Kimon Keramidas and Julie Bellemare will give a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Wednesday, May 8, at 12:15 pm. Their talk is entitled “Making The Sogdians: Process, Product, and the Exploration of Cultural Heritage through the Digital Medium.”

Kimon Keramidas and Julie Bellemare will discuss the process of developing a digital exhibition on the Sogdians for the Freer|Sackler Asian Art Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution. The Sogdians were a people that developed a flowering civilization at the heart of Central Asia between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. Inherently mobile and flexible, the Sogdians helped establish the trade routes that would come to be known as the Silk Roads, in the process influencing culture and trade from as far west as Nancy in France to as far east as Nara in Japan. Integrating a range of maps, high-quality imagery, 3D visualizations, drone footage, video interviews with leading scholars, and in-depth essays, the exhibition aims to provide an engaging first encounter for those who are not familiar with the Sogdians, as well as a more expansive resource for scholars. The speakers will provide an inside look at how and whydifferent curatorial and design choices were made to best suit telling the Sogdian story. Starting with the early stages of the project and then moving onto the creation of a graduate class on the Sogdians offered jointly by BGC and NYU, the speakers will discuss intellectual choices, prototyping for the digital design, and the project workflow. The presentation will finish with a tour of the final online exhibition.

Kimon Keramidas is Clinical Associate Professor at XE: NYU’s Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement program where he works at the intersection of media and technology history, social engagement, cultural history, and digital studies. His work on digital media with cultural heritage has led to collaborations with the Smithsonian, the State Hermitage Museum, Cooper Hewitt, MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Julie Bellemare is a PhD Candidate at Bard Graduate Center. Her dissertation, titled “A New Creation of this Dynasty”: Color Technologies and Imperial Taste in Qing China, 1700-1735, focuses on the material connections between glass, enamel, and glaze colors in China at the turn of the eighteenth century. She has previously worked at the Asian art departments of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, and Freer|Sackler.