Wired! @ Duke



Wired! launched in 2009 to explore the potential of digital visualization technologies for the study of art and architecture. The Wired! initiative is a self-generated interdisciplinary learning community committed to exploring how digital technologies present new questions and answers about the research we do on history and material culture.

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We are a group of faculty, staff, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students who apply cultural and historical visualization technologies and methods to the study of material culture, and art, architectural, and urban history. Through a collaborative, laboratory approach, we ask new questions and expand upon emerging lines of inquiry about material culture in man-made environments. We have found that our practices in Digital Humanities scholarship transform both teaching and research, as well as provide new methods for communicating knowledge to a broad public.

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Wired! introduced a series of teaching and research initiatives that explore how digital visualization tools transform our capacity to narrate the histories of paintings, sculptures, buildings, cities, and material culture. The initiatives in the Wired! Lab fall within one of two research categories: Digital Cities/Urban Histories and the Lives of Things. Wired! is committed to developing projects that convey new student-generated research to the larger public through websites, 2D and 3D models, databases, mapping, visualizations, and apps.

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The special focus of Wired! is the study of material culture: art, architectural, and urban history. The core faculty and staff of Wired! offers courses and workshops that range from classes for first-year undergraduates to training seminars for doctoral candidates and faculty. In all of these initiatives historical materials are linked to digital technologies. Wired! courses form part of larger multi-year research projects that enable students to join long-term learning communities with faculty and PhD candidates. All Wired! initiatives entail a public outreach component. Wired! also has international partnerships in Athens, Venice, and Paris for its research and teaching projects.

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Wired! has created digital laboratories for teaching and research projects at the Smith Warehouse on the Duke University campus (where the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies is located) and at Venice International University on the island of San Servolo, Venice. The laboratories are the sites for our courses and workshops. In 2014 Wired! introduced a Master’s degree in Digital Art History, an 18-month program to train students in digital visualization technologies for historical inquiry.

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We are grateful for support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Council on Library and Information Resources, Fondazione di Venezia, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Getty Foundation, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Schiff Family Humanities Fund, and Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund, in addition to internal support from Duke University through Bass Connections, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Franklin Humanities Institute, Humanities Writ Large (funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice-Provost for the Arts, Office of the Vice-Provost for Research, Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Office of the Dean of Humanities, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Trinity Technology Services, University Libraries, and the Visual Studies Initiative (funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation).