• Theses on Social Art History in the Age of Computational Methods

    Niall Atkinson, Koenraad Brosens, André Dombrowski, Jacqueline Francis, Susan Elizabeth Gagliardi, Anne Helmreich, Paul Jaskot (see profile) , Hubertus Kohle, Min Kyung Lee, Barbara McCloskey, Emily Pugh, Blake Stimson
    Art history, Digital art history, Social history, Digital humanities, Marxism
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    This essay, which sets forth 8 theses accompanied by the scholarly debate that informs them, developed out of a workshop, Grand Challenges of Art History: Digital/Computational Methods and Social Art History, sponsored by the Research and Academic Program of The Clark (26-27 April 2019). The essay was collaboratively written by the contributing authors, whose voices are signified by the colors designated. The contributors to this article all responded to an invitation to address what we self-consciously described as a “Grand Challenge” of art history. For art history, we saw the co-joining of digital and computational methods and the social history of art as one of those grand challenges. While differences of interpretation and even strong disagreement emerge (and are evidenced in this text), these scholars share an interest in analyzing the intellectual anxiety that comes with the destabilizing speed of digital changes to art-historical practice as well as the urgency to critique the systemic power relationships of our moment of production. These shared interests intersect with the ongoing project of the social history of art.
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