Crafting Experiences in Museums: Physical or Digital?
ICOM UK Student and Emerging Professionals Conference, online, Thursday 7 December 2023
The conference is being organised as part of the ICOM UK Student and Emerging Professionals offering. We are seeking to develop a space for students and emerging professionals to engage with other museum professionals through conversations and thought provoking interdisciplinary perspectives on museum studies. The conference is looking to reflect the developing practices that museums and ICOM are navigating globally; emphasising a significant focus on the inclusivity and sustainability of museum practices, and responding to emerging issues in contemporary society. Through encouraging voices and agency among students and emerging professionals, the conference stresses ICOM’s role to encourage students’ participation in the international environment of museum specialities.
Exploring museums as intermediate sites for interpreting the world, the conference engages in the seemingly antithetic relationship between physical contact and digital operations in crafting museum experiences. In order to be accessible and embrace diverse museum audiences and participants, museum narratives today have become more dynamic, open-ended and multivalued in ways of making meaning. Direct interactions with physical objects alongside various types of technology, are now commonplace in generating authentic experiences and developing meaning in cultural heritage. In this sense, the idea of a collection has been reshaped to enable a broader range of narratives that alter and develop with individuals’ engagement.
With a focus on interpretive techniques that speak to issues of sustainability and inclusivity, this conference aims to explore different museum strategies, physically and/or digitally engagement practices, social functions in contemporary society, and inclusivity work in practice. This conference surfaces a number of questions: to what extent do museum narratives today still rely on physically connecting with objects? How has technology today changed ways of making meaning and developing plural narratives? What are the possibilities and obstacles of digital experiences in museum practices? What is the role of physical objects in the digital age when museum experiences can be crafted beyond physical contacts?
The programme and speakers:
09:30-09:50 Opening Remarks
09:50-11:10 Keynote Speech:
Professor Ross Parry – Director of Institute for Digital Culture, University of Leicester
11:30-12:50 Panel One:
Material Truth through Digital Methods
Mingshi (Michelle) Cui – University of Leicester
Reshaping narrations of displaced objects in museums via digital methods
Elisa Palomino – Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center
Jonathan Katz – Royal College of Art, London
Digital Engagement with Arctic Material Culture Heritage at International Museums: A 3D simulation of a Fish skin parka from the Anchorage Museum
Zhi Ye – King’s College London
Aesthetic Encounters: between blockbuster exhibition and immersive exhibition
Feifan Lou – University of Cambridge
Reimagining Late Qing China through Voices and Shadows: Exploring the Interplay between Individuals, Objects and History the British Museum’s China’s Hidden Century Exhibition
1250-1400 Lunch Break
1400-1520 Panel Two:
Making things meaningful and engaging
Bin Guo – University College London
“Mummy, How Can We Turn it Off?”: Investigating Family Interaction and Learning When Visiting an Anthropological Gallery in the UK
Shahnila Shafiq – University of Cambridge
Bringing a Fine & Decorative Museum to Life
Xingyue Yang – University of Glasgow.
Enhancing Online Audience Engagement in Intangible Cultural Heritage Databases: A Case Study
Ellen Charlesworth – Durham University
Are our online engagement strategies working? Learning from the surprising success of UK transport museums
15:40-17:00 Panel Three
Technology and Narratives
Marjotte Miles – University of Liverpool
4 Months at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford:
Handling Violent Narratives in Physical and Digital Museum Spaces
The Impact on Visitors of ICT and Traditional Interpretative Layouts in CSMVS.
Linjie Wang – University College London
Filming Technology as a Self-Governance Tool: Strategies of the Baiku Yao Eco-museum in Southwest China
Denize Ledeatte – National Windrush Museum
Decolonising the lived experience