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KULMEDIA-Kultur- og mediesektoren

Cultural Heritage Mediascapes: Innovation in knowledge and communication practices

Alternative title: Kunnskap, kommunikasjon og kulturarv

Awarded: NOK 13.5 mill.

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Project Period:

2015 - 2021

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Producing, archiving, and mediating digital cultural heritage in ways that are relevant for a changing European population is a vital mission and an important societal challenge. The project Cultural Heritage Mediascapes: Innovation in Knowledge and Communication Practices (Mediascapes) has studied key transformations in how knowledge is produced and mediated by experts in museums and archives using digital technologies, as well as the ways in which different publics participate in, contribute to, and learn from this knowledge. Mediascapes research has been framed by the overarching question: In which ways are digitization and participatory models transforming knowledge production and mediation practices in museums and archives of cultural heritage? To address this question, case studies were developed as university-museum partnerships in two different areas of research: Citizen Science-Citizen Humanities and Digital Design Media in Museum Exhibitions. Coherence in case studies of citizen projects was achieved through an analytic focus on the communicative contexts in which institutions and publics interact; a design-based research collaboration with partner institutions; implemented interventions in institutional knowledge practices; and the recruitment of participants in longer term studies. In terms of concrete societal innovations, Norwegian partners identified the following transformed practices. In relation to Citizen Humanities, new practices, policies and initiatives are in place in a national memory institution for increasing multicultural youth participation in narrative archives. In the field of Citizen Science, new interdisciplinary research networks and models have been established to advance greater reciprocity between citizens, scientific institutions and organizations in participatory knowledge work. Overall, the research findings are relevant for policy in the cultural sector in terms of new participatory models: in archives to support the development of young peoples civic identities and cultural citizenship; and in museums to produce reciprocally meaningful outcomes for organizers and volunteers in citizen projects. Case studies in this theme were led by Research Fellow Emily Oswald (IPED, UV), with Associate Professor Line Esborg (IKOS, HF) and Professor Per Hetland (IPED, UV) participating. Mediascapes research on digital design media and tools in museum exhibitions have concretely impacted knowledge practices in the museum in key areas: the adoption of new in-house evaluation processes for exhibitions; plans for increased integration of virtual reality and other digital media in future exhibition designs; and an increased number of research publications. The main activity in this research theme was the design, implementation and study of a full-scale immersive exhibition in the national architecture museum. The research partners were Senior Curator Birgitte Sauge at the National Museum, Architecture and IPED researchers Rolf Steier and Palmyre Pierroux. Thomas Liu, architect and partner at Atelier Oslo, and Anne Qvale, Senior Education Curator at the museum, contributed to research as practice partners. Postdoc Dimitra Christidou was central to the development of a new multimodal interview method, integrated as an innovative feature of the Visitracker tool. In sum, Mediascapes research findings are relevant for policy in the cultural sector in terms of how to account for, anticipate and support participatory knowledge practices in the field of digital cultural heritage.

1) Virkninger på grasrotforskning i humaniora er nye infrastrukturer, handlingsplaner og initiativer som er blitt innarbeidet i et nasjonalt minnearkiv for å øke ungdoms flerkulturelle deltakelse i og bidrag til norsk kulturarv. Nye kommunikasjonsmodeller og -infrastrukturer har potensielle effekter på grasrotforskning i naturvitenskap i form av større gjensidighet i forholdet mellom bidragsytere, vitenskapelige institusjoner og organisasjoner. 2) Forskning på digitale designmedier og verktøy har hatt virkning på museumspartneren i flere nøkkelområder: Innføring av nye interne evalueringsprosesser knyttet til utvikling av utstillinger, planer for økt integrasjon av kunstig virkelighet og andre digitale media i fremtidig utstillingsdesign, og en økning i antallet individuelle og samskrevne forskningspublikasjoner fra museet om temaer som var tidligere utenfor etablerte ekspertiseområder.

The overall aim is to contribute to research-based policy in the cultural sector that can account for, anticipate and support future developments in communication and knowledge practices in digital cultural heritage. An interdisciplinary consortium of national and international researchers in universities (museology, learning sciences, science and technology studies), museums (architecture and art, natural history) and archives (cultural history) will collaborate to contribute a better understanding of the potential, and consequences, of current and future innovations in cultural heritage expert-public interaction and communication. Mediascapes will position Norway as an international leader in research on the innovative design and use of digital technologies in communicating cultural heritage. Research questions address the ways in which digitization and participatory platforms are transforming knowledge production and mediation practices within museums and cultural heritage organizations. We will develop perspectives and approaches that are useful in analyzing and modeling the effect of innovative knowledge and mediation practices in museums and archives on public engagement in 'citizen science' and cultural heritage. Young people (15-25 years) will be a particular focus. Interdisciplinary and inter-faculty research at UiO (IPED, UV; IKOS, HF; NHM) is organized in cases that address two themes: "digitalization and its consequences" and "user perspective and cultural citizenship." Research on the first theme involves a researcher at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, two leading architecture firms, and a new postdoc position. Research on the latter theme involves Associate Professors at IKOS and IPED, researchers at the Natural History Museum, and a new PhD position. Project leader Palmyre Pierroux and Special Advisor Anne Qvale at the National Museum will develop innovative methods and digital tools for studying public engagement.

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KULMEDIA-Kultur- og mediesektoren

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