Transdisciplinary Areas of ExcellenceMaterial and Visual Worlds


Material and Visual Worlds collaboration grant awards from prior years

The following two projects were awarded funds in July 2013, provided by the Binghamton University Road Map through the Provost's Office and the Division of Research with the goal of encouraging faculty to develop collaborative projects that stimulate the advancement of new ideas that can build Binghamton University's expertise toward a national reputation in the area of material and visual worlds. This competitive, peer-reviewed program is providing initial support for proposed long-term programs of collaborative research that have strong potential to attract external funding.

  • The Materiality and Visuality of the Pre-Modern Book: A Case Study

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies is about to embark on a three-year initiative on the History of the Pre-modern Book. The first stage of this project requires that we undertake a series of workshops during spring 2014 for CEMERS faculty and graduate students from different departments (history, art history, music, literature and languages). We propose to purchase a fragment of a fifteenth-century Latin manuscript of Thomas of Chobham's Summa de penitentia. This material artifact would be added to the Special Collections of Bartle Library. The fragment is a portion of a popular Latin text on penance originally composed in the twelfth century by an English theologian, Thomas of Chobham. During spring semester 2014, this fragment will be the focus of an interdisciplinary workshop aimed at uncovering all the empirical information that this artifact might disclose to the modern scholar. We envision publishing a journal article, collaboratively authored, on this fragment. We also plan to host an invited talk on the study of manuscripts during the spring semester.

Principal investigators/departments: Marilynn Desmond, distinguished professor of English, general literature and rhetoric; Tina Chronopoulos, assistant professor of classical and Medieval Studies; and Ed Shepherd, director of collections, University Libraries

  • Hidden Images: Revealing the Three-Dimensionality of Film Emulsion

Digital technology has expanded the way artists express their ideas, and in cinema most filmmakers today choose digital video as their medium mostly for cost and distribution reasons. Recently, Fujifilm announced its cessation of the production of most motion picture filmstrips, and many film labs have closed down in the last decade. Thus, now is a crucial time to examine the dying film medium with its many artistic values still left unexplored. Through this project, we will create a live-processed film/video installation to re-examine the 3D film material and its uniqueness by combining engineering and artistic filmmaking, an angle that is pursued by very few. The core concept of this project is to reveal the 3D quality of the film medium, an aspect often ignored when we are watching a movie, by using digital technologies and computer programming to create pseudo-3D images. The project exhibit will stimulate the audience's visual sense when the filmstrip's 3D aspect is brought to the forefront of its attention, and the audience will understand more about the film medium.

Principal investigators/departments: Tomonari Nishikawa, assistant professor of Cinema, and Peter Huang, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering

Last Updated: 6/16/14