Blog DMS103 Doing DH

Lab-based Learning in the Humanities: A Reflection

DMS 103: Essential Digital Media Toolkit is a project-based course in which students are introduced to an array of softwares and technologies that are indispensable to digital humanities research. Curated by Stephanie Ashenfelder, a practicing artist and Studio Arts program coordinator at The University of Rochester, the course is designed to provide technical proficiency through experimentation and creativity. Thus far, students have completed projects using Photoshop, ArcGIS, and Final Cut Pro X.

Tara Najd Ahmadi (left) with students in DMS103 installing images in Rettner Hall

Tara Najd Ahmadi, an Iranian artist, filmmaker, and animator, led a two-week crash course in Photoshop that culminated with a large installation of student photography. The project required students to take three photographs of either interior or exterior spaces in Rochester, and to manipulate them in Photoshop. Additionally, students were asked to critically consider how thematic continuity could be expressed through digital manipulation and careful image selection. Collectively, the images were displayed in a seamless band on the first floor of Rettner Hall, the campus laboratory for media innovation, digital scholarship, and fabrication/design. The panoramic landscape stitched together by students provided viewers with an opportunity to explore the many facets of life in Rochester as experienced by students through the medium of digital photography.

carolina photo
Carolina Manent, Untitled, 2015





Recreating Claude Bragdon’s New York Central Railroad Station

There used to be a beautiful train station in Rochester, New York.

rochester-ny-central-railroad-bragdon-stationThe Rochester train station and Greyhound Bus stop sit at the corner of Central and Joseph Avenues, just north of Rochester’s infamous “inner loop,” a beltway that encircles downtown Rochester. Both the inner loop and the current transportation center are infrastructural eyesores and civic blunders. While the inner loop was intended to alleviate congestion and increase traffic flow in downtown Rochester, the city’s subsequent contraction has rendered the beltway effectively useless. Conversely, as train travel decreased throughout the post-war era, there was little need for grandiose train terminals. Like many other stations built during the early years of the twentieth century, the original Rochester train station was destroyed and replaced by what stands in its place today.