“I didn’t say yes. I can say no to anything I say vile, and I don’t have to count the cost. But because you said yes, all that you can do, for all your crown and your trappings, and your guards—all that you can do is to have me killed.”
Thus speaks Antigone and draws the lines of battle: The Laws of God pitted against the Decrees of Man; Familial Obligation against State Authority; Woman’s Self-Determination against Male Dominance; Duty against Mortality. How many times have women and men not reanimated these ancient battlefields of values, always with some bard standing ready to immortalize them, in verse and song? And at the heart of all this stand the most basic of questions: What values encode the community of man? How do these values define a self? It is the answers given to these questions through the medium of mythos, in its many diverse forms, that we seek to explore in our project.
Why do values matter? Values define who we are. Values are the trails of our common legacy, our collective memory, the way we think about ourselves and the others. Values are historically dynamic, they travel through material culture (artefacts, books, scientific instruments etc.), they are appropriated in different places and times by different people, and they re-emerge in new cultural forms, whether tangible or intangible.
VAST envisions to bring values to the forefront in the field of advanced digitisation. By providing advanced modelling, methods, techniques and digital tools, enabling the collaborative study, annotation and continuous capture and digitisation of experiences, VAST will examine narratives that represent significant moments of European culture/history and narratives stemming from citizen experiences, to study how the meaning of specific values has been expressed through different narratives (Greek tragedies, 17th century Scientific Revolution texts, folktales) and user experiences (artists, spectators, curators, museum visitors, pupils).