Vaughan: History of Art in the Digital Age: Problems and Possibilities, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
This paper aims to provide a broad overview on the impact of
computers on the study of the history of art. It begins by considering the
nature of the information technology revolution, exploring the often-made
analogy between it and the 'Gutenberg' revolution brought about by the
development of the printing press. Like Gutenberg, the IT development is
technologically driven. However it is driven to a different end, one that
emphasizes flexibility as well as dissemination. This flexibility can be a two
edged sword. While it enables many new possibilities, it also seems to encourage
a more fragmentary and iterative approach to study; to the preference of
information over knowledge. It remains, however, something of an open question
whether this new approach is a necessary consequence of the structure of the new
technology being made available or whether it is more a product of that wider
intellectual change that has grown with the emergence of Post-modernist
discourses. I would argue that the latter is the case, and that the fragmentary
tendencies that can be accommodated by the new technology can also be countered
by those who wish to do so. The computer has developed in the way it has as a
result of consumer demand. It is up to those who wish to make different demands
to feed these into the technological processes as they are expanded and modified.
The paper also looks more specifically at issues that particularly affect the
study of images, considering both the potential provided by the digital image
for new forms of exploration and analysis, and the new opportunities that are
emerging via the World Wide Web.
Bove: Die Schule des Sehens und die Transformation kunsthistorischer
Lehre unter digitalen Bedingungen, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Just as the impact of photography and slide projection on the methodology of
the history of art caused much discussion at the beginning of the 20th
century, the same is happening today with regard to the digital tenet. Within
the scope of the project "Schule des Sehens" (School for Seeing)
it is being tested how net-based art-historical learn modules can actually be,
how texts and pictures can be processed appropriately for media, how
communication structures can be incorporated and how know-how and critical media
competence can be combined. Only when the internet is accepted as not only a
learning/teaching environment, but also as a participation and socialisation
environment, can an active exchange of knowledge be guaranteed.
Britt Kroepelien: E-learning - an approach to teaching art history in the
Internet age, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Norway's first university course to be taught entirely on the Internet is in
art history. In March 2000 the first Internet-based classes for an introductory
course in art history started. Due to a modular structure, visually interesting
presentations, subject specific approaches and opportunities for two-way
communication, it manages to maintain the interest and commitment of the
students throughout the two-year duration of the course.
Thaller: Bemerkungen zu kunsthistorischen Informationssystemen; vornehmlich aus der Sicht der Informatik, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
The use of information systems in the history of art has a long tradition, as
it has in the Humanities in general. Very frequently it has been directed by
what the researchers respons9ible for them considered requirements of computer
science. Looking closer at computer science, however, we discover that seemingly
abstract and general principles quite frequently represent a specific technical
situation and can not be meaningfully applied outside of a rather narrowly
defined context. This is, specifically, the case with information systems
and the logic of Information Retrieval: Here the technical context has changed
radically during recent years. It is argued, therefore, that (easily
misunderstood and changing) "technical requirements" should not be
seen as primary guide lines for the construction of art history information
systems, but rather the requirements for the use for such systems, as they
become apparent in their use. If computer science is seen as a reference
point for the building of such systems, it should be taken from state of the art
technical literature, however, and not from reflections on a few easily
misunderstood technical terms.
Nagel: Umbruch oder Abbruch? Beobachtungen zur Situation der
EDV-gestützten Dokumentation in den Museen, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Over the last ten years the knowledge of the decision basics and the
comprehension of the general conditions for the use of IT in museums has not
really increased. On the contrary: the power of fact changes general conditions
in such a way that the computer-aided, scientific documentation is in danger of
drifting into the shadows. It is always more often the case that the inventory
is given preference over the scientific documentation. The main characteristic
of administration work is, however, quantity - history of art, on the other
hand, is a qualitative science: the main method is assessing and comparing. It
is possible to have databases with their control equipment so open that an
extension of the data can be carried out at any time. Software can also be
furnished in such a way that the administration work can be carried out with
data that meet the scientific requirements. Openness in the systems and a
non-ideological view of the development possibilities can solve the supposed
contradiction of inventory and documentation. Here, however, critical competence
on the part of the database user is absolutely essential. These users must be
supported by intensifying the theme of the scientific-methodical consequences of
the use of computers in university teaching.
Warnke: Daten und Metadaten - Online-Ressourcen für die
Bildwissenschaft, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
This article suggests an XML standard for coding visual empirical data (PETAL)
that allows saving, exchanging and publishing pieces of discourse through visual
corpora. This approach particularly constitutes a drastic simplification with
reference to details in images.
Engelbert: Bildanalyse und technologischer Standard - ein kritischer
Rückblick auf Multimedia, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
This article looks back to the initial stages of manipulable digital images
in the context of art. By means of a case study focusing on the altar of
Johannis of Rogier van der Weyden, the technologically caused limits of
analysing images are discussed. This leads to a critical analysis of
prefabricated ways of knowledge transmission and the experience of visibility
with implication beyond the field of history of art.
Therefore the thesis of this paper is stated in a rather general
sense: Handed down imagery does not only exhibit its limited existence
in the museum but is already transferred into a technologically
Bruhn: Fossilierung in Echtzeit. Wie die Kunstgeschichte ihre
Gegenstände erzeugt, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Since its beginnings as an academic subject, the field of history of arts has
continuously been striving to expand its repertoire and areas of study. More
than other disciplines it soon had to rely on the possibilities of visual
reproduction. History of art communicates its contents via slides and catalogues;
it furthermore contributed to the development of relevant media, such as picture
albums or photo documentations. Meanwhile, art historicists acquire more and
more knowledge in the field of reproductive, mobile photographing of distant
locations and condense these photographs into an abstract canon of cultural
heritage. Since this practice is in the digital space targeted to an anonymous
audience, there might be a danger of decrepitude / fossilization of handed-down
ways of viewing; the use of digital media would then not constitute a methodical
innovation but would rather cause the opposite.
On the other hand, one has to consider that transformations of knowledge are not
only caused by the use of ground breaking, new technologies; it also requires
being appropriately embedded into an institution. New ways of communication,
such as email and the use of tried and tested techniques, such as 3-D
visualizations or the creation of costly data banks and information systems,
gradually but permanently change existing specialized structures and modes of
thinking. Only a small fraction of the questions related to the use of computers
are primarily technical. The discourse of integrating new media could lead to a
more professional self-understanding of the contribution of research in art
history provided that issues of management, project structuring or fund raising
would no longer be treated as minor but rather as an integral part of a
Heidenreich: Form und Filter. Was sehen digitale Algorithmen den Bildern
an?, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Wölfflin’s basic concepts can be reproduced with the help of digital
algorithms. What kind of knowledge can be gained through this method? It was
Wölfflin himself who reacted to medial changes by reproducing the double
projection of slides within the binary discrepancies of more basic concepts.
They can trace a historical difference within the projection of two pictures - a
difference that is essential to the field of art history. A digital reproduction
of this difference would be tautological: it would reinvent the known. The use
of digital algorithms can only be effective if they do not only reproduce the
known, but question in the ways in which they can contribute to the expansion of
Pias: Das digitale Bild gibt es nicht.
Über das (Nicht-)Wissen der Bilder und die informatische Illusion, in: zeitenblicke
2 (2003), Nr. 1.
The theory of communication is not a case of what is said, but of what could
be said. Under communicative conditions it is not the so-called "contents"
that are decisive, but the collocation and the combination of information. The
fundamental difference between digital and analogue images is the fact that
digital pictures have information. They are limited to the finiteness of a pack
of data whose information content is, strictly speaking, what remains after
maximal, lossless compression. With the act of violent representation, with the
concision of the analogue finiteness the digital achieves the liberty of its
ability to be saved, transferred and processed. The entire complex of "digitalisation"
and networking means much more than a translation of existing contents into
another technical "medium".
The so-called "contents", the ways of communication and the knowledge
of a discipline in general, do not exist independent of their technical
circumstances, their institutions or staging methods. History of art, as we know
it, will not be able to be digitalised, it will inevitably become something
different, and we cannot foresee how this will be.
Kwastek: Interaktive Erinnerungsräume - LambdaMOOs und Lernen im CAVE
als Erben des Simonides?, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Cyberspace - in the sense of worldwide networking as well as virtual
realities- does not only constitute a new sphere of activity to artists but also
opens new perspectives for scientific research and teaching. The art of Memoria
was already in the ancient world closely connected to spatial imagination.
Whereas ancient, mental spheres of recollection only allowed individual
constructs of knowledge, the digital technology enables the creation of virtual
communication spheres. These cannot not only facilitate a flexible structuring
of knowledge but can also encourage new forms of intellectual discourse.
Particularly in the field of the history of art that mainly deals with visually
perceived objects, one should examine to what extent new perspectives can be
achieved by presenting and discussing the research objects of the field in the
Simon: Lernen im digitalen Themenraum. Exploratives Lernen im Internet
aus kunsthistorischer Sicht, in: zeitenblicke 2 (2003), Nr. 1.
The many advantages of improved presentation of information through the new
media and of easily accessible information via the Internet cannot be overseen
and should also be considered in the instructional context. They complement as
well as improve traditional working and learning structures. If one wants to
implement the new media as a didactical tool, media specific constrains of
hypertext structures have to be taken into account. Consequently the recipient
has to be asked to be active on the Internet in order to move within the network
of knowledge. Whereas in a book page numbers preconceive textuality, in the
hypertext structure this has to be constructed by the user himself. As a result
more autonomous and explorative ways of learning open themselves up to the user,
he then becomes the agent determining his learning process for himself and
deciding when to ask and answer questions. In this scenario the content and mode
of presentation are interdependent. This inevitably results in an equal
distribution of tasks across the fields of media didactics, design, computer
science and the academic discipline itself. Only in this way can a digital
topical space be realized on the Internet, whose conception is illustrated by
means of an example.
Fabo: Das Museum lebt? Der Diskurs der Vernetzung im
virtuellen Raum, in: zeitenblicke
2 (2003), Nr. 1.
Pieces of art as well as their presentation are increasingly supported by
digital technologies. Virtual exhibitions, internet-projects and complex data
archives place a piece of art into a medial context that transcends the moment
of technical reproducibility. The omnipresent concept of networking makes art as
well as its recipients and exhibition sites dynamic. The relationships between
these fields are defined and visualized by means of physiological metaphors.
Former archives come to a procedural suction in which everything fluctuates,
momentarily connects, dissolves and later gets in touch with its surroundings.
The virtual space on the other hand reaches precise definitions of its position
close to artificial life.
Fleischmann / Wolfgang Strauss: netzspannung.org: Kollektiver Wissensraum und Online-Archiv, in: zeitenblicke
2 (2003), Nr. 1.
It is the aim of the research group Media Arts Research Studies (MARS) at the
Fraunhofer institute for media communication to explore the opportunities of
electronic media with regards to the disclosure and transmission of knowledge
for the field of art and the new media. The main point is to visualize and
network information in order to create easily accessible and user friendly ‘spaces
of knowledge’ in an interactive and real time manner. For this purpose
experimental methods, as well as online-tools and interfaces have been developed
whose function is to mediate between virtual and physical space and to try out
new forms of accessing knowledge. This article introduces the Internet platform
‘netzspannung.org’ and formulates the challenges to a media lab, located in
the Internet. This lab does not only create a qualitatively demanding
accumulation of pieces of information on the digital culture and medial
production, but also connects these pieces of information and places them into a
context. It furthermore -with the help of its members and partners- constantly
expands this new collective space of knowledge and makes it available as a
public educational space.