February Fourier Talks 2011

James Coddington


Decoding with code: Approaches to Technical Imaging of Art


The use of technical imaging in the study of art dates to Roentgen and the very early days of x-radiography. Over time more and more of the electromagnetic spectrum has been put to use to understand more about the materials, construction and creation of works of art. Developing these hardware based solutions to investigative problems has been the principal focus of conservators and scientists over the decades. In recent years the use of image processing tools has increased, taking advantage of both existing archives of technical images as well as optimizing new data collected by increasingly sophisticated and sensitive imaging devices. This paper will touch on key technologies and examples of their use in the study of art, with a particular emphasis on modern and contemporary art. Areas of potential new research and development will also be discussed.