May, 2002.............June, 2002...............July, 2002
Thursday, August 1, 2002. Summary of the week:
--Finishing up work on Martinuv.com. That's not really his site; actually, it's not even funny. I had created a "Matisse Image Bank" for Martin's site before I knew we'd be going into buisness with an ancient Greek dominatrix, Dido. So to make sure Martin knows it's there and can use it, I named it 'matisse.html' and currently have it linked from Martin's "Image Bank Index." He can also link to it from his HP 133 syllabus, if he likes. Both Powerpoints created by MM and AB are on 'matisse.html' ... "Representation" and "The Red Studio."
--DeCordova no longer disgruntled. TD made peace with the DeCordova director of marketing. The museum's opinions of our DeCordova site ranged from "There is no photography allowed at the museum" to "we liked your Web project." So all is well, and I've inserted a "we have permission" line on the project's main page. I have also made the page less "gloomy."
--Dido with a vengeance. Tristan worked on the DID software Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday -- he could probably tell you what he was doing, but I don't think anyone else had a clue. Anyway, the directions posted on TN's site were at first tricky, but very thorough, so that yesterday I was able to get two sets of images "into the database." (Rembrandt's Old Testament pieces for Duket and Martin's Matisse library). "Into the database" is in cute "hypothetical quotations" because while we think the images are all set and part of Dido, TD and I aren't able to do anything with them once we log in to the Dido database. It is as if we are missing the connection between the image base and the interface with which we're working on the Web. Once we figure it out with TN's help, it will make more sense to upload countless other images to our Dido database, but we'd like to have more of an idea of what we're working with first.
--Other things I could do. It was originally suggested that I make a few slideshows in Dido after uploading all the images, so that we could have a starting point on the "universal" account, but that isn't working right now. I might do a visual/textual Old Testament site using the King James Bible's RSV and the Rembrandt (or other artists -- Durer, for example) images I've collected. Submitted by Annie Barrett.
Friday, July 26, 2002. This week I finished up the Fireworks animations for the DeCordova sculpture park trip. Fireworks is now installed on the Beta computer but the trial version will expire in about 25 days. All three of us, in addition to finishing up other projects, will be scanning as much as possible to the D drive in order to have a good start for the Dido image database. I have gathered more Matisse images for Martin and yesterday collected a whole lot of Rembrandt's Old Testament-themed etchings and paintings for Duket. TN has been scanning as well. Submitted by Annie Barrett.
Created a procedure for uploading images into Dido. This procedure is available from the Dido page. It should be tested. Please send me any comments you have about it. I also updated the Stravinsky page to detail how I uploaded .mp3 files for placement on webpages. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Wednesday, July 24, 2002. Finished troubleshooting DIDO - for some reason the webserver decided to break and deny anonymous access... that appears to be working properly now. Also, updated the Stravinsky page to contain the links to the mp3 playlist of Stravinsky's Rites of Spring This now connects to the ctsa server to download mp3 files containing Stravinsky's Rites of Spring. As such it's only really availiable on camups--in fact the bandwidth requirements for playback of mp3 files limit it's use to broadband users anyway. Nevertheless, it is a demonstration of how music can be published digitally online. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Tuesday, July 23, 2002. Finished scanning images of Holbein's The Ambassadors. I scanned them at a very high DPI (600) with no sharpening. After scanning them, I applied a gaussian blur effect in Photoshop, with a radius of 1.2 pixels, to obscure the color dots visible at such a high resolution. The end result was a huge (70mb) image, at a very high quality, that could be quite useful for any number of purposes. One can reasonably zoom in and see that there is a broken string on the lute positioned between the two figures, or portions of text written on the globe located between the two figures, or the constellations visibile on the navagational insturments on the top shelf. In other words, this ought to be a very usable image of this painting. I have posted a scaled down version of this painting here, however the truly useful larger image is much to large to be posted on the tiny webspace BC has allotted me. I have also scanned closeups of the globe, the images on the shelf, the lute with the broken string, and a computer reconstruction of the anamorphic skull in the center of the painting. The particular image I used as a source is flawed, in that it left out the all-too-critical cross to be found in the upper-left corner of the painting. Otherwise, I can think of many ways to use this painting. I'm in the middle of researching them now.
Otherwise I spent the day troubleshooting DIDO. It works. Finally. Hopefully, it will stay that way. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Monday, July 22, 2002. Met with Prof. Duket today regarding a particular direction that technology could take the honors program at Boston College. The conversation began as part of a discussion of technological ways to link together Homer's Odessey and Joyce's Ulysses together, and evolved into something much larger. The premise is this: one can create essays in the form of a graph. The nodes represent points in primary texts and other sources, paintings, music, etc. The edges represent the essays themselves, they are the glue that binds together nodes in the sources to provide an interpretation. For instance an essay regarding the theme of justice through the Illiad and the Aeneid might begin with a node at Achillies' refusal to fight, segway into Aeneas's flight from Carthage, bounce back to the conversation between Achilles and Priam, etc. This connection of links could then be used as the basis for the usual sort of honors program essay.
The data for such a project would likely fall into two such categories, the primary data which students will use as a reference for this sort of work. This will include the full texts of all primary texts. It may also include paintings, music, video, etc. Anything which could be considered a useful primary source for the links. The other data area would be the edges of the graph itself, this would likely be placed within some database.
The end result would be a student-created map of the Western Cultural Tradition course. As individual students chart their way through their own essays, they contribute to the collective knowledge of the group. In the beginning, it will likely be useful as an indexing tool for gathering one's sources together, and a presentation tool, for illustrating the thread of one's reasoning though the works that are cited in the thread. As more content is added to the online database, trails will likely begin to form, the paths that are taken most frequently will appear more dense in the graph that forms. The result of this could be called interpretation by consenus, as it becomes obvious which interpretations are taken most frequently, the kind of directions they lead, etc. In this fashion we will have a graphical representation of many interpretations of the works studied in the WCT classes.
This could easily be a subject for an honors thesis for myself, or even a scholar of the college thesis. It is certainly a large, long-term project with many interesting intellectual challenges.
In terms of maintenence, I also restored the prior database onto the Dido server, and fixed a couple of configuration problems with the database. I am in the process of scanning some images of Holbein's The Ambassadors to the Dido database. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Friday, July 19, 2002. Configured Dido on somebody else's computer, finally. It is now located at http://ctsa.bc.edu/dido/ Also, the default administration password has been removed. Now the computer must be configured with one of the established user accounts: nelsontr, duket, martinuv. All of the images that were located on Dido previously have been copied there again, however they must be cataloged again in the database. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Additions: The database resides on a server in the Tech Consultants' third floor Brock House offices. TC Kris Brewer made this available to us. We have now established the possibility of an independent HP database. A proposal for a dedicated Honors Program server is now in preparation. (Duket)
Thursday, July 18, 2002. Today the implementation and role of Dido was discussed. It is everybody's intent to share all images on Dido and make them availiable to all. Similarly, it is the intention of this project to allow access to all slideshows created for a particular honors section to the instructor and all students in that section. To achieve this, all digital images collected on our computers will be placed in Dido, both to give us a common repository for these images, as well as to make these images availiable for slideshow creation. All professors will be given administrative accounts, with their username and pin used for access. We will create a Facutly account for every honors section, to which the instructor and students in that section will be given access. All slideshows will be created in each of these useraccounts. This will allow everyone in the section common access to all shows.
Began investigating possible digital applications of David Hockney's work Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Wednesday, July 17, 2002. Changed the DID(O) link on the left column so it now provides access to our DIDO webpage, with links to documentation attached. Also added images from William Blake's rendition of the Book of Job to the DIDO database. Set up a slideshow presentation, which displays each of the images contained therein in sequence. This slideshow may be viewed by downloading the slideshow viewer from the DIDO database main page.
Ripped both the Esa-Perka Salonen and the Bernstein versions of Stravinsky's
of Spring to mp3 files on my
computer. I also installed a SHOUTcast server onto my computer, which is capable of broadcasting these mp3 files
over the internet, while preventing users from copying them for other purposes. In order to listen to these files, click
on the Stravinsky link in the left-hand column. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Additions: Our database will be called Dido, in honor of the queen of Carthage. We propose to answer the question Book One of Virgil's Aeneid raises, "How did Carthage know about Troy?" Aeneas said "What spot on earth, what region of the earth, Achates, does not know about our sorrow?".
Constitit, et lacrimans, 'Quis iam locus' inquit 'Achate,
quae regio in terris nostri non plena laboris? 460
En Priamus! Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi;
sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
Solve metus; feret haec aliquam tibi fama salutem.'
Sic ait, atque animum pictura pascit inani,
multa gemens, largoque umectat flumine voltum. 465
Aeneas, too, is brought to tears by "a mere image" (tr. Fitzgerald)
Tuesday, July 16, 2002. Configured the Madison DID database on my computer. This database shall be refered to as Dido. Dido can be accessed whenever my computer is on campus and booted into Windows 2000. In order to access this database, surf to my IP address at 22.214.171.124. The username admin and password admin will give you administrative access to the database. More information will be availiable on this website as I continue to work with the database. Submitted by Tristan Nelson
Monday, July 15, 2002. During today's meeting with Prof. Duket and myself, we discussed the structure of the humanities project this summer, and the various different projects each of the involved professors has chosen. We had also discussed the evolution of the role of technology in teaching the humanities at Boston College. Most of this discussion was related, naturally enough, to how to store original content and expose it for students to view. There seem to be two different kinds of presentations professors are interested in creating.
Scripted and linear presentations
Professors Epstein and Martin have developed powerpoint presentations regarding their academic
interests. The presentations appear to be designed to be presented during an honors program lecture.
Innovations in this area relate to how one can make a presentation and explicate a point without
dragging the viewer by the hair. The idea is to present the point with a minimum of narration or
explanatory text, rather to present certain images in parallel and challenge the viewer to come up with
the idea behind them.
Professor Duket has shown his Cassandra web-page, which presents its content in a somewhat less
linear fashion. It is a mass of student web-pages, drawing together various different content related to
Joyce's Ulysses and Homer's Odyssey.
This approach involves even less leading, and allows the student to explore various different works
related to the honors program in a less structured format.
Either approach has the same difficulty: how does one construct and present
the information contained therein?
During today's meeting we discussed back-end databases, and other containers related to the storing of related
information. James Madison University offers a database program, DID related to the storage and retrieval of digital
images and documents. I will investigate and see if I can install this program on my computer and discover what use it
might be to each of the professors projects, and the evolution of the humanities house site as a whole. Submitted by Tristan Nelson.
Monday, July 8, 2002. Annie and The Dukets go to the park: Today we drove out to the DeCordova sculpture park in Lincoln, digital camera and laptop computer "Beta" in tow. Annie crept around four works in particular and shot them from different angles and distances, with different lighting, etc. She'll be creating a virtual essay about the trip, which one Duket labeled an "excursion" and the other Duket, an "expedition." Barrett's under-construction project is up on the "Postings" site. The project will deal with perception and the difference between viewing sculpture and two-dimensional art. With sculpture, we get to interact with the structure and play with multi-focal perception. But can we do this with photography? That's still a single-focal presentation. Is there ever a way to accurately portray "reality?" Submitted by AB.
Summer 2002 Daily Postings
Wednesday, June 26, 2002. 12:30 p.m. The long-awaited meeting occurred in Jenks Library. Nothing was "concluded," but much was "discussed," which is much more essential. Present: Anderson, Barrett, Bregman, Duket, Epstein, Martin. The Minutes of that hour are as follows:
---Skyscrapers and Surrealism: We did a run-through of various summer '02 projects underway at the "Postings" site under Project Reports. Anderson's "skyscrapers" site links to other, external, image-heavy sites. Bregman offered input as to where other respected sites on the topic exist. The group later discussed the image question, or, "How do we create an 'image base' for Humanities House users?" Is it preferable to simply link the profs' personal projects from their own sites? Should there be a central "image bank" location in HH? Both? Later, AB and TD discussed starting such an image bank in "Floor 4," or the "art gallery" of Humanities House. There are already some projects to list at an area like that. Bregman mentioned AMICO (Art Museum Image Consortium), which is already on the HH site, but as Duket pointed out, not many users have used AMICO.
---The group discussed the importance of making sure copyright information, or at least attribution to images' original sources, is clear on our sites. Barrett's trial "Surrealism links" page similarly takes its viewer to external locations. Both pages offer opportunity to go outside the BC site's box, which everyone agreed was a useful complement to ...
---Our original material and what we want to do with it: "Links pages" are useful, but the heart of the summer efforts will be the independent projects we create. Anderson's in-progress Powerpoint of Rembrandt's self-portraiture offers a huge number of images and little text. The group discussed how students might make use of a presentation like this. Is asking students to fool around with Powerpoint's "slide sorter" feasible? And, technically speaking, will third-year students who live off campus be willing and able to access these high-voltage (especially for 56K modem - or even DSL) files?
---Internet rants, Powerpoint raves: When we attempt to learn via Netscape or Explorer, we have to deal with the navigation bar and/or those entirely burdensome pop-up windows, plus "all that stuff at the bottom," complained Martin. Students viewing a unique Powerpoint presentation have the full screen in which to view, contemplate, and savor the images within. Martin futher explained his philosophy on Powerpoint: he wants the presentations to produce thought and inspire creativity. We can get an image listing or an artist's biography elsewhere; what we should be doing is posing questions to viewers VIA what we do with the images and what sorts of phrases/quotes/questions we place beside them. Key to the presentations' effectiveness will be users' ability to manipulate the presentations themselves, if possible.
---After it was clear that everyone understood everything there is to know about The Web and Images, Martin declared, "Now I want to go audio." Duket initially scoffed at him, but perhaps there is a way, said Bregman, if we implement external software. It also might be possible to present a link which would begin to download a specific song (in mp3 or WAV format), but there are those copyright laws to think about. Epstein, who enjoys telling his students that their sharing of music is illiegal, was a little iffy about this whole idea, and everyone agreed that audio sharing is a lot different than image sharing. Matisse is dead, but Eminem lives (obnoxiously) on.
---Bregman expressed approval at what had already been done. She'll be available to confer with individuals as they need her assistance, particularly in very specific areas. The library, and librarians, are our friends.
---On the way out, Bregman asked if anyone had ever been put to tears by a Powerpoint presentation, and everyone had to admit that yes - Barrett's shameless Photoshop doctoring of Matisse's "Red Studio" had put them all over the edge. Everyone filed out, tearful and embarrassed. Submitted by AB.
Tuesday, June 18, 2002. Barrett spent the morning creating a Matisse image bank to go on Martin's site. This page will probably not be used as is, but it is a good starting point for a future project concerning Matisse's representation of reality. The images appear as thumbnails. Upon clicking on them, BIGGER versions miraculously appear! Barrett and Duket will attempt to "mess with" some of said images by changing colors/backgrounds/perspectives, etc. in Photoshop. Any art authority would shudder at such a practice, but the two tamperers (a word?) claim not to care. Barrett will read Death in Venice not because Duket asked her to, but because she wants to. She has talked with Duket and Martin about a Plato/Mann project, possibly coming soon. Submitted by Annie Barrett.
Monday, June 10, 2002. Barrett and Duket were first terrorized by but then triumphed over a faulty jpeg and its apparently incorrect link. That didn't waste any time whatsoever. Barrett created her homepage for the summer.
Barrett then did a Web search: Surrealism with a focus on Giorgio DeChirico. This links page will relate well to Martin's course material. She quickly became engrossed in the trippy nature of Surrealism, but has since surfaced. Submitted by AB.
Monday, June 3, 2002. When I arrived at the office at 9 am, Professor Duket and I set up the computer with the projector in the Jenks Library. I still had to post my completed pages on the server and so once that was finished, we went through the site and made some corrections and critiques. We also looked at a previous PowerPoint, which focused on the artist Durer in order to make important comparisons between Durer and Rembrandt. Talking through some of my perceptions of Rembrandt and the research with Professor Duket was an excellent preparation for my 10 am meeting with Professor O'Connor.
Upon Professor O'Connor's arrival I began explaining my approach to the project. We went through the entire web site, discussing in detail the issues it presented. The following is a condensed version of my notes from that morning that will direct the remainder of my research until our next meeting.
Continue to make a series of close ups from The Artist and his Studio, creating
a conversation amongst pictures, address the question of how we peak intellectually?
Alter the position of the introductory paragraphs - rather begin with the object itself and introduce the complications later
A major idea for the project is Milton's Paradise Lost and the concept of darkness visible, we like Satan are conflicted, it is all too visible (uses darkness to bring out light, to bring out those places we do not see - more self-conscious of self your creating) see life for Rembrandt as a series of poses
Why does he put himself into these roles?
- Continue my reading in the Schama text, looking for connections amongst the other artists, as well as greater insight into Rembrandt
- Search for more web sites that focus on Rembrandt as resources and as standards for comparison
- Create an image library for the project as a whole, in which I would transcribe as many good images as possible especially those prevalent to the "darkness visible" theme
- Look critically at the combination of the web site, of PowerPoint, and of the mediation issue at hand, finding an ideal way to meld all the artists and the concepts together in a coherent and lucid way that will form an independent vision.
Submitted by Courtney Anderson.
Summer 2002 Project Daily Postings
Friday, May 31, 2002 - Sunday, June 2, 2002. During the weekend I continued to work on the web site for Professor O'Connor. I brought home Professor Duket's lap top computer in order to have access to Dreamweaver as well as my saved files. Initially I had some complications with the wireless Internet connections and often had to try using the computer in different locations. I also continued to struggle with using Dreamweaver, as we had only been recently introduced to the program after beginning with Composer. Although, its capabilities far exceed those of Composer I continued to work with Composer in order to complete the several other web pages on the site. Once the rudimentary idea was completed I felt that I could always elaborate upon it later with greater knowledge of Dreamweaver. There were three pages that I completed over this weekend with each page dedicated to a specific artist.
Apart from work on the web site, I also did more extensive research away from the computer with Schama's Rembrandt's Eyes. Taking notes on the text served as an aid for fabricating ideas of web site design and organization. I began to see how literature and the images on the web were intricately linked in several areas and how Dreamweaver and Photoshop could allow that link to materialize with clarity. Submitted by Courtney Anderson.
Thursday, May 23, 2002. Project reports organized into three categories: 1. an account of daily activity (dailies); 2. a list of posted results (postings); 3. a list of visited and evaluated websites sorted in topical categories (e.g., "hypertext", "Rembrandt", or "third year course/HP031"). These three categories are separate web pages to which results will be added on a daily basis throughout the summer.
CA is spending the balance of the week evaluating web materials for MOC "Rembrandt" idea. TA e-mail to CA: I've added some more organizational pages to the project home base. One of them is devoted to lists of web pages we visit in the course of the summer. I would like to be able to add all pages that you have visited and evaluated to this list. For example, if you have been looking at "Rembrandt"-related sites, you will have generated a list of URLs. If you cull that list to what is useful to your purpose (O'Connor's "Rembrandt's Eyes" idea) and briefly describe what is useful at each site, we would have an asset for the future use of other people.
I am investigating so-called "bookmark utilities" that might make this process easier and more efficient, but right now it seems useful to create these lists as we search for images and the like.
So, whatever page of URLs (simply a name - keywords or descriptors - linked to a web site) you create on a given subject, you or I can cut and paste this into our growing "websites" location (URL is www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/ashp/summer2002visits.html).
As you can see, list/topic #1 is "hypertext" - I am looking for sites devoted to academic uses of hypertext. List/topic #2 would/could be "Rembrandt".
Let me know if you have questions, as you probably do. Managing bookmarks is a major problem in a project like ours. How do we avoid constant duplication of effort?
Submitted by TD.
Wednesday, May 22, 2002. CA, TE and TD on site in Gasson 102. 9-2. TE and CA completed first day ppts. and posted them on the Honors Program server. General discussion of procedures for placing finished products on the server and developing links. CA began "Rembrandt" project with MOC - search for Rembrandt images as used by Simon Schama in Rembrandt's Eyes. TD and CA discussed making the search for images also a search for and evaluation of source web pages - how to avoid duplication of effort by creating a database of links.
Tuesday, May 21, 2002. Today was the initial day of the project. I [Courtney Anderson] met with Professor Duket and Professor Epstein from 9:00am until 3:00pm in the Honors Office. Professor Duket began the day with an introduction to Web site creation and we learned how to register our own web pages. Significantly, I learned about the distinction between the work space or "kitchen" for web creation and its existence on the server or "dinning room" presentation. After my own web page was established from a prior template, I began to work on two documents for Professor Hughes. These pages included transferring images and establishing links between pages with the site topics ranging from Picasso to modern skyscrapers.
The addresses to the two new pages which are linked to my web page [www2.bc.edu/~anderscv]
Agenda for day two, May 22: Anderson, Duket, Epstein and O'Connor. Powerpoint and further planning.
Friday, May 18, 2002. Copy of text of e-mail sent at 12:45
To: all summer project participants
From: Tim Duket
Re: Project home base and web pages menu template
To get us started I have generated a home page with a template that should be useful for creating a set of pages for each of us. The menu template includes a number of links that should prove useful throughout the summer.
Please take a look at URL www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/ashp/summer2002.html (you can also find it linked from the Humanities House "lab" or by using our search appliance from the main page). Is it useful? Are there other and better links that the menu template should contain? Let me know. Beginning Tuesday, Tom and Courtney will be starting by incorporating this template into their respective online "work benches" (what else would you expect in a "workshop"?). Once we begin dupicating the template, we cannot easily improve/reform/change it. So get back to me with your ideas.
The home base page is linked to a "project reports" page. Here you will be able to follow an up-to-date record of the project as it develops. Eventually, all of us will add items (reports, minutes, corrections, comments, URLs, etc.) to this page as they are written.
I look forward to the summer. This single home page and template will by the seed from which a vast and variegated garden will grow.
Aside to Adeane Bregman. Would you like to be included in the main menu template?
Thursday, May 17, 2002. TE met with CA. CA will begin on May 21. Her tentative schedule will be Monday-Wednesday, 9-3. MM met with AB, who will begin on or about June 17. MM met with Annie Barrett last and sent her off to read three chapters from Christopher Butler's EARLY MODERNISM: LITERATURE, MUSIC, AND PAINTING, 1900-1916. "I also gave her a cd with the new web site so that she could get a sense of how I work. When I arrive in Boston toward late June she and I will start building some image banks and a visual essay on Matisse and the loss of common conventions for representation" (MM).
Tuesday, May 15, 2002. The summer project was introduced to the Honors Program faculty. The four principals gave brief explanations of their plans. Faculty were invited to follow the project online as it developed over the summer months and to submit suggestions and requests.
Friday, May 10, 2002. Martin, Epstein, O'Connor and Duket met at 12 noon in Gasson 102 seminar room. Duket introduced the three undergradtuate researchers and a tentative schedule was proposed subject to the availability of the students. Tom Epstein and Courtney Anderson will begin on Tuesday, May 21.
TE's initial project is to be the development of an image collection for his second year seminar. He and CA will start by searching out, evaluating, and assembling URLs for inclusion on a project web page. This will be a workshop the purpose of which is to give JE and CA the skills to collect images and then create the web pages for the second year course.
MM's initial project is to develop his Cirico "perspective" web pages with AB when he returns to campus on or around June 20. MM also plans to begin assembling images of sculpture and conceptualizing a web site devoted to the problem of "Phaedrus and Tadzio" (Plato and Thomas Mann). TD will join in this project.
MOC's project is to continue the development of a 19th century image collection for the program.
TD's intitial project - which may be a default project for any of the undergraduate researchers when they are not engaged in the other projects - is an online Homer text with hypertext anotations from Joyce's Ulysses. This, too, is as much a workshop since it will require the undergrad researchers to work with the problem of online text annotation.
Summer, 2002 Project Daily Postings