It is quiet today. A few voices and keyboard tapping. Today is working time.

Since it is also quieter for me, let me report, what we have done so far.

On Monday, we had a lively discussion on the subject of data, data analysis and data visualization in the context of art history. Many aspects came up from the truth of data, the necessity of cleaning and the viewpoint of the end-user. The question was raised how art-historian and information scientists can work together even if there is this perceived gap. That gap consists of different approaches, ways of thinking and even concepts associated with particular terms. It was agreed, however, that we have to be the agents of change we want to see. This group is such a diverse group of people from different backgrounds that the fruitfulness of interdisciplinary collaboration—that is the flip side of the coin—can probably nowhere better be yielded than here.

There were also solutions proposed how to fill that gap:

  1. It needs time to work together.
  2. It needs communication, including visual communication (flipcharts are available).
  3. It needs translators, who can bring the fields together.
  4. It needs a shared vision. If everyone knows the goal it is easier to do the first step.
  5. It needs an interdisciplinary mind-set of openness and cognitive flexibility.

Are there more elements that you think are important? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter @HxxxKxxx.

Then we were talking about data sources and on Tuesday gathered a list of tools. And after a Post-It wall of ideas we formed 8 project teams that started working together. Here is the list of preliminary group names:

  1. Church interiors
  2. Group One (later renamed Picasso Group)
  3. The Americans
  4. The Associatives
  5. Metadata Group
  6. Image Similarity Group
  7. Generative Machine Learning Group
  8. Chatbot for Exhibitions

Additional input came from contextualising Lunch Talks by Nuria Rodríguez Ortega and Anna Benkowska-Kafel and the very inspiring Evening Talk with Lev Manovich. Also the Lightning Talks, where everyone had the chance to present their home project, showed what a fantastic group comes together here.

All participants are now in high activity, discussing and gesturing in front of displays. That is wonderful to watch… Today we are looking forward to listening to the Lunch Talk by Justin Underhill (Berkeley University) and tomorrow by Mario Klingemann (Google Fellow). On Friday we will be presenting the results in a public event in the Department for Art History.

You can follow those parts of the event via live streaming. Past lectures are also archived. You can also follow us on the Twitter hashtag #CodingDurer which is populated with many tweets not only from participants. Here you can contribute and get into a conversation, bring forward your own projects and ideas. We also try to keep you up-to-date on our blog. Have a look at it from time to time.

We would like to have the global network be part of the event and interweave their talents into our group.

You can also see an overview of Day 1 and Day 2 on Twitter.

That’s it for the moment from me.


2 thoughts to “A moment to report

  • Jodi Cranston

    Thanks, Harald, for giving this great summary for those of us who are not able to attend but are following closely from afar! This looks like such an amazing event!

    One thing that has always struck me as interesting about digital art history conferences/events is how often the challenges and obstacles are discussed. This is absolutely a vital conversation. But I am also eager for more conversations about the ways in which digital tools can or cannot reshape the central epistemologies that underpin art history. It would be interesting to hear what the participants of Coding Durer think. Are these group projects able to take the discipline in a new direction? Or are these digital tools helpful for asking the same questions and just getting the answers more quickly? I’d be interested in knowing which, if any, project ideas were rejected and why and if the ways in which the data sources were structured had any impact on their project ideas. Thanks, and looking forward to more!!

  • Harald Klinke

    I will bring this into the discussion tonight and will post the results.

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