It’s been 4 years since my last annual international DH conference (in Hamburg), so it was about time! Kraków seemed reasonably close and affordable, and even though I had not submitted a proposal for a presentation myself, the preliminary programme and this year’s ‘hot topics’ were intriguing enough to give it a ‘participation only’ go! Also, a DH international conference is a great way to meet all the people I usually interact with online only live and in person!
Even though I had been entertaining the idea of immersing myself in stylometry and computer aided/assisted textual analysis, I ended up with a different choice of topic: High End Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / 3D Modelling – with a number of sessions spread over 2 days on a variety of projects. Since I am planning a large(r) scale project in VR/AR myself, it seemed wise to check out the field and see what others are up to, what tech they use and have experience with, and how their projects are and were received by the DH and non-DH scientific community.
I was most impressed by the following presentations:
- The Evolution of Virtual Harlem: Bringing the Jazz Age to Life (presented by Brian Wilson Carter) – more about the project, that has been started in 1998 and is constantly being developed, here.
- Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge. Problems, Perspectives, and Challenges (presented by Susan Schreibman and Constantinos Papadopoulos) – their project can be viewed here.
- OVAL: A Virtual Ecosystem for Immersive Scholarship and Teaching (presented by Bill Endres, Matthew Cook, Will Kurlinkus).
- Using Computer Numerical Control Techniques to Prototype Media History (presented by Tiffany Chan)
- An Augmented Reality Mobile Application for Intergenerational Learning and Critical Connection (presented by Tamar Gordon)
The most impressive, I have to say, was the Virtual Harlem Project! I will review this project thoroughly as well as take a closer look at the different approaches and alternative solutions to problems of visualization in other projects when I map out my own ideas.
Apart from the engaging content, I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues as well as meet new ones, make plans for collaborations and pitched some DH ideas, promoted the upcoming DHN conference in Gothenburg and gathered people for an informal lunch meeting of friends and members of DHN!
And since the DH conference was going on in the same week the now viral augmented reality game Pokemon Go was released, of course me and a couple of friendly technophiles teamed up to ‘catch ’em all’ – right in the foyer of the venerable Jagiellonian University, our most hospital and welcoming host institution :)