Museums, Archiving, and Interactivity

artMUSE goes MaX – how virtual exhibition technologies arises media art in Europe by Martin Koplin et. al./ Historical Orchestra: A Research for a More Engaging Museum Experience by Ferhat Sen/ Soft Clouding by Morten Søndergaard, Thomas Markussen, Barnabas Wetton, and Ivan Dehn/ From Archive to Retroscope – pushing forward resource integration by Catherine Moriarty and Chris Wild/ The Museum Machine - or - A Database Approach to the Representation of Space by Andreas Kratky and Juri Hwang
Tuesday, 20 September, 2011 - 17:00 - 18:40
Chair Person: 
Daniel Wessolek
Martin Koplin
Ferhat Şen
Morten Søndergaard
Thomas Markussen
Barnabas Wetton
Ivan Dehn
Catherine Moriarty
Andreas Kratky
Juri Hwang
Lívia Rózsás
Chris Wild
Helmut Eirund
Ann Van Nieuwenhuyse
Svetozora Kararadeva
Iwona Bigos
Irena Ruzin
Hans Hermann Precht
Reha Dişçioğlu

artMUSE goes MaX – how virtual exhibition technologies arises media art in Europe

by Martin Koplin, Livia Rozsas, Helmut Eirund, Hermann Josef Stenkamp, Ann Van Nieuwenhuyse, Svetozora Kararadeva, Iwona Bigos, Irena Ruzin, and Hans-Hermann Precht

Our project creates a new dimension between permanent new media art festival and visitor participation and exchange in museums and between other museums and their visitors and between media artist. It is an open source, permanently increasable collection of documentation of artistic events, exhibitions and performances.

The tool to be used is an interactive stele, consists of six multi-touch screens, called European Corner, which creates a new dimension of visitors participation and artists exchange in the museums. Regional aspects of European culture gives the historical background that will be explored. It will link to facts and ideas about history and future and with the question, how to take part in the design of our cultural or art processes. The project generates the missing link between the common aspects of old industry culture and new media culture and art, with interests and necessities of today.

One aim of the project to joint contemporary art and industry, as the leading and most progressive artistic practices nowadays are strongly dependent on digital, to be exact already post-digital revolution. In the European Corner new media artworks will be presented with digital tool, what the artists themselves use as well. This revolutionary kind of presentation approach is adequate for its content.

The stakeholders form an interdisciplinary group of European institutions and artist with the Industriemuseum Textilmuseum in Bocholt, DE, the Museum Industriële Archelolgie en Textil, Genth, BE, the National Polytechnic Museum, Sofia, the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, DK, the Nordwolle - Nordwestdeutsches Museum für IndustireKultur, the Hochschule Bremen, Institut fuer Informatik und Automation, the M2C Institut fuer angewandte Medienforschung at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen, DE, the Municipality of Bitola, FYROM, the Museums of Bitola, FYROM, the City Galery Gdansk and new media artist from all these regions.

Our project is funded by the participating institutions, the EU Culture2007-2013 Programme and several private foundations.

Historical Orchestra: A Research for a More Engaging Museum Experience

by Ferhat Sen, Reha Discioglu

In this paper we describe the design and research phases of an interdisciplinary project which can be defined as a digital cultural heritage experience combining art, computing and digital technology. The use of digital and electronic media implies a change in the conception and affordance of museums and the relationships between the artifacts and the visitors of the museum. Within this change, the major problem of traditional conception of museum is its lack of interactivity and thus lack of visitor engagement. Therefore, there is a certain need for an interaction-based experience in the way the artifacts are exhibited.  In this paper we propose an interactive participatory experience for a cultural artifact. Historical Orchestra is an interactive media installation based on a 16th century Turkish illustrated manuscript in an attempt to create a more engaging museum exhibiton experience. The installation utilizes three tangible musical interfaces and gives real-time visual narrative feedback. The musical interfaces are augmented instruments that enable three users to play three instruments simultaneously without any prior musical knowledge. The visuals are based on a story and its illustration as a miniature painting in the manuscript. The selected two-page miniature painting is interactively animated according to the actions of the user with the instruments. The method used in designing the system is of a collaborative nature where musicians and art historians contributed to the design along with the designers. In result, we have observed that the system enabled the visitors to have a more engaging cultural heritage experience through its interactive and participatory quality. We are also proposing to exhibit the resulting installation in ISEA2011 as an artwork.

SOFT CLOUDING – Curating a New Semantics of Sound Archiving

by Morten Søndergaard, Thomas Markussen, Barnabas Wetton, and Ivan Dehn

Soft clouding is a blended concept which describes the aim of a collaborative and transdisciplinary project. The concept is a metaphor implying a blend of cognitive, embodied interaction and semantic web. Furthermore, it is a metaphor describing our attempt of curating a new semantics of sound archiving.

The Soft clouding Project is part of LARM - a major infrastructure combining research in and access to sound and radio archives in Denmark. In 2012 the LARM infrastructure will consist of more than 1 million hours of radio, combined with metadata who describes the content. The idea is to analyse the concept of ‘infrastructure’ and ‘interface’ on a creative play with the fundamentals of LARM (and any sound archive situation combining many kinds and layers of data and sources).

This paper will present and discuss the Soft clouding project from the perspective of the three practices and competencies brought together in one transdisciplinary process of curating a semantics of sound: Technological, Humanistic /Curatorial, and Design / Action-based practice.

Everything is tagged…

One of the main obstacles of creating an interface for an infrastructure, which contains a combination of many already rather large archives, is the amount of information involved; the way it is structured and described – on all kinds of levels.

In this regard, it is very near – but not similar – to the concept of ‘cloud computing’.  (Leadbeater, 2010)

Cloud computing is a concept for next generation internet where data is organized in a different manner, than is the case in the current www setup. The speed and growth of the Internet means we are drifting away from taxonomy and the search-oriented architecture gives us new possibilities in crowd sourcing and collaboration. The innovative idea of Cloud computing is that everything on the future www is ‘miscellaneous’, yet traceable in tagged contexts (Weiser, 2008).

Emergent technologies like Echonest and others, gives us a opportunity to ‘trace’ sequence and identify ‘hidden’ content in large amount of sound data. On the other hand, some of the mechanisms of emergence are organizational and collaborative, rather than purely technical. (McAfee, 2009)

The next most likely stage of the web’s technical development – cloud computing – will act as a giant accelerator for cultural cloud formation. It will be like a giant machine for making clouds of culture. (Leadbeater, 201

From Archive to Retroscope – pushing forward resource integration

by Catherine Moriarty and Chris Wild

The University of Brighton Design Archives has created over 6,000 digital images in recent years, making visible to wide audiences highlights from one of the largest libraries of industrial design photography in the world. Repurposing these images to enhance their research and learning potential is an ongoing ambition and this paper discusses a major step forward in this respect, a collaboration with one of the most exciting innovations in the resource delivery landscape, The Retroscope, a ‘visual time machine’ that offers a way of surfing time online by integrating images, moving images and sound in chronological and spatial arrangements for people to explore, add to and curate.

The Retroscope has partnerships with many leading archives, including Getty’s Hulton Archive, the Bridgeman Art Library, the Central Office of Information and the BBC. The Retroscope is due to be launched in 2011 and has attracted considerable attention already, described by Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture as ‘the next big thing’ and by John Mitchinson, Director of Research, QI as ‘one of the richest uses yet for the web’.

This paper describes how a University collection can work outside the educational sector to push the boundaries in terms visibility and currency and to make more porous the perceived boundaries between conventional educational environments and other, more public, venues for learning. Indeed, joining forces with The Retroscope presents a high prolife opportunity for Design Archives resources to reach audiences unimaginable alone. What might this advance in digital curation mean for arts education and research and for cross-sector dialogue? How can the situation of archival data in a merged spatial and chronological delivery environment (as opposed to the rigid conventions of archival hierarchies) inform new thinking in the arts and humanities? How might a collaboration of this kind provoke research challenges and opportunities? These are some of the questions this paper will address. It will also be the first public presentation of the outcomes of this project.

The Museum Machine - or - A Database Approach to the Representation of Space

by Andreas Kratky and Juri Hwang

We generally think of space as a coherent and continuous extent and the representation of it is dominated by the linear perspective. Even though art movements like cubism or the infinite folding of the baroque, as characterized by Gilles Deleuze, have introduced different ways to conceive of space and its representation, the tools we use to conceive space are still mostly following the invention of perspective as it was devised by Brunelleschi and Alberti. Tied to this concept is the conclusion that the viewer as a single individual can only be in one point at a time as a precondition for the coherence of the space.

In the project “Venture to the Interior” we are formulating a database approach to the representation of space. Devising a method that combines the rendition of computer generated 3-dimensional space with an array of different objects and media such as space-referenced photography, film, documents, taxidermies, and oral accounts we are creating a hybrid mixed-reality environment that integrates multiple points of view and allows to explore a layered structure of parallel spaces.

The proposed paper describes our method and design considerations involved into the creation of the interactive installation “Venture to the Interior”, a real-time 3-d environment that investigates the nature of the museum as an apparatus of collecting and cumulative knowledge construction. With the example of the Natural History Museum in Berlin and its vast collections we are reflecting the nature of the museum as a space that exists outside of time and that entertains simultaneous relationships to a multitude of different places.