Category Archives: Session Proposals

Proposals for unconference sessions from THATCamp participants.

TALK session: A DH syllabus for art history

In trying to design my own DH course, I’ve found both a lot to look at and not enough that is geared directly to art historians and the art history student. In particular, I would like to discuss what kind or readings and projects others are using, especially in a small, liberal arts college context. I’d certainly also love to hear about what a big school can provide faculty and students, if only as something to shoot for!

Talk session: Evaluating Digital Scholarship

This session will start with an online tour of Digital Karnak, a 3D Virtual Reality model of an ancient Egyptian site built in VSim to be a pedagogical tool and database of information. It will be presented by Lisa Snyder and Elaine Sullivan. The collaborative project has been in development at UCLA, and its creators have been actively involved in leading discussions about the publication, peer review, and dispersion of their work. You can get a glimpse of Digital Karnak here, and more information about VSim here.

After “touring” Karnak with Lisa and Elaine, I’d like to lead a discussion of THATCamp attendees around the topic of evaluating digital projects of all types. For instance, how can digital scholars facilitate the acceptance of our work toward promotion and tenure? What tactics have worked for digital scholars in the past? What challenges do digital scholars face in making sure our work is peer reviewed effectively?

The CAA and SAH have created a Mellon-supported digital task force whose mission is to develop guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship. As both a digital scholar and a researcher for the task force, I hope we can contribute to the ongoing dialogue toward supporting digital work—at all levels of academia and public scholarship—by effectively evaluating it and facilitating its inclusion in promotion and tenure portfolios.


TEACH session proposal: mobile 3D scanning

I would like to propose a TEACH session for mobile 3D scanning.  Using a laptop and inexpensive software, a Kinect sensor can be made to function as an inexpensive and portable 3D scanner. Using a Structure Sensor Scanner, an iPad Air and several free apps, a range of people, objects and spaces can be 3D scanned without electronic tethers.  3D scans produced by these devices can be readily manipulated in widely available 3D software.  I would like to teach a small group of curious colleagues how to capture 3D scans using mobile technology.

I am using these technologies in my studio practice and am interested to share and swap techniques with other artists who may also be exploring these tools.  I would like to effectively teach these skills to students in the context of studio art courses.  A brainstorming session to produce ideas for studio art assignments that incorporate 3D scanning techniques will end this session.

Darren Douglas Floyd will teach this session.  A small group of participants will learn these techniques using my own equipment.

TALK Session Proposal – Visual Analysis in the Digital Humanities

How far have we come in computer-aided analysis of the visual, beyond tagging and other text-based approaches? I want to bracket all the great stuff that pulls in text or numeric data to make sense of images, and instead focus on the act of visual analysis itself. How do bits and connoisseurship, or bits and the purely visual, create an analytical field? Is this a pipe dream, at least for the moment, given the limitations of the digital? Are initiatives like the intriguing Wölff a first step to virtual worlds of visual analysis? How can available programs (Picasa, etc.) be re-purposed or hacked to provide support for the comparative analysis of visual elements?

I would like to discuss digital tools for the analysis of visual things, especially but not exclusively art objects, and how those tools may develop given the ever-increasing computing power available in research universities and elsewhere. I have two simple, preliminary case studies, one proposal for very high-resolution scanning of Inuit and African objects at the Menil Collection (Houston) and the other a NEH startup for visual analysis entitled VWire. The latter is a partially-successful attempt to build a virtual world for the ordering and analysis of anything visual. I would be very interested in discussing other experiences, needs, and desires of the art historical and art communities around the analysis of visual elements in a virtual environment.

Rex Koontz would chair the talk, but he knows too well what he thinks and is really interested in your tools and your views.

Make Session: #BlackLivesMatter Teach-In: Dismantling Anti-Black Racism in Visual Culture

Session leaders – La Tanya S. Autry (@artstuffmatters), Charles Eppley (@eppleyca

The recent protests in Ferguson and other cities against police brutality demand close analysis and collective action. In particular, the role of visual culture associated with these events and within the #BlackLivesMatter movement is of immediate concern. We have designed this session for those whose interests focus on  visual culture, art history, studio art practice, art museums, material culture, and social justice. Working together in small,  topic-based groups, we will collectively address the interplay of visual culture and racialization. We will also identify resources (books, articles, videos, exhibitions, works of art, interviews, etc) and design active learning based activities to address these issues in the classroom, museum, and otherwise social or communal settings.

Possible discussion topics include: visual culture as evidence; the visual field as a racialized site; images as resistance; the blackface stereotype; and post-blackness. Identified visual culture focus will include:

  • The 2014 fatal assault on Eric Garner – video recording and non-indictment
  • Rodney King – 1991 videotaped beating, police acquitted in 1st trial
  • Trayvon Martin – hoodies symbol; skittles and iced tea; Instagram; Zimmerman paintings
  • Eric Garner – protest signs – eyes; “I Can’t Breathe”
  • Mike Brown – “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”
  • #BlackLivesMatter and #hashtag visual culture
  • Visual rhetoric of pro-police protests; “I Am Darren Wilson”

Examples of active learning activities: producing blogs; designing exhibitions and websites; Wikipedia edit-a-thons; and creating photo stories, videos, and films.

We will collect and share our findings on a publicly accessible Google doc. Participants are encouraged to live-tweet the teach-in (#CAA2015, #BlackLivesMatters, #thatcamp).
Facebook page – #BlackLivesMatter at CAA 2015

Talk Session Proposal: Teaching Art Online

I would like to come to THATCamp because I would like to understand the issues surrounding “Teaching Art Online.”

My friends and I would like to have a safe space where we can address the broad context of online instructions at the City University of New York (CUNY) and how my/our own classroom intersects with this history. I intend to share perspectives on the teaching of art and art history online and various pedagogical approaches by introducing new online platforms. For example, how does the shift from face-to-face to hybrid formats inspire students to explore museums in other countries and provide them with new insights into their own cultures? Investigating an expanded continuum to many and varied important cultural moments on the landscape of time and space provides students and teachers with greater body of information about art and the making of art. This approach lends itself to challenging our definition about what art is. Since students today are emotionally connected to their mobile devices, bringing them to virtual space seems necessary to have them develop a relationship with an art object.

TALK Session Proposal: What can ‘the conservatory’ learn from DH?

On hacker/maker blogs such as Hackaday or Adafruit, new DIY musical instruments built with common components (Arduinos, simple amplifiers, LEDs, etc.) pop up almost daily. It is well established that in a workshop setting building musical instruments is a wonderful teaching/exploration tool for learning the principles of electronics, but can these instruments in turn be used to teach music? I do believe that these homemade instruments can make excellent sandboxes that could be used as part of a music curriculum.

With that said, I want to create a conducted musical ensemble that scavenges, hacks, builds, composes, rehearses and performs on upcycled/hacked instruments.

Questions I wish to discuss are as follows:
What if the ‘collegiate music institutions’ supported the groundswell enthusiasm for sound/musical development present in the hacker/maker community?

How do you apply the concepts of ‘Talk, Make, Teach, and Play’ to the conventional conducted ensemble rubric of the conservatory?

What does the music school have to learn from DH and its best practices for using hands-on technology in the classroom environment?

Talk Session: Usability Testing and User Experience Design

I’d like to lead an open and informal discussion that allows both artists and art historians to share their experience creating digital projects. Specifically, I’d like to discuss participants’ challenges and successes creating intuitive interfaces that appeal to targeted audiences. Here are some questions to consider:

  • At what point or points did you do user interviews or testing for your project?
  • Did your target audience determine certain aspects of your project’s content and interface?
  • Is there more you wish you’d done (or would like to do) to increase your project’s utility and visibility?

The underlying theme of this talk session is to examine the importance of User Experience design and question how we can incorporate and customize certain commercial strategies to digital projects within the humanities.

Session proposal open educational resources

An informational session and discussion of the open textbook project, library e-material used to create  “course packs” , and open educational resources integrated into university syllabi–issues of open access, scholarly communication and copyright; issues of  educational quality and ownership

TALK Session Proposal: Building a Community of Computing in the Arts Educators

Do you teach or are you interested in teaching digital media? Do you incorporate technology in your art? We want to build a Computing in the Arts community of educators. High schools in many states require no computing education beyond studying business suite software. However, high school students are savvy and enthusiastic digital media users. Computing in the Arts degree programs can harness this interest and experience, and facilitate both critical and creative thinking. Our main question for discussion is how do you combine art and technology in your work or curriculum? In exploring this synergy, there are many interesting bypaths to investigate such as how an artist’s sense of aesthetics compares to that of a computer scientist, or how to best foster collaboration between technologist and artist. Come share your thoughts and experiences!

Rebecca Bruce and I will both lead this session.