We're happy to get in touch with our latest news.
It's been busy lately at Odeuropa HQ - we completed several technical tasks so we now have a first version of our text benchmark dataset and an almost first version of our image benchmark. We are also on schedule to deliver our second project milestone on time at the end of this month: the first version of the European Olfactory Knowledge Graph.
If you would like to find out more about how we are teaching computers to 'see' smells in artworks, our colleagues Mathias Zinnen and Sofia Ehrich explain the process step-by-step in our latest video.
We've also had a chance to engage in international discussions about smell history, AI and olfactory heritage. Among the highlights was Lizzie Marx's discussion on how works of art in the exhibition Fleeting – Scents in Colour could shed light on the perfumer in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. The talk was part of the conference The Perfumer: The Evolution of a Figure Since the Renaissance, held in Versailles this October. Also in October, Inger Leemans presented Odeuropa at Osmocosm, the first decentralized annual tech olfaction conference, held in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In November, Cecilia Bembibre and Victoria-Anne Michel joined the conversation around perfume and culture in the II Jornadas Internacionales de Historia y Cultura del Perfume.
After a year of working behind the scenes, we are hosting our first (of many) public-facing event: a 2-day online workshop, examining the role of malodours in cultural heritage. While we are familiar with fragrances, aromas, and the mouth-watering smells of foods as defining elements of our social perception, the potential of stench in cultural storytelling is yet to be defined. Join a fantastic lineup of scholars, artists, scientists and creative practitioners in advancing this unexplored topic -with practical suggestions for nose-first involvement- on 15 & 16 December. For more information on how to join, including the programme, please visit our website.
We would like to congratulate Caro Verbeek, a member of the Odeuropa team, on the publication on her book Een kleine cultuurgeschiedenis van de (grote) neus (in Dutch, cover below) about the cultural history of noses. We hear there's an English edition in the works for the new year!
Also, Asifa Majid, an estemeed member of our advisory board, has been appointed Professor of Cognitive Science at University of Oxford. Congratulations, Asifa!
We're delighted to announce our latest initiative, PastScent, which aims to bring together academics who are working on smell and the past. PastScent is a part of our offerings (including the Odeuropa Network and the Smellinar series) to the larger Odeuropa community which includes artists, cultural heritage professionals, digital heritage specialists, computer scientists, perfumers, researchers, industry representatives, and independent practitioners interested in olfactory heritage and sensory mining.
Amongst the disciplines widely represented in PastScent are history, art history, literature, languages, archaeology, heritage, chemistry, and science and technology studies. At the same time, PastScent is a discipline-agnostic network and welcomes multiple approaches. At the core of its vision is a desire to promote intellectual generosity, openness, and collaboration. What we share is an interest in understanding smell in the past, smell and the past, or the smell of the past. On the Odeuropa website you can view the PastScent Membership list and a publicly accessible PastScent Bibliography with over 700 references to scholarly works on smell. If you are an academic working smell and the past and wish to get involved in PastScent and put on our mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we are hiring a Communications intern! If you are interested in advancing your skills in science communication, working with an international, interdisciplinary team, please apply here. The deadline for applications is 15 December 2021. We'd also be grateful if you could share the opportunity with your networks.
Thanks for sharing this space. See you in the winter, for an exciting museum collaboration which will invite the public to experience artworks with their noses, via smelly interpretations and guided tours. In the meantime, follow us on twitter and visit the Odeuropa website for more news.
We wish you a very fragrant holiday season,
The Odeuropa team