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CWRU Lecture: Digital Archiving and Re-Materialization: The Past in the Present

Speaker: 

Adam Lowe, Copyist, Factum Arte

Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
Recital Hall

Adam Lowe

Artist and technological innovator Adam Lowe founded the Madrid-based Factum Foundation in 2009. The Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage through the application of digital technologies, many of which are new and being developed in-house. In this lecture, Lowe focuses on specific projects and follows the development of recording systems, the creation of software, and the transfer of both skills and equipment. He touches on the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative, Factum Frontline collaborations, the digitization of the Ikom Monoliths (both inside and outside Nigeria), ARCHiVe (Analysis and Recording of Cultural Heritage in Venice), and the re-creation of lost works of art. 

Factum Foundation aims to reveal the past by digitizing archives, producing exact facsimiles, working with heritage managers, and focusing the debate about who owns and has access to the data. The Foundation is committed to promoting new approaches to cultural heritage preservation based on digital documentation for condition monitoring and to nurturing in-depth understanding of works of art and the ways in which they change over time.

Since 2001 when the first high-resolution laser scanning was conducted in the tomb of Seti I, Lowe has been a pioneer in the use of technology to record cultural heritage. The work in Egypt has grown into the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative and led to the creation of the Training Centre for Digital Recording and Archiving at Stoppelaere House in Luxor, Egypt. 

Lowe has written extensively on the subject of originality and authenticity. An adjunct professor in the historic preservation program at Columbia University, New York, he also teaches and lectures widely in Europe and the US and is director of Factum Arte. He is part of the initiative with École Polytechnic Fédérale de Lausanne and Fondazione Giorgio Cini to create a center of Digital Humanities in Venice. His collaboration with the Fondazione has resulted in many successful projects, including the facsimile of Veronese’s Wedding at Cana, the touring exhibition The Arts of Piranesi, and the exhibition Penelope’s Labour: Weaving Words and Images

Throughout 2017, Lowe contributed to the ReACH core group, a research team of specialists in digital conservation that drafted a set of guidelines for the recording, archiving, and sharing of digital information of works of art. With the support of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peri Foundation, the ReACH protocol has already been signed by more than 20 institutions. 

Curated by Lowe, the exhibition Scanning Seti: The Regeneration of a Pharaonic Tomb opened in October 2017, focusing on 200 years in the life of the tomb of Seti I and the work of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative. 

Lowe has recently been appointed as a member of the design team of the Misk Art Institute, a new art center in Riyadh directed by Saudi artist Ahmed Mater. 

Free; no reservation required.

This lecture is hosted by the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University and cosponsored by the Cleveland Museum of Art.