Digital replication, aura and wonder

This presentation will explore the relationship between historic responses to cultural artefacts and natural places that engender wonder and the more recent heritage practices around those places and objects.

Image may contain: Sculpture, Statue, Art, Event, Fictional character.

The presentation will address questions concerning what might be lost through a professional focus on explanation and de-mystification and what are the benefits of re-centring creative response in heritage practice. Prof Jeffrey will explore this relationship primarily through two contrasting examples of recent work: the Digital Laocoön project, discussing the issues arising around digital replication and representation of one of the most well know and influential works surviving from classical antiquity, a plaster cast of which was destroyed in a fire at the GSA in 2018; and work around the Isle of Staffa, an uninhabited island in the Hebrides archipelago of the West of Scotland that was central to the romantic construction of the Scottish landscape in the 18th and 19th centuries and an inspiration to a host of Europe’s most well-known artists. The 20th century response to which stresses geological fact and an ecological perspective which starkly contrasts with earlier ideas and practices around the site, setting it aside from the long-continuum of artistic response and effectively ignoring this cultural context.

Prof Jeffrey is Professor of Digital Heritage at the School of Simulation and Visualisation in The Glasgow School of Art. Stuart studied Computer Science and Archaeology at the University of Glasgow and also completed his PhD there in 3D modelling of Early Medieval sculpture. Recent research projects have strongly focussed on creative response, community co-design and co-production of heritage data, and visual and acoustic modelling of natural and cultural sites. Stuart has published widely on Digital Heritage, community co-production, aura and authenticity in the digital domain, art in heritage and digital archiving.

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Published Sep. 12, 2022 10:45 AM - Last modified Sep. 12, 2022 10:45 AM