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Material Culture

Page history last edited by pams 11 years, 10 months ago

here's the link that wasn't working during the session, but seems to be now:



Arden's related links on delicious:



we looked at:





(click on HIGH under 3D objects to open the QTVR that you can turn and zoom)


(need to fill in the link for the site Ethan shared)






Arden Kirkland, Megan Brett, George Brett, Ethan Gruber, Steve Lubar, Susan Garfinkel, Teresa DeFlitch, Laurie Kahn, Kozaburo Hachimura, Etienne Posthumus, Dave Lester (he wishes!)


Arden's very rough notes: (attendees, please feel free to embellish!)


is there any digital material culture community?

if there's not a well-defined material culture community, period, why would there be a digital community?

maybe we need to start one?


varying approaches to material culture, similar to dilemmas of defining digital humanities -

     is it a method? is it a topic? seo services


traditional Material Culture scholars might not want objects to be digitized, as that could be seen as detracting from the physical properties of the object


(Arden's related note after the fact - I have an interest in how work with material culture fits with a kinesthetic learning style - handling an object has a different kind of impact than reading / listening / seeing. BUT can a digital surrogate of an object ever get close to this kinesthetic experience? for a student / viewer who has had even a brief encounter with an actual object, can the digital surrogate create a reminder of that kinesthetic experience, and therefore have a similar impact?)


Mellon $ for art museums / galleries - push for integrating art objects into other areas, especially educational curricula


dangers of digitization for its own sake


confusion of work vs. surrogate - common failure to distinguish between describing an object and describing an image of an object - in proper Dublin Core, should be one entry for object related to one entry for image, instead of one entry that tries to cover both (example of very fragile glassplate jpegs!)


perhaps a QTVR (as opposed to a still image) distinguishes better that it's representing an object, so less of that confusion?


can digital humanities rescue material culture from the clutches of museums?


influence of Antiques Roadshow on return to material culture study?


teaching people how to read objects


less funding for field trips, digital tour of a historic estate may be the closest students can get, popularity of traveling trunks to take into classroom


different levels:





center vs. spread - do we want to establish centers for digital exposure to material culture, or try to include material culture in a wide variety of other kinds of resources 


need to brainstorm ideas for scholarship of non-textual materials!!!


how to link objects to related text


combine imaging of 3D object, context of object in space (virtual room), documents related to object


breaking down boundaries of library/archive/museum


historic estates, historic societies by their nature have a holistic understanding of objects in context, other kinds of museums/libraries/archives have objects out of context


transparency of objects and relationships


if we're going to provide access for digital surrogates of material culture objects and expect scholars to do serious work with them, we need to consider:


persistent links


importance of commentary, can have levels of public or private


what about folksonomies?

consensus for tagging - individuals add their own tags, but then review each other's tags to evaluate their relevance


what about Second Life?

Second Life like AOL

need to have more virtual spaces outside of Second Life, to recreate historical context

     like Ethan's incredible model of the mosaic of Alexander the Great at the House of the Faun in Pompeii

     like Rome Reborn


again, who to go to for digital material culture?


can we start by continuing this discussion on the Digital Objects site (http://grou.ps/digitalobjects)?

if that site continues to have problems, I will move it over to a new host

also, the focus of that group is currently for teaching

do we need a broader group for digital material culture, with a sub-group for that focus on teaching?



this conversation really needs to continue!





If you're interested, but couldn't attend this session, please contact Arden or join the Digital Objects group to be a part of this continuing conversation. 

Comments (3)

mebrett said

at 7:33 pm on Jun 28, 2009

I've expanded on a thought which came out of this session on my blog - mebrett.wordpress.com

Smith said

at 2:39 am on Jan 18, 2011

Arts and Culture should be preserved. Thanks for posting this.


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