Conversation between New Media and Traditional Media in DH

Terms about Digital Humanities related objects, generated with VOYANT TOOLS

In Digital Humanities, we make use of a wide range of media to build a solid artefact, such as images, video, audio, 3D model, interactive map supported by database and python and so on. Years ago, when scholars didn’t have such powerful tools, they painted by hand, captured and recorded with film and tapes, wrote articles with ink or typewriter. Even after the revolution of technology, there are quite a lot of passionate artists working on retro style. For example, traditional film camera tends to have the feeling of retro, and even the fading effect of old photos becomes a filter in camera applications of mobile phone. In this way, we still preserve old methods’ advantages, keep them going with new format.  What’s more, all the content that this old media has sevrved for, now gives back to it and support as the meaning of using it. When the designer creates calligraphy in graphic design software, it reminds him of ancient calligrapher’s patience and vanishing time.

 virtual calligraphy system

An interesting application about virtual calligraphy system in class designed by Kazuyuki Henmi(K. Henmi, 1998) and Tsuneo Hoshikawa at Kyoto University[1]. They developed it to transfer calligraphy skills to students via controller and computer display, which provides both modes for teacher and student. The aim is to achieve flexibility in terms of time and space.

Technically, digital tools only provide paths, what is important is not the auxiliary means, but the use of human brain. When we talk about HD format or Blueray DVD, the actual content is events recorded in the video, and we care about the inside part, which means all the media format exist for content.

Therefore, when it comes to the very beginning of a Digtial Humanities project, it’s important to choose a consistent media form as a container.


[1]K. Henmi and T. Yoshikawa, “Virtual lesson and its application to virtual calligraphy system,” Proceedings. 1998 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (Cat. No.98CH36146), Leuven, 1998, pp. 1275-1280 vol.2.