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Technological innovations help to highlight traditional arts and professions

Technology has come a long way. Just a few decades ago people could have not imagined such things as the internet, cellphones, playing video games, placing Free Bets online, or using social media. But how can the latest technological innovations help us better study and preserve ancient traditional arts, such as cheese-making? We came to these unique shepherds’ huts in the heart of the mountains of Crete to learn more.

Alekos Dayantas, 73, continues to make cheese, following the technique his uncle taught him when he was young. Today we meet him in his mitato, in the traditional accommodation made of dry stone in Anogia, Crete. He uses goat’s milk to make two varieties of cheese, mizithra, and katsohori: “All the families here, 85% are cattle breeders. Each family had its corral and had its products. Our family also had goats. I still have a few more to do the job of the store “.

Experts in computer science from the European research project Mingei are here to identify objects used in cheese-making. But they are also interested in capturing the bigger picture: the tangible side of these ancient activities, the materials they used, the movements and techniques of the producers, but also the general geographical, architectural, and cultural context in which these arts were born and flourished.

“They are the scanners for the monuments of tangible cultural heritage. The second is the recording of the movement so that we can reproduce the movements that some people make to practice their art and the third and very important is the representation of knowledge with which we semantically represent both the processes and the cultural context in which they developed the arts “says Xenophontas Zampoulis, a researcher in Computer Science at the Institute of Technology and Research and coordinator of the Mingei project.

  • help us better study and preserve ancient traditional arts, such as cheese-making? We came to these unique shepherds’ huts in the heart of the mountains of Crete to learn more.

Alekos Dayantas, 73, continues to make cheese, following the technique his uncle taught him when he was young. Today we meet him in his mitato, in the traditional accommodation made of dry stone in Anogia, Crete. He uses goat’s milk to make two varieties of cheese, mizithra, and katsohori: “All the families here, 85% are cattle breeders. Each family had its corral and had its products. Our family also had goats. I still have a few more to do the job of the store “.

Experts in computer science from the European research project Mingei are here to identify objects used in cheese-making. But they are also interested in capturing the bigger picture: the tangible side of these ancient activities, the materials they used, the movements and techniques of the producers, but also the general geographical, architectural, and cultural context in which these arts were born and flourished.

“They are the scanners for the monuments of tangible cultural heritage. The second is the recording of the movement so that we can reproduce the movements that some people make to practice their art and the third and very important is the representation of knowledge with which we semantically represent both the processes and the cultural context in which they developed the arts “says Xenophontas Zampoulis, a researcher in Computer Science at the Institute of Technology and Research and coordinator of the Mingei project.

In addition to cheese-making, researchers are developing a database that also includes loom weaving, clothing dyeing, blown glass, traditional ceramics, and silk weaving. Interactive augmented reality and other tools are used to connect traditional arts and practices with the historical and geographical environment developed:

“Wanting to create a general methodology for recording and presenting traditional arts, this led us to have to create this methodology at the same time, talk to user communities and see how this technology fits their needs and at the same time create the technical tools needed to apply this methodology “explains Nikolaos Partarakis, a researcher in Computer Science at the Institute of Technology and Research.

To present these traditions to young audiences who love modern technology, they use innovative interactive methods: “We have done all this to make the results of our technology more accessible and comprehensible and to have a playful way to be attractive to the audience. To preserve the traditional arts, we must attract interest in various ways and make the stories more modern “, emphasizes Xenofontas Zampoulis, a researcher in Computer Science at the Institute of Technology and Research and coordinator of the Mingei project.

Scientists believe that the survival of traditional arts also depends on their economic viability, through ecotourism for example. Digital tools can effectively help achieve this goal.

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