DigiCafe presents John Bonnett "The Topographic Revolution in the Digital Arts and Humanities"
Date and Time
Florence Partridge Room, 384, McLaughlin Library
Abstract: With the recent release of free versions of 3D modeling software such as 3D Studio Max, and gaming engines such as Unity 3D, scholars, at least for now, enjoy more ways to easily generate 3D and multi-modal content than they ever have before. I suggest this development is the latest harbinger of what I call the Topographic Revolution in contemporary culture generally, and the digital humanities particularly. Put simply, the Topographic Revolution is the emergence of computationally-generated formalisms that have the following properties. They are topographic, meaning they have two-, three- and four-dimensional form. They are dynamic, meaning that they move. And they are autonomous, meaning that they have the capacity to perform behaviours without the direct manipulation of an author or programmer. The purpose of this paper will be to explore some implications that this revolution will present for the arts and humanities, using the 3D Virtual Buildings Project, the HistorySpace Project, and the DataScapes Project as frames of reference.
Bio: John Bonnett is an Associate Professor of History, and former Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities. He is the author of Emergence and Empire, an award winning treatment on the economic and communication thought of Harold Innis.