research, & the Museum

September 29, 2015
Collision Space (Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, 2nd Floor, A266)
12:00-1:00PM
Elizabeth BaltesCaroline BruzeliusHannah JacobsTimothy SheaMariano Tepper

Intermezzo is an event series sponsored by the Art, Art History and Visual Studies department. The series enables graduate students and faculty to present ongoing projects to one another in an informal setting.

The September 29th Intermezzo will feature members of the Wired! Lab discussing their experiences using digital methods in teaching and research. Caroline Bruzelius and Hannah Jacobs will speak about the use of spatiotemporal visualization to create an interactive course syllabus. Elizabeth Baltes and Timothy Shea will discuss the affordances digital tools have lent to their research. Mariano Tepper will demonstrate components of The Lives of Things project’s newest digital exhibition at the Nasher, which digitally recolors medieval statues as they may have initially appeared at the time of their creation.

Visualizing Venice: The Biennale & The City Storify

The following is a public archive of the 2015 Visualizing Venice Workshop.

Maps & Models: Round up of Spring 2015 Course Projects


This spring, Wired! course projects focused on uses of mapping and modeling technologies to answer questions pertaining to art and architectural history.

In Introduction to Art History with Professor Caroline Bruzelius, students created spatiotemporal exhibits to explore movements of materials used to create various material objects throughout ancient and medieval history.

In The Medieval Castle in Britain with Dr. Matthew Woodworth, students created digital reconstructions of medieval British castles, historic or imaginary to explore political, economic, and technological influences on castle-building processes.

In Alexandra Dodson’s Rock, Paper, Chisel, students discussed materialities and contexts of medieval art. Their final projects included a digital restoration and recontextualization of a stained glass window and digital reconstructions of two damaged sculptures.

Summer Workshop Series: Introduction to Unity

May 12, 2015 — August 11, 2015
Wired! Lab (Smith Warehouse, Bay 11, 2nd Floor, A233)
12:00-2:00pm

This summer, the Wired! Lab will be hosting an informal workshop series for anyone in the Duke community interested in learning the Unity gaming engine.

Come learn Unity with a group of likeminded Unity beginners on selected Tuesdays throughout the summer. (Check the sign up form below for specific dates.) We’ll start from the very beginning by working through Lynda.com tutorials together. Then we’ll move to a needs-based approach where we’ll select tutorials specific to our interests and help each other troubleshoot our projects. Bring your lunch to munch while we learn!

Sign up: http://bit.ly/wired-unity

Contact hannah.jacobs[at]duke.edu for more information.

 

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Visualizing Venice Receives Scholarship Funding


Thanks to the generosity of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Getty Foundation, Visualizing Venice will be offering accepted 2015 workshop participants scholarships and stipends to attend the workshop.

The field of historical and cultural visualization has grown substantially in recent years. For the past three years, Duke University, Università IUAV di Venezia, and Venice International University have collaborated on the Visualizing Venice Summer Workshops at VIU.
This year’s theme, “The Biennale and the City” reflects both the maturation of the international Visualizing Venice collaboration and the increasing accessibility of digital tools for representing change over time in urban environments. This collaboration enables us to bring together art and architectural history scholars with digital media specialists and engineers in order to create new opportunities to research and share information about the built past.
VIU is the ideal place to bring together an international set of graduate students studying digital art and art history by doing it onsite. Our unique capacity to offer courses that allow for both on site research and digital media production within a compressed time and intimate setting is unparalleled.

This course will teach a range of digital skills in digital mapping, 3D modeling from ground plans and photos, mobile application development, and time based media authorship to enable participants to engage historical questions with emerging digital tools.  As in the previous editions of the workshop, the technologies will be taught through the use of a theme.  The summer 2015 theme, “The Biennale and the City” allows for exploration of the history of the Venice Biennale from several perspectives and scales of reference: as a case study in architectural history in the Giardini and the Arsenale; as a set of exhibitions undertaken both on those sites and in more ephemeral sites around the city; as an aggregation of artistic forces hailing from around the world; and as a phenomenon with a profound impact upon the life and culture of the city of Venice itself.

Find out more.

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LIVESTREAM: Prof. Bruzelius at National Gallery of Art

November 21, 2014
Washington, DC
Caroline Bruzelius

Professor Caroline Bruzelius will be speaking at the 2014 Digital Art History Conference hosted by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Check the CASVA website for details.

UPDATE: The conference will be livestreamed here. Program available here.

ABSTRACT:

Modeling Time and Change in Venice: The Visualizing Venice Project

Visualization technologies are transforming the humanities and prompting new questions about the interpretation of historical documents. The Visualizing Venice initiative, which began in 2010, was prompted by the question of whether we could use visualization tools to model ongoing urban growth and change over time. We discovered that working with digital technologies prompted new kinds of questions about our archival data, stimulating different approaches to scholarly research. Visualizing Venice has become a public-facing digital humanities initiative that seeks to engage the public (residents, tourists, students) in ways that social, economic, religious, and technological changes (the railroad, for example) transform cities and their surrounding environments.

At the same time, and from the outset, Visualizing Venice has had a strong pedagogical component. We have created laboratories at Duke University and in Venice to train students to engage in scholarship through mapping and modeling technologies. We introduced courses and workshops from the undergraduate through the postdoctoral levels; at Duke the “”Wired!”” team has integrated visualization projects into introductory courses in art history and inaugurated a master’s program in cultural and historical visualization.

Duke Media Arts + Sciences Rendezvous

November 6, 2014
Collision Space, A266, Bay 10, 2nd Floor, Smith Warehouse
4:15pm

The Wired! lab undergraduate fellows will present the state of their research projects for Fall 2014. These projects involve undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and faculty, and they intersect with one of two principal research initiatives ongoing within the lab: Digital Cities/Urban Histories and The Lives of Things.

Full schedule of the Fall 2014 MA+S Rendezvous.

UPDATE 11/07/2014: Images from the event!