19.713 why the (digital) humanities need the (digital) arts

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 09:24:00 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 713.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 09:20:54 +0100
         From: Stuart Dunn <stuart.dunn_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: Re: 19.708 why the (digital) humanities need the
(digital) arts

Dear Willard and all,

I agree that the (re)unification of the digital arts and digital
humanities is very significant and interesting area, and one which I
sincerely hope will also be addressed by this year's DRHA conference
at Dartington Hall in September (see

Various fields of the humanities are becoming ever more visual -
reconstruction, visualization, the significance of space and how
spatial data translates from the real to the binary worlds - are
areas of Venn-style overlap with the creative and performing arts,
and the directions in which the research is leading the technology in
both are, I think, concepts which can no longer be viewed separately.
Take Access Grid. The performing arts (especially in the US, in
collaboration with Internet2) been pushing the technological envelope
of AG in directions which the physical sciences, which developed the
methods and the toolkit, have not. The need for camera angles and
microphones that preserve the sensitivities of the performance, the
reduction of multicast latency to avoid disrupting music and dance
rhythms, and the provision of 'immersive' AG environments to
integrate performers and data with the 'virtual venue' are all issues
which are being very successfully addressed by the AG performance
communities. Surely these are areas which humanities research teams
with complex visual data and people to integrate from distributed
locations will interested in? And vice versa.

NB: This year, DRHA is a new name: Digital Resources in the
Humanities and Arts. Makes you think...

Best wishes,

On 14 Apr 2006, at 10:09, Humanist Discussion Group (by way of
Willard McCarty
<<mailto:willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>) wrote:

> Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 708.
> Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
> www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/
> www.princeton.edu/humanist/
> Submit to:
> <mailto:humanist_at_princeton.edu>humanist_at_princeton.edu
> Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 10:03:01 +0100
> From: Willard McCarty
> <<mailto:willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
> >
>Having just had a privileged look at the Digital Humanities
>conference programme, I have in mind a session-title I saw there,
>"Why the Digital Humanities Need the Digital Arts". I have no idea
>what is to be said at the session, but I'm certainly inclined to
>think that the speakers are onto something quite important. The
>divorcement of the humanities from the arts, painfully evident in
>some departments of art history, for example, is an inheritance we
>can well do without. The historical training of engineers as artists
>(in the Renaissance), the history of technology and (I'd guess) the
>experience of programming all point toward common elements of a
>potential community of practice that is, or will be, stronger for
>becoming a self-recognized community. "The craft of research" is far
>more than the title of a worthy volume by Booth et al -- it's an
>alert to the craftsmanship of research, in the humanities and
>elsewhere, and to truths about how it is to be taught as well as
>practiced. It may be in the disposition of some only to sit and think
>-- for those who do this well, more power to their theoretical elbow
>-- but for us how we know what we know is a matter of method, and so
>of methodology that never wanders away to set up house on its own.
>This community of practice, I keep thinking and saying, has far more
>in common with the experimental sciences, with their equipment and
>laboratories, than it has differences. (These differences are very
>important, but it's impossible to see them clearly without first
>seeing the commonalities.) Computing in the laboratory, studio and
>study alerts us to deeper ties.
>Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
>Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
>Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
>-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk

Dr Stuart Dunn
Research Associate
JISC Arts and Humanities e-Science Support Centre
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
King's College London
Kay House, 7 Arundel Street,
London WC2R 3DX

Tel 0207 848 2709
Fax 0207 848 2980

Received on Sat Apr 15 2006 - 04:41:57 EDT

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