The Wired! Lab for Digital Art History & Visual Culture explores ways of thinking about visual and material culture through digital technologies. Wired! is a learning community of faculty, staff, and students. We engage visualization methods to prompt new approaches to pedagogy and scholarship in the study and interpretation of the visual arts, architecture, cultural heritage, and built environments. Wired! research teams are transdisciplinary, collaborative, vertically integrated, and long-term. As part of our intellectual process, we explore how critical engagement with digital tools can transform our capacity to interrogate and contextualize objects, buildings, data, and archival materials; to create narratives about works of art and architecture; to explore process and change over time and space; to redefine teaching and learning practices; to disseminate scholarship; and to engage the public in new ways.
Wired! was created in 2009 to explore the potential of digital visualization technologies for the study of Art and Architecture. Wired! introduced a series of teaching and research initiatives that explore how digital visualization tools transform our capacity to narrate the histories of paintings, sculptures, buildings, cities, and material culture. The initiatives in the Wired! Lab fall within one of two research categories: Digital Cities/Urban Histories and the Lives of Things. Wired! is committed to developing projects that convey new student-generated research to the larger public through websites, 3D models, databases, mapping, visualizations, and apps.
The special focus of Wired! is the study of material culture: art, architectural history, and urban history. The core faculty of Wired! offers courses and workshops that range from classes for first-year undergraduates to training seminars for doctoral candidates and faculty. In all of these initiatives historical materials are linked to digital technologies. Wired! courses for part of larger multi-year research projects that enable students to join long-term learning communities with faculty and PhD candidates. All Wired! initiatives entail a public outreach component. Wired! has international partnerships in Athens, Venice, and Paris for its research and teaching projects.
Wired! has created digital laboratories for teaching and projects at the Smith Warehouse on the Duke University campus and at Venice International University on the island of San Servolo. The laboratories are the site for our training courses and workshops. In 2014 Wired! introduced a Master’s degree in Historical and Cultural Visualization, an 18-month program to train students in digital visualization technologies for historical topics. We are grateful for support from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Foundation, and the Kress Foundation, in addition to internal support from Duke University through Humanities Writ Large (funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Bass Connections, and the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund.