Sightlines: obSERVE

Posted by digitalfutures

October 14, 2015
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St.


The broad theme of the event was image acquisition. Presentations on 2D, multispectral, and 3D imaging highlighted new research methodologies and discoveries enabled by innovative imaging. Discussion topics included the development of standardized guidelines for multispectral and 3D imaging processes, the importance of open access, and the necessity of collaboration.


Paul Messier is the inaugural head of Yale University’s Lens Media Lab, which researches the material history of photography, developing methodologies that both advance preservation and enhance the interpretation of expressive intent. Prior to Yale, Paul established and developed one of the world’s leading private conservation practices in photograph conservation, and has served as an advisor and consultant for collectors, dealers, and institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, Harvard University, and the Library of Congress. Over more than 20 years, he created a reference collection of photographic paper considered to be the largest of its kind in the world. The New York Times called Paul “the man when it comes to photography and paper restoration.” He currently serves as co-director of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation’s Mellon Hermitage Initiative in Photograph Conservation. His activities include volunteer service to the American Institute for Conservation, including serving on its Board of Directors from 2004 to 2009 and founding the Electronic Media Group in 1996.
Albert is currently a Research Specialist in the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research interest include terahertz imaging, photonics, advanced data analysis, inverse problems, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and system modeling and simulation. Albert’s background is in terahertz systems and applications in non-destructive testing and spectroscopy. He built terahertz systems for the inspection of the insulating foam of the Space Shuttle and studied the application of terahertz imaging to check the structural integrity of composite materials. He also studied the use of terahertz spectroscopy for the identification of explosives in security applications and detection of antibiotics in food. He invented a method to retrieve the absorbance without the need of a previous reference in terahertz time-domain spectroscopic measurements. Albert led a team that discovered the signature of master Goya in one of his earliest paintings using terahertz imaging. He also has experience as director of business development in a technological company. Albert received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Barcelona in 2004 and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. He has co-authored over 25 scientific journal publication, 1 book chapter, 5 patent disclosures, and given over 15 invited talks in specialized conferences and workshops.
Alexandre Tokovinie is a specialist of Mayan archaeology, Mesoamerican writing systems, and epigraphy and has extensive experience with 3D scanning, teaching, and technical illustration and documentation of inscriptions.Alexandre received his Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Anthropology in 2008. He has been awarded a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University in his current position as lecturer in Harvard’s Department of Anthropology. In addition, he is a research associate for the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. He has also been research associate in Maya studies in the Pre-Columbian Program at Dumbarton Oaks. In 2013, Alexandre was awarded the College Art Association Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award for an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, as a co-editor and contributor to the catalogue of Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks.
Michael B. Toth, president of R.B. Toth Associates and Honorary Research Associate at the University College London, leads and manages the use of advanced technologies for cultural heritage studies around the globe. With over 25 years of experience in technical integration, program management and strategic planning, he has led teams of scientists, scholars and technical experts as they help museums, libraries and other institutions make more data widely available for all. He has provided program and technical management support for numerous cultural heritage projects ranging from the Vatican Library, St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, to the Walters Art Museum, University of Pennsylvania and Library of Congress.Mike has led advanced digitization and archiving projects to provide data and information for global access over the Internet. He and his teams support academic, preservation, and scientific studies in scientific and cultural institutions across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, including: Top Treasures and artifacts at the Library of Congress; Islamic and Western Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum; David Livingstone’s Diaries and Letters at the National Library of Scotland; The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” at Harvard and “Gospel of Mary” at the John Rylands Library; Palimpsests and manuscripts at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai; the privately owned Archimedes Palimpsest; translations of medical texts by Galen in a Syriac Palimpsest; and mummy mask cartonnage at the University College London. Mike works closely with data managers, information technology professionals, imaging scientists, and museum and library managers and staff. With them he provides the planning, integration and management needed for efficient research and development, preservation and access. Mike studied science at Wake Forest University, where he received his degree in history.
Franziska Frey has been the Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian; Head of Preservation and Digital Imaging Services since 2012. Before Harvard, she was the McGhee Distinguished Professor in the School of Print Media at Rochester Institute of Technology, and has held positions on the faculty of the Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photography Conservation at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography, as a research scientist in the Image Permanence Institute at RIT, and at the Munsell Color Science Laboratory. Franziska received her Ph.D. in Natural Sciences with concentration in Imaging Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Franziska has served as a VP on the board of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology and is actively involved in several international standards groups.


Digital Futures Consortium

  • Digital Futures Consortium

A GitHub Pages port of