7 Apr 2006

Take Away Museum

Talking together about what you have seen

18 May 2006

What is the best way to get people talking about a museum collection, not only when they’re at the museum but also when they’ve gone home — over dinner, in bed, on the street, in a café, on the phone… Until now the best way to share your impressions of a museum visit is the humble museum postcard, with or without a few words scribbled on the back. The card contains personal memories and associations of a particular moment - the ideal starting point for a conversation.


Symbolic table -

From place to conversation
On 18 May Virtueel Platform will host a workshop dealing with the social role of heritage organisations. Museums, archives and libraries are above all meeting places, places where conversations can get going, either in real life or virtually. The workshop examines three different domains within such a conversation: the physical world of the objects, the domain of digital information and the mental space of two or more people in conversation. What role can the museum play in linking up these three worlds?

The new role of heritage organisations
Cultural organisations are taking on board eCulture as well as examining their changing role in society. As well as digitising and making their collections accessible, these organisations are reappraising their role in relation to their audience. Cultural organisations are increasingly intermediaries in the process of ‘providing meaning’. Their knowledge and content is no longer a clearly defined end product for visitors to consume, but rather a half-finished product that acquires meaning only through interaction with the audience and with other forms of cultural expression. Two essential ingredients in this process are cooperation between cultural organisations and a greater role for the audience.

The workshop
This one-day workshop brings together small teams of participants who design scenarios for the issues raised above. The ingredients are the following themes: linking physical objects and digital information (RFID and unique identification codes); social networks and social interaction; and tagging as an alternative to traditional classification systems.

Programme Take Away Museum

09.30 - 09.40 Welcome by Cathy Brickwood, Virtueel Platform

09.40 - 10.00 Introduction by Dick Rijken

10.00 - 11.00 Presentation Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

11.00 - 11.15 COFFEE BREAK

11.15 - 12.15 Presentation by Willem Velthoven, Symbolic Table,

12.15 - 12.45 Symbolic Table Try Out

12.45 - 13.45 LUNCH BREAK

13.45 - 14.15 Concept development

14.15 - 15.00 Presentation and feedback on concepts

15.00 - 16.15 Working on concepts

16.15 - 16.30 COFFEE BREAK

16.30 - 17.30 End presentations

17.30 drink

The participants
We aim to come up with a productive mix of designers, developers and project leaders of cultural organizations, who together can develop scenarios for a framework that will raise many issues around heritage collections.

Location: KHL, Oostelijke Handelskade 44, Amterdam
Costs: 75 Euro
Subscribe: Unfortunately the workshop is already fully booked, you can still subscribe for the waitinglist by sending an e-mail to info@virtueelplatform.nl with your name, position and organisation.

The speakers and facilitators
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen recently set up the Thinglinks project. A Thinglink is a free and unique code that anyone can request and use. The project came out of the conviction that free use of unique identification codes make it much easier to find certain ‘things’ online. Ulla gained experience in the craft field and is currently building a Thinglink database which links structured data and free text plus other media using 'folksonomic tagging'.

Ulla-Maaria Mutanen is currently working on her PhD at the Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research at the University of Helsinki. She is also developing a project looking at the link between technology, fashion and craft. She is a board member of the Finnish Association of Designers.

Willem Velthoven
Willem Velthoven (director Mediamatic) has built up a body of experience with creating frameworks and platforms for telling stories, with projects such as AnyStory (database) and Het Geheugen van Oost. As well as building a flexible database, a key part of these projects is ways of collecting stories, and how this should be organised. Mediamatic is currently working on the ‘Symbolic Table’, together with Imagine IC. The table acts as a button-free interface. Stories, photos, film and music can be selected and manipulated simply by placing objects on the table and then removing them. The ‘Symbolic Table’ will be used in the workshop as a tool to come up with scenarios.

Dick Rijken
Dick Rijken has a great deal of experience in running and advising on new media projects in the cultural sector. Some of his projects include setting up VPRO's 3voor12 lokaal, and more recently the
‘Wonderkamers’ in the Gemeente Museum in The Hague. Dick teaches at the Haagse Hogeschool, where he set up a course for students who come up with new media projects for cultural and social NGOs. The key issue in this course is to coach a process in which an idea becomes a concept, and finally a good project proposal that can raise funds. Dick Rijken will act as facilitator in this workshop.

an elaborate report on the workshop:
morning presentations: www.virtueelplatform.nl/verslagtakeaway
afternoon working sessions: