Tom DiSalvo Workshop

The Project

'Al di là delle reti/Beyond the Nets: The Art of Tom ...

This workshop is part of a series of Digital Humanities workshops organized by Viviana Pezzullo and Domenica Diraviam in collaboration with FAU GKA Chapter and the Italian Program of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature at Florida Atlantic University. It engages students of Italian (from beginner to advanced levels) and involves them in the creation of a digital collection for the Digital Archive Italian American Memories.

Students will interpret original artifacts and create metadata for the items of the collections, adding descriptions and tags. The collection will include Tom DiSalvo’s artwork, as well as original handwritten material, and will feature the transcriptions of his most cryptic pieces to facilitate the work of art historians interested in studying such a fascinating artist.

DiSalvo’s Sicilian roots will allow students to explore issues of ethnicity and identity in the context of the Italian-American diaspora.

Join us for the fully-online DH workshop on Zoom on Saturday, March 27, 2021: link

Check the Events section for more information.

Who is Tom DiSalvo?

What to do?

Decipher secret messages!

If you closely look at the images above you will notice that DiSalvo embeds texts within his paintings. Our job is to transcribe what you read, bringing back to light mysterious messages. You will work in groups in Breakout Rooms and discuss your ideas with your partners.

In order for the messages to appear, you will probably have to download the pictures and play with different filters, contrast, and lighting (you find these options in the “modify” section of your image viewer). DiSalvo writes for the most part in English, but you will also find some Italian and Spanish, so be careful!

Once you and the other members of your group have some ideas, you can share your transcription in the “Description” column of the Google Sheet Metadata. You will also provide a brief description of the painting (in English) and a list of tags that will work as an extensive alternative text to enhance all users’ experience.

This group will mainly focus on the “Description” and “Tags” columns of the Metadata spreadsheet.

To-do list

Free Vector Icons | Checkbox Interpret and transcribe texts from the images

Free Vector Icons | Checkbox Share your interpretations in the collaborative Google Sheet file in the “Description” column

Free Vector Icons | Checkbox Add a brief description of the image (who is in the image? What colors do prevail? Is it abstract? What is the message that the artist is trying to communicate?

Free Vector Icons | Checkbox Add the tags in the “Tags” column

Metadata for DiSalvo’s artwork

You will work on the metadata for the digitized paintings. What is the title? When did DiSalvo realize it? What are the size and medium? Is there a description? Which words can we use to describe this piece of art? Use your creativity and impressions to enrich the description and create the tags.

To-do list

Free Vector Icons | Checkbox Use the information available on the digital exhibit to work on the columns: “Title,” “Creator,” “Contributor,” “Format,” “Physical Dimensions,” “Type,” “Description,” “Relation,” “Source,” and “Tags”

Free Vector Icons | Checkbox How to fill the columns:

Title: title of the paiting
Creator: Tom DiSalvo
Contributor: your name
Format: medium (ex. oil on linen)
Physical Dimensions: size
Type: painting? Print?
Relation: links to additional resources like video-lectures
Source: link from the exhibit
Description: a short narrative of the image. Eventual transcription (and its translation in English if available)
Tags: keywords

Useful links

For further information visit the exhibit curated by Domenica Diraviam for Broward College: Al di là delle reti / Beyond The Nets: The Art of Tom DiSalvo

About DiSalvo’s collection “Kandyskin Chronicle”

Additional videos can be found here on Broward College’s website.

Do you still have any questions?

You can contact us at:

The Team

Viviana Pezzullo
PhD Candidate in Comparative Studies at Florida Atlantic University

Domenica Diraviam
PhD Student in Comparative Studies at Florida Atlantic University; Senior Instructional Designer at Broward College

Federico Tiberini
MA Student in Linguistics at Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Ilaria Serra
Professor of Italian at Florida Atlantic University

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