Keeping up with the pace of change in the digital world is challenging, and harnessing its potential can be frustrating. But the biggest mistake many of us in the arts and humanities academy can make is thinking of that potential only in terms of how we can use the new technology to more quickly and broadly disseminate information. The promise of the digital age is far greater than that. It offers an opportunity to rethink the way we do, as well as to deliver new research in the arts.
In short, humanists largely work alone and on timelines with long horizons. Scientists work together, experimentally, and publish quickly.
And all of this is only in terms, as noted above, of disseminating information. Scholars, curators and conservators of art are not exploiting the new technology to research differently.
With new improvements in image recognition software, we should be experimenting with ways of compiling archives of formal and iconographic incidents across hundreds and thousands of images and then organizing and reorganizing them in ways that ask new questions and suggest new answers from cross-disciplinary and international perspectives.