Department of Art History and Archaeology
Capturing Art With Tomorrow’s Technology
Orestis Kourakis, Photographer
Spring 2013 Fulbright Artist at the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
March 11, 6:00 pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
How can we capture artifacts with cutting edge technology, not only to preserve a cultural record of the past in an ever-increasing globalized world, but also to advance our knowledge and deepen our understanding of cultural history? In his talk, Orestis Kourakis will discuss how the photograph of an artifact must record accurately, highlight its distinctive features or qualities, and subtly provide more information than the naked eye perceives. This highly challenging process requires a sophisticated utilization of a number of techniques and technologies: light manipulation, digital infrared or ultraviolet photography, panoramic or three-dimensional photography, and robotics. The lecture will introduce the audience to art-centered computational photography, an exciting new field which stands at the intersection of art and science. Kourakis will demonstrate how innovations in the technology of photography provide an accurate and aesthetically pleasing documentation of cultural heritage that serves the needs of the professional community and the general public equally. In addition, the lecture will address the theoretical underpinnings of the field, particularly with regard to where the art and practice of photography becomes an indispensable constituent of the scientific study of the material culture.