Gold, Statue, Text: Mapping Movement in Tibetan History

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A digital project with a collection of essays, art historical resources, textual databases, mapping, and architectural modeling, this website is a pilot project for an approach to visualizing the movement of people and things around culturally significant places. It is the product of a phase of research by a group of scholars, architects, and web designers who have taken the historic Tibetan site of Shalu (Zhwa lu) Monastery as a case study for examining interactions between people, things and places through the creation of interactive, spatial-temporal maps. Focusing on the active and ongoing creation of “place” through material and social exchange, this project maps movements of people (founders, abbots, patrons and artisans) and things (building materials, precious metals, paintings and statues) that defined the character and history of Shalu through time. We propose that by visualizing history in this way, we may facilitate knowledge that is both particular and interactive, allowing us to see how particular histories, cultures and social exchanges are defined and created by and through particular people, things and places.

“Gold, Statue, Text: Mapping Movement in Tibetan History.” Published in Fall 2014 (now under revision). Collaboratively developed by Frances Garrett, Ben Wood, Sarah Richardson, Kunga Sherab and a technical team of web developers.