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Navigating and Annotating Art Historical Collections


Short Teaser:
Recent engaging proposals prompt us to reconsider the assumptions and goals behind digital art-historical collections. This seminar will tackle new ways of conceiving, navigating, and annotating digital art collections through data visualization and interaction design.

With the advent of digitization, not only do we have the promise of increased access to a wealth of art and architectural historical collections, but we face the challenge of integrating these and also make this access comprehensive, functional, and capable. The modern digital scholar ought to reflect not simply on the tools and their integration, but on the relevant ways of capturing content and the very modalities to navigate it. In this seminar, scholars from the Centre for Digital Visual Studies and the Bibliotheca Hertziana will discuss the stakes of browsing through digitized collections with the aid of the body, the role of embodied forms of knowledge, and the challenges of capturing rich and problematic art-historical concepts like “style”.

Lecture open to the public, by Dario Rodighiero, Tuesday 23.10.2021, 9:30-10.30

In order to introduce this discussion, we will host Dr. Dario Rodighiero, who will present two ongoing projects, for Harvard Art Museum and Porto University: a data visualization presenting more than 200,000 artworks by similarity is made interactive through a body-gesture interface for museum’s visitors; the second, concerns a small digital collection of Porto University: an innovative interface is designed to annotate and explore a collection of Middle Ages’ data visualizations. Both projects are open source, and work with the recent standard for image interoperability IIIF. This presentation will be public and an open discussion will follow. After a break, a private session will continue with interventions from the research fellows of the Center for Digital Visual Studies fellows and members of the Bibliotheca Hertziana.

SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATION: Dario Negueruela del Castillo

Dario is a SNSF fellow, affiliated to metaLAB (at) Harvard and Bibliotheca Hertziana. His work in the field of digital humanities focuses on the visualization of digital collections and archives, and the way in which we interact with them. With Metis Presses, he authored in 2021 Mapping Affinities: Democratizing Data Visualization. He is an alumnus of MIT and EPFL; the latter awarded him a PhD in Science. Dario also works as a lecturer in Paris at Pantheon-Sorbonne University.


Open doors: 9:30 – 10:30
Dario Rodighiero – Navigating and Annotating Art Historical Collections – 30 mins
Discussion – 30 mins (respondent Alessandro Adamou BHMPI)

Pause – 15 mins

Closed doors: 10:45 – 12:45
Valentine Bernasconi and Darío Negueruela, DVS – GAB Browsing Art through Gestures – 10 mins
Valentine Bernasconi, DVS – GAB Browsing through Time – 10 mins
Lucía Jalón and Darío Negueruela, DVS – Space, Territories and Media – 10 mins
Eva Cetinic, DVS – Navigational mechanisms: Similarity and Beyond – 10 mins
Svenja Lange – Multimodal Complexity In The Case of Digitized Collections of Early Modern Emblems – 10 mins
Maarten Wijntjes, TU Delft – Between annotation and appreciation: examples of picture and human centred perception research -10 mins
Tristan Weddigen, BHMPI – The Visual Discourse of Art: The Dresden Picture Gallery in the 18th Century