«Rimpiango proprio che l’umidità m’abbia per sempre guastata una fotografia». Elio Modigliani, le fotografie dell’isola di Nías (1886-1889) e la colorazione automatica di immagini antropologiche. Spunti e ricerche
- artificial intelligence,
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Copyright (c) 2023 Simone Fagioli
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Elio Modigliani collected images from the island of Nías, which he then published in A journey to Nías (1890). Many of these images refer to materials held and exhibited by the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology of the University of Florence. Here we conducted some trials on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) not only to colorize them, but also to retrieve information from the images useful for restoration and conservation. Modigliani's photographs are of particular interest. They illustrate and integrate his reflections on the use of photography for anthropological field research, offer valuable information on shooting techniques and on the original condition and colors of the artifacts. Although AI may not always reconstruct with absolute fidelity the original colors, especially for clothing, our results provides important guidelines for analysis and allows a cogent discussion of the possibilities of AI technology in anthropological research.