Tag Archives: Domain

11/15/17

“…Nick Couldry, a British media scholar, who argues in his book Why Voice Matters that we are experiencing a contemporary crisis of voice—across political, economic, social domains.  At root, he argues, is a pervasive doctrine of neoliberalism that denies voice matters.”

Documentary studies — close reading, “close enough to hurt”

“Get proximate” to the social justice issues that need our attention

  • Audrey Watters, “The Web We Need to Give Students” (this is one of my favorite pieces about Domain of One’s Own — many of you may have already read it, but I figured I’d add it to the list in case)

Social Justice and education

What do our students’ domains look like after they leave the course in which it was created?

How do faculty use these in “later” classes?

Archive of our own

Digital minimalism

Sarah Sze, “Triple Point,” 55th Venice Biennale 2013

Silentio Pathologia might be compared with Sarah Sze’s installation Triple Point at the U. S. Pavilion in the Giardini.

U.S. Pavilion, Giardini, Venice

U.S. Pavilion, Giardini, Venice

Sze has brought many thousands of things into the rooms and part of the landscape of the Pavilion. These things include cans of paint, pads of paper, mirrors, ladders, lamps, rocks, photographs, furniture, and countless other objects.

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There is little that connects these objects between rooms and no sense that rooms have been transformed.

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According to Sze, “[t]he title for the whole show, ‘Triple Point,’ refers to the situation where all three states of a substance—gas, liquid, and solid—can exist at once. So it’s this teetering between states, the fragility of equilibrium, and the constant desire to create stability and a sense of place that frame the narrative.” (Conversation between Sarah Sze and Rirkrit Tiravanija, “Thing Theories,” in ArtForum, summer 2013.)

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In the Pavilion, the things that constitute Triple Point speak less to the “fragility of equilibrium, [a] constant desire to create stability and a sense of place,” than an attempt to turn one’s garage into a kind of sci-fi stage. Certainly, there is the “ahhh” factor – some things move, shadows are cast, objects are organized by color — but this is mostly an accumulation of stuff built up or laid out.

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As an installation, Triple Point arouses a viewer’s curiosity and urges one to play with things. Silentio Pathologia, on the other hand, draws the visitor into a space wherein the physical and intellectual journeys are created by the objects, and one experiences these objects as a coherent environment.

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva (Macedonia), “Silentio Pathologia,” 55th Venice Biennale 2013

The year is 1348. Europe is about to meet its worst enemy. Within a few years, nearly two-thirds of the population of the continent is dead. The cause? The Bubonic Plague. Rats were host bodies…where rats travelled, the plague followed. Cities, towns, rural areas all experienced horrific devastation and chaos. Those who survived the plague long-remembered this time as a period of sorrow, confusion, and absolute fear. In “Silentio Pathologia” the artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva considers the rapid movement of the plague in early modern Europe, and finds parallels to the transmission of viruses today.

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“Silentio Pathologia” encompasses the entire interior of the Scuola dei Laneri, the former confraternity of the wool workers in Venice. One might feel claustrophobic here were it not for the natural light streaming in from the expansive windows along the entrance wall. The location was a lucky find and adds a layer of meaning to interpretations of this work. Wool was one of the many products Venetians transported across early modern Europe, unwittingly playing a significant role in the transmission of plague.

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The visitor to the Scuola dei Laneri today also journeys. At the entrance of the Scuola one encounters the opening of a path marked by a metal wall about 10′ high at the left (two and a half tons of metal all told), and at the right a drape of silkworm cocoons threaded together. Here, one’s journey begins. The metal is imposing…most remains untouched but some areas show the effects of being worked in a circular motion by a grinder.

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The metal surface also receives the patterned shadows cast by the threaded cocoons. The visitor walks between the wall of metal and drape of cocoons in a vaguely circular journey that leads to new walls…one made of untreated black silk threads stitched together by Elpida…

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and the other wall a drape of albino rat pelts, also stitched together by the artist.

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In early modern Europe, rats were carriers of disease. Today they are among the most common living creatures in research labs for the study of disease. At the center of “Silentio Pathologia” are two cages with pet rats. As the artist explained, the rats need to be held and stroked every day, preferably by the same person because the rats become familiar with one’s scent and like it; this care insures that the rats remain tamed and do not revert to their wild state. At the heart of this journey we come face to face with a dilemma…taming our fears requires embracing them.

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Above:  Preston Thayer with the artist, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, at the 55th Venice Biennale, May 28, 2013, talking through the gauze of black silk thread.

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva completed her MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London in 1998 and currently lives and works in Brighton, England. Her work was part of the 51st Venice Biennale in ArtSway’s New Forest Pavilion.  For more on Silentio Pathologia, see the artist’s blog at: http://blog.elpihv.co.uk/category/55th-venice-biennale/.

Silentio Pathologia was curated by Ana Frangovska, curator at the National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje.

A expanded version of this post appears in The Art Section, (summer 2013, 7/6).

Online exhibits and digital art history

A way of thinking about online exhibits?  “The wind of commerce hit museums harder than many universities. In some instances necessity occasioned the creation of good websites as the public face of the institution (interest logged via hits per week); in others it provoked a rethink of the mission of museums and a dumbing down to a lower common denominator, in displays, special exhibitions, and websites. Museums are in a state of flux because of computers and the Web: can/should technology be applied to these dusty mausolea of out-of-context artifacts to provide a learned, multimedia, immersive context – the nearest thing now possible to reintegrating the works with the context from which they were removed? Or is the museum of the future to be a theme park, lacking any truly educational mission, with Web displays as part of the fun? Believers in culture should hope for the former; but, as the inscription on Wren’s tomb nearly has it, Si monumentum requiris, cinumclicke.

Indeed, should we extrapolate from the existence of the Web to the decline of campus-based universities and physical museums and galleries? If galleries can only display a small proportion of their collection at any one time, should not funding go into web-based image databases?”

Michael Greenhalgh, “Art History”

In A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/

 

Digital art history

Working now on digital art history.  Here are some resources:

Diane M. Zorich’s report to the Kress Foundation on the role of digital scholarship in art history;  “Transitioning to a Digital World:  Art History, Its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship,” June 2012.

A post from Emory University’s Woodruff Library on Zorich’s report for the Kress Foundation.  Quick links here to digital art history projects cited in the report.

A post by Hasan Niyazi with references to recent discussions, December 2012.

Five participants in the Digital Art History Lab held March 5-7, 2013 at the Getty discuss the state of the field and the principles of networked scholarship:

• Hans Brandhorst, editor of the Iconclass system (http://www.iconclass.nl) and the Arkyves Web catalogue (http://www.arkyves.org/)

• Johanna Drucker, Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor Bibliography in the Department of Information Studies and founder of the Digital Humanities program at UCLA

• Emily Pugh, Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, and Web developer for the online journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide

• Nuria Rodríguez Ortega, chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Málaga, Spain

• Moderator: Susan Edwards, art historian and digital humanities technologist, J. Paul Getty Trust

Digital art history

Here’s something I came across in the CAA News (May 22, 2013). “It’s time to rethink art history for the digital age,” by Nuria Rodríguez Ortega. It’s old news (March 5, 2013) from The Getty Iris, but something I need to think about now. Digital art history. Good references and questions, interesting comments. But it isn’t clear to me what “digital art history” looks like or how one does it. Anne Helmreich’s response resonates for me. “This points to another opportunity afforded by the multi-layered digital environment—that of including both one’s scholarly conclusions as well as the evidence on which these conclusions are based. This can be a daunting proposal—the equivalent, perhaps, of putting one’s file drawers out for public viewing. It also means making easily accessible a document that may have taken years of sleuthing to track down and identify. But it is also an exciting opportunity: such shared documentation can become a platform around which a robust and dynamic scholarly community can be formed. It also can help to push forward the development or adoption of intellectual argument in a more rapid (and global) fashion than was previously possible.” This is exactly the sort of thing we were discussing in the Domain workshop.

Here’s a great post on getting started in Digital Humanities by Lisa Sprio for the Journal of Digital Humanities (2011).

Digital Humanities

William Pannapacker’s article in today’s online Chronicle of Higher Education speaks directly to some aspects of our project’s concerns and what we’re presently developing.  He includes recommendations for building Digital Humanities (or Digital Liberal Arts for greater inclusiveness) at small liberal-arts colleges.  One area he discusses where I think we need more focus is informing administrators about our work.  His recommendation here:

“Seek the support of the higher-ups. Your administrators are probably pro-technology in general, but they may not know a lot about DH. Show them how digital methods enhance the college’s mission and can promote its image. Call attention to the value of encouraging faculty and staff members to use new technologies.”

What are our plans for highlighting the work of the Domain project?  How might we talk/write about it as central to the mission of UMW?  Images on the home page are an indication of some support or awareness.  But is that sufficient?  The fact that we have this Domain project at all clearly indicates support.  But here we owe our thanks to Mary Kayler and everyone in DTLT.  What, if anything, does the administration want to see come out of this?  That’s a conversation we need to direct.

AHPT at CAA business meeting

We’re starting the business meeting with a continuation of the earlier session.  Here are some things we’re talking about:

-How to connect the different professional arts groups interested in pedagogy and technology?

-Changing learning pedagogies.

-Know what’s going on in other programs/disciplines.

-Getting engaged with pedagogy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to talk (only) with art historians.

-First CAA session on pedagogy and technology — 1997

-Teaching the survey course — revising this is a moving target!

-How do we get students to think — through writing.

-importance of assessment and learning outcomes — for every class;  planning the class as one might in K-12.

-The works we enjoy and are passionate about — focus on these.  This isn’t what our teachers did.  (I think they had the passion…but there wasn’t a place for “passion” in the classroom in those days.)

-Prezi — as a collaborative project;  students will contribute an image and THINK about why they chose that image.

-We keep coming back to the survey.

-Tell students why it’s important to[talk with Michelangelo].  The goals today are….;  halfway point:  where are we?…;  at the end:  this is where we are and these are our conclusions.

-Structure an activity:  write every week (electronic) that involves a little bit of research (not necessarily going to JSTOR).  Tell me (x) things you know about this object;  then go to a good source and add to what you thought you knew.  This involves some revision, some research, some rethinking.

-Compare:  a Cabanel nude with Britney Spears on the cover of Rolling Stone.

-Students need ownership

-What do we want students to know from a survey course?  Style;  meaning.  Post unknown works from different periods;  put students in groups;  have them analyze these — style, meaning.  have them do (some) research in class — textbook, online searches.

-The things they don’t know are the things that drive them more.

-Give them a work and tell them “You’re Manet, you’re Courbet, you’re Cabanel, and you’re Judy Chicago” — argue a point and persuade the audience.  What’s going on in this image?

-Learning experiences with creative element.

-Would we be embarrassed by anything our students say (in class)?

-Search for parody of an iconic image;  this gets across the idea that images aren’t in a vacuum.

-What has to be covered or not?  Why did we get into this?

Ideas for next year:

-Focus on the survey;  alternative pedagogical models

-Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy;  JITPedagogy.org;  special issue for art history

-We need to look at the bottle, not the wine.  Putting old wine into new bottles just won’t work.

-Universal design

-Content production

-arthistorysurvey.com — forthcoming

-Beginning career people

-The future of higher education

Well…it’s been quite a meeting.