“Cultural Heritage and Spectacle: Painted and Digital Panoramic Re-Presentations of Versailles” Essay Published

Detail of John Vanderlyn’s Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, 1819 (top) and Detail of Google World Wonders Project (Palace and Park of Versailles), 2012 (bottom). Image capture: Seth Thompson.

Detail of John Vanderlyn’s Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles, 1819 (top) and Detail of Google World Wonders Project (Palace and Park of Versailles), 2012 (bottom). Image capture: Seth Thompson.

My essay entitled, “Cultural Heritage and Spectacle: Painted and Digital Panoramic Re-Presentations of Versailles” has recently been published in Streetnotes: Ethnography, Poetry and the Documentary Experience (Volume 25).

For an overview, here’s the journal article’s abstract:

By comparing and contrasting two panoramic projects of Versailles, one being a painted panorama by John Vanderlyn (1775-1852) completed in 1819 and the other, part of Google’s World Wonders Project launched in 2012, this paper will examine the notion of heritage as a tangible entity, experiential consumable, and identity maker, and show how heritage sites and the panorama (both painted and digital) act as a spectacle that seeks to fulfill the needs and desires of its visitors to consume past and present cultural landscapes.

If you would like to read the essay, please visit:
http://escholarship.org/uc/item/339598d3

Thompson, Seth. 2016. “Cultural Heritage and Spectacle: Painted and Digital Panoramic Re-
Presentations of Versailles.” Streetnotes: Ethnography, Poetry and the Documentary Experience (Volume 25): 353-365. url: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/339598d3. Published Online: November 3, 2016.

Lecture at the 24th IPC International Panorama Conference: “Cultural Heritage Through the Lens of the Panorama: Painted and Digital Panoramic Re-Presentations of Versailles”

Recently, I presented my paper entitled,”Cultural Heritage Through the Lens of the Panorama: Painted and Digital Panoramic Re-Presentations of Versailles” at the 24th IPC International Panorama Conference in Namur, Belgium, September 9-12, 2015.

Below is the paper’s abstract:

Since the advent of the painted panorama in the late 18th century, one of the goals for many panorama artists has been to faithfully depict the cultural landscape. The themes for the panorama have ranged from re-presenting locations such as Versailles, Salzburg and The Hague to events such as the Battle of Gettysburg. With the advent of computer technology and comprehensive data capture such as vr panoramic photography, video and scanning technologies, the notion of the panorama offers renewed opportunities in the re-presentation, preservation and dissemination of cultural heritage. For example, Google’s World Wonders Project, which was launched in 2012, is a platform to showcase world heritage sites. Utilizing Google technologies such as Street View, which provides street level panoramic views along various paths to simulate the notion of exploring a place, the World Wonders Project offers an alternative experience of visiting world heritage sites from the ancient temples of Kyoto to Pompeii. By comparing and contrasting two panoramic projects of Versailles, one being a painted panorama by John Vanderlyn completed in 1819 and the other, which is part of Google’s World Wonders Project, this paper will attempt to address such questions as: What is the purpose of heritage and how is it used? Is the re-presentation of heritage different in the digital versus the painted panorama? Has the notion of depicting cultural heritage changed since the 19th century? The paper will conclude with practical, useful recommendations to inform current and future initiatives in developing panoramic imaging projects for the preservation and dissemination of cultural heritage.

If you would like to download the conference program, please go to:
http://panoramacouncil.org/pics/files/documents/2015_Namur_program.pdf

If you would like to download the conference abstracts and speakers’ biographies, please go to:
http://panoramacouncil.org/pics/files/documents/2015_Namur_Abstracts_and_biographies_speakers.pdf

Conference paper will be posted at a later date.

Keywords: Painted Panorama, Cultural Heritage, Versailles, John Vanderlyn, Google’s World Wonders Project

Lecture at ISEA 2015: “VR Panoramic Photography and Hypermedia: Drawing from the Panorama’s Past”

isea_image

Recently, I presented my paper entitled,”VR Panoramic Photography and Hypermedia: Drawing from the Panorama’s Past” at the 21st International Symposium of Electronic Art (a.k.a. ISEA 2015) in Vancouver, Canada.

Below is the paper’s abstract:

Since the 1787 patent of the immersive 360-degree painted panorama by Robert Barker, the panorama has been used as a narrative storytelling tool. With VR (virtual reality) panoramic photography in tandem with the notion of hypermedia, the VR panorama can further advance the idea of storytelling as both an object and an interface. Using the principles of Robert Barker’s patent of the panorama as a point of departure to explore the conceptual relationship between painted and screen-based panoramas, this paper will explore: how the potential for a hypermedia system can be found in the painted panorama; the unique qualities of the computer-based panorama; and discuss related hardware advances for the digital panorama, which appear to bring us closer to Robert Barker’s original intent as an immersive image space for the masses.

If you would like to download the conference paper, please go to:
http://isea2015.org/proceeding/submissions/ISEA2015_submission_46.pdf

Thompson, Seth. “VR Panoramic Photography and Hypermedia: Drawing from the Panorama’s Past.” In Proceedings of the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Vancouver, Canada, August 14-19, 2015. ISSN: 2451-8611 ISBN: 978-1- 910172-00-1.

Keywords: VR Panoramic Photography, Hypermedia, Narrative, Painted Panorama, Immersive Image Spaces