Archive for the 'Workshops' Category

Getting into Digital Humanities! A free afternoon workshop for UCL undergraduates, from UCLDH

By Sarah Davenport, on 13 March 2013

Wednesday 24th April 2013, 2.30-5pm

Digital Humanities is an exciting area of research and teaching that aims to use and develop computational methods for use in the humanities, culture and heritage. How can we best use internet technologies to benefit humanities scholars? What new tools and techniques can DH bring to humanities research? How can digital methods change the scope of the humanities in the 21st Century? Where would you even start to learn about this?

This free, half day workshop by UCL Centre for Digital Humanities will introduce the main aspects of Digital Humanities by leaders in the field, providing a hands-on guide to getting started with text analysis, Geographic Information Systems, Social Media Analysis, and more. The event is open to all interested undergraduates at UCL: please sign up at http://gettingintodh.eventbrite.co.uk. For more information about Digital Humanities, please see the UCLDH webpage at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dh/

Schedule

Torrington (1-19) 115 Galton LT
2.30-3.30pm: Introduction to Digital Humanities

Melissa Terras – Digitisation
Claire Warwick – Social Media and museums
Simon Mahony – Markup/document analysis in the Digital Humanities Oliver Duke-Williams – Mapping
David Beavan – Text analysis/corpus studies
3.30.4.00pm
Coffee and cake!

B29, Foster Court
4.00-5.00pm: Workshop

We will move to a cluster room where you will have the chance to choose an activity that you are interested in and would like to learn more about, and get some hands-on experience. You will be given a worksheet to go through and staff will be on hand to help and answer any questions you have.

Digital Humanities Project Starter Workshop

By Sarah Davenport, on 26 February 2013

Thursday 25 April & Friday 26 April 2013

Forms part of UCL’s Digital Humanities Month, April 2013, supported by the Grand Challenge of Cultural Interaction

- £5,000 project starter prize for the best cross-disciplinary digital humanities project

- Only 12-16 places are available

- Open to all disciplines across UCL. You don’t have to be a humanities researcher or a computer scientist to apply

- Apply by 9am, Monday, 25th March 2013

Who can pitch the best project, and win seed funding (£5,000) to undertake a new project at the juncture of computing and the humanities? This is your opportunity to spend one and a half days working in cross-disciplinary project groups to formulate research proposals which will be judged by an expert panel.

This innovative workshop, led by a professional facilitator, will aim to stimulate new thinking about digital humanities and to catalyse collaborations across UCL with researchers who work in disparate subject areas.

Please see the Intercultural Interaction website for further details and information on how to apply.

News about further Digital Humanities Month events to follow.  Watch this space!

Digital Partnership Event Summary

By Sarah Davenport, on 5 February 2013

Event date: 31 January 2013

Slides from the presentations are available here:

John Hindmarch’s Presentation

Jack Ashby’s Presentation

Matthew Cock’s Presentation

Jane MacDonald’s Presentation

Digital innovation and how museums and universities can partner to achieve this was the focus of this workshop. John Hindmarch, a PhD student at UCLDH, started the afternoon with his experience with the scanning of the recently decommissioned Shipping Gallery at the Science Museum. With museums being finite in display capacity, it is impossible to have every artefact on display forever. This raises the question about how we can preserve not only an exhibition, but also an experience? The Shipping Gallery was the largest gallery in the museum and largely unchanged since 1950’s. Locked in the Science Museum for five nights, Scanlabs and John took 275 individual scans equaling 265 GB of data! Even the 7-minute video we were shown used only 10% of the data and took 48 hours to render. There are definite accessibility benefits to digitizing decommissioned spaces, but there are obvious setbacks such as copyright issues of the boats that were on display and the high cost of such a project.

Giving a museum professionals side of view on a digital project, Jack Ashby, the manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology, spoke about QRator. Using radical trust of visitors, QRator invites visitors to share their comments to provoking questions about social and ethical issues related to natural history. He spoke about the importance of the symbiotic relationship between museums and universities. Museums want to engage visitors further and universities need a public space to fulfill their public engagement agenda. Next up was Matthew Cock, Head of Web, speaking about the British Museums Collection Online and how university research helped understand the viewership and use of the site. Using 30-question survey, UCLDH researchers teamed with the British Museum culminated over 2,657 respondents. The results helped drive a user-centered redesign incorporating direct feedback from the survey of the site. Limitations, such as self-selectiveness and length of the survey, were an issue. One-question, targeted surveys help to increase responses by decreasing length. Paired with Google Analytics to trigger questions based upon visitor page interactions, British Museum was able to get the responses they needed but without the length of the previous survey.

Lastly, Jane MacDonald, Project Administrator at Edinburgh College of Art of Tales of Things, spoke about the innovative site that used QR codes and RFID to link to the ‘stories’ of objects and what Jane referred to as a capacity to extend the ‘social history’ of that object. Partnered with university researchers, the Tales of Things sought to capture and share social experiences surrounding things from a shoe to a sewing machine using ‘ghost objects’ in museums. However powerful an object can be for eliciting stories, the project faced the obstacles of QR codes and interaction outside the museum. A new project she is working on is an application attaching information about attractions to taxi number plates.

An open discussion between the audience and speakers sparked conversation about how practical expensive technology could be in a museum setting. Yes, scanning an entire gallery is extremely expensive and time/resource consuming, but is it worth it? Arguably it increases accessibility and the ability to for virtual visitors to experience an exhibition from anywhere. Another issue brought up is how do we compare a virtual experience to actually visiting. For example, how can we measure user interaction with a virtual object? Furthermore, how can museums and universities work together to achieve a standard for measuring user interaction for comparison virtually and in real-life? Can you even compare them? These questions and many more are ones that universities and museums will have to consider when thinking about how to achieve digital innovation.

Digital Partnerships: Museums and Digital Humanities Workshop

By Sarah Davenport, on 17 December 2012

Registration is now open for a workshop, hosted by UCLDH, on 31st January 2013 beginning at 1:30pm

About: Digital Partnerships’ will focus on how museums and universities can work together when it comes to digital innovation. A drinks reception will be hosted afterwards at the Grant Museum of Zoology nearby.

It will explore digital innovation and the relationships between museums, universities and their users. Digital innovation means that museums now find themselves in a new environment in which visitors can interact to create, curate, organise and share their own experiences. Leading to big questions around how we research and understand digital innovation in a cultural context. This event will bring researchers and museum professionals together to consider innovative practices, and develop new research ideas.

Speakers: Matthew Cock, Head of Web at the British Museum; Jane MacDonald, ToTEM Project Administrator at Edinburgh College of Art; John Hindmarch, PhD student at UCL; and Jack Ashby, Manager at the Grant.

Full program viewable at the Eventbrite site below.

Email Rachel directly with any questions at rachel.kasbohm.11@ucl.ac.uk.

Register FREE at http://digital-partnerships.eventbrite.co.uk/

Registration for CHIPS is open!

By Nicolas E Gold, on 15 May 2012

The CHIPS project on popular music performance with technology (see previous post) is underway.  There is online discussion of the issues getting started here and registration is now open (there is no charge for the event) for the symposium on 7th-8th June.  We have a programme of great speakers lined up.  If you are interested in coming, please register asap as places are limited by the venue capacity.

New AHRC Project at UCLDH: CHIPS – Computer Human Interactive Performance Symposium

By Nicolas E Gold, on 28 March 2012

As part of our expanding programme of research and teaching in computational musicology and computer music at UCL, we are pleased to announce a new AHRC-funded project (prospective PhD and MA/MSc Digital Humanities students may like to note this activity, particularly the COMPGC20 Computer Music module available as an option on the DH degree).

The Computer-Human Interactive Performance Symposium (CHIPS) project is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Digital Transformations programme.  The project runs from February to August 2012.

The aim is to explore the likely performance practices (and problems) that would result from having easily deployable, robust, creative, and reliable artificial music performers in mixed human-computer ensembles playing popular music.  There are many systems that go some way to solving the technical problems of computer participation in this kind of music (e.g. beat trackers, chord estimators, interactive improvisers) but as yet no complete systems that can be deployed by non-expert users into common practice performance contexts and be relied upon to underpin the performances of popular music ensembles.

Popular music (e.g. folk, rock, music theatre) plays a central role in the lives of millions of people.   Musicians of all standards from amateur to professional produce music that is heard on radios and televisions, and performed in concert halls and theatres.  Teenagers are motivated to learn instruments and play in bands to emulate their professional idols, serious amateurs play and sing together at open-mike nights, charity concerts, and in churches, and professionals perform in clubs, theatres, and spectacular multimedia shows like Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group.   To learn, rehearse, and perform popular music often requires a musician to be part of an ensemble yet forming such a group can be challenging, particularly for amateur musicians.  Even in established communities such as churches, the demands of everyday life mean that musicians cannot always attend rehearsals or play regularly together.  In professional ensembles, illness can cause the absence of key musicians in rehearsal or performance.  Computer music technology offers the potential to substitute for musicians in these situations, yet reliable, robust, and simple systems that can be quickly set up, and that play musically and creatively do not yet exist.

The project aims to develop the future research agenda for both technical and non technical music computing research in this area, by learning from the issues and experiences of technological adoption in other relevant performance contexts, understanding the technological state of the art in relation to popular music performance, imagining future performance practices incorporating computer “musicians”, and thinking about how to study musicians (human and computer) in this context.

We hope to develop a network of interest around this symposium, beginning with some online discussion ahead of the face to face event on 7th-8th June 2012 and followed by further online activity and follow-up events.  For information, the programme, and registration for the main symposium (presented as part of the CREST Open Workshop (COW) programme), please see the COW web-page here.

Playing the Margins Update

By Anne Welsh, on 14 May 2011

Over on the UCL DIS Student Blog you can read about the first workshop held by the Playing the Margins project, which uses UCL Library Services Special Collections to explore annotation practices with actors, drama students and academics.

Post author, Paris O’Donnell, observes that she and her project partner Sian Prosser

realised that the unfamiliar interface of the graphics tablet diverted some attention and energy from the purpose of the exercise and are thinking about different ways to structure this part of the exercise for the next workshop

Read Paris’s full post on the UCL DIS Student Blog, where there are also details of how to sign up for the second workshop which takes place at the end of the month.

Image: Auntie P, copyright commons: some rights reserved

Playing the Margins

By Anne Welsh, on 18 March 2011

As the clock ticks to midnight, I thought I would start the Day of Digital Humanities with a post about Playing the Margins, a public engagement project led by MA LIS students Paris O’Donnell and Sian Prosser. Sian and Paris have both taken Digital Resources in the Humanities and Historical Bibliography, and we are delighted to see them putting their learning (and previous experience) into practice in this project, funded by UCL’s Train & Engage Scheme.

Paris and Sian write:

The aim of Playing the Margins is to bring drama students and actors into UCL Special Collections to engage with early printed books relating to their interests. The project is being supported by the Public Engagement Unit and Special Collections at UCL. The workshops concentrate on readers’ marks and annotations, and give participants insights into how earlier readers left traces of their engagement with dramatic (as well as non-dramatic) texts. Inspired by our studies of digital humanities and historical bibliography at UCL DIS, Playing the Margins is an experiment in using digital tools to explore reading practices and dramatic performance.

In the workshop, participants will be invited to reflect on their own marking practices in scripts and play-texts, and to think about taboos or proscriptions relating to writing in books. Then, participants are presented with examples of interesting annotations, ownership marks and other readers’ marks taken from UCL’s Special Collections, so they can explore the continuities between their reading/annotating practices and those of early readers. The workshop concludes with participants inscribing virtually a photographic image of a text they have encountered, using a digital tablet which captures handwriting. Their recorded hand-written engagements will form the basis for an online blog and exhibition, which will also showcase participants’ further written and/or spoken reflections on the workshop.

We’re really looking forward to hearing more about Sian’s and Paris’s experiences and findings through the project, and especially, to following the blog that they are in the process of setting up. Watch this space (and Sian’s Day of DH blog) for more.

DH's Hidden Histories

By Claire L H Warwick, on 11 February 2011

We are delighted to report that Julianne Nyhan and Anne Welsh, of UCL Information Studies and UCLDH have been awarded funding from the University of Trier’s Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Forschungszentrum (HKFZ) for a project entitled ‘Digital Humanities as Wissensraum: uncovering hidden histories (c. 1949-1980)’.

The application of computing to the Humanities is not new and can be traced back to at least 1949, when Fr Roberto Busa began researching the creation of an index variorum of some 11 million words of medieval Latin in the works of St Thomas Aquinas and related authors. Notes and contributions towards a history of the computer in the humanities have appeared in recent years; however, our understanding of such developments remains incomplete and largely unwritten.

Anne and Julianne will gather and make available sources to enable the social, intellectual and cultural conditions that shaped the early take up of computing in the humanities to be investigated. The project will draw on an interdisciplinary method bundle from oral history, digital humanities and historical-cultural studies. With the aim of capturing memories, observations and insights that are rarely recorded in the scholarly literature of the field they intend to carry out interviews with ‘pioneer’ or ‘early adopter’ scholars and practitioners from c. 1949 until 1980 (that is, from main frame computing to the coming of the personal computer).

An international symposium in summer 2011 will address all aspects of the project’s methodology as well as bring together a small group of ‘early adopter’ scholars to discuss and record the early days of DH. This will be followed by online and print publications to support future research into the topic.

This should be a great initiative and we at UCLDH are very much looking forward to taking part in it. Watch this space for announcements of the project’s website, Advisory Board and the symposium.

Remix Cinema Workshop: call for presentations & papers

By Sarah Davenport, on 16 November 2010

— forwarded by Tim Davies,  Events and Administrative Officer from the Oxford Internet Institute —

The Remix Cinema workshop is organised by the Oxford Internet Institute, (University of Oxford, UK) in collaboration with UNIA Prácticas y Culturas Digitales (Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, ES), and is funded by the UK’s Art and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Beyond Text programme.

Website: www.remixcinema.org

Abstracts deadline: January 7, 2011.

Context

In August 2010, the remix movie Star Wars Uncut was the first user-generated production to win an Emmy Award. Other online platforms such as wreckamovie.com enable online communities to form for independent and open source filmmaking, harnessing distributed forms of collaborative co-creation rather than relying on traditional organisational structures. Cloud-based editing suites have begun appearing: Stroome.com was launched in April 2010 by USC Annenberg with the tag-line “mix it up. mash it out”. Digitalised photos, videos, and sound, easily accessible through popular websites, constitute a diverse online repository of content that is being used for artistic remix purposes. Recently, the Electronic Frontier Foundation won a court case giving exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions to amateur remix video artists sharing their works on e.g. YouTube. VJ’s and live cinema artists (e.g. Dj Spooky, Eclectic Method or SOLU) have permeated multiple cultural settings, ranging from mainstream contexts of entertainment to museums and other spaces devoted to the institutionalisation of art practices.

The examples outlined are just a few fitting under the umbrella term of “Remix Cinema”, and point to ways in which networked devices and resources are facilitating new artistic audiovisual practices and cultures. The concept of ‘remix’ describes a broad set of social and cultural practices centered around the fragmentation and re-ordering of already existing and new content, whether text, sound or images. This 2-day multi-disciplinary workshop focuses on these diverse creative practices, particularly in the context of the contemporary socio-technical media environment. It brings together people interested in understanding and shaping remix cinema: doctoral students, established scholars, practicing artists, and anyone else interested in addressing themes related to questions including:

  • How is the contemporary media-scape influencing artistic audio-visual creation?
  • What can we learn from the changing practices in remix cinema?
  • How are new models of economic support (e.g. crowdfunding) changing productions of cultural objects?
  • What methodological and theoretical challenges arise in empirical studies on remix cinema, and how do we overcome these?

Call for presentations & papers

The workshop committee welcomes proposals on any social, critical, cultural, aesthetic, political, technical, economic or legal aspects of remix cinema practices, cultures and works. We particularly welcome contributions that report on empirical studies and adopt innovative methodological approaches. Each presentation should last for a maximum of 15 minutes. Participants may present finished studies or works-in-progress, as the workshop also serves as a forum for gaining valuable feedback and exchanging ideas. All proposals will be peer reviewed by at least two members of the workshop’s academic committee (Oxford Internet Institute faculty).

Presenters are invited to submit full papers which will be eligible for review and possible inclusion in a subsequent ISBN publication on remix cinema.