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JISC 3D Visualisation in the Arts Network

3DVisA Bulletin, Issue 1, September 2006

ISSN 1751-8962 (Print)
ISSN 1751-8970 (Online)

Editorial by Anna Bentkowska-Kafel

Welcome to the first issue of the 3DVisA Bulletin. The Bulletin is intended as a forum for a community–wide debate on key and topical issues in the use of 3D visualisation within Arts and Humanities subject areas. It will be published every six months and will profile projects and people, so that we know better who we are and what we do within the 3D community; where to look for inspiration, expertise and models of good practice. As this issue already proves, we promise not to shy away from difficult issues and polemics. Contributors to this issue place themselves on opposite sides of representational and non–representational visualisation. Your responses, suggestions and contributions to the forthcoming issues of the 3DVisA Bulletin are most welcome.

The overarching theme of this issue is place. 'Place is as much a psychological phenomenon as it is a physical one', write Yehuda E. Kalay and Paul Grabowicz. How does this affect digital visualisation, and how the latter changes our relationship to real places? Dartington College in Devon, the venue of the 3DVisA Launch, is renowned for its contribution to the visual and performing arts. In this context, it seems appropriate also to look at the use of 3D visualisation techniques in these domains. Scholars and students from the University of California at Berkeley are recreating the jazz club scene of the 1950s in West Oakland, California. The challenges this project represents will be familiar to many.

BioMapping, a 3D method featured in this issue, is notable for its participatory character and wide appeal to various audiences. The artist, Christian Nold offers an alternative view to ubiquitous surveillance and biometric controls.

As we embark on new projects we must not neglect the work which has been done in the past, paying particular attention to created electronic resources, their use and preservation. Drawing on his work on the digital reconstruction of the Buddhist stupa at Borobudur, Java, Michael Greenhalgh casts a critical eye over the models of the Phimai Temple site in Thailand, and assesses the limitations of VR technology. The expectations of online resources often go beyond their original purpose. The Internet opens up digital reconstructions of heritage 'to people who otherwise would never be exposed to these cultural sites' (Kalay and Grabowicz). Phimai demonstrates the importance of such resources for broadening the understanding of other cultures and religions.

© 3DVisA and Anna Bentkowska-Kafel, 2006.

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