History Department, University of Basel – Project Grant DESKTOP – Jacob Burckhardt Digital

Humanities & Cultural Sciences

With the "DESKTOP" project, the History Department of the University of Basel, in collaboration with the Virtual Valley Foundation, is trying out an innovative model for the interaction of history and new media, taking Jacob Burckhardt as an example and giving vivid glimpses into history and science in the nineteenth century. The great Swiss historian of art and culture, who was born two hundred years ago, constantly reflected on the historical in relation to the present and to the ceaseless process of historical change. Based on this, "DESKTOP" connects digital design and mixed realities to historical and cultural research. From spring 2018 on, this interdisciplinary project on the interface of science, art, design, and technology will be available on the Internet, as well as in a permanent media installation in the Basel History Museum, in the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, and in other Swiss museums. With the aid of virtual reality glasses, visitors will find themselves at Burckhardt's desk and will be able to experience his varied intellectual and pictorial worlds at first hand. An artistically designed symbiosis of historical documents, images, commentaries, sounds, and music will allow the visitor to delve into history in an almost physical way.