28/07 – 04/08 Begonya Cayuela

From science to unfinished Victorian novels and now to Medieval art; the humanities is nothing if not varied.  This week’s curator hails from Barcelona and continues our theme (intentional, of course) of multidisciplinarity.  It strikes me that Medieval Studies has gained a lot from the Digital Humanities and has more to gain still; whilst studying a digitised manuscript is very different from examining the original the digitisation of texts must open up the field to many people who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access materials.  It looks like we’ve got another fascinating week ahead!

My name is Begonya Cayuela and I am a Ph.D. in Medieval Art although my daily work deals with databases, soft and web programming. As a researcher, I am a member of Ars Picta, a research group of the Department of Art History of the University of Barcelona. I am also part of the Institut de Recerques en Cultures Medievals (IRCVM), a transversal academic organization of the University of Barcelona devoted to all things medieval.  Nevertheless, like some other temporary curators of the Twitter account @Wethehumanities, I could say that I live in the margins of Academia, in a multidisciplinary world.

My interest in Medieval Art History had led me to participate actively in social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+. For instance, I curate a Facebook page called Medieval Art with more than 13,000 fans. In Twitter, you can find me as @begonyacayuela, and I have recently opened the account @MedievalArt1 dedicated exclusively to my passion, Medieval Art. There is also a new companion website of Medieval Art, but it is still in progress and it is not yet online. I will let you know when it is ready.

Furthermore, the combination of my tasks as a researcher and my daily job allowed me to collaborate with Ars Picta developing a database and a website to document the subject of the research of the group, the Romanesque art of the Pyrenees, especially those of the Catalan area.

My own research deals with Medieval iconography, focused on subjects like the Sacrifice of Isaac, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus or the cycle of Cain and Abel. My interests spread to the Digital Humanities, or more precisely, how Medieval Art History is present in the digital media. I am working on a website to map out a corpus of the iconography of the sacrifice of Isaac.

My curiosity spans from traditional Art History and Iconography to the Digital Humanities. I focus my preferences in the migration of medieval iconography to the Digital world; especially I am concerned with the “visibility” and “invisibility” of images and the challenges of their processing, whether automatic or manual, in order to describe them accurately. Images are the raw data in any research of Medieval Art History. I intend that this approach alongside with the presence of Medieval Art History in Internet will be the framework of my week turn curation of the account @Wethehumanities.

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