[NetBehaviour] [spectre] post-doc grant programme (blocked postings)

Joel Weishaus joelweishaus at gmail.com
Fri Sep 5 01:51:12 CEST 2014


Thanks Rob.

Best,
Joel

On 9/4/2014 4:25 PM, Rob Myers wrote:
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> On 03/09/14 11:24 AM, Joel Weishaus wrote:
>> Rob;
>>
>> Is there a link to this story?
> - From my "Links" the other day:
>
> http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/902625-computers-can-find-similarities-between-paintings-but-art-history-is-about-so-much-more/
>
> The article starts out as a valid if obvious criticism of a Digital
> Humanities project that finds visual similarities between scanned
> images of paintings. The project demonstrates a useful
> defamiliarization and investigation technique, but obviously isn't
> without limitations. Visual similarities may not always be caused by
> direct *influence* between works in a small database. There may be a
> third common ancestor external to the database or there may be
> cultural or physical influences or constraints at play for example.
>
> The article then goes off the deep end a bit by framing the digital
> humanities project as a "connoisseurial" approach to art that fails to
> follow the political programme of current academic art history,
> thereby defending the evils of "the canon" and "the art market". In
> contrast to connoisseurial approaches, current academic art history
> isn't about *looking* at art. It's about giving voice to what has
> historically been excluded from the canon, the market, and art history
> itself.
>
> But valorizing works that were previously excluded from the canon and
> the market will make them more appealing for inclusion in the canon
> and the market...
>
> There's less difference and more opportunity here than might appear.
> Both digital art history and current academic art history are gnostic
> ideologies, ways of not seeing. The former uses machine vision, the
> latter the canons of critical theory.
>
> If academic art history really wants to move beyond the canon and the
> market, rather than expand or merely recenter them, it needs to deal
> in *populations* of works. This is something that digital humanities
> approaches can do. I believe that the political programme of the
> former has more to gain from the technical programme of the latter
> than vice versa.
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