Posts Tagged 'Islamic'

Countering ISIS monument destruction with Million Image Database Project

emple of Baalshamin. Image © Bernard Gagnon via WikipediaIn a “digital race against IS,” The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) is working with UNESCO World Heritage and NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to launch a Million Image Database Project. The hope is to capture one million 3D images of at-risk objects by the end of 2016 by deploying up to 5,000 heavily-modified inexpensive consumer 3D cameras that will permit inexperienced users to capture archival-quality scans and upload these images automatically to database servers. Once there, they can be used for study or, if required, 3D replication via open source technology and software.

via ArchDaily

Ottoman miniatures meet Hollywood film

Turkish student Murat Palta has done something very creative for his senior thesis project – he  merged the language of Hollywood film posters  with Ottoman miniature paintings.    He has captured the compositional style, colours and patterns, and general authentic “look” of the miniatures.  Capturing a moment of high tension and drama from the films (Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, A Clockwork Orange, and many more – see Scarface at right) he has created a unique mash-up of genres.

See all the paintings from Palta’s portfolio here; and some more background from this Slate article.

Middle Eastern image resources on ARTstor

One of the ways ARTstor helps users find material relevant to their teaching or research is through their subject guides.  They have just published an excellent user guide on finding materials relevant to Middle East studies, covering the whole geographic/social/cultural region.  In addition to objects from museums and archives, the rich holdings include contemporary and historic photographs of archaeological sites, people, architecture, and events.

Latest images and agreements from ARTstor

ARTstor’s Digital Library now has these collections available:

  • Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii (Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art): 400 images of Islamic and South Asian art from the collection at Shangri La, the former home of Doris Duke (1912-1993) [1/2 of the projected 800]
  • Yao Ceremonial Artifacts Collection (Ohio University): 3,714 art works and objects created by the Yao people, an ethnic minority from northern Vietnam
  • Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (Library of Congress): 6,884 documentary photographs taken between 1933 and1940 by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) of buildings and gardens throughout nine Southern states
  • Contemporary Art (Franklin Furnace): 3,345 images and documentation of ephemera and events presented and produced by this renowned venue [2/3 of the 5,000 expected total]
  • The Warburg Institute: 10,157 images of Renaissance and Baroque book illustrations from the Warburg Institute Library

ARTstor also anticipates additional images from these contributors:

New ARTstor images available

The ARTstor Digital Library has just announced these images are now available:

  • ART on FILE: 1,100 images of contemporary architecture in the United Arab Emirates, which brings the final total to 11,743 views of contemporary architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and public art from around the world
  • Islamic Art and Architecture Collection: 250 images of Iznik ceramics, rounding out the total to 19,009 images from the personal archives of scholars Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair (Boston College) and Walter B. Denny (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Additionally, a new agreement has been reached with Baltimore Museum of Art and its archives to share roughly 2,000 images of works from the permanent collection, including the historical Cone Collection, and 100 photographs of exhibition installations

Get camera implanted in head: check! (Or, Now that’s artistic devotion, Part 2)

Wafaa Bilal, a professor of photography at NYU, has had a camera implanted into the back of his head.  His project, called “The 3rd I”, was commissioned by the Arab Museum of Modern Art.   Photos will be taken every minute, and will be streamed from his website beginning December 15.  He will wear the camera for one year, with the goal of “constructing a methodical documentation of his existence and surroundings after having no ability to do so during a nomadic existence in the Middle East”  ( Bilal is Iraqi).  He is required to cover it with a lens cap while on NYU property.

Bilal had the camera “surgically” implanted into the back of his head – first, titanium plates were installed under the skin, then a camera attached  – all at a piercing studio (!?).

Read an interview and more on the project at The Wall Street Journal.

MEGA – a new database of Middle Eastern antiquities

After four years of collaboration and hard work, MEGA  (Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities) will launch next month.  It was designed to inventory archaeological sites so conservators and archaeologists can monitor and preserve them more easily.  It was developed at the Getty Conservation Institute, with funding aid from the World Monuments Fund and in partnership with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.

It was originally intended as a catalogue of Iraq’s antiquities, which was particularly important in light of the looting the took place during and after the invasion (and which has apparently heated up again); however the chaos there caused the plans to be shelved and Jordan stepped in as the primary partner.  According to this  NY Times article both the Getty and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq hope to expand MEGA to add Iraq’s materials.

It’s not clear if the database will be made available to a wider audience in the future – it would certainly be a valuable asset in other areas of teaching and research.


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