Stuart Dunn at the Turing Festival
Posted on 18 August 2011
Dr Stuart Dunn from the Centre for e-Research at King’s will speak at this year’s Turing Festival in Edinburgh.
Stuart’s talk ‘Digital Ghosts: humans in virtual views of the past’ will discuss how 3D imaging can be used to explore human responses to digitally reconstructed archaeological sites, reflecting on the AHRC-funded Motion in Place Platform (MiPP) project, which seeks to use motion capture hardware and data to test human responses and actions within virtual research environments, and their real-world equivalents.
Digital Ghosts: blog preview of Stuart Dunn's Turing festival talk on Sunday 28th (opens a new window).
The MiPP project team recently conducted an experiment using technology in the Anatomy Museum to compare human reaction and perception in buildings reconstructed at 1:1 scale, with ‘virtual’ buildings projected on to screens – in this case an Iron Age Roundhouse.
This talk will outline the experiment, what might be learned from it, and how populating our 3D views of the past with ‘digital ghosts’ can also inform them, and make them more useful for drawing inferences about the past.
Stuart explains: ‘It is a basic fact of archaeological practice that understanding human movement constitutes a fundamental part of the interpretive process, and of any interpretation of a site’s use in the past. Yet the major thing missing from many of our attempts to reconstruct the human past digitally are humans.
‘Digital reconstructions that we see in archaeological TV programmes, in museums, in cultural heritage sites and even in Hollywood movies, tend to focus on the architecture, the features, and the physical surroundings.This can be traced to obvious factors of preservation and interpretation: buildings survive, people don’t. However, this has not stopped advances in 3D modelling, computer graphics and web services to support 3D images from drawing archaeologists and custodians of cultural heritage further and further into the 3D world, and reconstructing ancient 3D environments in greater and greater detail.’
The Turing Festival – named after the codebreaker and mathematician Alan Turing who is widely regarded as the father of computer science – brings together a wealth of technical and digital talent to discuss the opportunities posed by the internet and look at what the future holds for the creative, cultural and digital sectors. This year’s theme is Creative Destruction- Digital Technology and the Death and Rebirth of Culture and Society.
The festival runs from 26-28th August alongside the Edinburgh International Festival and the Guardian Media Festival and is described as being ‘for entrepreneurs, developers, creative thinkers, geeks, hackers, artists and creators to discuss, debate, learn and predict the future of the web’.