Digital Craftsmanship: understanding image and mind in the new digital economy
My PhD research is a multi sited investigation that follows a global museum network of 2d and 3d digital images across scanning companies, physical museum spaces and digital archives, considering the production, reception and circulation of digital images. This research forms part of an e- science initiative sponsored jointly by the AHRC EPRSC and JISC. Research in my first year worked alongside the e- curator project at UCL and considered colour laser scanning and the development of an interface for the assessment and identification of 3d images. My primary field sites were in Canada where I conducted research at Arius3d a colour laser scanning company where digital images are produced and skills sets form around a digital craft. From here research has focused on different museums in Canada which have integrated digital media in various guises. At the Royal Ontario Museum and The McCord Museum into the exhibition space and educational programmes, at the Museum Of Nature through curatorial research and through an online presence at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Colombia. My methodology has been focused on participant observation, semi structured interviews and a phenomenological approach to electronic media. Research has produced an ethnography on digital craftsmanship through the hands of technicians, curators, conservators, museum visitors, school children and First Nation community members. All of whom develop specialist skills and tools to create, engage, research and communicate with digital images of museum objects. Research identifies different levels of emersion with digital images as a way of creating relationships, attachments and disciplines of knowledge. Running through the thesis is the idea of the image as a living entity; this can be re interpreted for every stakeholder through the creation of a digital sensorium which reconfigures a bodily praxis with 3d digital images.