The New Yorker article on Factum has now been published (click here). Written by Daniel Zalewski, who spent some days at the workshops last year, the article gives the reader a real insight into the extraordinary world of Factum - meeting Adam Lowe - and finding out about the unique digital and artisanal processes used and being developed to help contemporary artists realise their ideas - and then to the Foundation's focus on preservation of our cultural heritage dramatically using many of those same techniques. To support the work of the Foundation and its important projects and aims click here.
Alexander Peck and Ferdinand Saumarez Smith from the Factum Foundation have just returned from mapping and documenting rock art sites in the Eastern Sahara. The team, in collaboration with the Trust for African Rock Art (TARA), used an array of different recording methods to digitise the site, and hope with their results will put Northern Chad back on the map for its extraordinary concentration of African rock art.
Eight fragments from the tomb of Seti I have been recorded with the Lucida 3D Scanner at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, for their re-materialisation and re-integration into the future facsimile of the entire tomb. So far, the gathered data is being processed and 3D models are being generated and materialised. This phase is part of the Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative.
Despite the heavy influx of tourists that continue to visit the newly opened tomb of Seti I, Factum Arte successfully completed the tomb´s 3D surveying using a Faro Focus3D x 130 Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS). Just one in several scanning systems used to record the different layers of data in the tomb (colour, 3D data, point distance), the Faro Scanner provided the team with information on the general geometry, spatial dimensions and architectural dynamics of the tomb.
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On November 5th, David Coulson, founder and chairman for TARA and project Manager of the Trust for African Rock Art who collaborated with Factum Foundation on the Cross River Monoliths project, presented some of the results gathered in Nigeria in October at a conference at the British Museum. Read more here.
The miniature version of the 900 year old Windsor Great Park oak tree, made by Factum Arte, was presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last month to mark Her Majesty´s 90th birthday - and to launch a campaign to plant inner city woods in urban areas around the UK. Read more here.
The first textured renders of the interior of the mosque at Kala-Koreysh have been generated from processed data gathered earlier this year when a team from Factum Foundation, together with the Peri Foundation collaborated to record objects of cultural significance in Daghestan using a range of 3D scanning techniques. More news here.
On October 26th Factum Arte carried out a 3D scanning demo at The Met. Invited by Ronald Street, Senior Manager of 3D Imaging, It was used the Lucida 3D Scanner to record the surface of a XIV C. panel. Saint Bartholomew is a tempera painting on wood panel with gold ground by the workshop of Simone Martini. The demo was carried out with the participation of the students from the Heritage Preservation Program at Columbia University's GSAPP, under the supervision of Ronald Street and Conservator MIchael Alan Miller. Read more here.
Factum Foundation is proud to announce that the full excavation, 3D recording and safe reburial of the Cochno Stone is now complete. The Cochno Stone is Scotland’s largest and best examples of Neolithic / Bronze Age cup and ring markings dating from 3000 to 2000 BC. The 3D data is currently being post-processed and the team hopes this might shed some light on the reasons the markings were made. Read more news here.
The remarkable restoration works at Stoppelaere´s House are progressing rapidly and efficiently. Tarek Waly’s team have now completed a vast majority of works using the knowledge and hands of a skilled local team from Qaurna. It is anticipated that the 3D documentation training center will start operating by the beginning of 2017.
Read more here.
In March this year, a team from Factum Foundation recorded the sarcophagus of Seti I in Sir John Soane’s Museum using photogrammetry. Over 4,500 images were taken on a Canon 5DSR over a five-day period and the data is now in the phase of reproduction. A CNC Miller is currently routing sections of the sarcophagus from the processed data and the facsimile if slowly coming together. Read more here.
The new book scanner that has been made to record fragile manuscripts in Daghestan is complete. This scanner is made to digitise the books in the State Archive in Makachkala and will also be used to record the manuscripts that are held around the country in the collections of Islamic Scholars, madrassas and Mosques. More here.
A team from the Factum Foundation spent one week in Lebanon last June. While there, Alexander Peck and Ferdinand Saumarez-Smith recorded eight BC Stela from the monumental site of Nahr El Kalb with close range photogrammetry. This was the final recording effort on the site and a team is processing the data to hand over to the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon. More news here.
Lucida Lab Milano is a laboratory specialized in digital technology in conservation, launched thanks to a collaboration between Factum Foundation and Open Care Milano (a Milan-based conservation and restoration laboratory and art services workshop). The scanning studio is run by Carlos Bayod and Guendalina Damone. More news here.
Architect Takek Waly's team in front of Stoppelaere's House, Hassan Fathy's mud brick building at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. The team is creating a home for the Foundation's 3D scanning, archiving and training centre.
Stopplaere's House is being transformed into a training centre for local Egyptians where they will learn how to preserve their own precious, yet precarious cultural heritage through the use of digital technology. This is one of many inspiring and important Foundation projects that desperately need your support.
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The Foundation is determined to ensure through the use of the most advanced digital technology available to us that future generations inherit our physical heritage through truly accurate recording and open source dissemination of the object’s condition as we received it and where it can be studied in depth and enjoyed by all. Where this requires the creation of facsimiles to preserve the original and make the digitally perfect derivative available to a global public then we will be there.
Your contributions will help us continue our work which also includes the investigation and development of new technologies and training local artisans globally in these technologies.
A Battalion of Cameras
I was reading Paul Fussell’s wonderful and wise The Great War and Modern Memory recently – it’s like a long, gentle, entirely benign tutorial of the old style. A calm and articulate text intersected frequently and intelligently with lines of verse, contemporary comment, vivid paragraphs, poignant letters, entire poems, bawdy songs, simple couplets, explaining in a literary sense how the Great War (and also the subsequent one) changed a generation and created our world. It was written in 1975 – when the author knew where we had been and where we might be headed. It is built using what was written and then its context is interpreted so that the memorial helps us understand, reveals to us at least part of what makes us what we are.
That is the place that our cultural heritage – both literary and artistic – has in our lives. It is profoundly important and, sadly, often ignored or overlooked.
Here’s a section in the early part of the book which lays the ground for the later study of the various aspects of how man can be coerced into horror and what living in and with that horror feels like. The symbolism of ruined architectural elements standing starkly in view from the mud and mire and organised slaughter of the trenches was profound - this was Ypres. “At Ypres it was the famous Cloth hall, once a masterpiece of medieval Flemish civic building. Its gradual destruction by artillery and its pathetic final dissolution were witnessed by hundreds of thousands, who never forgot this eloquent emblem of what happens when war collides with art.”
It is our aim at the Foundation to record what we can of our physical heritage – be it a manuscript, surface, form, painting, marks, carving, site - so that the witness it bears may be understood and we and future generations might benefit from the power and objective beauty we can appreciate and the memorial we have been left.
War is a truly terrible thing and we see daily the human devastation and the physical destruction now occurring in, among other places, Syria and Iraq. The Art Newspaper reported recently that the British Ministry of Defence have suggested creating a Monuments Men type group, a specialist cultural protection unit, to preserve what can be preserved in battle zones. We would suggest digitally recording should be a key part of that solution - it can be done by reasonably skilled and well briefed individuals with just a normal DSLR camera, using photogrammetry. The resulting data then needs more technical processing work but that would be done in the safety of our workshops. The Foundation is training people now to do this work in non-conflict zones – extending this to those who need the skills in theatres of war can also be done.
Wherever the object, if it is part of our cultural heritage then we have a duty to record and to preserve it, if we have a chance – and, in many cases, we have that chance ........with your support and help.
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