ARCHiVe's Projects

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The First External Research Project

In August and September 2018, a team led by GSAPP Historic Preservation graduates Halley E. Ramos and Travis B. Kennedy visited the ARCHiVe to carry out the central part of their international research project: A photographic exploration of Ruskin's concept of the "golden stain of time" in Venice.

Inspired by Ruskin's Venice daguerreotypes, "In search of the 'Golden Stain of Time'- A documentary investigation into Ruskin, Viollet-le-Duc and the long-term effects of restoration on the built environment" explores the relationship between restoration and Ruskin's "golden stain of time", an aesthetic ideal that serves as a basis–consciously or unconsciously–of many contemporary standards for Historic Preservation. Taken to document what he saw as the wholesale destruction of Venice's "golden stain of time" in an era dominated by the kinds of idealized restorations made famous (and often infamous) by Viollet-le-Duc, Ruskin's daguerreotypes document a pivotal moment in the life of Venice's built environment. This project revisits the subjects of Ruskin's daguerreotypes, using 21st-century digital technologies to both continue Ruskin's project of "watching old buildings with an anxious care" through documentation while also interrogating the enduring relevance of Ruskin's 19th-century ideals as a basis for 21st-century preservation."

Photo Matteo De Fina © Courtesy of Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Photo Matteo De Fina © Courtesy of Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Photo Matteo De Fina © Courtesy of Fondazione Giorgio Cini

Scanning the Mappa Turchesca 

Factum Foundation has recorded the cherry-wood printing blocks (matrices) of the 16th-century “Mappa Turchesca”, in an ARCHiVe project undertaken together with two students from the Università Iuav di Venezia (IUAV). The heart-shaped map, now in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, has text in both Arabic and Ottoman Turkish, and was probably designed by Venetian cartographers for sale to Ottoman buyers. The recording will allow damaged portions of the map to be digitally restored and printed in 3D.

Mario Costa and Fabio Martinello, who have interned at ARCHiVe in Venice and Factum Foundation in Madrid, conducted comparative tests between different recording techniques: photogrammetry, laser scanning, and Factum’s Lucida scanner. They determined that the most accurate data was that provided by the Lucida scanner. Having scanned the map with Factum’s help, they will process this data to digitally restore the matrices, allowing the creation of digital and physical versions without the marks of decay which make it hard to decipher the surface of the original.

© Factum Foundation

© Factum Foundation

© Factum Foundation

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