Digital Art History (DAHSS), a joint initiative of the University of
Málaga and the University of Berkeley, with the collaboration of the
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Fundación General de la
Universidad de Málaga, and the HDH, will celebrate the fifth edition
from September 1st to 5th (2020).
Due to the covid-19 situation, this year the Summer School will be all
online. The DAHSS team is convinced that we have an unprecedented
opportunity to explore new ways of working together in a real global
scenario and at the same time preserve interpersonal exchange.
The application period is now open (until July 26th, 2020). Please,
2020 Theme: Ephemera in Digital Art History
The #BlackLivesMatter movement and the rapid spread of global
demonstrations around the world are producing a considerable amount of
cultural manifestations that, due to their own nature, are ephemeral.
Nevertheless, their impact is permanent as they change the course of
human consciousness. This circumstance compels us to reflect about how
and why to preserve –whether this is possible- these ephemeral cultural
productions and how to produce digital outputs that allow us to
comprehend these cultural manifestations, their transformative impact,
and their full complexity. Cultural productions are complex systems
with multiple dimensions, layers and trajectories. Computational
techniques and digital media give us tools, methods and analytical
strategies to deal with this kind of multifaceted nature phenomena that,
moreover, continuously reconfigure as they are disseminated and
appropriated by different communities. DAHSS2020 aspires to delve into
the notion of ephemera and their complexity proposing to participants to
work together in a common project from different perspectives.
The course has a theoretical-practical orientation: theoretical exchange
and critical discussions will be combined with practical sessions
(lab-based sessions) through which participants will work
collaboratively. The results will be publicly presented on the last day
of the course. The course is organized around four tracks.
Track A: Data and the Arts. In Track A, lead by Greg Niemeyer (UC
Berkeley), you will explore what role data can play in the arts, from
the ancient Nilometer to information-age networks, artificial
intelligence, and actionable data. Instead of seeing data as technical,
you will learn about information technology as a cultural, social and
What new artforms arise from information technology and how can art
history appreciate them? How can art address the cultural deficit in
information technology? In this practice-oriented track, you will learn
how to make a data model, how to write code, and how to manifest data
aesthetically in image and sound. No coding is experience required. You
will teach and use Processing for your week long project, and you will
go home with a completed media art project online. Your experience will
serve as a basis for computational literacy, which will empower you to
analyze data and code as the primary materials of media art.
Track B: Data Science. Data–well used, managed and analyzed–is of great
value for the understanding of art history and its impact on society.
Real-time data is an opportunity to engage the public with cultural
heritage, identify bias and foster diversity. In this track, led by
Harald Klinke (LMU Munich), we will look into open data sources, learn
the fundamentals of cultural data analysis and make use of cloud
services. No prior knowledge is necessary.
Track C: Digital Photography: Detecting and Visualizing Forgery using
Image Processing and AR. Digital photographs are the dominant medium of
the twenty-first century. Yet, the indexical quality of the
photograph–the trace of an encounter between an illuminated surface and
an image sensor–is increasingly compromised by technologies capable of
generating fraudulent or misleading images. The artifice of these
pictures is often undetectable to the naked eye. This track, led by
Justin Underhill (Visualization Lab for Digital Art History, UC
Berkeley), will introduce students to some of the tools used to analyze
forgery and image manipulation (such as the tools used in Photoshop,
Facetune, etc). We will attempt to visualize these results in an AR
gallery that allows users to observe these tools in realtime on their
Track D: Computer Vision. Track D, led by Leonardo Impett (Bibliotheca
Hertziana), will investigate applications of computer vision to
questions in the history of art – and more generally in visual studies.
Images are what distinguishes digital art history from ‘digital
humanities on art history’, and we will look at the long history of the
computer analysis of images from the late 1980s to today. We’ll learn to
use some basic image processing tools (scikit-image) and more
sophisticated computer vision algorithms (tensorflow) to search within,
organize, or learn about big sets of images. With millions of images of
cultural heritage digitised from e.g. Bildindex, Wikimedia, and the
PHAROS consortium, we will build systems that deal with genuinely big
image datasets (>10,000). If you have digital image datasets from your
own work/research, please bring them!
No matter what track you pick, you will also see what students do in
other tracks in our daily plenary session. In the plenary sessions,
notable alumni of the DAHSS program will also share feedback and
observations about how DAHSS helped them in their work.
To accommodate the most possible time zones, the plenary sessions will
be conducted daily at 21:00 CEST. Track sessions will be at 17:00 CEST.
However, other options could be considered according to the time zones
of participants en each track.
Intended audience: postgraduate students, academic researchers,
independent scholars and professionals related to the following
disciplines: Art History and Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Graphic Design,
Computer Sciences, Media and New Media Studies and Museum Studies.
For more information, please visit:
Full Professor and Chair of the Art History Department
University of Málaga (Spain)
Phone: 00 34 952132223 / 952131690 (admin.)
Coeditor, International Journal for Digital Art History
Academic Coordinator, V-Lab
University of California, Berkeley
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