@ GV2

Filed under:Visualisation — posted by Hugh Denard on February 3, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

I gave an informal overview and update on the project at noon today to Carol O’Sullivan and her colleagues in the Computer Science Department at Trinity College.

I related the “digital jig-saw puzzle”, which the Old Abbey is turning out to be, to other digital visualisation projects I’ve been involved in with my colleagues in the King’s Visualisation Lab, including work on the Theatre of Pompey in Rome, the Roman villas at Boscoreale and Oplontis, and their theatrical frescoes, the London Charter, as well as the Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space and Theatron3 projects and the “Vanishing Point(s)” artwork for the Great Hall at King’s College London that I worked on with artist Michael Takeo Magruder.

It was a relaxed and enjoyable session, and great to hear about activities in which Trinity is involved, including research on facial perception and an exciting project extending to the Book of Kells digital analysis of various kinds (PDF).

We agreed that there continue to be areas of common interest, and as we move towards the actual creation, with NOHO, of the project’s digital model (starting next Monday, 7th Feb) it will be interesting to keep thinking about, and planning, how we might, with Carol and her colleagues, model not only performance, but also the demographics and social expectations of spectatorship in the Old Abbey Theatre.

Carol also mentioned some fascinating work (PDF), by Frank Boland (TCD) and Gavin Kearney (now University of York) on digitally modelling the acoustics of Christ Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals in Dublin. Perhaps this kind of work is an avenue we could explore in a future phase of the project?


  1. Thanks Hugh, for your talk. We really enjoyed it – something very different for us geeky CS types 🙂

    Comment by Carol — February 3, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  2. Hi Hugh, would have been lovely to hear that presentation, for your current thinking on the connections between these projects. Question: What do you mean by the modelling of performance and of social expectations? How would these relate to projects like David Saltz’s Virtual Vaudeville?
    Different: funny you mention acoustic modelling of 3D visualisations – a chap called David Knight, who’s working on this, just got in touch with me, and I was going to direct him to you as a much more appropriate person. I’ll forward you his email and put him in touch with you via this website.

    Comment by Ildi Solti — February 3, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  3. Thanks, Ildi! By modelling of “not only performance, but also the demographics and social expectations of spectatorship”, I was thinking of introducing characters (whether real actors via BlueScreen, or virtual characters via animation &/or motion capture, or live user-driven avatars) into the digital theatre, to “stage” segments of plays in performance, as well as to simulate the Abbey’s audience, which was segregated, by ticket prices, into different socio-economic zones within the theatre (stalls, gallery and pit), and which was at times vocal – or even physical – in its responses to performances. Saltz’s Virtual Vaudeville is a fantastic project that, although the obviously synthetic nature of the virtual audience may look odd or uncanny, actually represents an incredibly in-depth set of research processes designed to reconstruct the demographic and behaviours of a “typical” Vaudeville audience. We have a particular “moment” in mind, namely the “Playboy” riots of 1907, where we can use contemporaneous accounts as a basis for exploring how the event actually must have played out in time and space.

    Comment by Hugh Denard — February 3, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace