Day 1: Setting the scene

By Stuart Dunn

Seventeen distinguished scholars in the field of Digital Art History arrived at King’s this week for the Getty Institute.   Most of the sessions thus far have focused on introductions. These have shown the amazing richness and depth that the prefix “digital” can bring to a field of the humanities such as art history.  Our primary methodological focus is in the area of Linked Open Data (which, as one of the memebrs reminded us, is like teenage sex – everyone is talking about it, not many people are doing it, and many that are are doing it badly). Primarily, LOD is – obviously – about connectivity – making datasets talk to each other. One issue is that making information communicable imposes homogeneity on ambiguity – it reduces complex and ambiguous areas of interpretation to bits and bytes, 1s and 0s.

My own take is that the most important question to ask is *what* are we linking with Linked Open Data? We can link units of data, documents (and the text therein), objects, and abstract entities such as place. As we have heard, different institutions, and different modes of viewing the history of art, have different emphases on these. Teasing out what these are will be a fascinating journey.

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