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New Media

Go Open Go Minimal / Museums & Social Networks 2.0

Recently launched social media network “Ello” is currently receiving upto 31,000 requests by the hour. (numbers vary based on sources) Placed as an anti-facebook, anti-commercial network dedicated to users, Ello, or the phenomenon of Ello can only be seen as a rebellion towards structured commercialized social networks. It could potentially damage Facebook. Or it may just disappear as another Arab Spring. The awareness is growing that Users are fed up being a product and having their data sold to companies. Networks are no longer organic, currently I would say “synthetic” after all the algorithmical cosmetic treatments. Yet users have also remained complacent and tethered to familiarity and peer pressure. But it could be that this is the beginning of more challenges yet to come. As it has been foreseen, all the existing social networks will be challenged. We are on the edge of a paradigm shift to Social Networks 2.0., the emergence of a plethora of smaller networks and a true plurality. Should museums be worried about this?

Presentation: Digital Heritage Congress 2013 Marseille

The Digital Heritage Congress was hosted in the spectacular Museum complex between Villa Mediterranee and MuCEM between October 28 – November 1 near the old Marseille Waterfront. As a venue it does not get any better.

Among the first things that I came across at the Congress was a Portable low-cost open source 3d Scanner built by researchers in the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) that one can easily assemble and is quite accurate. This was for me one of the few highlights of the Congress. A true ground-up project made with little resources and made for community.….where one could 3d scan artifacts on the move. Among the others attended, there was more of the in-house institutional development of technologies that had little to do with the outside and museum world.

I attended a workshop about building Heritage Competence Centres, where Halina Gotlieb showed how Swedish Interactive Institute was built and is operated. V-Must also showed how it is structured and operated. Another was Impact from Spain(digitisation.eu). I continued on to another session to design an Innovation Model for a Digital Heritage Centre, where we played around with Value, partnerships, budgets, outreach etc. It has helped me understand how to deploy a model in the context of Finland.

A visit to the MMSH Aix-en-Provence: The Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme

Attended a Tutorial and workshop by Katherine Biggs of the British Museum (Samsung Digital Discovery Centre). Learnt about how BA builds digital learning lessons using their collections for young audiences. We designed a workshop based on the available resources, tech. equipment, and presented it to the participants. It was interesting to see a partnership between a private tech. company and a museum for learning.

Overall, the conference was filled with technology demonstrations (especially 3d) and archaeology, but lacked in other humanities, communities and design. Also, there was not much topics on Sustainability and Energy. There was little representation from the Museums themselves, and hardly any curators. But I would highly recommend this Conference for Technology updates in the Digital Heritage Sector.

Assorted Tweets and Images on Storify: http://storify.com/Samir_Bhowmik/digital-heritage-congress-2013-marseille

Crowdsourcing the Museum! A Digitization Strategy for Small Museums in Finland

The World Wide Web has become the de-facto platform for a variety of cultural heritage resources in recent years. A powerful democratic tool, it allows us to access digital heritage from Museums and heritage institutions around the world. Here, collections can be displayed without the limitations of physical space and location. On the Web, there are no small Museums or large Museums. Its a level playing field where beautiful interface design, creative showcasing of Museum collections, access and participation by community can propel former insignificant and buried collections into the midst of contemporary culture and into conversation about in town.

Presenting the Parametric Museum @ Digital Heritage Congress 2013 Marseille

One of the biggest and pioneering scientific Conferences encompassing heritage, digital media and technologies begins in Marseille France from 28 October until 1 November. The Digital Heritage Congress 2013 will bring together several scientific events such as the VSMM(Virtual Systems and Multimedia), GCH (Graphics and Cultural Heritage) and UNESCO’s Memory of the World, besides many other exhibitions, regional and special events. Marseille is the 2013 European Capital of Culture and very appropriately the Congress venue is the MuCEM (Museum of Civilizations) and the Villa Mediterranee.

Check my Twitter for a continuous coverage from 28 Oct – 1 Nov. Or, follow @DHeritage2013. More detailed Information about the Presentation will be available during and after the Conference.

Presentation at DH2013: The Parametric Museum: Combining Building Information Modeling, 3D Projection Mapping with a Community’s Digital Collections for Cultural Heritage Museums

Digitizing Small Finnish Museums (GLAMs) into Culture Commons by Local Communities

Digitizing Small Museums (GLAMs) into Culture Commons by Local Communities (digGLAM) is short-term Aalto Media Factory (AMF) funded project at the Systems of Representation –  Media Lab of Aalto ARTS – Aalto University Helsinki Finland. This Project is an attempt to help digitize the collections of small GLAMs using an Open Source autonomous scanning Robot  initially developed by Project GadoJohn Hopkins University Baltimore (see the technology here: Gado2) and now currently under development in the Media Lab Helsinki along with the Department of Computer Science – Aalto University. Currently we are conducting an Open Industrial Competition to design the outer casing and a portable deployment unit.

A Journey to the Belly of Historic Turku: The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum

From the banks of the River Aura, there sits an inconspicuous looking building complex embedded into the urban riverfront fabric of the oldest city of Finland. At first glance one can easily overlook the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum passing by, but for the curious and the adventurous it would lead to a veritable treasure house of Turku’s medieval history and a temple for the contemporary arts.

The Museum of Copenhagen beyond the "Wall" / Redefining the City Museum via Digital Technologies & Community Participation

A night view of The Museum of Copenhagen’s “Wall” Photo by Casper Miskin, Museum of Copenhagen

According to Director Jette Sandahl, the Museum of Copenhagen is attempting to play a larger role in creating urban identity in Copenhagen, to help residents identify firstly as Copenhageners irrespective of origin and help maintain and promote a beautiful historical and artistic city. For her, the city museum, being the custodian of the city’s past heritage and a continuing cultural present, is in a perfect place to become the mediator and cultivator of the city’s cultural life and projects. Here, the role of the city museum in the urban fabric has become a place for contact and creating outreach among citizens and the Museum of Copenhagen is thereby positioning itself both as a co-creator and as co-custodian on behalf of all Copenhageners.

A night view of The Museum of Copenhagen’s “Wall” Photo by Casper Miskin, Museum of Copenhagen

Artifacts from Helsinki: Curated Energy Artifacts from the Light is History 2012 Installation

The energy artifacts from the Light is History 2012 Installation has been collected and displayed online: http://lightishistory.tumblr.com . This is a preliminary attempt at creating an online repository of objects related to energy and contemporary nordic material culture. All the artefacts displayed here with their narratives were donated by the 16 participating families from Kallio neighbourhood of Helsinki, during the “Light is History” installation, November 24th – December 1st. 2012.

Museum "Teema 13" Seminar at Ateneum Art Museum 7.2. – 8.2.2013

The Teema 13 Seminar was held at the Ateneum Art Museum, which I attended online following the various lectures, videos and tweets. The seminar discussed the availability and usability of public information and cultural heritage materials. One of the tasks of museums is of providing information about cultural heritage openly to the public,  so how can this be best organized and managed in a changing world?
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Light is History – Hakaniemi Market Square Helsinki 25.11 – 01.2012

The “Light is History” project in November 2012  involved a participatory Museum installation that served as a research object in a public square in the Nordic city of Helsinki. It investigated community participation, energy use, and new media approaches in the public display of energy artifacts from contemporary Nordic material culture. Participating families were requested to inform of their energy consumption and publish their daily energy use for one week onto the project web portal. This data was used to determine the brightness of the individual therapy lamps and to light the artifact displays of the installation for over one week. This research exercise demonstrated that community members were willing to anonymously display information of their personal artifacts and its use in the public place and share their energy use information for the common wellbeing. New media technologies and participatory action was able to bridge the private to the public spaces, the individual to the collective, and exhibit the community’s material culture and energy patterns. The project also established that a shared and collaborative installation space that mimics a museum can be created outside the museum walls that is open-sourced, sustainable, and participatory. The project received funding from Aalto Media Factory at Aalto University and was co-organized in the context of Pixelache / Pixelversity’s Talking (Trash) Lab Lecture Series.

The installation was on view at Hakaniementori from 25.1 to 1.12, from 17 to 19 daily.

See the process: http://designresearch.aalto.fi/projects/lih/

See the Artifacts: lightishistory.tumblr.com/

See Trashlab:  http://www.pixelache.ac/pixelversity/trashlab/

(Briefly in Finnish)

Kuusitoista Kalliolaista perhettä on julkistanut päivittäisen energiakulutuksensa nettiportaalissa Light is History-installaatiota varten. Päivittäisen energiankulutuksen erot määrittävät installaatiossa olevien valojen kirkkautta. Kirkkaat valot toimivat kuten kirkasvalolamput, joten ne piristävät ohikulkijoita pimeänä vuodenaikana. Valot on tehty kierrätetyistä, uusiin vaihdetuista sähkömittareista. Osana installaatiota toimii kuvasarja, joka kuvaa teoksen osallistujien päivittäin käyttämiään sähkölaitteita. Yhteisöllinen energiateos Hakaniementorilla visualisoi energian kulutusta avoimessa tilassa. Se elää kaupunkilaisten arjen mukana, jonka olennainen osa energian käyttö on.

Projektia on tukenut Aalto Media Factory ja Aalto Yliopisto. Installaatio on nähtävillä 1.12. asti 17-19 välillä päivittäin.
Lue lisää: http://designresearch.aalto.fi/projects/lih/ ; lightishistory.tumblr.com/

Post-Oil Museum – Modern Identities Conference – Ateneum Art Museum 12.10.12

Presented my updated research plan “The Post-Oil Museum: Building a Sustainable Framework for Heritage Institutions and their User Communities at the Modern Identities Conference at the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki on Friday 12th. Other presenters were my colleagues from Medialab, Aalto ARTS including Head of Research Lily Diaz. An interesting presentation was by Sofia Pescarin, CNR (National Research Council) national coordinator of the research “Virtual Heritage: integrated digital technologies for the understanding, and communication of CH through VR systems”. She presented the Virtual Museum Network (V-MUST.NET) framework that addresses the several types of VR museums created around the world until now and how it will try to address open problems and potential further developments in the domain. Themes of the conference were around: Artistic Exchange, The Question of Identity, Gesamtkunstwerk as an ideology in the European Context.

Ecomuseums 2012 Conference, Seixal, Portugal

The first ever Ecomuseum Conference organized by the Greenlines Institute was held in Seixal, Portugal between 19 – 21st September. I was a delegate and observer to the proceedings for 3 days that included international museum professionals from around the world who expressed their views about the new generation of upcoming ecomuseums. The conference also included a day tour of all the local Ecomuseums of Seixal., and a sailing boat trip on the river Tagus!DSC00818

SPORA BOREALIS Art Installation Helsinki 2012

A GPS based video animation installation that charts the tram movements of Helsinki in real time and generates color patterns using heat signatures in the surrounding air, a process similar to the aurora borealis seen in the north of Finland.spore4spore spore spore