Revolutionary imaging technology is contributing to a dramatic shift in our relationship to art and architectural objects in regards to issues of originality, reproducibility, intellectual property, and conservation. These concerns have been central to the work of many artists historically, with Andy Warhol being perhaps the most obvious example. However, with the rapidly changing digital resources available to a wider range of consumers, these issues are more relevant than ever and contemporary artists, art historians, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and conservators continue to grapple with them in different ways.
The integration of imaging technology into the classroom has the potential to cultivate a more dynamic and experiential relationship between the viewer and the art object. Washington and Lee’s 3D High-Performance Visualization Lab in the IQ Center has obvious applications for the sciences, but could prove equally valuable for students enrolled in humanities classes. The rendering of two-dimensional paintings in three dimensions, and the display of architectural spaces, sculptures, and archaeological sites would provide an opportunity to explore core subject matter in new ways. This technology would make possible a closer examination of topics such as spatial relationships, paint density, texture, and scale, studies which are currently limited by standard two-dimensional projection technology.