One of the essential challenges of studying centuries-old African art is the lack of information available on the works. It can be difficult to ascertain when or where or by whom a particular piece was created, which art historian Kristina Van Dyke says can foster “a feeling that there’s really nothing that can be done to understand the history of these works.” But where researchers have run into walls, new technology can open doors for understanding. Van Dyke talks about how computer science and CAT scans can uncover clues about the history and use of some ancient artifacts.
Questions of Practice: Art Historian Kristina Van Dyke on How Technology Can Introduce New Perspectives to Ancient Artifacts
Art historian Kristina Van Dyke discusses how technology can be used to study ancient artifacts. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, April 27, 2017.
Kristina Van Dyke is an independent scholar who is currently researching terra cotta figures produced in the Inland Niger Delta of Mali between the 11th and 17th centuries. Previously, she was director of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, where she curated, with Frédéric Cloth, the exhibition Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art. In 2017, Van Dyke served as a panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, and in 2018, she served as a LOI panelist.