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This chapter situates Victoria’s Lost Pavilion amid related work in virtual modeling and their interpretive problematics. Drawing from a tradition in textual criticism, this chapter renovates Jerome McGann’s notion of “radiant textuality” to extended virtual objects and built environments in digital space. It argues that projects like Victoria’s Lost Pavilion must emphasize their work as interpretive models over their appeal as experiential time machines. These models should expose their sources and critical conjectures as much as they appeal to the historical imagination with immersive representational fidelity. What results is “radiant virtuality,” linking innovative work in immersive environments to our scholarly legacy of curating and interpreting the cultural past.
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Whether or not there are a coherent set of principles constituting virtuality, visualization, or even digital humanities is an endless debate. Heim 2014 offers a usefully brief introduction to the term “virtuality” and its proliferating usages (514–19).
For a broader overview and attempt at defining “virtual heritage,” see Champion.
Contrasting with immediacy, “hypermediacy” means the opaque interference of a medium itself. According to Bolter and Grusin 1999, together these terms comprise a dialectic of remediation, a contest driving changes in new media.
Of course, it was seen by lots of other people too; the project name is a bit of canny marketing, not lost on our own project team.
From another perspective, these are the conditions of the project’s cost-effective ingenuity to use static HTML pages to simulate a tour through a built environment.
In fact, the Gunpowder Day sermon did not actually take place on the Paul’s Cross platform. It got rained out and was delivered inside the cathedral instead. Though the project team has been upfront about this, that important qualification rarely changes how the project gets received.
Stephen Ramsay identifies a similar split in approaches to text analysis, contrasting empirical studies with falsifiable claims to a more deformative, playful method he calls “algorithmic criticism” (2–5).
The root of “taxidermy” means the arrangement of skins. Indeed, the vocabulary of skins, skinning, and surfaces permeates game design; for instance, Unity exports folders of “scripts” and “skins” from its build.
Digital humanities researchers have noted similar challenges working with textual corpora, such as commercial databases or the HathiTrust collections, which may silently be updated or changed.
Sarah Werner 2011 offers a useful take on the similar distortions of digital editions of books, in which a single copy is made representative of all physical versions.
There is robust research on physiological and psychological responses to virtual environments, though it occurs far afield of cultural or historical studies. Cultural studies scholars since Donna Haraway have grappled with mediated conditions of embodiment, from cyborg studies through post-humanism. My point is that these studies have yet to sufficiently permeate the design and rationale of scholarly digital projects. The rise of “haptic computing” suggests a renewed opportunity to do so (Pansire 2015).
For a fuller discussion of the process and notable interpretive moments, see http://go.ncsu.edu/vlp-process
Zurück zum Zitat Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. Print. Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. Print.
Zurück zum Zitat Heim, Michael. “Virtuality.” The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media. Ed. Lori Emerson, Benjamin J. Robertson, and Marie-Laure Ryan. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014: 514–519. Print. Heim, Michael. “Virtuality.” The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media. Ed. Lori Emerson, Benjamin J. Robertson, and Marie-Laure Ryan. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014: 514–519. Print.
Zurück zum Zitat Pansire, Kandace.“Haptic Computing and Tactile Interfacing.” Center for Digital Humanities – UCLA. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015. Pansire, Kandace.“Haptic Computing and Tactile Interfacing.” Center for Digital Humanities – UCLA. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2015.
Zurück zum Zitat Werner, Sarah. “The Serendipity of the Unexpected, Or, a Copy Is Not an Edition.” sarahwerner.net. N.p., 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 16 Aug. 2011. Werner, Sarah. “The Serendipity of the Unexpected, Or, a Copy Is Not an Edition.” sarahwerner.net. N.p., 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 16 Aug. 2011.
- Radiant Virtuality
- Palgrave Macmillan US