Manual Digital Collections: Museums and the Information Age (Conservation & Museology)

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. During her studies she mainly focused on field of museology. She completed her studies in with a thesis on museum communication forms on the example of exhibition texts. At the same time she began to work as co-curator at the Joanneum.

Among her activities, besides inventorying of collectibles, was preparing a museological museum collections thesaurus. Since winter term she is employed as a lecturer at the University of Graz. Besides this she also participates in various research projects in the context of university museums Graz. She coordinates the digitalisation process of the collections of university museums at the University of Graz from a museological perspective and is involved in the process of exhibition creation. Her research and publication activities are mainly focused on the following topics: theoretical museology, forms of museum presentation and communication, museum documentation standards as well as enriching applied museum work by methods of digital humanities.

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Pages Received 16 Oct Additional information Disclosure statement No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. Article Metrics Views. Article metrics information Disclaimer for citing articles. Login options Log in. Username Password Forgot password? Shibboleth OpenAthens. Restore content access Restore content access for purchases made as guest. Article Purchase - Online Checkout. Looking into the future, exhibitions will increasingly feature digital art capable of molding digital media into real-life immersive experiences, so that digital beings will become more real.

What will be the effect on the human psyche? Will we love art more causing museums to attract larger audiences. Surely, radical change is upon us, as the unstoppable force of digital progression makes its way to the heart of the museum. In its early years as the South Kensington Museum, the institution was involved with various initiatives that bridged art and science. This chapter outlines some of the issues involved in acquiring, maintaining, documenting and exhibiting a diverse range of physical and digital artworks created with code.

The emergence of digital technologies has impacted not only the nature of museums as institutions, but also the practice of artists. Consequently, artworks which employ digital media such as video and software in their access or display are making their way into permanent collections in increasing numbers. These digital media can pose considerable challenges in terms of long-term access and display, due to a changing technological environment and resulting risk of obsolescence.

Contemporary art museums are among those leading the way in developing approaches to collecting and caring for these types of object. This accompanies a general shift in conservation theory and practice, from a traditional object-centric approach to one which allows the continued evolution of the work through time.

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The presence of digital media in collections is also forcing the art museum to look beyond its walls and engage with experts from formerly unfamiliar domains. In this chapter, we will introduce the imperatives driving digital preservation and discuss the state of the art in the field of conserving and preserving digital art. We will then focus on recent research relating to specific digital media types and present a number of case studies from the Tate collection.

Museums represent complex layers of place. From carefully managed curatorial spaces, to exhibition environments, to the layout of display cases, to the representation of distant parts embodied in the collections of the great encyclopedic collections, the negotiation, representation and presentation of place has always been central to the mission of any museum. This chapter will examine the history of how museums especially museum catalogues present place, from early origins to the Internet.


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It will thus be possible to present a framework for considering object itineraries—historic and modern—as a subject of both history and historiography. Crucially, it is proposed here that it has been the role of accessible design in particular, the design of digital with disability in mind that has acted both as a key informant and agitator of this change, but also the practice through which this development can most usefully be seen.

The role of digital technologies within the museum context continues to evolve. We have moved from ensuring a digital presence in exhibits to considering digital spaces equal to physical spaces. Now, content and message are driven by most appropriate presentation method. Sometimes, that method is either digital but often, the physical and digital method ologies can be tightly integrated to create a seamless experience.

It leverages many digital technologies some seen by visitors while others unseen by visitors that add to the visitor experience in a way that physical exhibits cannot. This chapter explores how the American Museum of Natural History both thinks about the digital layer and practical applications in all areas of the museum experience and goal to communicating science. This chapter explores the application of artificial intelligence AI in museums and galleries in engaging their audiences, specifically through the development and use of chatbot technologies.

Through a case study approach, the chapter further provides a practical focus on the design and implementation of an audience development pilot in Milan involving four historic house museums Case Museo di Milano. The pilot aimed to find new and interesting ways to engage teenagers in visiting these museums through visualizing narrative using a convergence of chatbot and gamification platforms. From interactives to apps, from labels to comment areas, museums spend a great deal of time and money planning a variety of digital and non-digital approaches for visitor engagement onsite.

Best practice dictates that we offer a variety of ways for visitors to find relevance and make meaning and that we cater to different learning styles, abilities, and interest levels. However, not all these approaches garner the same amount of interest or use by our visitors. The Brooklyn Museum has a unique data set of use rate metrics from a variety of engagement projects, digital and non-digital, spanning ten years. When examining these use rate metrics, an interesting trend emerges. Is there a reason for the shared use rate among certain opportunities and much different use rates among others?

And if so, how might that inform engagement strategies and evaluation needs for the 21st-century museum? By examining the use rates of these engagement approaches in combination with anecdotal evidence, the author will examine lessons learned about digital and non-digital engagement opportunities including what these past projects can tell us about future planning and the limitations of quantitative data such as use rate in understanding visitor behavior. Following in a long-established tradition of art inspired by biology the work is at the intersection of art, science and computing.

This article looks at the works involved, as well as two works from the original exhibition that were not included in the acquisition, as a case study of providing digital works in a form suitable for preservation, and for display in the future when technology for playback of media is likely to have significantly changed. The work arose in part from significant experiences by Edmonds in the work discussed in Chap. The installations of Shaping Space described range from its first at the Site Gallery in Sheffield, UK , a contemporary art space specializing in moving image , new media and performance, to its latest at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice , a historical not-for-profit institution that supports more traditional and current developments in contemporary art practice.

Technical and aesthetic questions arose, and pragmatics sometimes caused interesting unexpected innovation. What was the inspiration behind these works? Are they connected to each other, and if so, how? What were the major challenges in installing each iteration of the work? How did the different institutions involved in installing the work over the years approached and solved the technical issues around the installation? How did the various venues and surrounding environment influence the work? This chapter focuses on the work and life of digital artist Carla Gannis.

Conveying her journey from painter to digital artist and storyteller, we explore the evolution of her artistic expression from painting to digital art, a story that ties broadly to the development of the digital arts field from the s to present. Presented both through images of her work, and by way of a face to face unrehearsed interview, this chapter touches upon many of the highly pertinent topics impacting artists and museums in the 21st-century digital age.

Among these, of special interest to museums are her observations on audiences, and how working in digital media affords new opportunities and multiple ways of connecting to the viewer, and reaching vast numbers of people across the globe, traveling from the gallery to the public square, in particular, Times Square and the Internet, showing that the life of a digital work can have multiple states of being.

Gannis emphasizes the cultural positioning of digital spaces in physical places where diverse large public audiences can experience the work and where the artist can feel the pulse of public reaction and interaction. A feature of her work is her expression of self and gender through digital manifestations of persona, being and social consciousness, that take very original shapes and forms, images, colors and animations that merge into digital interpretations of self and the surrounding world revealing her creative imagination and sense of poetry used to convey new narratives embedded in her work and life Fig.

Rachel Ara describes herself as a conceptual and data artist , whose work brings to light the trials and tribulations of women in a male dominated world. Through her art, she summons disparate elements from past to present, physical and digital, recalling histories of feminism and memories of women in an alien world. We see red neon lights and red-light districts, Florentine nuns in the shuttered silence of cloisters weaving cloth in codes. By comparison, the exhibition at the Tate Britain , Queer British Art, — , put on view mostly familiar works of women by male artists, and reframed them as works by queer artists living at a time when that identity seemed camouflaged.

As gender and sexual identity have come to the fore, queer art and artists take more visible forms of gender expression. In this new and emerging approach, Ara takes a lead position for conveying, and putting before us, a female perspective where the artist and her art are one. Using the sophisticated means of production that she has mastered, from computing, technology, systems and data analytics, all part of her palette of artistic expression, her art takes its place at the intersection of the digital and physical worlds.

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She is not married to one mode of making art, as she considers what is possible and what is practical, but in either case, it is her passion for art as an expression of ideas that provoke the viewer to think critically about issues of contemporary life. While early experiments in digital and technological art began in the s, degree programs that focused on it did not emerge until the s. Most digital art pioneers were self-taught and created their work at research centers and universities.

Emerging digital artists were primarily fine art students who supplemented their education with courses in computer science, graphics and programming.

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The goal of the program was to provide an academic and studio environment in which artists would learn about the theory, history and practice of digital art. Several MFA degree programs followed and continue to be established. While museums were resistant to this type of art early on, international organizations and a small group of galleries embraced it. Museum curators who had experience and an interest in digital art were few and far between.

As digital artists began to redefine the contemporary art landscape, museums and galleries began to take an interest in exhibiting this creative work. The development of the World Wide Web in the mids radically changed both the museum and contemporary art world, and as well the education of artists. This chapter explores the parallel developments of digital art education; changes in how art is created, experienced and exhibited; new forms of contemporary art and the approaches modern curators are using to showcase this art.

The online platform was designed to train a new breed of front-line, part-time visitor services museum staff, empowering them to be conversant about the art and exhibitions on view, as well as safety procedures. The online training platform included basic safety training, management policies and operation materials for general museum facilities, and have been since extended for use with retail, restaurant and special events staff training after its initial launch.

While the online platform was originally built to support robust, core training environments to support part-time staff with diverse backgrounds and experiences in service, hospitality, and contemporary art education, this chapter traces future potential to nourish museum talent across many digital platforms. Some of the larger questions that museums struggle with include how to help people connect and learn in museums, and how best to help staff engage with visitors to facilitate optimal museum experiences.

Ultimately, this chapter looks at ways to form collaborations across many other contemporary art museums to support radical growth for supporting museum talent, across departments and across many kinds of museums. As the digital revolution accelerates, one of the most significant impacts that museums are experiencing, is how digital development is changing the very nature of work across the professions and disciplines from art and humanities to computer science and technology.

Simply put—work and life are merging and becoming increasingly digital and cross-disciplinary, as they are absorbed into the digital ecosystem. Museums are recognizing that the digital shift is causing them to re-think the skills and knowledge their professional staff needs and are challenged to find effective strategies to respond to changes brought about by digital culture and related social and cultural issues, while graduate education for museum professionals is similarly challenged.

Over the past few years, the work of museum professionals behind the scenes has become increasingly carried out using digital tools and technologies, from collection management including digitization and access, to museum websites and social media , while using digital in galleries and exhibitions is an emerging area of critical focus aimed at developing digital strategies and methods for visitor engagement and experience and that expand the roles and responsibilities of museum professionals.