What Will Take to DH 2013!

As you may have heard from our Facebook and Twitter posts, the CulturePlex Team will be presenting two papers and a poster at the DH 2013 Conference at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in July.  Below is a brief introduction of each of the three projects we will be presenting.

1. Collaborative technologies for Knowledge Socialization: the case of elBulli            (Antonio Jiménez-Mavillard and Juan Luis Suárez)

Today, organizations face the crucial challenge of creating and managing knowledge in order to succeed. As part of the Knowledge Management process, Knowledge Socialization is a critical step during which the community experiences a decisive interchange of ideas. This work, will present a new model for Knowledge Management based on the classic Nonaka and Takeuchi’s one but adapted to the Web 2.0 by using wiki technologies to support Knowledge Socialization, and will propose to apply this model to the case of elBulli.  elBulli, voted by industry authority Restaurant magazine as the best restaurant in the world in 2002 and from 2006 to 2009, has now become a foundation for creativity and innovation in high cuisine. It incorporates disciplines such as technology, science, philosophy, and the arts in its research. Aware of the value of knowledge, the organization publishes its results in international conferences, books or journal articles, in a similar way to the academic process of peer review. Therefore, elBulli is an appropriate case to apply a Knowledge Management model that makes maximum use of its knowledge.

2. Preliminaries: The Social Networks of Literary Production in the Spanish Empire During the Administration of the Duke of Lerma(1598-1618)

(David Brown and Juan Luis Suarez)

The “preliminaries” section of a 17th-century book encompasses the pages appearing in the printed text before the beginning of the work itself. This information is divided into seven different types of documents: details of publication, documentation of censorship (both civil and ecclesiastical), licensing, selling price, dedications, letters, and errors. The importance of the preliminaries for this project lies in the information present in these sections: the names of the officials signing the documents, their governmental/institutional affiliation, dates, place of issue, and literary circles that appear in the form of dedications and poetry written by various authors and published in their friend’s or associate’s books. In a few pages, the preliminaries give a complete image of the formal process required for the publication of each work of literature. By compiling all this information into a graph database and performing queries specific to various research questions, we have at hand a valuable source of information about the historical networks that influenced the publication of Early Modern Spanish literature.

3. Not Exactly Prima Facie: Understanding the Representation of the Human Through the Analysis of Faces in World Painting

(Juan Luis Suarez, Javier de la Rosa and Roberto Ulloa)

In his 1872 book The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, Charles Darwin called our attention to the link between human expressions, movements and emotional states, and tried to frame his conclusions in his theory of evolution by highlighting the relations between humans and animals. The light he shed on cultural differences with respect to the aspect of the face and variations in expressions perceived across different groups to express the same emotions is also important.

This fascination with the human face seems to be always present in the history of art, as artists have always sought to relate to the human body and, especially, to the different ways in which the human condition is reflected in the face. It has also been proved that the brain has a specialized amygdala to discriminate scenes in favor of facial expressions. Finally, the recent discovery of “mirror neurons” and their connection with the imitative ability of several primates, offer a glimpse about the social construction of emotions.

In this study we will first show how the analysis of the representation of human faces can offer important data to determine periods and borders in the history of art beyond the generalizations supported by the notions of “style”, “genre” and “national history”. Secondly, we studied the correlations between the European expansion overseas from the 16th Century onwards, and the introduction of new human “types” in world paintings, focusing on concepts of identity and gender (with special emphasis on the size and form of the forehead), and relating the results to notions of Baroque, hybridization and globalization. Finally, we moved to the 20th Century and observed the disappearance of the human face from art in relation to Ortega y Gasset’s concept of the “dehumanization of art” and the artistic and political movements of the first half of the century.

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