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What is Visualization in Digital Art History?

  1. 1. What is Visualization in Digital Art History? Tara Zepel
  2. 2. What is visualization in digital art history…? HOW do we use it? And WHY?
  3. 3. What is visualization in digital art history…? …digital tool
  4. 4. What is visualization in digital art history…?
  5. 5. What is visualization in digital art history…? … tool ? … method ? … process ? … explore/learn ? … communicate ? … something else?
  6. 6. What is visualization in digital art history…? … tool ? … method ? … process ? … explore/learn ? … communicate ? … something else?
  7. 7. ImagePlot HyperCities
  8. 8. ImagePlot ml
  9. 9. Rothko (1938-52) x = med. brightness y = med. saturation
  10. 10. Time Covers x = year y = med. saturation photographs
  11. 11. Time Covers x = year y = med. saturation photographs
  12. 12. HyperCities
  13. 13. HyperCities
  14. 14. collection Google map annotations
  15. 15. collection Google map annotations
  16. 16. What is visualization in digital art history…? framework for building, communicating, and experiencing knowledge
  17. 17. What is visualization in digital art history…? What should we aim for it to be?

Editor's Notes

  • Tara Zepel,PhD Candidate in Art History at University of California, San DiegoToday, in the true spirit of THATCamp, I want to begin with a question… -- what is (more broadly DH)
  • - As a new media scholar with one foot in visualization and the other in the digital humanities, I often find myself asking myself a lot:What role does it play? More specifically HOW do we use it and WHY?You had some practice with this yesterday (pros), give you a chance to think about your own answer to this question. Write it down, Tweet it, draw it for yourself (just give it some tangible form)
  • - Traditionally, at least in DH, visualization has been conceptualized as a digital tool- This comes as no surprise given the field’s historical origins.
  • Early digital humanities projects, like John Burrow’s textual-analysis of 17th and 18th century verse used visualization complemented by statistics to help “make sense” of the large volumes of data now available to humanities inquiry.The culture of digitization that characterized the digital humanities through the 2000s only magnified these volumes, and scholars increasingly began use visualization to look not only at textual content but also spatiotemporal data, non-text artifacts and related metadata over the longue duree.
  • But this, especially as more and more people who are visual learners or study visual culture, have entered the fieldIs starting to changeHere are just a few of the ways I people thinking about visualization’s role in digital art history in our discussion yesterdayIt’s a tool, a method, etc..
  • Quick __ minutes I have left, I want to try and probe this question a bitHopefully open some conversation among this particular group of visual learnersBig question – big implications forthinking about how we know, think and interact with cultural scholarship in the digital age
  • - Because such a big question, going to ground rest of the discussion in 2 specific visualization projects/platforms,1) ImagePlot , 2) HyperCitiesPaint very broad strokes, not describe in detail but rather use them as a way to ground the discussion
  • Free software tool for visualizing collections of images and video of any sizeDeveloped by Lev Manovich, Software Studies LabIdea = build a way to visualize data about relationships between visual material AND include the visual material itself Way it works  excel  GUI select parameters  visualize it
  • - This is one of the projects we’ve done looking at Rothko’s paintings from 1938-52The graph here showssee all images at once  detect patternsLook at aspects of the the course of Rothko’s career in a single imageAnimate by another variable (time)
  • Goal is not to come to a any definitive conclusion but rather to computationally observe the image set in its entirety. Think of it as exponential comparisonEnd up finding new questions or avenues of researchThis is every cover of time magazine from 1923-2009
  • What’s visualization’s role here?Certainly a research tool, structures a method, medium present research, medium for exploration
  • - 2)HyperCities…- Digital research and education platform for exploring, learning about, and interacting with layered histories of spaces - (not specific to DAH)  created by Todd Presner at UCLA, originally flash based hypermedia learning env
  • Since developed along with several community partnershipsBeen use take virtual tour of ancient roma, map 2009 election protests in Tehran, as a community project narrating the history of LA phil town
  • Way it works is allows users (open to anybody) to create collection (artifacts, locations, particular time periods in an area)Map this collection over time along, annotations or related materialVisual Tell a story about the artifacts and location in a given collection
  • This particular collection is a project by Phil Ethington at USC titled “Ghost Metropolis” serves as digital companion to his book on the history of LA (13,000 BCE – present)
  • - Here’s a project students created to trace the development of Modern Day Berlin- See just how robust the HyperCities platform can beBring together historical maps, 3D re-creations of historical buildings, photographs, videos, text documents for pedagogical purposes.
  • Can imagine constructing a similar collection in an art historical contextWhat’s visualization’s role here?In this example even harder to pin down what visualization is doing here (b/c so expansive)Not only research tool, pedagogical tool, story board, gives people an environment to explore
  • Visualization really functioning as a way of thinkingOrganizational framework for learning, communicating and experiencing knowledgeThis isn’t a new idea. Rudolf Arnheim in his 1969 book Visual Thinking perceiving is also thinking “indivisibly intertwined”This is very true for art historians and speaks a lot o how we can expand the way we think about visualization beyond “tool”
  • Hopefully, I’ve gotten you to expand or at least think about your answer to my earlier question a bit more (more provocation)End, turn the question back to youWhat is visualization in digital art history? And what should we aim for it to be?
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