Factum Foundation has been working with the Musei Capitolini and Fondazione Prada on the ambitious recreation of the 13m-tall Colossus of Constantine for the exhibition ‘Recycling Beauty’ (until February 27, 2023). The scale of the project involved almost all of Factum’s various areas of expertise over the course of nearly ten months.
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Recreating the Colossus of Constantine
The Arabic Kiln in Úbeda: the Poetic Transformation of Fire and Earth
For over a year, Factum Foundation worked with Melchor Tito Sr. and Melchor Tito Jr., a family of potters, on a project to revive a traditional ceramic Arabic kiln in the city of Úbeda, Spain. On a night of full Harvest Moon between September 29th and 30th, the kiln was brought back to life for the first time since 2007, and more than 500 objects were fired over the course of 35 hours. The slow, complex process resulted in hundreds of objects, all unique in their materiality and small imperfections. The entire process, including the modelling, carving, glazing, and bathing of the pieces, was meticulously documented by two cameramen from the Factum Foundation and will soon become a short film capturing and immortalising months of dedication.
Factum Foundation x Divirod
Following a radio programme on the ARCHiVe project (The World, September 2020), Factum Foundation was contacted by Divirod, a start-up from Boulder, Colorado. Divirod uses harmonic recordings to create dynamic representations of tide, wave activity and wind speed to predict erosion and flooding and provided a number of advanced sensors to monitor the relationship between land and water on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. The installation of the first sensor on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in late August 2021 is part of ARCHiVe’s work to document and study both cultural heritage and natural changes on and around the island. A second sensor was installed in 2022.
Chrysanthemums in a Green Vase: New discoveries
Factum Foundation’s team have been finding ways to bring all the evidence from different recording systems together in a way that makes it easy to analyse. The work started some years ago when we scanned a small panel believed by Bastiaan Blok, its owner, to be by Van Gogh. New recordings of the panel suggest there are genuine reasons for experts to investigate the claim. Although Factum Foundation is not involved in making attributions, we do provide the data to help others make informed decisions.
The recreation of Giulio Romano’s designs as three-dimensional objects
Factum Foundation and Factum Arte worked with Fondazione Palazzo Te on recreating five designs by Giulio Romano as physical objects for the exhibition ‘Giulio Romano. La forza delle cose’. Curated by Barbara Furlotti and Guido Rebecchini, the show focuses on the artist’s talent and ingenuity in object design at the Gonzaga court. The intricate designs were rematerialised as elaborate 3D models by Irene Gaumé, Jordi Garcia and Manuel Franquelo at Factum Arte, before being 3D printed in sections and cast in a variety of materials depending on the size and complexity of the details.
ARCHiVe | Analysis and Recording of Cultural Heritage in Venice
In the spring of 2022 Factum Foundation began filming a documentary video about ARCHiVe to help define, clarify, and communicate what is happening inside the center: ongoing projects, experimental work, collaborations, spaces, methods, and key players. ARCHiVe, in partnership with the Cini Research Institutes and partners, is working to enhance and convert into digital form the rich documentary heritage of the Fondazione Cini itself and beyond, to study-involving other institutions and scholars-new methods for preserving and transmitting it thanks to digital technologies, and, finally, to propose training activities with professionalising value in the field of Digital Humanities.
Gough Map: How new technology uncovered secrets of rare Bodleian artefact
The Gough Map, thought to be Britain’s oldest, has been revealed in unprecedented detail thanks to cutting-edge 3D technology more commonly used in computer games and CGI. The ARCHiOx Project in partnership with the Factum Foundation uses a prototype photographic system to examine some of Britain’s oldest artefacts held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK. The new scanning techniques not only give researchers new ways to study rare objects like the Gough Map, but new preservation tools for archivists to keep priceless artefacts safe for future generations.
The Digitisation of Three Rooms at Palazzo Te
From January 17 until February 7, a team of digitisation specialists from Factum Foundation recorded in high resolution the Chamber of the Giants, the Chamber of Cupid and Psyche and the Hall of the Horses inside Palazzo Te. The project was part of a partnership with Palazzo Te for the 2022 event season ‘Mantova: L’arte di vivere’. The palace, built as a place of leisure for the Gonzaga family in the mid 16th century, was designed and frescoed by Giulio Romano. The data, acquired using LiDAR, photogrammetry and composite photography, is currently being processed and will belong to Fondazione Palazzo Te and help with the documentation, preservation, study and dissemination of the rooms, also enabling future diverse and innovative exhibition projects.
‘In Ictu Oculi – In The Blink of an Eye’: a walkthrough the exhibition with Adam Lowe and Charlotte Skene Catling
As part of the seminar series jointly organised by the Zurbarán Centre of Durham University and the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in association with the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes, Adam Lowe and Charlotte Skene Catling offered a tour of ‘In the Blink of an Eye, Transience and Eternity in the Spanish Golden Age’. As part of the Auckland Project, Jonathan Ruffer commissioned Factum Foundation and Skene Catling de la Peña to rethink the concept and role of a museum for the top floor of the Spanish Gallery, in Bishop Auckland.
Toledo Symposium – Cultural Heritage and Machine Learning: Its Impact on Information and Knowledge
Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation was responsible for the closing session of an international symposium on the role of Machine Learning and AI in the recording and analysis of cultural heritage. This was intended as an introduction to the September conference on Cultural Heritage and conflict resolution. The conference was held at the University of Castilla La Mancha in Toledo on 18th and 19th June 2021. His panel consisted of both online and offline participants: Adrian Cussins, Brian Cantwell Smith and Ken Singer.
‘New Perspectives on Raphael’: an online panel by the Warburg Institute
On 19th November 2020, Michelle O’Malley from the Warburg Institute talked with Ana Debenedetti and Adam Lowe about the recording of Raphael’s Cartoons at the V&A in August 2019. While the discussion focused on Raphael, it also looked more generally at the role of digital recording in light of the museum closures and the restrictions caused by COVID-19. High-resolution recording, display and rematerialisation technologies have serious implications for the study, display and dissemination of works of art – both online and offline access will be increasingly important in providing access to culture.
Cocktails with a Curator: Sangallo’s ‘St. John Baptising’
Xavier F. Salomon, Chief Curator of The Frick Collection, introduces the recreation of the marble holy water font on which the bronze ‘St. John Baptising’ by Francesco da Sangallo was originally displayed. In the summer of 2020, the original font was recorded in high resolution by Pedro Miró using structured white light scanning. A team of craftsmen from Factum Arte then worked on recreating the marble stoop without the oxidisation and cracks that the original one presents after more than four hundred years of use.
Rematerialising the tomb of Raphael
Factum Arte created the starting point of the exhibition Raffaello (1520 – 1483) at the Scuderie del Quirinale, in Rome: a rematerialisation of the painter’s tomb. from the Pantheon, with its 19th-century additions removed. Almost all of Factum’s departments were involved in this project, with engineers, architects, sculptors, artists, welders and digital experts working side by side on the various elements making up the tomb. Careful planning and teamwork were the keys that allowed Factum to achieve this ambitious result.
‘Il Polittico Griffoni rinasce a Bologna’: Exhibition walkthrough with Adam Lowe
Curated by Mauro Natale in collaboration with Cecilia Cavalca, the exhibition at Palazzo Fava focuses on the importance and meaning of the Polittico Griffoni by displaying, together with the individual panels coming from nine museums and collections across Europe and North America, a facsimile reuniting the Polittico made by Factum Factum Foundation in Factum Arte’s workshop. Adam Lowe, founder of Factum Foundation and director of Factum Arte, guides you through the exhibition, explaining Factum’s role in the recording and reuniting the panels scattered among 9 museums and institutions all over the world.
‘The Materiality of the Aura’: exhibition walkthrough with Adam Lowe
The founder of Factum Foundation, guides you through ‘The Materiality of the Aura. New Technologies for Preservation’, at Palazzo Fava, Bologna until 10th January 2021. Facsimiles of sculptures, paintings and books, digital restorations and physical recreations, 3D renders, 3D models and a variety of objects are presented in the six rooms of the exhibition, focussing on: the surface of paintings, sculptures, cartography, video-mapping and projections, manuscripts and, finally, Factum Foundation’s work in the Valley of the Kings. The city of Bologna, where the Foundation has been involved in projects since 2010, is also a unifying factor tying together many of the rooms.
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