- AboutWhy ‘count’ art? Because all cultures, from the most ancient all the way to your own community, utilize symbols and repetitive elements in art. By tracking the use and context of these symbols and elements, we gain insight into the meanings behind them. This is particularly important when we study ancient cultures or those that are considered ‘lost’, but even well known artists often had their own hidden agendas. Michelangelo, for instance, hid precise anatomical drawings in his Sistine Chapel, but these were only recently recognized. How much more is hidden in plain sight? Any image of any kind in any media from any period can be counted. This is true whether it is a relief image on an ancient Egyptian temple wall, a Rembrandt painting, an Etruscan sculpture, or a modern mixed media work. Below is a concise introduction to the Art of Counting, followed by a complete transcript. Transcript: Why ‘count’ art? Because all cultures, from the most ancient all the way to your own community, utilize symbols and repetitive elements in art. By tracking the use and context of these symbols and elements, we gain insight into the meanings behind them. This is particularly important when we…
- Variable of the Day
- Tacky TouristsThis is the gallery for our ongoing series of tourists wearing or doing, shall we say…interesting things. Tourists seem to have an amazingly oblivious quality about them, regardless of the attraction they are visiting. In my early 20′s, I worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando for several years and saw some intensely bizarre behavior from our guests. These people were from all countries and walks of life; it didn’t really seem to matter–tackiness comes in many, many flavors. We’d joke that there was a cast member (aka employee) and storage unit at every entrance to the property, greeting each guest with a chipper “Welcome to Walt Disney World! Please leave your brain in the locker and gather it upon exit–you won’t need it here!” Getting punched in the face by a 65 year-old woman, angry that her wailing granddaughter had been unable to gather signatures from all four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles due to the crowd at their popular ‘Meet and Greet’ appearance, was one of my more surreal experiences to date. In traveling to historic landmarks in Europe, I was often disturbed by the utter lack of knowledge of some visitors. One woman I encountered in…
- SupportCollaborate with the Art of Counting Team: If you are a subject matter expert in any area of art history (a graduate degree or higher is preferred, but not always a requirement), you can help Art of Counting by adding the images from your area of expertise into the database. This includes the creation of variable lists and data entry. I am currently working on a few non-Egyptian variable lists, including a list designed to record information about Etruscan art, one for Ancient Near Eastern material, a list for Rembrandt portraiture, and another to record Salvador Dali’s paintings. Leave a comment below if you are interested in collaboration. Help Fund the Art of Counting: Let’s face it, there are costs to this kind of endeavor. Just maintaining the website costs $15 per month, we need to purchase new software to build the next iteration of the database, and all of it requires a lot of time. Any support you feel like giving would be sincerely appreciated and put to extremely good use in this pursuit! Thank you for your interest in this project.
- ProductsCan’t get enough of ancient Egypt? Need some unique gifts? Want to support ground-breaking research? Get it all by visiting the new Art of Counting store! A wide selection of calenders, note cards, coffee mugs, water bottles, and more, all embellished with unique images recorded during my research seasons in Egypt. Something in this growing collection of products is sure to please even the most discerning Egyptophiles! Professional Egyptologists, infamous for filling their offices with Egyptian imagery, will delight in the Seth mouse pad, feluca clock, and excellent views from the Qurn in our ‘Hiking the Theban Hills’ calender. And you will love knowing that a portion of the proceeds go directly to funding the Art of Counting project, a collaborative effort dedicated to bringing quantifiable statistical analyses to the investigation of our visual record. Happy shopping!
Although frequency reports are quite basic and easy to accomplish, they can quickly reveal general tendencies; furthermore, as stated in a previous post, frequency reports are the easiest to understand.
The Art of Counting comes from seven years of development. It was born from my dissertation project, which began at the memorial temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu (c. 1185 B.C.E.). All (except very heavily damaged) relief scenes in the temple that include the …