The New Yorker article on Factum has now been published (click here). Written by Daniel Zalewski, who spent some days at the workshops last year, the article gives the reader a real insight into the extraordinary world of Factum - meeting Adam Lowe - and finding out about the unique digital and artisanal processes used and being developed to help contemporary artists realise their ideas - and then to the Foundation's focus on preservation of our cultural heritage dramatically using many of those same techniques. To support the work of the Foundation and its important projects and aims click here.
Alexander Peck and Ferdinand Saumarez Smith from the Factum Foundation have just returned from mapping and documenting rock art sites in the Eastern Sahara. The team, in collaboration with the Trust for African Rock Art (TARA), used an array of different recording methods to digitise the site, and hope with their results will put Northern Chad back on the map for its extraordinary concentration of African rock art.
Eight fragments from the tomb of Seti I have been recorded with the Lucida 3D Scanner at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, for their re-materialisation and re-integration into the future facsimile of the entire tomb. So far, the gathered data is being processed and 3D models are being generated and materialised. This phase is part of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative.
Despite the heavy influx of tourists that continue to visit the newly opened tomb of Seti I, Factum Arte successfully completed the tomb´s 3D surveying using a Faro Focus3D x 130 Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS). Just one in several scanning systems used to record the different layers of data in the tomb (colour, 3D data, point distance), the Faro Scanner provided the team with information on the general geometry, spatial dimensions and architectural dynamics of the tomb.
Click here for more news.
On November 5th, David Coulson, founder and chairman for TARA and project Manager of the Trust for African Rock Art who collaborated with Factum Foundation on the Cross River Monoliths project, presented some of the results gathered in Nigeria in October at a conference at the British Museum. Read more here.
The miniature version of the 900 year old Windsor Great Park oak tree, made by Factum Arte, was presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last month to mark Her Majesty´s 90th birthday - and to launch a campaign to plant inner city woods in urban areas around the UK. Read more here.
The first textured renders of the interior of the mosque at Kala-Koreysh have been generated from processed data gathered earlier this year when a team from Factum Foundation, together with the Peri Foundation collaborated to record objects of cultural significance in Daghestan using a range of 3D scanning techniques. More news here.
On October 26th Factum Arte carried out a 3D scanning demo at The Met. Invited by Ronald Street, Senior Manager of 3D Imaging, It was used the Lucida 3D Scanner to record the surface of a XIV C. panel. Saint Bartholomew is a tempera painting on wood panel with gold ground by the workshop of Simone Martini. The demo was carried out with the participation of the students from the Heritage Preservation Program at Columbia University's GSAPP, under the supervision of Ronald Street and Conservator MIchael Alan Miller. Read more here.
Factum Foundation is proud to announce that the full excavation, 3D recording and safe reburial of the Cochno Stone is now complete. The Cochno Stone is Scotland’s largest and best examples of Neolithic / Bronze Age cup and ring markings dating from 3000 to 2000 BC. The 3D data is currently being post-processed and the team hopes this might shed some light on the reasons the markings were made. Read more news here.
The remarkable restoration works at Stoppelaere´s House are progressing rapidly and efficiently. Tarek Waly’s team have now completed a vast majority of works using the knowledge and hands of a skilled local team from Qaurna. It is anticipated that the 3D documentation training center will start operating by the beginning of 2017.
Read more here.
In March this year, a team from Factum Foundation recorded the sarcophagus of Seti I in Sir John Soane’s Museum using photogrammetry. Over 4,500 images were taken on a Canon 5DSR over a five-day period and the data is now in the phase of reproduction. A CNC Miller is currently routing sections of the sarcophagus from the processed data and the facsimile if slowly coming together. Read more here.
The new book scanner that has been made to record fragile manuscripts in Daghestan is complete. This scanner is made to digitise the books in the State Archive in Makachkala and will also be used to record the manuscripts that are held around the country in the collections of Islamic Scholars, madrassas and Mosques. More here.
A team from the Factum Foundation spent one week in Lebanon last June. While there, Alexander Peck and Ferdinand Saumarez-Smith recorded eight BC Stela from the monumental site of Nahr El Kalb with close range photogrammetry. This was the final recording effort on the site and a team is processing the data to hand over to the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon. More news here.
Lucida Lab Milano is a laboratory specialized in digital technology in conservation, launched thanks to a collaboration between Factum Foundation and Open Care Milano (a Milan-based conservation and restoration laboratory and art services workshop). The scanning studio is run by Carlos Bayod and Guendalina Damone. More news here.
Architect Takek Waly's team in front of Stoppelaere's House, Hassan Fathy's mud brick building at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. The team is creating a home for the Foundation's 3D scanning, archiving and training centre.
Stopplaere's House is being transformed into a training centre for local Egyptians where they will learn how to preserve their own precious, yet precarious cultural heritage through the use of digital technology. This is one of many inspiring and important Foundation projects that desperately need your support.
to donate, please click here
Factum Foundation is doing many remarkable things. The application of digital technology in conservation is radically changing the way the world´s cultural heritage is managed through providing new ways to view, understand and preserve and through encouraging sustainable tourism. The Foundation is determined to ensure that future generations inherit our physical heritage through accurate recording of the condition we received it and where it can be studied in depth and enjoyed by all.
Your contributions will help us continue our work which also includes the investigation and development of new technologies and training local artisans globally in these technologies.
The Homepage comes alive
The look of this Homepage is changing - an organic process by which Jess and Natalia are bringing it alive. The slider – the thing at the top that shows news items consecutively – and then the Highlight which is there to draw your attention to a project with current immediacy – have taken on an independent life. Clicking through the slider shows just how the Foundation is growing and how the work becomes more and more important. So much is happening and so many projects and teams and wonderful images. I thought I’d take the journey and explain it a little – all the stories are set out in more detail in the News section.
So, the journey, as I write – and it changes almost daily so this Opinion piece will be out of date immediately but the scope and importance and energy is what I want to remark on - starts with the return from Russia of Eva and Pedro with recorded data on the unique C15th frescoes from the Ferapontov Monastery. Moving on, Alex and Ferdy can be seen (at least, Alex can, Ferdy is the less flattering shot from behind) in Nigeria from where they have just returned with extraordinary recordings of the Cross River Monoliths – that are scattered and, I hear, many sadly ignored locally, though some are still intact and some deeply cared for – though all deserve our attention.
Then, next and much closer to home, Adam with Tom Stuart-Smith at the RA presenting HM the Queen with the 1:7 scale bronze of a great oak from Windsor, part of a project with the Bronze Oak Project that is exciting in its vision of introducing wooded areas to blighted urban spaces in the UK as well as creating a facsimile of the Great Oak itself to celebrate and commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The slider keeps going - Kala-Koreysh in Daghestan, a project that continues to astonish and where the two local photographers, who were recently trained at Factum in Madrid, are still working. We also hear of the beginning of the work on the facsimile doors for the Mosque which will be routed in wood and then put in place. A little later in the slider you will find an image of another part of the Daghestan work - the scanner made by Factum, with Crevi Ingenieros, to digitise the fragile manuscripts in the State Archive in Makhachkala.
From Glasgow we highlight a project, driven by Ferdy, which concerns a vast Neolithic cup and ring petroglyph buried by the local Council since the 1960’s for protection. The Cochno Stone has been laid naked and is now re-covered and secure under its blanket of earth but it has been fully recorded so that the markings can be analysed and researched and, as we have the full data, a facsimile can be made.
We have an image of Aliaa lecturing in Cairo on the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative in the run up to opening the training centre in the Valley of the Kings, at Stopplaere´s House (the next slider image), which, as is explained, is a major project run by Tarek Waly, approaching completion and the start of its new use in training local people to work on the next stages of the enormous project.
The next image is also from the Valley of the Kings showing the results of colour and 3D data recorded by Carlos, Aliaa, Gabriel and Pedro in the truly wonderful Hall of Beauties in the tomb of Seti I being processed in Madrid and then a lovely image of the interior of the facsimile of Seti’s Sarcophagus (in the Sir John Soane Museum in London since 1824) – recreated using data gathered in the museum using photogrammetry by Pedro, Manuel and Ferdy and where we can enjoy the sublime blue detail carefully painted in water colour by Silvia in Madrid on the incised surface of the white alabaster facsimile.
Sliding forward we see part of the facsimile of the painting Sir Robert and Lady Walpole for (and originally from) Strawberry Hill House with its extraordinary gilded frame, again in facsimile – a project that continues to re-populate the collection from its diaspora through digital re-creation. Next includes a startling pink image from the Venice Biennale which continues through November and where glass, wax (pink) and plaster Paolina Borghese languidly face the Knole Silver Chair in A World of Fragile Parts – an exhibit with the V&A.
Images of Nahr El Kalb stelae outside Beirut almost take us to the end of the slider show – the data sets from this project, collected by Alex, are now being optimised to reveal their cuneiform script. And then the last image, of Guendalina in the Foundation’s Lucida Lab in Milan, explaining how digital technology can be a benign factor in the preservation and conservation of our heritage.
That is the ideal that all of these projects are based on. What is so exciting for us is that the message is being heard – in so many parts of the world - and we are able to use the enthusiasm, skills and experience of the team to do this work and to train others to do it too – to save for future generations what we inherit. What we need is to find amongst you those willing to help us to continue this tremendous work both financially and practically.
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