Zonas de Contacto: Art History in a Global Network?
No. 7 (2021)
Digital technologies have catalyzed globalization; yet, the precarity of global networks has become increasingly apparent in the face of pandemics and climate change. International collaboration often reveals deep disparities in access, infrastructure, and institutional resources. The profound (and sometimes disorienting) effect of automated computation on everyday life can only be properly understood within historical frameworks that articulate the interplay between technological mediation and the production of history. But this oft-repeated point begs the question: Who has the privilege to write these histories, and how?
The Priority Program “The Digital Image,” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), combines projects from a multiperspectival point of view and addresses the central role that the image plays in the process of the digitization of knowledge in theory and practice. The research cluster consists of 12 projects from various disciplines, including computer science, archaeology, European and Asian art history, media studies and ethnology. By placing the subject matter within a broader methodological and cultural horizon, the cluster aims to bridge possible gaps between different cultures.
In this special issue, all 12 projects introduce – in brief presentations – their goals and research questions. This provides an overview of the various approaches to, and research on, the overarching topic of the Digital Image. It serves as a starting point for further investigations and underlines the collective approach, bringing together researchers and disciplines.
Horizons of Mixed Realities
No. 6 (2021)
The International Journal of Digital Art History (DAHJ) responds to cutting edge scholarship concerning extended reality technologies. Today, mixed reality is poised to be just as transformative as analog film and photography, which radically reorganized many domains of modern life (including communication, science, politics, and art). This potential has become increasingly apparent in the face of our current global pandemic, wherein virtual landscapes have begun to serve as critical contact zones for practitioners of social distancing.
History of Digital Art
No. 5 (2020)
The International Journal for Digital Art History (DAHJ) researches the impact of new technologies on art history. It reflects upon the possibilities and opportunities of digital tools for art historical research. In contrast, the history of digital art deals with artistic practice and its continual engagement with computational media, as well as the Internet. However, both of these fields have been shaped by the interactions between art and information science. For this reason, the artistic engagement with these tools must be considered as a crucial vector within the expanded field of Digital Art History.
Transformation of Institutions
No. 4 (2019)
Digital Art History is often described as a methodological addition to Art History. Moreover, it includes a profound transformation of its institutional framework: server rooms replaced the slide libraries as the former center of art historical departments, museums are concerned with digitizing their collections and making them accessible via virtual exhibitions, and conservators facing challenges preserving digital art with its soft- and hardware.
The transition from analog to digital pictorial transcription has transformed art history and its archives in profound and unexpected ways. The objects of our study, once physically circumscribed by the walls of the slide library, are now widely available. The advent of image retrieval platforms like ArtStor and Google Image Search, not to mention countless museum databases, present new challenges and opportunities for cataloguing and visualizing data. The photographic practices of museum visitors have likewise been transformed by the integration of digital photography, cellular phones, and social media. Additionally, art historical publishing and pedagogy continue to be mostly constrained (in the English-speaking) world by antiquarian protocols governing copyright and image clearance.
Digital Space and Architecture