Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Interactive timeline wall at Tate Modern in London

Visitors to the Clore Welcome Room, Level 0 at Tate Modern can explore the story of art from 1900 to the present day with the Timeline of Modern Art. The 6.5-metre-long digital touchscreen brings together images of 3500 works of art by 750 artists.

Ros Lawler, Tate’s Digital Director, says
this timeline will give Tate Modern’s millions of visitors a new way to engage with and explore the collection 
Each artwork appears ‘at the point in time it was created’ on a timeline spanning 125 years. Users touch the screen to open more detail on any item, and they can ‘see connections between artists across time’ – though as I have not used it myself it is not clear to me quite what that means (and the online video doesn’t really make it clear). Artists seem to be grouped in a very traditional way into named clusters such as Impressionism or Vorticism.

It is made by ‘Oscar-winning visual effects studio Framestore, who worked on such feature films as Gravity and Guardians of the Galaxy.’


Friday, 16 October 2015

Carnegie Mellon's Six Degrees of Francis Bacon

Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University have created "Six Degrees of Francis Bacon," a digital humanities project that recreates the British early modern social network to trace the personal relationships among figures like Bacon, Shakespeare, Isaac Newton and many others. The website lets academics, students and anyone else interested in this period view and add to the network. The site currently identifies more than 13,000 individuals and highlights approximately 200,000 relationships.


I don't think there is a time-inflected view, but it seems you can choose earliest and latest dates for the people you are interested in.

And, importantly, there is a level-of-confidence selector, so you can choose whether to look only at certainly documented relationships or those that are less sure. If only more historic visualisations were honest about uncertainty!