Media challenging museums - IT, audiences and the exhibition formats
Media Challenging Museums IT, audiences and the exhibition format Center for Communication and Computing 21.11. 2012Kjetil Sandvik, associate professor, Department of Media,Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen
The main point!• Communicating cultural heritage is about telling stories• It is about engaging the users in the storytelling process (participation)• It is about creating a storytelling device which can be played with, manipulated, changed (co- creation)• A constructivist approach towards knowledge and learning• Mobile and networked media represent new possibilities and challenges for this kind of communication
Purpose• Developing new ways of communicating culture/cultural heritage.• New museum/exhibition format – inspired by Web 2.0: – social software: ’architectures of participation’ – dialogue-based communication – facilitating collaborative task solving, initiating knowledge sharing, enabling community formation – engaging and activating audiences (primarily by the use of interactive mobile media: smart phones, tablets…) – not producer-centered (producer has knowledge/user receives knowledge), but participant-centered and experience-oriented (knowledge is obtained through partaking in the exhibitions experience-design) 3
PurposeMuseum 2.0:• Audiences are not just participants but co- creators through collective learning processes (uses of creative potential, focus on the experience dimension)• Media do not just serve as means for communicating knowledge, but as creative tools for knowledge creation and learning processes.• Based on a experience-focused and constructivist approach to learning and knowledge communication 4
Challenges of digital mediaParticipatory (social) media/web 2.0:• radical possibilities for dialogic processes, for collaboration and co-creation• Communication as dynamic processes• Fixed solutions changeable, adaptive and user- centered solutions• Uses of web 2.0 apps mashups: combinations of cheap, effective and constantly updated and improved media technology• Communication 2.0: perpetual beta way of communication• Mobility, location-sensitivity, networkability…
Death, Materiality and the Origins of Time• Intervening research processes and exhibition design experiments• Displaying questions not (only) answeres• Displaying the researcher at work knowledge in the making• Displaying mistakes, flawed hypothesis, disagreements, controversies• It is all about engaging the audience in dialogues about what is being exhibited
Format not just forthe design process,but for ’the exhi-bitions’ itself
Window tothe researherin the field(or laboratoryetc.) Channel for com- municating with the audience
Trust No-one!• A new type of city walk in Kolding: augmented reality game for tourists• Experience the rennaisance buildings, streets and squares mapped onto the present day city by the use of AR browser on the mobile phone
Project scope• Mobile phones (smart phones) used for communicating culture• Fiction used for communicating history• Experiments with Augmented Reality (at low costs)• Creating an unorthodox city walk: – instead of an exhibition about renaissance Kolding, we let the renaissance pop up in the city space• The audience as participants and co-creators
Project scope• Mixed media: – mobile phone as ’swizz army knife’ – mash-up of variety of services: low-cost and easy to adjust (Layar, Google Maps, Youtube and other file- sharing services)• Ubiquitous computing: – not so much embedded in the fabric of physical location – but accessible everywhere by ways of…• Mobile and location sensitive media:• Over-layering locations with digital information:• Augmentation!
Creating an augmented reality experience - demo
Augmentation• an informational, aesthetical and/or emotional enhancement of our sense and experience of place by use of various framing strategies (e.g. Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh) and media technologies (e.g. a guided Rebus Tour).
Augmentation of places• Construction of a kind of mixed reality• the place has a status both as an actual location in the physical world and as a storyspace• blend of fact and fiction• blend of physical and mediated space• blend of presentation and (user) performance• ‘charged spaces’ (Valtysson) 15
Split reality vs Mixed reality• Split reality: switching between mediated space (e.g. inside the mobile phone) and physical space• Mixed reality: blending between mediated and physical space (e.g. looking at physical space through an ‘augumented reality browser’ on the mobile phone)• Mixed reality implies a certain way of telling stories connecting the actual and the fictional space/the physical space and the mediated space • (this is where Hikuin’s Vendetta goes wrong – and we try to make things right) 17
Kolding as augmented storyspace• Creating a dramatic meta-story connecting different location specific narrative tableaus containing various actual historical characters and events – (e.g. the co-operation between the public executioner and the pharmacist selling human fat and pulverized sculls for medical use)• within the same fiction frame providing connections between the narrative tableaus – (the castle is on fire (which is an actual event), a messenger is found murdered, a conspiracy against the King may be afoot).• The tale is taking place in the city space and interfaces with specific locations with historical significance – (e.g. the square where executions took place, the building housing the pharmacy)• Thus: a mediated version of renaissance Kolding is mapped onto the physical – and present-day – version of the city.
Kolding as augmented storyspace• Creating a dramatic meta-story connecting different location specific narrative tableaus containing various actual historical characters and events – (e.g. the co-operation between the public executioner and the pharmacist selling human fat and crushed sculls for medical use)• within the same fiction frame providing connections between the narrative tableaus – (the castle is on fire (which is an actual event), a messenger is found murdered, a conspiracy against the King may be afoot).• The tale is taking place in the city space and interfaces with specific locations with historical significance – (e.g. the square where executions took place, the building housing the pharmacy)• Thus: a mediated version of renaissance Kolding is mapped onto the physical – and present-day – version of the city.
Physical space as media• The physical space is to some degree functioning as media communicating specific types of information, specific types of stories. • the city quarters with its streets, alleys, buildings, ornamentations such as statues, gargoyles and so on function as a narrative architecture like a theme/themed park like Disneyland including buildings and landscapes known from the catalog of Disney fairytales• Several parts of the city of Kolding used as location for the “Trust No-one!” project have these qualities of being media in themselves, as carriers of the story of Kolding. 24
Physical space as media• With the use of mobile phones equipped with navigation tools and augmented reality browsers this information residing in the very architecture and infrastructure of the city may be pulled forth and made visible, accessible and interactive from the perspective of communicating history and cultural heritage. 26
InterfaceIntroduction/manualMapEpisodesLayars of informationGuessing who thekiller is
Summing up• Mobile and networked media technology as e.g. augmented reality makes us see things in new ways:• Buildings are not just buildings, streets are not just streets – the carry stories, they carry cultural meaning• This meaning may be experienced through an interplay between the physical locations of the city and the ubiquitous and locative information layers provided by mobile media.
Project participants• Kolding Libraries• Kolding City Archive• VIFIN – knowledge center for integration (Vejle)• Dept. of Media, Cognition and Communication,, University of Copenhhagen• Knowledge center for Children and Youth Culture, VIA University College
Relevant literature• Robert R. Janes: Museums in a Troubled World. Renewal, irrelevance or collapse?, London and New York: Routledge 2009• Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook: Rethinking Curating. Art after New Media, Cambridge MA: The MIT Press 2010• Fiona Cameron and Sarah Kenderdine (eds.): Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage. A Critical Discourse, Cambridge MA: The MIT Press 2007/2010• Ross Parry (ed.) Museums in a Digital Age, London and New York 2010• Loïs Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.): Digital Technologies and The Museum Experience. Handheld Guides and Other Media, New York: AltaMira Press 2008• Nina Simon: The Participatory Museum, Santa Cruz CA: Museum 2.0 2010