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

  • 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
  •  

    Computational Identity

    The fantastic scholar David Berry recently drew attention to a number of issues surrounding facial recognition and the impact of remote sensing in public. While working on Decomposing Bodies, and thinking about article's such as this, I have begun to start addressing a concept forming in my head called, "computational identity." The art project of ANTI-SURVEILLANCE FEMINIST POET HAIR & MAKEUP PARTY is particularly important in this vein. Please do check out both Prescott's post and the work of the group.

    Categories: 
    • Identity
    • Visual Knowledge
    • Decomposing Bodies
    • Faculty Work
    • VMW
  • FE-R students at their final presentations

    FE-R students Marybeth and Wawa, with Alex and Alison Langmead from the VMW

     

    First in Research Final Presentations

    From 4:30 - 6 pm yesterday, the WPU Assembly room was a zoo: 240 students, 51 faculty mentors, all their posters, laptop computers, and spiral-bound books of abstracts. The First In Research students' final presentations were awesome! Very impressive work by everyone. We loved having Marybeth and Wawa work with us this semester on Itinera. Art History also had teams working with Gretchen Bender and Jennifer Josten on challenging tasks: deepening the readings for intro to world art and modelling the locations of paintings in a 3D space. Congrats everyone!

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
    Tags: 
  •  

    In the first year the NEH was in existence...

    ...FIVE of the grants went to projects incorporating computing. ("The digital humanities community responded to NEH’s call for grants, resulting in the Endowment funding at least five digital humanities projects during its first full year of operation.") For more information, please do see Meredith Hindley's fascinating article, "The Rise of the Machines" at the NEH's own site, http://www.neh.gov/humanities/2013/julyaugust/feature/the-rise-the-machines.

    Categories: 
    • Temporalities
    • Identity
    • Faculty Work
    • VMW
  •  

    What do you value about studying the humanities?

    Our colleagues over at 4humanities.org have brought our attention to an "idea comparison" engine that they have set up to talk about what the value of studying the humanities might be. You can visit the survey here: http://www.allourideas.org/4humanities. It presents you with a series of dyads, allowing you to pick between different options...including "I can't decide." You may also add your own thoughts. A peek at the results is also revealing...

    Categories: 
    • Agency
    • Identity
    • Faculty Work
    • VMW
  •  

    The Beginning of the End

    This is my last time in lab before our presentations next Thursday.  (Everyone should totally come to the WPU Assembly Room to see all of the FER presentations on 4/17 from 4:30-6!)  It's really weird to think that today might have been my last time logging into Itinera.  My freshman year is ending, and it's overall just a really weird feeling.  It's even worse when I think about how I will be in Tanzania in a month and France in a year.  Everyone says college moves so fast and its so true.  Maybe that's true because the summer starts in April...

    Regardless, I have learned so much from working with Alison and Alex in the VMW.  I've learned so much about the digital humanities and history.  I never really thought about how people write history, a conversation Alex and I had today, or what research really is until I stepped into this lab.  I learned a lot about what specifically is data and the many ways it can be inputted.  I, of course, learned about the Grand Tour, but I am also leaving with tons of "transferrable skills," as Dr. Streeter put it.  Overall, this has been such a great experience, and I'm glad I cam to this lab.  Hearing my friends' horror stories from other labs, especially science related ones, I'm ecstatic that I was lucky enough to particpate to fully in the project.  I can't believe that this, and my freshman year, are ending--it's been great!

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    So Long, Farewell, auf wiedersehen, good bye.... :(

         Humanities, usually has the the bad rep of being easy and lacking in innovation and necessary mental capabilities. Society contrasts humanities with both math and science. They say that unlike, math and science, humanities does not take much effort anad doed not necessarily build on prior knowledge. Well, for everything we've learned in the digital humanities this semester, I can honestly say, society has it all wrong. I believe society expects humanities (essentially the study of human nature and social science) to be flawed because humans are flawed. But society forgets that in order to go forward, we must learn from the mistakes and build on the feats of our predecessors. Itinera, I have come to believe, is an ongoing feat and testament to the curiosity and ability of mankind. We continue every single day to build on what was once just an idea.

         I am absolutely honored to say that I got to work on itinera. I learned a lot about myself, more about computers and a lot more about the nature of people. Most of all, I've learned that opportunities are endless when it comes to making yourself more aware of the world, whether its synthesizing information on a travel phenomenon or actually traveling to supplement a classical education. Life is full of surprises and no matter what your current skill set, you can always adapt to the world around you through curiosity and genuine willingness to learn. 

        Thank you to everyone on the Itinera team. I'm sad that it's almost the last week. I hope to see you all around sometime. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW
  •  

    pass 1 and pass 2 of work flow timed test

     Last week we discussed work flow and the most efficient way to get the most done possible. So we tested ourselves to find out how much work we could do in a specific amount of time, and if we encountered any problems while doing our timed test. Some of the problems we encountered were the inability to track pieces of artwork, not understanding abbreviations that are no longer used, and how to identify a relationship between two people. We attempted to talk through these issues and did come up with a few solutions. 

    The work flow was almost on target. Alex asked that we complete about 10 letters and input them into itinera, and Marybeth and I had almost 10 letters done in 1 hour and a half. The second pass was very quick, since we were now used to disciplining ourseloves to NOT search up a picture of each peprson, and find out what their whole name was, and pretty much NOT do any research. The more we did, the quicker it got. 

    Categories: 
    • Itinera
    • Undergraduate Work
    • VMW

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