Augmentality with the Incoming MA and PhD Students

On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, we visited Durham’s new Augmentality Labs arcade as a welcome/welcome back event for our graduate students in the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media and the PhD in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures. After a trip to Bull City Burgers, we tried a number of single and multi-user Virtual Reality platforms and applications – and could even call it research for our upcoming Institute on Virtual and Augmented Reality for the Humanities!

FHI Open House and New PhD Lab Fellows

On August 31, 2017 we  welcomed the new PhD Lab Fellows and celebrated the Digital Humanities Initiative at the most recent Open House at FHI. Our 15 new Fellows come from a range of disciplines and will help us explore a range of topics this semester, including Digital Pedagogy, Digital Publishing, Medieval and Renaissance DH, and Global DH. In addition to workshopping individual projects within the group, the PhD Lab will sponsor and co-sponsor a variety of activities on campus, including discussions alongside the Versatile Humanist initiative around changing ideas of humanities work inside and outside academia. We’ll be joined for many of our sessions by the new FHI Digital Humanities Specialist, Amanda Starling-Gould, Duke PhD in Literature and Lab Alumna.

Fall 2017 Teaching

This Fall I’m teaching two courses. The first, Foundations of Web-Based Multimedia Communications, a core offering in the Information Science + Studies Certificate,  is a lecture-section course targeted at students interested in learning HTML/CSS/JS from scratch. Students will acquire the building blocks to code their own site, and then finish up with final projects of their own designs. I have a talented team of graduate students from the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures MA and PhD Programs as well as the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts. Last time I taught the course was as a seminar in Venice, so it is an interesting challenge to reconceive it as a large lecture class. Fortunately I’m building upon the work my colleagues have done in earlier semesters to explore those possibilities.

The other course is the Proseminar for the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media. I’m teaching with teh assitance of Hannah Jacobs, Multimedia Analyst for the Wired Lab, and will be inviting in guests from the various Media Labs in Smith Warehouse. We look forward to exploring a wide range of DH and Comp Media topics together.

In addition to my courses, I’ll be meeting with my collaborator Trudi Abel and others on our Bass Connections Digital Durham: Past, Present Future team regularly to make progress on organizing our primary source materials for exhibition projects and a website revamp, as well as with the new crop of fellows in the PhD Lab for Digital Knowledge at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, which I direct with Phil Stern in History. We have 15 Fellows joining us this year!

New Getty Grant for Advanced Topics in Digital Art History

Great news for friends of our Visualizing Venice Workshop series! Wired and the Visualizing Venice team have been awarded a grant by the Getty Foundation for a new worksop on “Advanced Topics in Digital Art History: 3D Geospatial Networks.” We are especially excited to work side by side with our collaborators on advancing the field of Digital Art History as a collaborative, interdisciplinary process.


July 30-August 3, 2017 was my first SIGGRAPH annual conference as Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community. This year we set up an on-site exhibition screen for the Immersive Expressions online show.Our next show, Designing Knowledge, just opened up a CFP. We will continue to share information through our Ning Site and our Facebook Page.

We also had a wonderful Art Party at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts (LACDA).

I also participated as a panelist in a special session on Women in Computer Graphics.


NEH supported Virtual and Augmented Reality for the Digital Humanities

Duke University has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for our Summer 2018 Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities, HT-256969 Virtual and Augmented Reality for the Digital Humanities Institute (V/AR-DHI).

PI: VIctoria Szabo, Art, Art History & Visual Studies and Information Science + Studies
Co-PI: Philip Stern, History

V/AR-DHI consists of a two-week summer institute for up to 12 participants to take place in Summer 2018 and to be focused on the application of VR and AR to humanities research, teaching and outreach. The program is co-sponsored by the Digital Humanities Initiative at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, the Wired! Lab for Digital Art History & Visual Culture, the Information Science + Studies Program, the History Department, and the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE) in the Pratt School of Engineering.

Press Release

Project Site

Video Game Art Reader and Gallery

I’m pleased to have joined the Video Game Art Reader Editorial Board last Fall, and to have been a backer for the recent Kickstarter to support the new Video Game Art Gallery in Chicago. The two initiatives are helping to further the collective conversation around videogames as art, something I have been involved with for the last several years with my Psychasthenia Studio collaborator, new media artist Joyce Rudinsky. Looking forward to seeing the inaugural issue of the journal, and to visiting the new space when I’m next in Chicago!

Psychasthenia 3 at EVA London

I presented the latest art-game in Joyce Rudinsky and my Psychasthenia 3 series, “Dupes,” at EVA London on July 12, 2017.

This version of the game explores the relationship of contemporary HR practices to an increasingly gamified experience of contemporary culture. For the session I presented a walk through of the current game and talked through some of our underlying themes and challenges. We had a fruitful discussion about how to present it as an installation-based work in the coming months.

Visualizing Cities in Barcelona

On July 5, 2017 I gave a talk sponsored by the City Museum of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona’s Landscape Intervention and Heritage Management MA Program. The talk, “Smartscapes: Urban Heritage in the Era of the

Digital Society,” explored a range of possible approaches augmented reality offers to urban exploration.

In two days of follow-up workshops on July 6-7, I worked with Master’s students on their project ideas and introduced a variety of digital storytelling tools. We will continue to explore the idea of a Visualizing Barcelona project in the coming years.