Lost in Realities

The reason for this post was the lecture by Dr Angeliki Chrysanthi as a guest lecturer of the module Digital Humanities: Theory and Practice (AFF 601). Her lecture was one of the most interesting lectures that took place in the context of this module and, really, thank her very much for that. The title of her presentation was Analogue to Digital: Transforming Spaces and from the first time I saw it in the course program, intrigued me. Having a different background, terms such as “transformation of spaces” or “augmenting spaces” sound to me both distant and familiar at the same time. Thus, that gave me the impetus to involve with this topic and had some thoughts to this, which are presented below.

augmented-reality

Initially, it would be worth quoting a definition of augmented or mixed reality and the importance of augmented space. According to Manovich, one of the most important figures in the field of new media theory, as augmented reality obtained “the laying of dynamic and context-specific information over the visual field of a user” and as augmented space the physical space overlaid with dynamically changing information. This information is likely to be in multimedia form and it is often localised for each user such as images, sounds, videos, graphics and GPS data. Both of them could be summarised as contributing a presence simulation to the audience as an interface metaphor to a assemble world. Indeed, there is a growing community of researchers, scholars and industries which interested in them. The imagesmotivations for such a research are the evolutionary perspective and the revolutionary perspective. About the former, augmented reality is seen as a way to defeat the limitations of standard interfaces between human and computer; as the latter, the technology which used for its construction, allows the entrance to new types of applications that exploit the different possibilities of presence simulation (Gobbetti, Scateni).

images-2In addition, there is the virtual reality which is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the individuals in such a way that they suspend belief and accept it as a real environment. Augmented and virtual realities technologies are usually used for cultural heritage purposes which focus on learning the process, education and entertainment through interactive experiences. So, there is an another virtual term the virtual heritage, defined as “…the use of computer-based interactive technologies to record, preserve, or recreate artifacts, sites, and actors of historic, artistic, religious, and cultural significance…”(Stone). Virtual heritage’s application can enhance and stimulate the understanding of public about imagevirtualmuseum3mtheir cultural heritage, as through all those achieved the reconstruction of their past.

In conclusion, the research in the field of virtual reality should have as a starting point that people are well equipped to interact with the world they live in and also should make great efforts to make users interact with virtual worlds, in the same way, they interact with real worlds. Hence, the interaction steps will be more natural and will reduce people’s special training. It is not easy for everyone to adjust and to operate in such environments, but it is not impossible. We should find a way to help in balancing between multiple realities with which people come into contact today.

Readings:

Gobbetti, En., Scateni, R., Virtual Reality: Past, Present, and Future, http://www.crs4.it/vic/data/papers/vr-report98.pdf, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016

Manovich, Lev, The poetics of augmented space,http://manovich.net/index.php/projects/the-poetics-of-augmented-space, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016

Stone, R., Ojika, T., Virtual Heritage: What Next?, http://www.goddardetc.com/fortmass_extra/Stone_2000_virtual_heritage.pdf, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016

Zakiah Noh, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, and Zhigeng Pan, A Review on Augmented Reality for Virtual Heritage System, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221247704_A_Review_on_Augmented_Reality_for_Virtual_Heritage_System, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016

Reviewing archaeology reading and writing through a digital perspective

The reason behind this post is a discussion group, which I had last week in class with my colleagues, about the paper “A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology” of Jeremy Huggett. I dare to say that it was one of the texts that puzzle us very much. The ensuing discussion was quite constructive. Personally, I picked out the piece refers to how to read and how is written archaeology in recent “digital” years.

The digital reading and writing through the internet have changed the way with people read and write their personal or working messages. The same happened with the academic community and the way that they publish their researches and their results. Most of them published in digital form and a limited number of printed copies. The same happened in the archaeology field, which was, already, familiar with the use of digital tools, of course. However, it is different to make use of some specific devices and software helping archaeologists during the excavation process rather than to change the way of data and findings recording and the presentation modes of results. Most of them published in digital form and a limited number of printed copies. The same happened in the archaeology field, which was, img_0119already, familiar with the use of digital tools, of course. However, it is different to make use of some specific devices and software helping archaeologists during the excavation process rather than to change the way of data and findings recording and the presentation modes of results. In this case, the internet is acting as a new medium of publication. This is something that concerns many archaeologists as for the future of the field.

The web, as one of the most popular means of information and communication today, could give a new impetus to the relationship between the archaeological science and individuals. Designing effective online public archaeology, it should be involved some considerations of how historical reasoning is best taught and how to form the information structure which will have this application, regardless of medium. Hypertext, which is used on the internet, allows the readers to build their own associations between the pieces of information. This information could be data collection sheets, datasets, images, videos, color GIS maps, 3d laser scans or some of the supplementary texts.digital-archaeology-collage As a result, the readers who participate more meaningfully in the process of interpretation become empowered. There is a real potential for public participation and “boundaries erosion” between the specialists and the people. Moreover, through the internet, there is access to specialised data that are able to provide well-educated and centre of knowledge of their own which complete with completely archaeological sources. This could be described as the networked structure of archaeological knowledge. 

It is clear that while the field of archaeology has embraced the digital, there is still room for improvement. The contact with digital tools could help archaeologists to further improve their work methods and their communication with the public.  In order to achieve this, a new path could be taken which could improve and modernise the way that archaeologists work and think. The result could be that people are brought closer to their past.

 

Readings:

Costopoulos, An., Digital Archaeology is here, http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fdigh.2016.00004/full,  Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Denning, K., ‘The Storm of Progress’ and Archaeology for an Online Public, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.15.1, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Hodder, I., Archaeology and global information systems, Internet Archaeology, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.6.1, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Holtorf, C., The future of electronic scholarship, Internet Archaeology, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.15.11, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Huggett, J., A Manifesto for an Introspective Digital Archaeology, https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/opar.2014.1.issue-1/opar-2015-0002/opar-2015-0002.xml,  Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Huggett, J., Let’s talk about digital archaeology, https://introspectivedigitalarchaeology.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/lets-talk-about-digital-archaeology/, Web, Accessed on 4/12/2016

Conference Virtual Heritage Network 2016

 

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The conference will take place at the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, (CACSSS) University College Cork from Thursday 8th – Saturday 10th December 2016.

The MA Digital Humanities and MA Spacial Humanities students from the Maynooth University will be there. Let me make a special reference to the session below:

Costas Papadopoulos, S. Schreibman, C. Brennan, B. Hughes, N. Rooney & F. Mac Caba-An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University: ‘Mixed Realities for Enhancing History Teaching and Learning: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge’

You can visit the website of the conference for more infirmation: http://www.vhnireland.org/