PRESENTATION | Recasting the Question: Digital Approaches in Art History and Museums

Dr. Keshani will be presenting on the Model Images project at the symposium Recasting the Question: Digital Approaches in Art History and Museums on 5 November 2015. The symposium is presented by the Power Institute Foundation, University of Sydney, and the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, Australian National University, with support from the Asia Art Archive. The Convenors are Stephen Whiteman, Lecturer in Asian Art History, University of Sydney and Robert Wellington, Lecturer at the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, Australian National University.

ARTH 460A | Learning Interpretation Research Skills – Arabic Botany

In the Oct. 22 class, we looked at how to use Leiden University’s illustrated Arabic botanical manuscript (Or. 289) for mobile digital interpretation at the Devonian Botanic Garden. The text is from al-Natili’s translation/adaptation of Dioscorides’s De Materia Medica, and the manuscript has been digitized. We correlated plants to be used at the DBG and folios from the manuscript with the detailed manuscript description in Jan Just Witkam’s Inventory of Collections of Oriental Manuscripts, which identifies what plants are illustrated and their folio numbers, and an English translation of De Materia Medica – Tess Anne Osbaldeston’s De Materia Medica: Being An Herbal With Many Other Medicinal Materials Written In Greek In The First Century Of The Common Era Pedanius Dioscorides.

The class came up with a work plan and chose to divide into teams of two and assembled the correlated materials onto a shared Google docs.

PRESENTATION | Painted Space: 3D modelling Early Modern paintings from Awadh, India

Dr. Keshani will present on the Model Images project on Monday Nov. 2, 2015 at the scholarly gathering Digital Approaches in the Study of Early-Modern Visual Culture in Canberra, Australia. The Convenors are Robert Wellington, The School of Art Centre for Art History and Art Theory, ANU and Stephen Whiteman, The Power Institute at the University of Sydney. The gathering is funded with the generous support of
The ANU Research School of Humanities and Arts Visiting Scholars Fund and The Power Institute at the University of Sydney.

Suppose you decided to build a detailed 3D model of an 18th century miniature painting from Awadh, India. The painting is of an elaborate and architecturally complex gardenpalace with bejewelled women enjoying music and drugs. Space is represented with a distinctive Early Modern Indian hybrid of perspective and orthographic techniques, an entanglement of Anglo-European and late-Mughal spatial representation conventions. How does one go about converting the space represented into space a 3D modelling program can live with? What new kinds of questions or insights does making the model generate about the painting, the portrayal of space, and the gazes within, if any? Finally, what do you do with the model? How do you present and explicate what the model offers and what practical value and possibilities exist beyond the realm of scholarship? This paper chronicles the research process of the MODEL IMAGES project and examines the scholarly and practical values of making digital objects as a form of scholarship about transcultural visual cultures of Early Modern India. It proposes that the 3D modelling of paintings makes a worthwhile addition to the range of visually/spatially based methods of interpreting visual culture. The implication being that visual cultural analysis need not be a mostly textual affair, but one that necessarily entails the production of the visual.

Exploring how digital tools and technologies can advance art historical research and teaching @ UBC Okanagan campus Kelowna, Canada

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