The Book of Fortresses

Ed Triplett


2017-18

The aim of this project is to spatially reconstruct an exceptional architectural source from early modern Portugal called the “Livro das Fortalezas” (Book of Fortresses). This bound volume was created by a Portuguese squire named Duarte de Armas in 1510. It includes a folio of perspective drawings from two vantage-points of over 50 castles on the border between the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain and a second folio of measured plans for each site. With the assistance of student researchers, the book will be reconstructed as a data-rich, three-dimensional map. Sub-projects will include 3D models of the fortresses based on Duarte de Armas’ plans and drawings, a database identifying architectural features and scenes from daily life in the drawings, and GIS layers designed to study how the castles formed a fortified chain on the border with Spain. Future plans include a photogrammetric analysis of the sites in order to determine with greater precision where Duarte de Armas had to be standing when he drew the perspectival drawings, how accurate he was in terms of perspective, scale and detail, and how these castles and towns have changed since 1510.

Alife Arch App

Caroline Bruzelius, Ed Triplett, Lucas Giles

Spring 2017

This wonderful arch consists of intertwined men and animals combined in a frightening vision of suffering in Hell or Purgatory.  The arch is from the Cathedral of Alife, an ancient Roman city near Naples, Italy, and is a remarkable example of Italian Romanesque sculpture.  The analysis of the marble of the individual pieces  indicates that they were carved from Roman materials originally from quarries in Italy, Turkey, and the Greek islands. Fragments of ancient sculpture can be seen on the reverse side of the medieval carving.

A team of Duke students is developing an interactive visualization to engage museum visitors with the history and meaning of this remarkable work of art.


Related Courses

Wired! The Lives of Things


Related Projects

The Alife Arch

Augmenting Urban Experiences

Victoria Szabo


Fall 2014 - present

This project focuses on the process of digital city-making itself, drawing upon technology studies and media theory as well as historical documents, monuments, architecture, and other cultural artifacts. Researchers in this team are focused on the development of digital and mixed reality experiences as tools for discovery and research presentation. We focus on annotated digital maps, 3D modeling, augmented reality overlays, audio and video supplements, procedural narrations, data visualizations and network flow diagrams in order to understand both the past of a city and its presence and effects in contemporary experiences of it. With projects running in Durham, Venice, and Bremen, and with a mobile app framework under development of on-site exploration experiences, the project goals are both to create multimodal research products that take advantage of the affordances of both analog and digital media forms as well as to develop a guidelines for an emergence genre for both research presentation and transformative, affective experience in real time and space.


Related Projects

Duke/Durham Ghosts

Digital Athens

Sheila Dillon, Timothy SheaNikos Gkiokas

Fall 2014 - present

The aim of this project is to produce a comprehensive digital map and database of the archaeological remains of ancient Athens. This project is a collaborative multi-disciplinary endeavor, and involves undergraduate and graduate students at Duke as well as colleagues based in Athens at the American School of Classical Studies. The Duke team is currently focusing on digitizing and geo-referencing excavation plans, including the wealth of material uncovered in the Athens Metro Excavations, and plotting the find locations of burials, wells, sculpture, inscriptions, and industrial workshops. The visualization of how the city changed over time is a major aim of this project. To date (January 2016), we have geo-located approximately 800 burials, almost 300 wells, over 700 pieces of sculpture, and all of the buildings in the Athenian Agora from the Archaic period through late Antiquity. Students interested in participating in this project, which includes opportunities for summer fieldwork on site in Athens, should contact me at sheila.dillon[at]duke.edu.

Current Duke Team Members:
Co-leaders, Professor Sheila DillonTimothy D. Shea, PhD candidate, AAHVSNikos Gkiokas, PhD student, AAHVS
Evangeline Marecki

Previous Duke Team Members:
Julian Salazar, Trinity ‘15
Alexandra Smith, Trinity ‘15
Alina Taalman, MFA/EDA ‘15
Casey Tissue, Trinity ‘16
Anna Vivian, Trinity ‘16

Athens Collaborators:
Dr. Leda Costaki, Research Archivist, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Bruce Hartzler, IT Specialist, Agora Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Eremitani

Caroline Bruzelius


Ongoing

The Church of the Eremitani in Padua was almost entirely destroyed in the Second World War.  Prior to this terrible event, the church was an important center for the spiritual life of Padua, and contained many important works of art, including a chapel decorated with monumental frescoes by Mantegna.  Although the building is reconstructed, the restorers themselves made a series of strategic decisions about what and how to repair the monument. Only isolated fragments of Mantegna’s majestic cycle survive, applied to large-scale photographic images of the frescoes prior to their demolition.

This project consists of a complete laser scan and a reconstruction of the church in relation to successive phases of modifications and additions since the early fourteenth century.  The project engages with the long history of the Eremitani church as the aggregate of human interventions that added, removed, changed and reconceptualized different parts of the monument over time.

Watch brief video presentations of the project:




Duke/Durham Ghosts

Victoria Szabo

Fall 2014 - present

Duke/Durham Ghosts explores the presence of the local past through augmented reality and web-based application design. This project is a partnership between Duke Wired and the Information Science + Information Studies Program. Our goal is to enrich lived experience in space by overlaying images, audio files, and other information from past events onto contemporary sites on campus and beyond. This kind of place-making emphasizes thick histories and rich descriptions of specific spots as ways into understanding a topic or theme in an embodied, spatial way. Building upon earlier ISIS Capstone experiments in ISIS with Preservation Durham on creating AR tours in the city using existing scripts, and on creating an interactive marker-based maps of campus, and on the Visualizing Venice digital heritage projects, our goal is to create a set of downloadable experiences for the public that rely upon original archive research and media authorship by our students. We are currently creating “ghost tours” of the History of Duke Activism, The Transformations of East Campus, and The Construction of West Campus. This involves working with Duke’s Special Collections in the Rubenstein Library to search for (and scan) primary historical materials, mining newspaper archives for relevant coverage of theme events, creating text, image, audio, and video features on specific topics, and organizing them all into map-based databases accessible as websites, augmented reality experiences on campus, and eventually within a virtual game environment.

Students involved with this ongoing project can focus on the historical research, the art and media design components, digital mapping, interface design, and application development. Participants can receive Independent Study credit in either Visual and Media Studies or ISIS, or work as Undergraduate Research Fellows (pending approval) depending upon their interests. ISIS Capstone students in Spring 2015 can also work on the information design, technical and UI components of the project as part of their semester’s work.

 

 


Related Projects

Augmenting Urban Experiences

Ghett/App

Victoria Szabo, Paolo Borin, Ludovica Galeazzo

2016

The Ghett/App mobile application was developed by Paolo Borin, Ludovica Galeazzo and Victoria Szabo of the Visualizing Venice team to complement the physical exhibition “Venice, the Jews and Europe 1516-2016,” which was held at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice from June 19 – November 13, 2016. Ghett/App is a augmented reality multimedia app designed to be used on-site in the Venetian Ghetto.

It highlights fourteen geolocated points of interest, drawing attention to the built features of the space as they have changed over time, through text, audio, image, video, and augmented reality experiences. While some of the app content was adapted from the museum exhibition as a way to situate the user, the augmented reality features were designed especially for use on location, and to take advantage of being in the actual space under discussion.

The team layered schematic 3D models of historic buildings with contemporary panorama images in order to demonstrate architectural change over time within the once-enclosed area of the Ghetto. Users can use the phone’s motion features to explore the panorama scenes dynamically. The ghostly edifices of the past rise up through the phone display, highlighting the changing nature of experience in the space. The AR features complement text and audio commentaries in English and Italian that explain the significance of particular structures, as well as the overall history of the area.  While this version of the project was rolled out in conjunction with the exhibition opening, the team plans to continue developing content out of historical research materials, and integrating it into app channels. They hope to include some new materials developed by students in the Visualizing Venice Summer Workshop, as well as to explore other innovative ways to present content through image recognition and other advanced AR techniques.  Szabo plans to include AR storytelling about Venice as a unit in her Digital Storytelling class at Venice International University this Fall as well.


Related Projects

Visualizing Venice

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database

Caroline Bruzelius, Paola Vitolo

William BroomMichael O’SullivanJohn Taormina, David Tremmel, Joseph Williams


2011 - present

Project Website

This project is directed by Co-Pi’s: Caroline Bruzelius and Paola Vitolo; Project Manager: Joseph Williams; Data Manager and Data and Web Developer: David Tremmel; Project Co-Ordinator: William Broom; Research Collaborator: Francesco Gangemi; Metadata and Image Consultant: John Taormina; Web and Visualization Consultant: Hannah Jacobs; Geospatial Consultant: Brian Norberg; Affiliate Collaborator: Michael O’Sullivan and Student Researcher: Jessica Williams.

The Kingdom of Sicily Image Database is a geo-referenced database of historic images from the 15th through the mid- 20th centuries that represent the medieval monuments and cities constructed by the rulers of the historic Kingdom of Sicily: the Normans, the Hohenstaufen, the Swabians, and the Angevins. The kings and queens of these dynasties, who ruled from the late 11th until the early 15th centuries, were active patrons of the arts, founding, building and decorating hundreds of abbeys, churches, castles, and other kinds of monuments. Our database identifies, collects, and illustrates images that are found in museums, libraries, archives and publications throughout Europe and the United States as an aid for travelers and scholars. The images, which were often produced by traveling artists and architects as part of the Grand Tour, document the appearance of these historic structures prior to their transformation (or destruction) as the result of Baroque remodeling, urban expansion, earthquakes, the tragic aerial bombardment of WWII, and dramatic restoration.

project-kos-website


The database is organized topographically by location. Mapping components “Map View” and “Map Research Questions” permit users to visualize their queries of the database in relation to Roman roads and ports, many of which were still the primary means of access to the Kingdom in the Middle Ages. Information about the website is available both in Italian and in English.

Our purpose is to make as many historic images available to the public for research and study as possible. This initiative was originally created with funds from 2011-2014 from The National Endowment for the Humanities; although we are currently not funded, we continue to receive it IT and data management support from Duke University.


Related News and Events

ARLIS/NA Reviews Kingdom of Sicily Database

Kingdom of Sicily Image Database Launches!

The Lives of Things

Caroline Bruzelius, Sinan GoknurMark OlsonMariano Tepper, Guillermo Sapiro

Fall 2012 - present

The goal of the “Lives of Things” project is to create new interactive displays and hybrid digital/physical exhibition platforms that reconstruct thelocation, color, and meaning of works of art in the collections of the Nasher Museum of Art.  A wide range of interests and interdisciplinary expertise are sought for this project, from Art History and Visual & Media Studies to Computer Science and Engineering. Students will work in teams in close collaboration with professors and graduate students or post-docs, learning an array of techniques and technologies that include the following: 3d modeling and acquisition using laser scanning and photogrammetry, geospatial mapping, augmented reality, gaming platforms, projection mapping, spatial analysis, data visualization, web or app design, writing, graphic design, database design and management, computer programming, interactive sensors and gesture recognition interfaces such as the Kinect and Leap Motion.

Check out a preview (right) and demonstration (below) of the tablet interface that currently features in an exhibit at the Nasher. This app enables visitors to digitally recolor medieval statues in the Nasher’s collection in order to see for themselves how the statues might have originally appeared.

 

 

workflowAnimatedFinal

 


Related Courses

The Museum Inside Out


Related Projects

The Alife Arch

Decoding Artifacts

On With Their Heads


Related News and Events

Nasher10 Homecoming

Mapping Stereotomy

Sara Galletti, Kristin Huffman Lanzoni

2017-2018

Mapping Stereotomy is a database dedicated to stereotomy, the art of cutting stones into particular shapes for the construction of vaulted structures. Stereotomy is best known for the variety of acrobatic masterpieces produced in early modern France and Spain. Yet the art is neither early modern nor European; it has been practiced over a wide temporal span, from Hellenistic Greece to contemporary Apulia, and across a broad geographical area, centered on the Mediterranean Basin but reaching far beyond—from Cairo to Gloucester and from Yerevan to Braga. Mapping Stereotomy consolidates and visualizes information on stereotomic vaults from antiquity through early modernity, with the aim of furthering and broadening research in the fields of construction techniques and Mediterranean studies.