Umberto Plaja

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As a senior at Duke University, pursuing a BA in Visual Art and History, my intellectual interests include a wide array of topics. On one side they include, drawing, painting, graphic design, advertising and architecture and on the other the Medieval and Classical periods. Most recently however, I have come to realize that they are not necessarily individual, nor entirely separate entities, but rather a pool of sorts, which can be tapped to achieve a particular goal. The past may be used to influence my visual endeavors just as my artistic training can be utilized to further explore History. New digital media, such as 3-D modeling programs, comes at the center of this discourse offering a new spectrum through which to experience information. To give one example, I have infused multi-disciplinary skills and imagery into a singular visual presentation of information in an exploration of the Hadrianic Baths at Aphrodisias. As a group, we created a website of interactive information and a 3-D model/ video of the baths. In reconstructing the baths, we were able to visually present and converse with information that would otherwise have been left to the imagination. I am currently seeking to further such studies through a thesis project which melds art and technology.

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