Summer GAs set a high bar

Summer GAs set a high bar

This summer two graduate assistants, Madeline Gent and Matt Lincoln, blazed new paths in the Collaboratory, setting a standard for work that will inspire long after their tenure in the back workroom comes to a close.

What This Website Needs is Some Video

When the Michelle Smith Collaboratory website launched in March of this year, the possibility for video existed but we lacked content. Madeline, extending the excellent work begun by Molly Harrington, a fellow member of this past Spring's edition of the DIG, began the summer editing and producing the DIG video series, a group of thematically related short videos that explore and explain key formal concepts of art. Anyone utilizing this wonderful teaching resource will come to appreciate the skills Madeline developed this summer both as an editor and a designer. More evidence of her excellent eye for design is to be found in the resource pages she created for the teaching of art history and for fellow graduate students. Madeline's most impressive work to date is her video editing and production work for Prof. Abby McEwen's Constellations project, the results of which one can see at the project website.

Stop Looking at the Art (Start Counting Them Instead)

Matt Lincoln has emerged as something of a trailblazer with regard to art history's role in the arena of digital humanties, and his work in the Collaboratory this summer underscores this. After developing this Spring an innovative use of tagged primary sources and Google Earth, Matt turned his attention to a new area of inquiry - network visualization - finding in Gephi a particularly powerful and responsive tool that allowed him (along with a bit of his proprietry coding in Ruby for parsing) to turn huge databases of art historical data, such as subset of the massive ULAN database maintained by the Getty Institute, into provocative visualizations of relationships, be it between artists, such as you see in the illustration, or subject matter. Have database, will visualize! The work Matt is doing is not only visually beautiful, but, properly filtered and amply supplied with appropriate data, allows one to see trends at the macro level that one normally would not see looking at an individual or group of artists or works. 

And They Work Well Together!

Early in the summer Matt and Madeline worked intensively on rationalizing the existing catalog of Google Earth civilization maps along two factors: interoperability and sensitivity to time. As a result of their efforts it now is possible to utilize all maps at once, without conflicting color schemes, in either the Google Earth plugin or as separate downloadable maps. The resulting experience is far more smooth than opening up several folders within the Google Earth interface and toggling on and off separate layers of data. To ensure a maximally positive user experience, Matt and Madeline collaborated on a helpful introductory video. Check out the wonderful video editing! Marvel at the amazing script and expert narration!

This week marks the end of Madeline and Matt's work in the Collaboratory, but their impact will long be felt, and our gratitude for their professionalism runs deep.