[ISEA2016] Workshop: Barry Threw & Jon Phillips — #NEWPALMYRA Cultural Heritage Preservation

Workshop Statement 

#NEWPALMYRA is an online community platform dedicated to the capture, preservation, sharing, and creative reuse of data about the ancient city of Palmyra. It’s workshop event in Hong Kong will bring together researchers, developers, and artists to contribute data, 3D modeling, software development and other creative works to virtually reconstruct Palmyra’s cultural heritage. Participants will learn about the efforts underway for digital preservation, learn the current community needs, and learn how they can contribute. Anyone can join regardless of skill set or experience, the group will collaborate on projects based on the skills present. The event will culminate with a pop-up art exhibition, showcasing the results of the workshop.


– A Digital Archaeology project, collecting data from international partners, analyzing it, creating a reconstruction of Palmyra in virtual space, and sharing the models and data in the public domain. We are using digital tools to preserve the heritage sites being actively deleted by ISIS.

– A Cultural Development project, hosting live workshops and building a network of artists, technologists, archaeologists, architects, and others to research, construct models, and create artistic works.

– A Curatorial project, creating exhibitions and experiences in museums and institutions globally, celebrating the cultural heritage of Syria and the world through the lens of architecture embodying culture and power.

Participants should gain basic familiarity with the #NEWPALMYRA project before the workshop. All participants should bring their laptops or other creative materials (paint/canvas for painters, markers or other art making materials). Participants should come prepared to find solutions and contribute to the project with whatever their background and skill sets are. Project needs will be discussed, and resources will be explained to enable project creation. Collaborative projects may arise depending on the constitution of the group.

  • Barry Threw (@barrythrew) is the Interim Director of #NEWPALMYRA. He is a designer and technologist focused on spatial media, cultural infrastructures, and cultural heritage. He works in collaboration with institutions, artists and organizations at the intersection of technology and culture. He is Director of Software at Obscura Digital, and is a curator with the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, USA.
  • Jon Phillips (@rejon) is Founder of Fabricatorz, a global design and technology company. Phillips manages a global team of creative developers with primary offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Berlin, and other sitespecific local offices. Fabricatorz handles a diverse set of software, hardware and consulting projects constructed to the specific needs of client companies, operations and infrastructure. Phillips began his career operating between art and technology, before helping start the open source drawing app Inkscape; he then went on to found the Openclipart online art community, and scale-up the Creative Commons community and business globally, ultimately founding Fabricatorz in 2007 (USA).