MIST: museum interfaces, spaces, technologies
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE - Monday 22 / Tuesday 23 MARCH 2010
[Workshop Booklet] PDF
Building on a 2007 AHRC-funded pilot workshop project, 'Discursive Formations' led by the Digital Studio (Department of Architecture) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and on a 2008 AHRC BT-Goldsmiths workshop in Martlesham Heath, MIST now aims to explore how new technologies, at the intersections of material and digital culture, open the way for new forms of museum spectatorship, making our cultural heritage more interesting and engaging as well as reaching new audiences. MIST is a BT-AHRC sponsored collaboration between Goldsmiths (Computer Science) and the University of Cambridge (Department of Architecture).
For the purpose of this exploration, three events will be organised in the course of 2010. The first workshop will take place on 22 & 23 March at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, while the next two will take place in London (dates to be announced at the Cambridge event).
How can the 21st-century museum reconcile the oppositions between Populist/Elitist; Experiential/Static; Fun/Serious; Entertaining/Educational; Play/Work; Interactive/Contemplative;
Sensory/Mental; Immersive/Passive; Participation/Observation; Celebration/Edification; Social/Solitary; High-tech+media/artifacts; Discovery+multiple viewpoints/Authoritative+institutional viewpoint; Boisterous/Quiet, identified by art historian Chris Bruce, Director of the Washington State University Museum of Art and former Director of the Experience Music Project (Seattle) (in New Museum, Theory & Practice, ed. Janet Marstine, Blackwells, 2006: pp134/5)? At the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge and the Fitzwilliam Museum over two days, around 25 invited participants - Architects, Artists, Engineers, Computer Scientists, Museologists and Performers - will be addressing and debating these oppositions, together with a range of related issues:
Day 1 (Mon 22 March)
Acknowledging the need to associate the display of works of art with the space of the museum, Day 1 will investigate issues of spatiality, narrativity and interactivity in the museum context, demonstrating that museums have moved away from transparent systems of organization towards memory-theatre, site of wonder, or chance encounter-as an assemblage of stories and objects which may be linked in many ways. With contemporary digital research providing new ways of understanding objects and art-works, Day 1 will further touch on issues of memory and hapticity as part of the cultural experience. Demonstrations of the state-of-the art in interactivity and hapticity will be conducted by leading technologists and scientists from Apple, Microsoft, Sony and BT.
Day 2 (Tue 23 March)
working from the inspiration of Day 1, will explore how media and
performativity potentially offer the museum visitor a deeper engagement - not through reenactment, but through original transmedia augmentations of the collection. After some presentations and demonstrations - and a 'café concert' - participants will work together in small groups to develop ideas for original integrated media approaches, designed to enhance understanding and enjoyment of cultural heritage, using contemporary techniques. A panel of experts will review the ideas, and experienced technology and exhibition design professionals will advise on feasibility and practical applications.
In parallel with the workshop, demos by participants and visiting digital technologists from the Cultural Industries, University Research Labs and SMEs will be available at set times over the two days.