Mark J.V. Olson

Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
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Mark Olson is Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. His research explores how emerging technologies transform a wide array of communities of practice, from the use of new visualization technologies in art history and archaeology to the adoption of robotics in contemporary medicine. He contributes to the Wired Lab expertise and research on emergent 3D modeling and geo-spatial mapping techniques, with a particular focus on translating the affordances of these media practices into the concrete problematics of humanistic inquiry. Drawing on visual cultural studies’ work that maps the dynamic politics of modernity’s scopic regimes, Olson endeavors to foster critical reflection on the epistemologies embedded in and promoted by the Lab’s visualization initiatives.


Historical and Cultural Visualization Proseminar 2

New Media, Memory, and the Visual Archive

The Museum Inside Out

Topics in Visual Studies: 3D Design Programming


Alife Arch App

The Lives of Things

Operating Archives: An Interactive Archive of Historical Medical Technologies

Visualizing Venice

Publications & Presentations


Lanzoni, Kristin, Olson, Mark J.V., and Szabo, Victoria E. “Wired! and Visualizing Venice: Scaling up Digital Art History.” Artl@s Bulletin. Forthcoming 2015.

Olson, Mark J.V. “Hacking the Humanities: 21st Century Literacies and the ‘Becoming-Other’ of the Humanities” in E. Belfiore and A. Upchurch (Eds.). Humanities in the Twenty-First Century : Beyond Utility and Markets. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. pp. 237-250.
doi: 10.1057/9781137361356.0021


Bruzelius, Caroline, Mark J.V. Olson, Donatella Calabi, Andrea Giordano, Victoria E. Szabo. “Visualizing Venice.” Florentia Illustrata. Digital Mapping and Techniques of Visualizing the Pre-modern Italian City. Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut. Florence, Italy. June 17, 2013.

Dillon, Sheila, Mark J.V. Olson, and Raquel Salvatella de Prada. “Wired! New Representation Technologies for Historical Materials.” Invited Presentation. C.H.A.T.: A Digital Arts and Humanities Festival, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. February 17, 2010.

Olson, Mark J.V. “Toward a Process Ontology for Digital Archives.” Invited Keynote. North Carolina Preservation Consortium Annual Conference, Raleigh, NC. November 2, 2012.

Olson, Mark J.V. “Digital Technologies and the Social Life of Things: The Wired Lab at Duke University.” Panel Presentation, Connections and Transformations: New Technologies in the Arts and Humanities. Annual Meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference. Greensboro, NC. November 1, 2013.

Olson, Mark J.V. “Storytelling with Sources: Open Source Digital Humanities.” Invited Lecture. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. June 3, 2014.

Olson, Mark J.V. and Elizabeth P. Baltes, Erica Sherman, Victoria Szabo. “Digital Scholarly Communication – Notes from the Wired! Lab for Digital Historical Visualization,” HASTAC 2011 Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, December 02, 2011.

Olson, Mark J.V. and Caroline Bruzelius. “Learning by Making: Digital Methods and the Wired! Experiment at Duke University.” Invited Public Lecture. Inaugural Lecture, Wesleyan Digital and Computational Knowledge Initiative, Wesleyan University. March 6, 2013.

News & Events

Visualizing Venice: The Ghetto of Venice

Visualizing Venice: The Waters of Venice

Visualizing Venice Wired! Workshop