Visual Media Workshop

The VMW is
a lab/
workspace/
creative zone/
vertext/
forum/
platform/
initiative/
experiment

that

sits at the intersection between/
falls between established disciplines of/
crosses the fields of

art history and information studies/
humanistic inquiry and technology/
established humanistic and new data-driven approaches

(Alex Oliver, April 2014)

VMW

  • Old Media, New Media Image

    Old Media and New Media. Image Credit: Flickr user mermaid, london street art: what are these?.

     

    New Media Preservation Strategies

    Cornell University Library has started a project. funded by the NEH, to investigate how best to preserve born-digital art objects. Their preliminary findings (survey-based) have just been published as "Interactive Digital Media Art Survey: Key Findings and Observations." The eventual goal is to publish generalizable best practices in this area. Those of you interested in such things should certainly head over there.

    Categories: 
    • Agency
    • Visual Knowledge
    • Faculty Work
    • VMW
  • WPA Image of Pittsburgh

    Rothstein, Arthur. "One of the many bridges spanning the Allegheny River. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania," July 1938. http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000007968/PP

     

    All the WPA Photographs You Could Desire

    For any of you interested in time-and-space-based visualizations of photography in America, Yale has put out their Photogrammar project for the whole run of WPA photos. As they themselves put it, "Photogrammar is a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created by the United State’s Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI)."

    Categories: 
    • Visual Knowledge
    • VMW
    Tags: 
  • Image of an Optical Toy

    https://flic.kr/p/fqFKH9. Image from the The Laura Hayes and John Wileman collection of pre-20th century optical toys and illusionary devices. Donated to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics by Dr. Ralph Wileman. To learn more about this collection visit www.dlt.ncssm.edu/collections/toys/.

     

    "Digital Art Historian's Toolkit" from UCLA and The Getty

    This summer has seen any number of "digital art history" institutes going on, from Middlebury to UCLA. Miriam Posner, from UCLA, has just posted a very nice summary of current tools that might be of interest to any or all of you http://www.humanities.ucla.edu/getty/index.php/resources/the-digital-art-historians-toolkit/!

    Categories: 
    • Agency
    • Visual Knowledge
    • Faculty Work
    • VMW
    Tags: 
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    Inaugural Callery Lecture by Kirk Savage

    Thursday July 17, 2014 3:45 PM
    Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh

    Reception and Light Refreshments to Follow

    The inaugural lecture in the Bernadette Callery Archives Lecture Series will be held in conjunction with the Archives Educational Research Institute (AERI) being held at the University of Pittsburgh; the lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture series honors the memory of Dr. Bernadette Callery who was a member of the iSchool faculty and who taught in the Archives specialization in the Library and Information Science program. Previous to joining the faculty, Dr. Callery was the Museum Librarian at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Before her death, Dr. Callery thoughtfully established this lecture, which was funded through a generous bequest.

    Follow the Bodies, Follow the Names: One Art Historian’s Search Through the Archival Remains of the Civil War Dead

    Kirk Savage

    During the Civil War the problem of the “unknown dead” became a national crisis.  On both sides of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of soldiers who died on the battlefield or in makeshift hospitals or in prison camps ended up as lost bodies, in unidentified graves or no grave at all.  Bodies became severed from their names; or, in archival terms, the material object (the corpse) lost its metadata (the headboards or gravestones that physically linked the name of the dead to the bodily remains).

    The crisis of the unknown dead was, therefore, an archival crisis, which resulted in the proliferation of new archives devoted to the common soldier.  These included cenotaphs (empty tombs) and public monuments inscribed with names of the dead, on a scale never before seen.  In this paper I will reflect on the process of following bodies and names through these myriad archives, a process greatly enhanced by digital tools.  On an individual level the process looks much like family genealogy, but on a collective level the process speaks to cultural shifts linked to evolving concepts of family, nation, and sacrifice.

    Kirk Savage is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh.  He has published widely on public monuments in the U.S. for the past thirty years.  He is the author of two prize-winning books, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth Century America (Princeton, 1997) and Monument Wars: Washington D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (University of California, 2009).

    Categories: 
    • Agency
    • Faculty Work
    • VMW
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    The Trials of SketchUp

    After experimenting with photomatch multiple times, I realized it may not be the best method for assembling this venue because it would not show the details of the side panels as accurately as I had hoped.  So, I started over and began building it from scratch.  I hope to facet photos of the panels onto the walls once I build the arches along the ceiling that frame the mural.  

    Categories: 
    • Current Projects
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
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    SEP Update - 07/02/2014

    June has been a relaxing month for me, but I must admit that I have not been focusing on the SEP project this month! This is why I did not update the blog on 06/15. However, I will get going again this month and hopefully have the project just about finished one month from now. By the middle of July, I will hopefully figure out how to post some pictures of my progress to the blog! I am excited to get working on the project once again.

    Categories: 
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    A Mural of Many Names

    One wouldn't think that when searching for images that a singular word could make a difference in the search results---but it does.  Mexico of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow was how I first learned the name of Diego Rivera's mural in the Palacio Nacional of Mexico City.  However, my results in ArtStor were quite limited with that title. So I tried "Diego Rivera" which brought an overwhelming number of results and then I added the dates of the mural's construction to the search bar.  I finally came upon an image showing a panel of the mural and it was titled History of Mexico.  After searching that title, I found more results, some of them being preliminary sketches of Rivera's which had the title History of Mexico: From the Conquest to the Future.  Each title I searched brought about different results even though the titles were for the same mural. Finding the images to work with was half the battle due to the immensity of this work and the architectural structures that frame it.  Recently, I have been working with separate images in SketchUp to get an understanding of the shape of the building and the staircase to see how I should go about making a 3D model.  

    Categories: 
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  • View of Toledo

    El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), View of Toledo, oil on canvas. http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/436575

     

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases a Number of Collection Images Online

    The Met recently made available a number of digital images of objects their collection for download on their website. They are "license- and cost-free" for "scholarly and academic publication." For more information see: http://www.metmuseum.org/research/image-resources and the FAQ on Open-Access for Scholarly Content here http://www.metmuseum.org/research/image-resources/frequently-asked-quest....

    Categories: 
    • Visual Knowledge
    • VMW
    Tags: 
  •  

    Test. Where are the images?

    Categories: 
    • VMW
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    VMW Work Retreat

    The VMW graduate researchers (Alex and me) and the director, Alison Langmead, convened a two-day retreat at the end of Spring Term. Although we work collaboratively much of the time, devoting two full days to reflection, discussion, and planning was incredibly worthwhile, especially in anticipation of Alex's departure. Alex and I work on various components of different projects, bringing our knowledge of art history and information science, respectively, so having this time to debrief was absolutely crucial. 

    Our first task was to create an agenda for the retreat (see attached image). The color-coded agenda, or set of deliverables, ensured that we kept on topic and had substantive conversations about our current projects.

    The retreat demonstrated that face-to-face collaboration is invaluable, even for a team that works in close proximity and constantly communicates via a project management application (Asana is our current project management application of choice). We did take VERY occasional breaks to view the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest submissions, but these breaks truly allowed us to return to our agenda with renewed vigor. 

    Alex will be missed in the lab, and I look forward to the reconvergence of the team for our research fieldtrip to the Ohio Historical Society in June (more on that later). 

    Categories: 
    • Graduate Work
    • VMW

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