Museum Informatics

Wednesday, April 4, 12:30-1:45 pm
Innovation Hub Program Room (Shores, first floor – map)

Involving Users in the Co-Construction of Knowledge in Museums

Beginning in 2015, the Lightbox Gallery at Harvard Art Museums served as an exhibition space for two installation projects combining data visualization with collections management. The first, Lightbox, “use[s] digital tools to reveal connections between objects and play with traditions of display” (HILT). The second, S.M.S. NOs 1-6s, offers a digital re-rendering of William Copley’s 1968 multimedia portfolio. Themselves digital complements to existing exhibitions at Harvard and Wellesley College, both projects reflected overlapping interests in manipulating metadata to study (and document the study of) visual culture. Both projects acted as highly participatory interfaces in which information networks could portray “cybernetic systems of aesthetic immanence.” In fact, both projects featured museum curation as their installation object and invited participants to perform meta-curation.

In “Collections and/of Data,” Matthew Battles and Michael Maizels liken these meta-installations to the “distant reading” practices of text-focused digital humanists, arguing that the process of visual curation allows researchers to observe (in data patterns derived through technical systems) how museum identities gradually shift. Digital Scholars is pleased to welcome Dr. Paul Marty, Professor in the School of Information at Florida State University, to help us consider the critical import of these shifts in museum identity.

Situated in the middle space between museum studies professionals and cultural heritage librarians, Dr. Marty focuses his own scholarship and teaching on recontextualizing the territories in which museum resources operate, a question that he sees as central to digital museology. In a hybrid session, part discussion and part application, Dr. Marty will introduce us to a collection of different crowdsourcing projects developed by museums and cultural heritage organizations — supporting transcription, translation, annotation, and curation — so as to better explore the various ways that museums are engaging their visitors as active participants in the knowledge creation process.

All are welcome. Participants are invited to bring tablets or laptops, and to read the following in advance:

We hope you can join us.

2 thoughts on “Museum Informatics

  1. Pingback: Identifying with the Crowd – FSU Digital Scholars

  2. Pingback: Identifying with the Crowd – FSU Digital Scholars

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