Turing Festival

It’s been a busy weekend at the fantastic Turing Festival on Edinburgh’s Fringe. One can only hope that this kick-off to the Turing Centenary year leads to Alan Turing, one of the great geniuses of the twentieth century, gaining the historical recognition he deserves.

Dome of the Surgeons' Hall, Edinburgh, where the Turing Festival was held

It was very useful to be able to think through some of the issues that MiPP has raised. What have found in this project is the potential – and potential only, really, since it was capital grant rather than a research project – for embodiment  based on actual people in heritage visualization, rather than simple representation. Even if the latter is based on motion capture (which, as far as I know is rare), it is usually only employed to generate scenarios which are, effectively, digital surrogates of re-enactments. Despite stimulating conversations, and some differing views, within the MiPP team, I still do not believe that this is what the project is, or should be, doing: rather we are seeking to demonstrate that it is *OK* to use conjecture or interpretation, provided that the provenance of the reconstruction in question is crystal clear, and that a conjectured model of, say, an Iron Age round house dweller sweeping or querning is not based on direct empirical evidence, but is rather derived from it, albeit by circuitous interpretive routes. Surely this should be the principle behind all archaeological illustration anyway?


Author: Stuart Dunn

I do various things, but mainly I am Professor of Spatial Humanities at King's College London's . My interests include things computational, cartographic and archaeological.

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