2022 Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Dublin
IAS-Sponsored Session

New Affordances of Digital Visualization and Simulation in the Arts of Italy

Organizer: Nicola Camerlenghi, Dartmouth College

Organizer: Kelli Wood, University of Tennessee

Chair and Respondent: Nicola Camerlenghi, Dartmouth College


Speakers/Papers

Tracy Cosgriff, The College of Wooster
Digital Lenses and Renaissance Readings: Reimagining Raphael in the Library of Julius II

Raphael’s frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura, once the private library of Julius II, manifest a monumental thesis on Renaissance theories of word and image. The rediscovery of the Stanza’s collection of deluxe volumes demonstrates that the chamber was animated by a recursive chain of media, from painting to text. Using 3D technologies to reunite the books and the frescoes, this panoramic reconstruction illuminates new dimensions of the Stanza’s experience for its early visitors and elucidates the synergistic intellectual web on which the room’s design was predicated. It asks: How was the Stanza engaged by its early modern audience? How might the spatial analysis of the pope’s literary collection shape our interpretation of the chamber’s meaning? How does the relationship of text and image inform our understanding of Renaissance cultures of reading? And how do these investigations inform current urgent discussions about what a library has been and could become?

Ludovica Galeazzo, I Tatti – The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
The Archipelago Project: Venice’s Early Modern Lagoon in a Semantic and Geospatial Infrastructure

From the 16th century, Venice became critically conscious of the granular nature of its hinterland, constructing a governance that involved the islands. Lagoon sites were systematically included in the net of capillary infrastructures for the city’s supply, defence, and healthcare as well as civic rituals. The socio-political events in the aftermath of the Republic’s fall (1797) profoundly changed this understanding and altered the reading of the city as an organic entity that encompasses the watery ecosystem. The Archipelago project reconstructs and visualizes the ancient configuration of these places along with the network of relationships that once defined the Venetian lagoon through a transdisciplinary approach, which combines history, architecture, social studies as well as advanced semantic web technologies. This entails the development of a geospatial and time-based research infrastructure that enables the intersection of historical data with georeferenced maps, and digital reconstructions to express the urban processes that shaped the city.

Kelli Wood, University of Tennessee
Digitizing Early Modern Board Games

This paper will present the preliminary findings of the NEH-Mellon sponsored project Digitizing Early Modern Board Games. Building a virtual interface from engines and platforms currently used for web-based games and collections management will facilitate a heretofore unprecedented analysis of the complexity of board games produced in the late sixteenth century in Italy. Booming print production, alongside cultural and social developments, led to the production and proliferation of new styles of games that featured novel combinations of diagrammatic construction, imagery, literary quotations, and game mechanics. A digital platform that not only enables simulation, but also provides a scholarly apparatus, will shed light on the multiple meanings and narratives that unfold as players trace changing connections between text, image, and rules during various iterations of the game. Games functioned not as static likenesses, but rather as active systems that encouraged performative manipulation of signs in order to create meaning through play.

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