News Feature

Virtual Vision

Art history major develops video lecture as undergraduate research project

David Desouto, ’20, has a vision, where students can travel the world to visit famous monuments and buildings, all the while never leaving the classroom.

The Bridgewater State University art history major has been hard at work over the summer, looking to turn that vision into a reality through a project funded by an Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research and Creative Work Grant.

The idea behind the project is to gather screenshots of famous architectural and global landmarks seen in video games and use those images to produce a repository of interactive videos.

Those videos can then be used for classroom lectures.

“This is a better way to engage students by showing them the real world,” David said.

The project was inspired in part by www.smarthistory.org and encouraged by David’s mentor, Professor Andres Montenegro Rosero.

Dr. Rosero attended a workshop in New York City last year hosted by the website to learn how to create animated videos that convey art history.

“The artwork is animated…it makes art history more engaging,” Dr. Rosero said. “For this generation it helps capture their attention a lot more.”

The video David created covers the painting, The Eternal Presence (An Homage to Ajejandro García Caturla), by Cuban artist Wifredo Lam in 1944. Lam’s painting is in the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence.

This semester, David will be recording, doing voiceovers, and mastering editing software to create a finished product that, with the help of Dr. Rosero, smarthistory.org will hopefully be interested in. If arthistory greenlights the result, it will be posted on the website.

Dr. Rosero said Bridgewater State has been very supportive by funding the necessary equipment to make his classroom more virtual and allowing students like David to learn to use the equipment.

“BSU has seen the value behind it,” he said. “It truly helps teach things from a different perspective.”

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