Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Digital Dunhuang — IDP at NODEM

The work of IDP was presented at the 2012 NODEM conference in Hong Kong. Speaking on a panel with Professor Wang Xudong, Deputy Director of the Dunhuang Academy, Susan Whitfield gave a brief history of the Dunhuang site and the work of IDP, before asking questions about how we prioritise our work given limited funds and the costs of digitisation and preservation of digital data.

This was part of two days of intensive and stimulating sessions from curators, designers, scholars and others generally focused on digital heritage. Professor Lew Lancaster (University of California at Berkeley) made an impassioned and powerful argument against use of the label 'Digital Humanities' — he pointed out that scientists do not feel so insecure about their use of technology that they need to label themselves as 'Digital Scientists'. He took the audience on his own journey learning to use digital tools to transform his research, especially on the use of 'blue dots' to see patterns and discover anomalies in the Buddhist Canon.

The conference was held in the Run Run Shaw Creative Centre at City University of Hong Kong, where exhibitions included two on Dunhuang by Sarah Kenderdine of the CityU Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment (ALiVE) in partnership with the Dunhuang Academy and the Friends of Dunhuang Hong Kong. The exhibits were sponsored by Mr Gabriel Yu.

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