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Digital Visual Studies

Spatiotemporal Research

Spatiotemporal Research

The spatiotemporal domain not only allows visual data to be linked with the textual data (interconnecting, for instance, the BHMPI’s library and photographic collection), but also enables new forms of organizing and representing these data through historical space and time. The rapidly-expanding field of the Digital Spatial Humanities will be particularly relevant to this research axis, using a cross-scalar approach: from micro-resolution 3D scanning of artistic artefacts and architectural details, to urban- and continent-scale geo-mapping. Recent advances in differentiable rendering systems, and a more general convergence between computer graphics and vision methods, al-low for 3D data to be not only reproduced but analyzed. Methods for the simulation and analysis of three-dimensional artefacts and architectural spaces will be developed, building on current work in acoustic simulation, light simulation and space-syntax analysis. Measures of centrality and accessibility analysis can add invaluable insights about the how the spatial material conditions of a rich and cumulative urban tissue (such as Rome) influences the material practices through access, expo-sure and co-presence of resources, of artists, of galleries, of publics, of institutions, etc. As well as adapting current methods from architecture, computational urban studies, spatial econometrics and
acoustic modelling, novel techniques must be developed which take account of the important temporal dimension of historic data (so-called 4D modelling), as well as the unique uncertainties in simulation and modelling that arise from philological and archeological evidence.
Examples of possible art historical research topics driven by the new infrastructures and tools:

  • analysis of urban and architectural fields of visibility and their relationship with visual art;
  • 3D analysis and reconstructions of cultural artifacts (object, disposition, interactions);
  • social and historical geographies of gesture and body-language through analysis of gesture, pose, movement and interaction in representational art;
  • automatic or semi-automatic integration of historical data (2D/3D) in a digital reconstruction;
  • visualization of 2D/3D reconstruction within other media using digital or semi-digital technologies;
  • analysis of text-image patterns in publications;
  • analysis of the temporality of the constitution of works of art, both representational and non-representational, based on metadata and the detection of traces of movement;
  • 4D exhibition reconstruction from archival records, including the encoding of uncertainty.