A woman in period attire walks through the IUB Arts Plaza on a sunny afternoon. The clip is an example of the kind of material Allen Hahn and his team plan to develop for their Palimpsest project.

Description of the video:

With curls in the hair like the sting of scorpions and high flame getting out of the protuberance on top of the head. But the most original creation of Sukhothai is the walking Buddha. Or more precisely, the Buddha who has just come to a pause in walking. The modelling has a translight quality. This is not the likeness of a man. It is the likeness of a vision of fiery energy. The surfaces of the bronze flicker, the silhouette leaps like a fire. Covered with gold leaf in confirmation of his being the living embodiment of a flame, the Buddha has legs which are like the legs of a deer; his thighs are like the stems of a banana tree; the arms very long smooth and rounded are like the trunk of an elephant. The hands are like a lotus flower just beginning to open with the fingers turning back like petals.


Allen Hahn (IDAH Incubator Awardee and Faculty Fellow, 2018-2019) began developing techniques for mediated, place-based narrative work a decade ago. His newest project Palimpsest developed through the IDAH Faculty Fellowship is an ambitious mixed-reality experience that aims to immerse the IU community in the past, while simultaneously giving them a new perspective on their own role in the University’s future. “The project will make it clear that even those of us not destined to have our names adorn buildings one day have an important role to play in assuring that the University’s foundation remains strong,” says Hahn. “The promise of Indiana University’s motto, Lux et Veritas, resides in the everyday acts of heroism of members of its community.” Hahn and his partners at IU, and from several cities in the US and Canada, will combine narratives, performances, demonstrations, events, audiovisuals, and mined archival material to make the Palimpsest project a reality over coming months. 

Allen's complete #WHYDAH interview covers the future of Palimpsest, community engagement, virtual reality, and the realities of the research process. Read on at the link below.



"I shot video of a friend in vaguely mid-century period attire walking through the Arts Plaza which was built in this period. The found audio that accompanies the video is from something publicly available through the IU Moving Image Archive. The film from which it is excerpted from was about a museum exhibit of Buddhist statuary here at IU Bloomington also from that same period on time. With the initial impulse only to meld things of the same period together, what I find interesting is the way the mind works to synthesize image, audio, and happy accidental lighting conditions into some coherent experience and distill meaning from it, though there is no literal connection between any of these elements."

--Allen Hahn, project creator


Are you working on a project with a significant digital component in pursuit of tenure and/or promotion? Do you need to jump-start a digital project? Whether you're an undergraduate student, graduate student, or faculty member, IDAH wants to help. Our Faculty Fellowship program and HASTAC Scholarship program are both designed to provide funding for digitally-inflected research projects, while our Incubator program brings all of the resources IU has to offer for faculty and graduate students engaged in digital arts & humanities projects into a single room for a week-long intensive workshop in July.


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