Museums, Technology and Culture: Culture and Virtual Ecologies

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  • David Garcia, Dean of Chelsea College of Art and Design and Professor of Design for Digital Cultures, HKU
  • Charlie Gere, Head of Department and Reader in New Media Research in the Department of Media, Film, and Cultural Studies, Lancaster University
  • Kelli Dipple, Curator, Intermedia art

This session discusses the wider contexts of the museum’s position in relationship to digital and globalised culture. How will the increasing use of information technologies across a whole spectrum of social, economic and cultural activity impact upon art practice and the value of museums?

 

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This recording is part of:

Resolutely Analogue?: Art Museums in Digital Culture
Programme B

Monday 2 March – Friday 6 March 2009

At the outset the research project Tate Encounters chose to use new media for volunteer participants to record their own encounters with Tate Britain as well as a research tool for reflexive documentation and commentary. This took the practical form of a dedicated intranet site and the use of mobile digital recording.

In using new media the project made a number of assumptions about how undergraduate student participants used new media, how this related to the ways in which a national art museum understood the potential of new media and what the use of new media might produce as research data. Having now completed two years of fieldwork, the project is now reflecting upon its initial assumptions and raising a number of critical questions which it aims to share and extend with a wider group interested in the development of new media in relationship to museums.

Some of the initial questions relate to the following:

  • To what extent does the web visitor have agency to ‘act back’ or to ‘author’ their interactions with museum websites?
  • How is new media being conceived as an ‘interpretative’ or ‘augmenting’ dimension of the museum experience and with what effects?
  • How do museums see and understand the value of the use of personal mobile media within the museum?

These questions have been grouped under the title ‘Resolutely Analogue? Art Museums in Digital Culture’ to signal the tension between change and continuity, between new media enthusiasms and traditional museological practices. Issues such as the use of media in the gallery centered on authority and provenance, ownership and copyright, and user engagement will also be discussed throughout the week’s programme.

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