Student project ideas (arts, humanities and social sciences)

If you are enrolled in a degree at the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University College, or the University of Bologna, and you would like to do a project/thesis/capstone with me, these are a few topics I or members of my team are interested into.

If you like one of them, or you would like to propose something else, get in touch: (please include program, year and grades).

Monitoring the use of digital heritage collections

Most if not all heritage organizations have digitized part of their collections and made them available online. Examples of services include the National Library Delpher and the Rijksmuseum data portal. How are users using these services? Can they be improved in any way?

Monitoring the adoption of AI in heritage organizations

AI technology (machine learning) has widely been adopted by heritage organizations to facilitate the extraction of information (e.g., of texts from images), the enrichment of collection and their use (e.g., to augment search). What is the current state of adoption of AI in Dutch heritage organizations?

NFT art

Non-Fungible Tokens are digital collectibles tokenized and exchanged on blockchains, typically Ethereum. Crypto art is a specific category of NFTs, dedicated to art. The crypto art scene is currently growing very rapidly, and is at the forefront of experimentation on many art-related questions. Many project ideas can focus on crypto art, from stuyding the background of artists and their artistic production to an ethnographic study of this community.

To know more: Franceschet et al., Crypto art: A decentralized view, Leonardo 2021.

Cultural applications of blockchain technologies

Blockchain technologies are growing rapidly, well beyond their initial buzz. Time is ripe to assess the current state of adoption of blockchain tech in the heritage sector and creative industries.

To know more: Withaker, A Primer, History, and Taxonomy of Blockchain Use Cases in the Arts, 2019.

Pricing fine art

The pricing of fine art on the primary market (first sale) is complex and difficult to study. Galleries are rarely keen to share their data, and other venues such as art fairs are increasingly important in this respect. Work can focus on assessing the way galleries in Amsterdam (or elsewhere) are pricing art, their use of online sales and art fairs.

To know more: Velthuis, Talking Prices: Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art, 2007.

Iconography and iconology

Following Panofsky, we can distinguish between conventional art subject matter, or iconography (the symbolic and cultural interpretation of contents) and its intrinsic meaning, or iconology (the situated and historical interpretation of contents and symbols). Can iconographical and iconological knowledge be make explicit for machines to ‘learn’?

To know more: Panofsky, Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance, 1939.