Dissemination and communication of the importance of technology in conservation is central to the Foundation’s aims. Adam Lowe and both Arte and Foundation teams regularly host visits at the Madrid workshops and participate in presentations, talks and panel discussions in museums and institutions such as: Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; MIArch Politecnico di Milano; The Arts Center, Ljublujana; CyArk 500, Washington DC; Central St Martin's London; The Ashmolean Oxford, ViewConference Turin; Columbia University New York and many others.
Please scroll down for a few examples of the talks and courses Factum has been involved in:
On January 12 2017, Adam Lowe, director of Factum Arte, historian Jerry Brotton, and leading artist Grayson Perry, participated in a conference on maps, art and technology at the British Library in London. Lowe and Brotton have collaborated extensively on many projects - among these, they have re-envisaged the Hereford Mappa Mundi as a 3D facsimile, and have used digital data of the ocean’s floor to create a different take on the world map in Terraforming. Both Lowe and Brotton have also worked with Grayson Perry, who often refers to maps in his tapestries and ceramics.
The 5th Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum (1-3 December 2016) gathers Russian and international representatives from the cultural sector for a series of public and professional discussions and events, bringing the latest projects, ideas and technologies to the fore. Adam Lowe presented on originality and authenticity in the context of recording and rematerialising cultural heritage. His talk took place within a framework, provided by the Ziyavudin Magomedov Charitable Peri Foundation, focussed on demonstrating the positive role that three-dimensional records and displays can have within traditional museological practices. Bill Sherman, Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and William Owen, from Made by Many talked in the same section.
Image (left to right): Polina Filippova, CEO of the Peri Foundation; Ilya Doronchenkov, Dean of the History of Art Department in the European University of St Petersburg; Bill Sherman, Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum; Adam Lowe, Director of Factum Arte & Founder of the Factum Foundation; William Owen, CSO of Made by Many; Makach Musaev, Director of the Institute of History, Archaeology & Ethnography in Daghestan.
Director of Factum Arte, Adam Lowe, was invited to take part in the Beyond Caravaggio conference which took place at the National Gallery in London on November 17th. Adam Lowe focused his talk on Factum Arte´s recreation of Caravaggio´s Nativity with Saint Francis and Saint Lawrence. The painting, stolen in 1969 from the Oratorio di San Lorenzo at the heart of Palermo, was given back to the people of Palermo in 2015 in the form of a reproduction made from a single image of the original before it was stolen.
A roundtable discussion hosted by Adam Lowe - director of Factum Arte & founder of the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation - was held at Columbia University on October 27th. Lowe was joined by Lisa Ackerman (Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of World Monuments Fund), Dietmar Offenhuber (Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the departments of Art & Design and Public Policy), Roger Michel (Executive Director of the Oxford University based Institute for Digital Archaeology) and Holly Rushmeier (Professor of Computer Science at Yale University). The debate raised a great number of issues pertinent to the modern approach to the preservation of cultural heritage through the application of non-contact and non-invasive 3D recording methods across the world. Lowe was made professor at Columbia University last March where he teaches the Heritage Preservation Program at the Advanced Technology Studio with head of Factum´s Lucida 3D Scanning department, Carlos Bayod.
Director of Factum Arte & founder of the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation, Adam Lowe, was invited to take part in a discussion on the importance of three-dimensional documentation of cultural heritage sites around the world. The symposium, which took place at the U.S. Institute of Peace, gathered scholars, museum professionals and policymakers to explore what we have learned from recent wars about the role of cultural heritage. The day-long symposium aimed to improve the public´s understanding of how cultural heritage initiatives can contribute to peace: how such initiatives can work to empower marginalized women and communities, how they can strengthen the reconciliation, civic engagement and economic bases needed to build peace in the shadow of violent conflicts and so on. Lowe focused his talk on the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative, specifically on the work Factum´s Foundation is carrying out at Stoppelaere´s House. Funding for this symposium, and for the Smithsonian exhibition was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development and took place on October 24th.
In September, the Egyptology department at the American University in Cairo invited Factum Arte’s Aliaa Ismail (on-site project manager for the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative to give a lecture on Factum Foundation’s passion, dedication and expertise in the field of preservation of cultural heritage through the application of digital technology. In her lecture: From Madrid to Seti: A Journey of Heritage and Technology, Aliaa discussed the Foundation´s work in Luxor, recounting her own involvement and journey in the digitisation of the tomb of Seti I: from the building of a 3D scanner, to its use in the tomb, to its impact on the local community. The talk was centered around the recording systems employed in the project, and the possibilities, both human and economic, that may arise when digital technology meets preservation of historically and culturally significant sites. Aliaa Ismail also communicated Factum Foundation´s work at Stoppelaere´s House, an initiative that will see a disused building turn into a new training centre for locals to be trained to record their own heritage, which will be achieved using 3D scanning technologies, particularly the Lucida 3D scanner which has been built at Factum Arte according to Manuel Franquelo´s design.
This program has grabbed the attention of many of the students and their responses to the lecture has been overwhelming positive.
Adam Lowe has been appointed Adjunct Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University's GSAPP in New York. Together with Factum Arte's Carlos Bayod, he is teaching the Advanced Technology Studio in Autumn 2016 for the Masters programme on Historic Preservation.
The approach to the application of digital technology to art and architecture preservation in this Studio is both theoretical and practical. It aims to provide the students with the knowledge and tools to understand the potential of high resolution recording. The course is structured in four complementary blocks: surface 3D scanning (Lucida); multilayered files; photogrammetry and 3D processing; digital restoration.
The digital remaking of the hermitage of San Baudelio has been proposed as a case study to put in practice the skills learned during the course. The paintings that were removed from the church and are now at the Met Cloisters were recorded with the students, thanks to the collaboration between the Factum Foundation, The Metropolitan Museum and Columbia University. The course trip brought the students to Spain, to carry out field work on the hermitage, recording in 3D the interior with various systems.
One of the most relevant outcomes of this research will be to establish a direct comparison between one of the paintings in New York and the wall´s surface at the hermitage where it once belonged.
Factum Arte was joined by 100 members of the ‘Friends of the Israel Museum’ association on Saturday 6th of February 2016. The visit was organised as part of their involvement in the Israel Museum International Executive Committee, whose meetings took place in Madrid.
Adam Lowe speaking at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris together with archaeologists Michel al-Maqdissi and Ali Cheikhmous
On the 14th of January 2016 the Musée Quai Branly held the conference Le rôle des archéologues et les moyens technologiques which took the form of a dialogue between Adam Lowe and Syrian archaeologists Michel al-Maqdissi and Ali Cheikhmous, who have been working to safeguard and preserve Syria’s archaeological heritage. The conversation covered many aspects of the protection of heritage and the application of technology. It was a very sad evening full of shocking images and stories - but there were seeds of optimism and some themes started to emerge which could lead to positive actions: What kind of recording is needed? Where is it needed? How should it be funded? How should funds be allocated? Is the rebuilding of destroyed sites a meaningful form of preservation? How do archaeologists get access to the funds that are urgently needed after a war is over and before the rebuilding of cities like Aleppo begins? The debate has begun and the results will bear witness to the decisions that are made. It is possible to do something meaningful. Factum Arte’s 3D scanning and facsimiles are evidence of the positive impact technology can have on the conservation of endangered heritage.
Adam Lowe talking at the 2and3D Photography conference at Rijksmuseum, 15–16 April 2015
Adam Lowe's talk at the Fitch Colloquium at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture (GSAPP), New York
Carlos Bayod, Factum Arte's head of 3D laser scanning, spoke at the CyArk 500 Annual Summit 2014 in the Autumn.
The event, which took place at Washington's National Archives Building, was hosted by CyArk, a non-for-profit organization devoted to the long range 3D documentation of heritage sites. Whereas the work carried out by CyArk and its partners puts the focus on mid- and long-range 3D laser scanning of buildings and monuments as a way to preserve and disseminate them 'virtually', Carlos introduced Factum Foundation's approach to the conservation of works of art through high resolution short-range recording. This approach is possible thanks to the Lucida 3D scanner, the system designed and developed by the artist Manuel Franquelo and built for the Factum Foundation to record the surface of paintings and shallow-relief objects with their colour, tone, brilliance and material.
Carlos described Factum Foundation's dedication to creating permanent, precise records of the surface of important objects, scanning their texture so that the object is digitally held in such a way as it can be used for research, for pre-intervention analysis and to monitor any changes in their surface and so that the raw files can be carried to future generations. This technique also allows, when appropriate, to physically re-materialize the objects in a way that they can be re-created in the form of exact facsimiles to actively help in their preservation. As was pointed out by CyArk's founders Ben and Barbara Kacyra following Carlos' presentation, "Lucida's short-range 3D scanning makes it possible to obtain such useful information out of surfaces that for us are just flat".
September 2014 TEDxMadrid 2014 / Verdadero-Falso Matadero, Madrid: "Facsimiles: la originalidad como proceso".
SPEAP (Programme d'experimentation en arts e politique) studio visit programme to Factum Arte. March, 2013.
Conference at Tudela's Cathedral, February 2013.
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