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Workshop on Digital Image Analysis
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Makiing WAIVS! workshop introducing digital image analysis tools, at Fitchburg Art Museum.

5/19/2017
When: 5/19/2017
8:45 am - 4 pm
Where: Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm Street
Fitchburg, Massachusetts  01420
United States
Contact: William P. Seeley

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The American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees has approved a grant of $4,250 for "Making WAIVS! A workshop introducing digital image analysis tools." The workshop will be held May 19, 2017, at the Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg State University, Massachusetts. The ASA  project is directed by William P. Seeley (Lecturer in Philosophy, University of New Hampshire, and Lecturer in Humanities, Bates College).

NEW! Registration is free. Please register online at http://nemanet.org/conference-events/workshops/making-waivs/  or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/making-waivs-workshop-tickets-33150278375.

More information can be found at www.waivs.org or by emailing the workshop organizers at makingwaivs1@gmail.com.

This interdisciplinary workshop is partially sponsored by a $40,000 Digital Humanities Startup Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH grant was awarded in April 2016 to Catherine A. Buell (Mathematics, Fitchburg State University), William P. Seeley, and Rick J. Sethi (Mathematics, Fitchburg State University).

The primary goal of the May 19 workshop is to introduce philosophers, art historians, art educators, and museum administrators to the potential that digital image analysis tools might hold for their practices. "Visual stylometry" is a new field that lies at the confluence of cognitive science, computer science, and the digital humanities. The software used in this project is valled WAIVS for Workflows for the Analysis of Images in Visual Stylometry.

The workshop organizers will be recruiting up to 45 participants from New England and New York, with a focus on participants from philosophy, art history, and museum education and administration. Two travel grants will be available to local-area graduate students in philosophy.

Speakers at the May workshop include (in addition to the NEH and ASA project organizers) Mary Tinti (Associate Curator, Fitchburg Museum of Art), Daniel J. Graham (Psychology of Art, Hobart & William Smith College), Yolanda Gil (Computer Science, University of Southern California), and Charlene Villasenor Black (Art History, UCLA).

Two travel grants to attend the workshop were available to local-area graduate students in fields related to aesthetics. Graduate student travel grants are designed to cover mileage costs for students living within a 100 mile radius of Fitchburg, MA  and overnight lodging for two nights. Interested graduate students were asked to submit a one-page application indicating their affiliation, interest in the workshop, and interest in future applications of digital image analysis software in research or teaching in aesethetics or cognitive science.

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Visual stylometry is a new field that lies at the confluence of cognitive science, computer science, and the digital humanities. Researchers in this field use digital image analysis tools to study the image features and image statistics constitutive of artistic style. For instance, we might imagine that brushstroke and palette are some of the basic elements of a painter's artistic style. Digital image analysis tools allow a researcher to explore both texture information indicative of brushstrokes and the associated distribution of color in a set of paintings. This information can be used to classify paintings by era, school, individual artist within a school, technique, or period within the body of work of an individual artist, and to explore the unique ways that different painters rendered the subject matter of their works, providing insight into how they used their medium as an expressive or communicative device. Making WAIVS is a one-day workshop designed to introduce philosophers, art historians, art educators, and museum administrators to the potential that digital image analysis tools might hold for their practices. We envision this workshop as an interdisciplinary exchange between practitioners in philosophy of art, art history, cognitive science, arts education, computer science, museum administration, and mathematics.

Making WAIVS! is partially funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant. The purpose of this grant is to support the development of WAIVS or Workflows for the Analysis of Images in Visual Stylometry. WAIVS is designed to support the use of digital image analysis techniques by researchers in the humanities with little to no computer science background. The workshop will introduce participants to visual stylometry through a series of hands-on exercises using WAIVS.

The Fitchburg Art Museum will concurrently sponsor hands-on exercises in the museum utilizing WAIVS during the workshop. WAIVS will be set up on computer stations in the Museum's arts education gallery. These exercises are part of the planned programming for the museum throughout the Spring of 2017 and are designed to demonstrate the potential of visual stylometry for museum arts education programs. This education exhibit  will enable museum visitors to learn how to use the software, explore ways it can be used to classify paintings by artistic style, and examine some of the paintings in Shelley Reed's concurrent solo show at the museum. Reed's uses elements of artistic style borrowed from the history of painting as a jumping off point for her work. Her work thereby offers us a unique opportunity to explore the functionality and flexibility of the software (http://www.danesecorey.com/artists/shelley-reed).

* Making WAIVS is funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant (Award HD-248360-16), an American Society for Aesthetics Major Projects Initiative Grant, and the generous support of the Fitchburg Art Museum.

 
For more information, please contact William Seeley at wseeley@bates.edu

 


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