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Vision for Art (VISART) Workshop for interdisciplinary work in Computer Vision and Digital Humanities

Lucy Stagg26 April 2022

The VISion for Art (VISART) workshop is an interdisciplinary workshop held with the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) on a bi-annual basis. The workshop is now on its 6th edition and has had great success over ten years since starting in Florence (2012), with the 2022 edition in Tel Aviv, Israel. The success has led to VISART becoming a staple venue for Computer Vision and Digital Art History & Humanities researchers alike. With the workshop’s ambition to bring the disciplines closer and provide a venue for interdisciplinary communication, it has, since 2018, provided two tracks for both the technological development and the reflection of computer vision techniques applied to the arts. The two tracks are:

1. Computer Vision for Art – technical work (standard ECCV submission, 14 pages excluding references)
2. Uses and Reflection of Computer Vision for Art (Extended abstract, 4 pages, excluding references)

Full details are available at the workshop website: https://visarts.eu

Keynotes

In addition to the technical works presented it regularly attracts names that bridge the disciplines including (but not limited to):

Keynote speakers from across the years of VISART, images from 2022 public institutional profiles and current affiliation logos.

Keynote speakers from across the years of VISART, images from 2022 public institutional profiles and current affiliation logos.

The inclusion of such a varied collection of Keynote speakers has provided a fruitful discussion on the use of technology to investigate visual content. From its style and perception (Aaron Hertzmann, Adobe) to how is the “hard humanities” field of computer image analysis of art changing our understanding of paintings and drawings (David G. Stork).

VISART VI Keynotes

The VISART VI (2022) workshop continues this tradition of high profile keynotes. It will add Prof Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel of the University of Geneva and Prof Ohad Ben-Shahar of Ben Gurion University to this list and the return of Prof John Collomosse of the University of Surrey.

VISART VI Keynotes

VISART VI Keynotes

Prof Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel

Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel is Full Professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland (Faculté de Lettres – School of Humanities), chair of Digital Humanities. From 2007 to 2019 she was Associate Professor (maître de conférences) in modern and contemporary art at the École normale supérieure in Paris, France (ENS, PSL). She is a former student of ENS (Alumni 1996, Social Sciences and Humanities), and got an Agrégation in History and Geography in 1999. She defended her PhD in 2005 at the université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne and her Habilitation at Sciences Po Paris in 2015. Joyeux-Prunel’s research encompasses the history of visual globalisation, the global history of the avant-gardes, the digital technologies in contemporary art, and the digital turn in the Humanities. Since 2009 she has founded and managed the Artl@s project on modern and contemporary art globalisation ([https://artlas.huma-num.fr](https://artlas.huma-num.fr/)) and she coedits the open access journal Artlas Bulletin. In 2016 she founded Postdigital ([www.postdigital.ens.fr](https://visarts.eu/www.postdigital.ens.fr)), a research project on digital cultures and imagination. Since 2019 she has led the European Jean Monnet Excellence Center IMAGO, an international center for the study and teaching on visual globalisation. At Geneva university she directs the SNF Project Visual Contagions ([https://visualcontagions.unige.ch](https://visualcontagions.unige.ch/)), a 4 years research project on images in globalisation, which uses computer vision techniques to trace the global circulation of images in printed material over the 20th century.

Prof John Collomosse

John Collomosse is a Principal Scientist at Adobe Research where he leads the deep learning group. John’s research focuses on representation learning for creative visual search (e.g. sketch, style, pose based search) and for robust image fingerprinting and attribution. He is a part-time full professor at the Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing, University of Surrey (UK) where he founded and co-directs the DECaDE multi-disciplinary research centre exploring the intersection of AI and Distributed Ledger Technology. John is part of the Adobe-led content authenticity initiative (CAI) and contributor to the technical work group of the C2PA open standard for digital provenance. He is on the ICT and Digital Economy advisory boards for the UK Science Council EPSRC.

Prof. Ohad Ben-Shahar

Ohad Ben-Shahar is a Professor of Computer Science at the Computer Science department, Ben Gurion University (BGU), Israel. He received his [B.Sc](http://b.sc/). and [M.Sc](http://m.sc/). in Computer Science from the Technicon (Israel Institute of Technology) in 1989 and 1996, respectively, and his M.Phill and PhD From Yale University, CT, USA in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He is a former chair of the Computer Science department and the present head of the School of Brain Sciences and Cognition at BGU. Prof Ben-Shahar’s research area focuses on computational vision, with interests that span all aspects of theoretical, experimental, and applied vision sciences and their relationship to cognitive science as a whole. He is the founding director of the interdisciplinary Computational Vision Laboratory (iCVL), where research involves theoretical computational vision, human perception and visual psychophysics, visual computational neuroscience, animal vision, applied computer vision, and (often biologically inspired) robot vision. He is a principle investigator in numerous research activities, from basic research animal vision projects through applied computer vision, data sciences, and robotics consortia, many of them funded by agencies such as the ISF, NSF, DFG, the National Institute for Psychobiology, The Israeli Innovation Authority, and European frameworks such as FP7 and Horizon 2020.

Call for Papers

The workshop calls for papers on the topics (but not limited to):

  • Art History and Computer Vision
  • 3D reconstruction from visual art or historical sites
  • Multi-modal multimedia systems and human machine interaction
  • Visual Question & Answering (VQA) or Captioning for Art
  • Computer Vision and cultural heritage
  • Big-data analysis of art
  • Security and legal issues in the digital presentation and distribution of cultural information
  • Image and visual representation in art
  • 2D and 3D human pose and gesture estimation in art
  • Multimedia databases and digital libraries for artistic research
  • Interactive 3D media and immersive AR/VR for cultural heritage
  • Approaches for generative art
  • Media content analysis and search
  • Surveillance and Behaviour analysis in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums

Deadlines & Submissions

  • Full & Extended Abstract Paper Submission: 27th May 2022 (23:59 UTC-0)
  • Notification of Acceptance: 30th June 2022
  • Camera-Ready Paper Due: 12th July 2022
  • Workshop: TBA (23-27th October 2022)
  • Submission site: https://cmt3.research.microsoft.com/VISART2022/

Organisers

The VISART VI 2022 edition of the workshop has been organised by:

  • Alessio Del Bue, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
  • Peter Bell, Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Leonardo Impett, University of Cambridge
  • Noa Garcia, Osaka University
  • Stuart James, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) & University College London Centre for Digital Humanities (UCL DH)
VISART VI 2022 organisers

VISART VI 2022 organisers

‘Technology & the Historian: Transformations of the Digital Age’ Workshop & Book Launch

Adam Crymble23 April 2021

Lessons from history, options for today.

Thursday 29 April 2021 – 12pm-1pm (Zoom)

Register for free.

Join Dr. Adam Crymble for a free Programming Historian Teaching Workshop to celebrate the launch of his new book, Technology & the Historian: Transformations of the Digital Age, the first comprehensive history of historical studies in the digital age.

Collectively, we’ve been teaching digital history for decades. But not as consistently as you might imagine. This workshop and book launch, aimed at practicing and future teachers of history at university level, showcases the shifting approaches to digital history pedagogy in the past thirty years.

Building on that knowledge, and drawing on the tutorials of Programming Historian, as well as Crymble’s ten years on the project, he offers practical classroom-ready solutions that bring together history and technology for students today.

Upgrade how you teach historiography for the twenty-first century, by learning what came before and what can come next.

All attendees eligible for 30% discount on the book.

Register for free: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teach-digital-history-well-tickets-141954926005?keep_tld=1

logo of Programming Historian

Logo of University of Illinois Press

CAFA EAST: Education, Art, Science and Technology

Simon Mahony8 December 2018

I was reminded recently of my Classics background and about the link between art and technology, how new technological advances would push forward the development of, particularly, the plastic arts. The same is true now and I was delighted to be invited to speak at CAFA, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, at their International Conference on Education, Art, Science and Technology.

CAFA EAST: Education, Art, Science and Technology

CAFA EAST: Education, Art, Science and Technology

My keynote talk, ‘Digital Humanities teaching and Research at UCL: connecting the curriculum’, was part of their Global Landscape session and followed by a panel on engaging pedagogy with art-based research. This was their 2nd EAST Season with a long-term objective to create a global alliance of art and technology institutions, research and education centres to spread and exchange ideas. The conference brought together practitioners and researchers, technologists and educators, design and gallery professionals. Live translation made the talks accessible to all.

On the stage at CAFA

On the stage at CAFA

CAFA is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary.

CAFA: 100 years

CAFA: 100 years

I was also asked to run a workshop to introduce an understanding of some aspect of digital humanities. I chose, what is to my mind, one of our distinguishing features and that is our cross-disciplinary nature and the importance of collaborative working. My aim was to introduce the concept of collaborative writing with a practical to develop skills needed for multi-authored documents.

Collaborative writing workshop

Collaborative writing workshop

So, a talk on the importance of group work followed by a writing-sprint; in small groups they were tasked to write a short piece with a choice of either a short story or something about their experience of the conference. All the groups chose the short story option and managed an impressive output which they presented, as groups, after 90 minutes. The participants had wide ranging backgrounds and were almost all staff and professionals. The stories revolved around a fascination with AI, robotics and gender, fantasy and dreams. Google docs (which I would normally use) is, of course blocked in China and they introduced me to their equivalent: Shimo. I learn new things and make new contacts at every trip.

Digital Humanities in Wuhan, Shanghai and Nanjing

Simon Mahony8 May 2018

Within the UK academic calendar, it is probably the Easter break that affords the longest uninterrupted time for travel and this year I took the opportunity to complete my series of talks and research meetings enabled by the UCL Global Engagement fund.

Wuhan University

Wuhan University: School of Information Management

This began with a visit to the University of Wuhan (WHU) which is home to the first DH Centre established in China (2011). Professor Wang at the Department of Publishing Science hosted me for the visit which included a tour of the university and a guest lecture to staff, students and Faculty (details and poster at this link) followed by a lecture for their sophomore Publishing Science students on Designing for Online Publishing.

Wuhan University guest lecture

Wuhan University guest lecture

WHU has a huge sprawling campus adjacent to the East Lake which is built on and around a hill with a castle, which was the old library and is now the student union and student accommodation – lucky students, at the top.

Wuhan University Castle

Wuhan University Castle

Stopping off at Shanghai enabled me to visit friends and deliver two guest lectures at the China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design. I enjoyed their usual open hospitality and met with visiting professors and students from HFBK Hamburg who were setting up an exhibition of their work on design.

Design exhibition at CAA, SID

Design exhibition at CAA, SID

This trip also allowed me to accept an invitation, received at my January visit, from the Digital Humanities team at the Shanghai Library to deliver a guest lecture on UCLDH and our research here at UCL as part of their research seminar series.

Shanghai Library guest lecture

Shanghai Library guest lecture

The final stop on this tour was at the University of Nanjing (NJU) to give a guest lecture to faculty and graduate students. This was followed by discussions about teaching and research at their newly established (2017) DH Centre, which is located in their History Department with close links to NJU Computer Science. The visit was rounded off with an introduction to the dedicated DH GIS lab there and a demonstration of their keynote GIS (such as Six Dynasty Archeology) and 3D projects.

Nanjing University Library

Nanjing University Library

The support, gratefully received from UCL’s Global Engagement scheme, financed the flights which enabled these meetings, discussions and lectures to take place (as well as my earlier visit and workshop in January). The trip facilitated new connections and possibilities in the areas of teaching and research between UCLDH and DH Centres in China. In addition to this, the funding has enabled me to employ a current UCL DIS research student, as part of the UCL Connected Curriculum initiative, to translate and adapt the teaching materials used for the lectures and workshops; these will be released as bilingual (English and Chinese) OERs on the new UCL Open Educational Repository later this summer.

Networking event for the Enlightenment Architectures project

Julianne Nyhan20 February 2018

UCLDH was happy to sponsor a networking reception at the British Museum on Thursday 15 March 2018. The event was organised in conjunction with Leverhulme-funded ‘Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s Catalogues of his Collections’ project (2016-19), a collaboration between the British Museum and UCL. The project is investigating Sir Hans Sloane’s (1660-1753) original manuscript catalogues of his collections. It is using Digital Humanities and Humanities methodologies to understand the highly complex information architecture and the intellectual legacies of this ‘meta-data of the Enlightenment’. The project is led by PI Kim Sloan, Curator of British Drawings and Watercolours before 1880 and the Francis Finlay Curator of the Enlightenment Gallery, British Musuem and myself, co-I Julianne Nyhan, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) of Digital Information Studies, UCL and Associate Director of UCLDH.

UCLDH 'bar' poster

UCLDH ‘bar’ poster

The UCLDH sponsored ‘bar’, pictured above, provided welcome sustenance to attendees of the workshop that the Enlightenment Architectures project had convened that day, thanks to funding from the British Museum Research Fund. The workshop included presentations from the ‘Enlightenment Architectures’ PI, co-I and some project team members (including Research Assistants Victoria Pickering, Alexandra Ortolja-Baird and the project-based PhD candidate Deborah Leem). A number of eminent, international colleagues from Digital Humanities and Early Modern Studies acted as respondents to their papers. They included: Kalliopi Zervanou (Utrecht University); Arthur MacGregor (Journal of the History of Collections); Susanne Al-Eryani (SUB Goettingen); Jaap Verhuel (Utrecht University); Katherine McDonough (Stanford University). Needless to say, lively conversations characterised both the workshop and the networking event!

The second day of the workshop comprised four keynote presentations. Speakers were again drawn from a number of disciplines including the History of Science, Digital Humanities, Data Analytics and Library and Information Science. Keynotes were given by: Sachiko Kusukawa (University of Cambridge / Royal Society); Michael Sperberg McQueen (Black Mesa Technologies);  Paul Caton and Samantha Callaghan (Georgian Papers online, Kings Digital Laboratory KCL); and Stefanie Ruehle (SUB Goettingen). The workshop closed with a strategy and funding foresight seminar led by Martha Fleming, Senior Research Assistant to the Enlightenment Architectures project.

More DH networking in China

Simon Mahony6 February 2018

Recently, I have been very pleased to be able to accept more networking and speaking invitations from the ever-growing number of DH groups in China. In November I was an invited speaker for the DH strand at the Cross-cultural, Cross-group and Comparative Modernity Conference in Fudan University Shanghai along with delegates from many different nationalities; interestingly (and fortunately for me) all the presentations were in English.

Conference banner

Banner for the conference at Fudan University Shanghai

December took me to Shenzhen, via Hong Kong, and the University Town Library there for the International Conference on Library and Digital Humanities. They had speakers, on a range of themes, from the UK and USA as well as China, and interestingly mostly from libraries where DH centres in China and the USA are usually found; my slot was in the Higher Education and Digital Humanities strand which enabled many conversations and new connections to be made.

Shenzhen conference photo

International conference at the University Town Library, Shenzhen

One new such connection was with DH researchers at the Library of Shanghai, a public as well as an academic and research library with a strong and committed DH team. In January of this year I was greeted there with a magnificent lunch, a tour of their preservation and research labs, and introduced to their research projects involving both genealogy and the historic local built environment.

Shanghai Library

Shanghai Library

The January visit to Shanghai was enabled by funding from the UCL Global Engagement Fund that I received to support networking and research into interdisciplinary and cross-cultural education. Some of this funding was marked for the translation of teaching material for an undergraduate workshop at the China Academy of Art, Shanghai Institute of Design (that I have visited several times now) and as a follow up to the workshop I ran there in January 2017.

Workshop in Shanghai Institute of Design

Workshop in Shanghai Institute of Design

This is a design institute and the students are great at producing videos but have no background in the Internet or the web and so this workshop mostly covers the coding of webpages along with the all important usability and accessibility built into the design. I, of course, have a translator but this helps with their English language learning too.

Group photo of students at the workshop

Group photo of students at the workshop

Remember when giving talks to Chinese students, always allow extra time at the end for group photos and selfies.

UCL’s Global Engagement funding covered the flights for the Shanghai visit and money to pay a student to help with translating the teaching materials which will go into a collection to later be released under an open licence as Open Educational Resources. Accommodation and hospitality was generously provided by the host institution.

Graphics and Cultural Heritage (GCH)

Lucy Stagg2 May 2017

UCLDH Acting Director, Professor Tim Weyrich, will be the papers chair at Graphics and Cultural Heritage (GCH), an international workshop in Graz, Austria in September 2017. The workshop invites works from both the heritage and engineering sectors:

It aims to foster an international dialogue between ICT experts and CH scientists to advance the understanding of critical requirements for processing, managing, and delivering cultural information to a broad audience.

Papers are due for submission by Friday 5th May 2017.

Papers aplenty

Lucy Stagg28 April 2017

We’re very busy here at UCLDH, delivering papers and promoting our wonderfully diverse portfolio of research

Martin Zaltz Austwick, our Associate Director and Senior Lecturer in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualization, has been reporting on the Survey of London: Whitechapel project at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston, at a seminar for Geospatial Innovations in the Digital Humanities in Lancaster, and at a workshop on Visualizations and other digital possibilities at Birkbeck, London.

Duncan Hay, Research Associate at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, spoke at an event for World Poetry Day, organised by the Digital Scholarship team at the British Library.

Andreas Vlachidis and Antonis Bikakis will be presenting their paper on “Semantic Representation and Enrichment of Cultural Heritage Information for Fostering Reinterpretation and Reflection on the European History” at the ITN-DCH Final Conference on Digital Heritage, on 23-25 May 2017.

Pete Williams will be giving a paper at the IJAS International Conference for Academic Disciplines in Venice, on 20- 23 June 2017.

Digital Publishing workshop at the Shanghai Institute of Design

Simon Mahony24 January 2017

I was back in Shanghai again at the close of 2016 to follow up my earlier guest lecture at the Shanghai Institute of Design with a week long workshop. They have a Master’s level programme on Digital Publishing in the Department of Digital Publishing and Exhibition Design but with little Faculty expertise on the web or Internet. After discussion with the Institute’s President and the Programme Convenor we decided on the title, ‘Getting over the Great Wall’, where I would cover the history and development of the Internet, cultural influences on design, publishing online, accessibility and usability design, and information design (it is the Institute of Design). This would be finished off with student presentations of their projects: to design a digital product (for the web or mobile device) that in some way brought together aspects of cultural difference. The cultural differences could be within China itself as none of the students had traveled outside China. The first task was to ban Flash and Dreamweaver and explain why this was the case!

This workshop, of course, also afforded the opportunity to showcase UCL.

Introducing UCL at the start of the workshop

Introducing UCL at the start of the workshop with greetings on the chalk board.

Interestingly, I’m the only one not wearing a coat here and that only happened on the first day. Not only is there no internet connection or wifi in the teaching rooms (something we take for granted) but there is no heating either – only fans (look carefully at the photos below) to keep cool in the summer; apparently south of the Yellow River building regulations permit buildings with no heating.

Students in the teaching room

Students in the teaching room – note the coats, hats and scarves.

A workstation and projector is set up in each room but my outstanding TA had to improvise as the remote control was missing (sounds familiar!). Much of my teaching material had been kindly translated by current UCLDH students but I still needed an interpreter/translator. Everything was presented in English and Chinese as they are all learning English too.

Analogue remote control in the hands of my TA

Analogue remote control in the hands of my outstanding TA & translator (Qiongpei Kong – UCL IoA alumna)

They felt sorry for me when the temperature dropped further and moved my class to the executive lecture room which has heating. The heater, however, only pointed at the lecture station and it was not possible to move it to warm the students who still needed their coats and scarves. Interestingly, no one sat in the front row (clearly a Chinese tradition too).

The executive lecture room

The executive lecture room – with heating but only for the lecturer.

As well as lectures, we had a series of group tutorials where we discussed the student projects while wearing many layers of clothing. As a Design Institute, they have very talented artists among the students. The images shown here were ideas for new style masks for the Peking Opera to encourage a younger audience. Interesting and considering how central it is to Chinese culture, only two projects featured food; others were concerned with opera, architecture, local dialects and one with traditional Chinese designs being used on sneakers.

Student tutorials

Student tutorials – here featuring a new design for Opera masks.

On the final day of the workshop, the students presented their work. Without exception, it was all visually stunning (it is the foremost Institute of Design with high academic standards) and very impressive as they only had a short time to decide on and design their projects. Overall, what they managed with only a couple of days for preparation was really outstanding.

Giving feedback at the presentations

Giving feedback at the presentations

By the end of the week, the students were relaxed and comfortable, no longer shy. Those that spoke some English took pride in talking to me and forgave my extremely limited Mandarin.

I wrapped things up with a roundup and general remarks on their work as well as some thoughts on the value of education, cultural exchange and what we can learn from each other.

Wrapping up the presentations

Wrapping up the presentations with my translator close at hand.

 

We had to schedule another half-hour at the end of the workshop for the mandatory photo session which starts with several group ones and finishes with individual and group ‘selfies’! These get shared across the Chinese social media platforms, particularly WeChat which is ubiquitous there.

Group photo

Group photo as the finale of the workshop

I need to add a few words about what I gained from this experience. Once again I enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of the Institute and particularly of the President, Professor Wu, who had invited me and who insisted on cooking (superbly and with great pride) almost every evening of my stay. But it goes further, I needed to research the history and legislation of the Internet in China, how it operates under the government’s control, legislation about Copyright and Intellectual Property and how these fit it in with the wider world. This was all new to me and will be fed into my own teaching about cultural and global differences. Above all, I learned more from the students about their culture, about their hopes and aspirations, about our similarities as well as our differences. The students were attentive and enthusiastic and I very much look forward to future visits.

Audiences & Cultural Experiences in the Digital Age – workshop, Thursday 7 May

Sarah Davenport13 March 2015

A team of DIS/UCLDH PhD students has been awarded a grant by the Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies to hold a participatory workshop on Audiences and Cultural Experiences in the Digital Age. The workshop will be run in collaboration with PhD students from the City University London and Middlesex University. It will take place on Thursday 7 May and will bring together scholars and students from the broader area of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences.

Further details and registration:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/audiences-cultural-experiences-in-the-digital-age-tickets-16381350059

For more information, please contact Christina Kamposiori directly at christina.kamposiori.11@ucl.ac.uk.​