Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

1. Examples of usage of new means in museums and cultural spaces (international and European experiences)


In an interview by Kathimerini of Lesley University Professor George Hein, there was posed following question: “Over the past few decades, huge changes have taken place in museums through the use of technology. Do we learn more at museums today than we used to?"

Prof. George Hein replied: "Museums today a very much based on technology and have new methods of presentation, either on their own premises or on the Internet. Sometimes the use of these methods strengthens the museums’ entertaining aspect, but not necessarily the educational aspect, while in other cases it can contribute to a museum’s improvement. For instance, it can facilitate people’s access. I think about what we saw after we have returned home. We may even be motivated to learn and visit the museum’s website to read more about what we found interesting. I believe one of the main issues museums are concerned with today is being more visitor-friendly and making the average visitor feel very important.” [1]

1. Examples of new means

Given the mistakes of the past when outdated infrastructures and lack of museum ethos left places of reflections about cultural heritage in a weak position, it has to be said at the outset that the new construction of a museum both inside and outside has to go together with a modernization program. The latter has to include learning how to use the resources made available by the Information Society. As verified in a workshop conducted in Volos in 2006, implementation thereof should not be done without consultation with parents and teachers as the two most important groups in touch and in communication with young people growing up in such a society. Otherwise technology can drive a wedge between various age and interest groups amongst the visitors and instead of sharing, they will leave with the sense of having made an entirely different experience from the other group which did use interactive media while the former group did not. It is crucial for all age groups to know how to enter into a newly designed creative process capable of using multi and rich media for purposes of expression and sensation that goes beyond the spectacle.

Technology is no longer just a tool but as the Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis would put it an organisational logic which has replaced 'theory of society'. A museum should not leave society to be faceless but encourage the discovery of forms of existence as they have been developed throughout the ages. An ethnological museum can show this onhand of changing tools when comes to keeping horses or ploughing the fields while a heritage museum in Cardiff has put side by side homes of miners from 1926, 1934, 1945 and 1955. To depict such time differences will facilitate insights into how innovation and subsequent changes in society express themselves finally in what people wear at that time and how they went about living their lives.

If the museum succeeds in mediating between society and technological advancement without succeeding power to technology alone, then a demonstrative use of modern media in exhibitions shall enpower people to tell their own stories as they experience a changing world.

Museums and cultural spaces

“Modern museum spaces create the appropriate atmosphere so that visitors can both enter the world of the museum and comprehend what they are seeing, not only academically, but in relation to the thematic whole”, says architect Harry Bougadelis (designer of the new Messara Museum). “Museums used to be, to a greater or lesser extent, neutral receptacles for exhibits, but these days museums are designed around the exhibits. More fundamentally, perhaps, they aim to elicit the desired emotions on the part of the visitor for an unforgettable experience.” [2]

Language of museums

The 17th Austrian day of museums to be held in Vienna 20 – 22.10.2005 will concern itself with the ‘language of museums’. [3] At a functional level, it is a question how to communicate in a lively manner science, history and culture; at the organizational level, it becomes a matter of deciding a right mix of various means of communication (lighting, different spaces, materials used for exhibits, background). This can be extended to all the possibilities given by modern media. Through what means should and will be the best method to communicate: through interactive objects? Through use of new media? Through active and inspiring actors and even stunt persons? By means of small stage effects using slide and other image projections, 3d photos and digitalized films, talking dolls, living organisms, sound effects? Or by means of scenic guides through a magical world? [4]

To answer and more so to evaluate the use of modern media as a way to tell the story, the following should be taken into consideration.

Key word: infotainment

...or serious documentation with little distraction by letting visitors see for themselves the objects which have been invented over time and have their own value in need to be recognized (museum policy of the Eugenides Foundation in Athens, Greece)

F1: Object and atmosphere

(Authenticity, Light, Tone, Architecture, Design and Shaping, and theatrical production of the museum as another world etc.)

F2: Media und special effects

(Dioramen, moving and mobile models, optical equipment, living animals, use of electronic, 3D-Technology, scents, mirror tricks etc.)

F3: Word and Action

(written texts, communication and mediation, scenic guides, pedagogy and Edutainment


It shall be the object of this study to explore further possibilities of evaluating use of new media by museums.

International experiences

Source: www.tepapa.govt.nz

Te Papa is a good example of museum policy being implemented under constant monitoring and evaluation. This makes the entire museum into a learning society. Different conclusions can be derived from such a prime example. Throughout this study Te Papa will be used as a key reference point to illustrate not only official museum policy but awareness of both museum staff and visitors as to what purpose this museum has to serve. As this reflects a consciousness in New Zealand with regards to its indigenous population, the museum contains through its valorization process invaluable knowledge of a different world.

Indigenous knowledge has been lost in many parts of the world and without a conscious effort these cultures would no longer send their messages to people often unaware in their own secluded cultural circles that there was and is still existing another way of looking at the world due to very different experiences. These experiences set into motion songs, ways of playing musical instruments and to construct houses. They reflect another mixture of personal and social functions.

An important point in all of this is what challenge the mediation between Western concepts of the world and indigenous knowledge poses for museums? Can that be told by use of modern media when in fact the Indian way of using the drum reflects a deep knowledge as to what sounds nature makes when crossing a lake in a canoe or else when taking a foot path bare footed? There is doubt that new media can communicate even with the best simulation techniques such deeply ingrained sense impressions and experiences made when nature and the earth was still not the domain of Western civilization but untouched land. Having said that naturally a skillful use of new media can blend into ancient wisdom such as when Melina and Spyros Mercouris made a film about Greek poets singing about the Greek landscape but in so doing blended out modern inhabitation ruining islands and the natural beauty of coastal areas.

European experiences

ARS Electronica in Linz, the multi media policy in Dortmund and avant garde research into 3 dimensional spatial concepts in Karlsruhe are good examples of dynamic entities with international reputation.  There are as well the faculties for media design at such universities as Bauhaus in Weimar, Salford University, UK or University of Thessaly in Volos etc. All of them can be described as reflecting far reaching changes in Europe when it comes to adopting and using multi media for presentation and other purposes in museums.

Peter Higgins has himself with his design studio helped to transform museums in such a way that design, building and location intertwine to make a visit into such a cultural landscape a further going experience.

At European level this transition to the Information Society has raised concerns about possible loss of cultural diversity and in particular about ‘gaps’ being created between those who use the resources made available by the Information Society and those who do not. On the other hand, the transformation of space has become a known factor affecting way of thinking and perceiving things. It is not only digital culture that has become a wide spread phenomenon but ‘virtual reality’ something in need of being dealt with. Many policy makers and political authorities ask themselves naturally how far to go down that path before things become too complicated and over expensive while unable to sustain itself. Still, the overall demand for easy access to the Internet has become the starting premise for any city when faced with the need to provide an infrastructure that does not restrict open and fast lines capable of carrying huge data to the universities and research institutes, but also lets the general public take advantage of what all this can offer.

Consequently for the EU section called Directorate-General Information Society and Media, Unit E3: Learning and Cultural Heritage, located in Luxembourg with Manuela Speiser as Communications Officer, “access to and preservation of cultural and scientific resources” has become the key priority in 2005.[5] This reflects altogether a growing awareness for the need to improve upon and to move ahead in the digitalization process with access the key issue in need of being resolved. It will determine many future developments in this highly technical field touching upon everything from Google’s efforts to digitalise entire libraries and make them available over the Internet (even though here Googles had to retreat as of late due to unresolved copy right and other legal issues) to new developments by institutes like the Fraunhofer to link museums, archives and libraries to new types of data banks which can store a combination of sound, text and visual image all at one and the same time. This convergence of not technology but ‘content’ is an important distinction to make when discussing future developments in the rich media field.

All that does not indicate as of yet the changes and functions within this newly defined cybernetic space even while terms such as ‘virtual environments’ and ‘virtual caves’ have become well known as museums move ahead in the use of multi media means.

Categories for use of multi media

There are five or more different categories to be applied when it comes to examine the various kinds of multi media to be used by a museum. [6]

  1. data bank development – expensive – patented soft ware will pose problems for further development and for retaining access possibilities for the public.
  2. Mandates for Digital Preservation
  3. Internal Cooperation and External Consortia Obsolescence and Risk
  4. Technology: Storage and Backup
  5. Financing Digital Preservation
  6. Legal, Economic, and Moral Obligations
  7. Sustaining Digital Preservation

As this use is reflected in conferences being organised to face the question as to the value of their use, pre announcements make interesting reading both in terms of the issues being addressed but also the categories in use to reflect upon experiences being made within and outside of museums.

Example: The Northeast Document Conservation Center presented a conference on

PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY: STEWARDSHIP OF DIGITAL ASSETS A pre-conference to the Museum Computer Network's 2005 Conference The Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts November 1-2, 2005

  1. multi media for exhibits and displays

a) exhibits

Germany, Wieland Museum – I – podster – gathering of data while walking through the exhibition with sound spaces allowing for feed-ins. This requires a very advanced technical infrastructure. The concept as explained by technical experts of Bauhaus University is exhibits plus multi media a technical solution without further guides needed. The visitor can select at three different levels of competence information about what he or she sees while going through the museum. At the exit it is possible to obtain all the collected information from the info desk.

Vancouver, Canada: Storyeum - take a 'back of house' walk through a new underground Historical Theatre Experience in Gastown, Vancouver's historic borough, and see how the multimedia components, including video, audio, theatrical lighting and special effects in nine theatres are are powered by the PIVoD Media Platform

Greece: Planetarium – digital film for voyage through outer space ( 3 dimensional) but the exhibit itself puts greater emphasis on objects and exhibits since they have all by themselves certain scientific values. At the same time, the museums’ concept is to be interactive with visitors by having guides in place.

b)      independent medium

New York museums: People are becoming their own guides (see trend in New York) and therefore in full adaptation to mobile phones and other carriers of data / sms messages / interactive medium. This program where visitors can design and produce their own guided tours through the exhibit while verifying or not what is on display pinpoints how interactive museums can become once they realize the full potentiality of modern communication technology.

c) use of surveillance camera for a different purpose by transforming them into showing visitors how they move in and about the exhibition to enable a collective self reflection. At the same time, people can familiarize themselves with the technical advancement of the latest cameras to follow technical innovation in the digital age. Equally this would mean to contrast the old method of taking photographs with all the development process included i.e. dark room to develop the film compared to a group of students working with children in a collaborative learning process how to use photo shop on the computer once images of their different environments have been taken.

For the Surveillence Camera Feed and Videos I HAVE TO KNOW YOUR SPEED:

These BROWSERS work, any others DON'T: 
PC WIN – IE6 | Firefox | Mozilla | Netscape7 | AOL 9
MAC OSX – Safari | Netscape7

Get these PLUGINS:
JAVASCRIPT and JAVA are required: 
don't worry your browsers probably has these on already

The Vancouver Art Museum - focus on Eyes of Laura (http://www.eyesoflaura.org) a  Web exhibition by Janet Cardiff (a contemporary new media artist) commissioned as part of the museum collection

d) gift shop – multi media inventions (technology based)

Greece: the example of the Planetarium with gifts linked to science and discoveries of the universe – reconstruction of space shuttles and robots for researching surfaces of other planets.

e) web site – including on line exhibitions – virtual museum

The services are linked also to specific forms of publications: magazine, actual news and web based information with access to the archive of the museum. Museums as extended services to address issues linked with change caused by technological innovation and responses of various communities to this challenge to their local, regional and national identities. Important is how the support system for the visitor works and to what extent it animates to extend visits by exchanging information and opinions with other visitors. Important in this sense is the use of a virtual museum to highlight what can be found in the collection.

Museums and the Web 2005

13-16 April 2005

Vancouver, Canada

Museums and the Web addresses the social, design, technological, economic, organizational and cultural issues of culture and heritage on-line. Taking an international perspective, senior speakers with extensive experience in Web development review and analyse the issues and impacts of networked cultural and natural heritage, and look ahead to the transformation of communities and organizations.


T +1 416 691 2516

F +1 416 352 6025

E mw2005@archimuse.com

W www.archimuse.com/mw2005/

Case studies: Website development






Das Virtuelle Museum „Karlsruher Türkenbeute“... The virtual museum „the Karlsruhe Turkish treasure“

...präsentiert die Highlights der Sammlung „Karlsruher Türkenbeute“ im Badischen Landesmuseum mit interaktiven 3D- und


-           a presentation of the highlights by using interactive 3d and Zoom exposures


Diese neuartigen Einblicke in das osmanische Kunsthandwerk ergänzen die „Themenreisen“ und die Artikel zu „Kunst und Kultur“ mit Informationen über Geschichte, Kunst, Kulturgeschichte der Osmanen und deren Begegnung mit Europa.

This new way of viewing the Osman handicrafts complements the ‚thematic voyages’ and the articles linked to ‚Art and Culture’ with

information about history, art, cultural history of the Osmanic empire and its contact with Europe.


Weiterführendes Wissen – aktuelle Nachrichten, ein Downloadservice sowie ein Archiv mit Materialien der Website – Foren und ein

Chat laden zur lebendigen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Virtuellen Museum und zum Meinungsaustausch mit anderen Besuchern ein.

Extension of the knowledge is made possible by actual news, a down load service as well as giving access to the archive with materials

referred to on the website. There is also a forum and chat room to invite for participation in the virtual museum and to exchange opinions

with other visitors.





Die Sammlung
Die „Karlsruher Türkenbeute“ im Virtuellen Museum.

Zur Sammlung




Highlights der Sammlung
3D-Darstellungen und Zoomaufnahmen der schönsten Exponate.

Zu den Highlights




Ausflüge in die Welt der Osmanen. Auch für Kinder!

Zu den Themenreisen






Karlsruhe: bounty of the Turks


Highlights of the collection

Thematic voyages: art historical links to ‘arts and culture’

Osman empire, including handicrafts tradition and political history reflected in the lives of the people, how they worked, communicated, traded etc.

Further going knowledge – actual news, a down load service as well as an archive with materials. The website has also forums for discussions as well as a chat room that invites others to enter this discussion in the realms of the virtual museum.

  1. e-learning for training and education

Evaluation of Educational Benefits in Advanced 3-D Learning Rnvironments

Nicoletta Di Blas, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Paolo Paolini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Caterina Poggi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Workshop: 3-D Evaluation

This workshop examines evaluation criteria to be applied to 3D applications for cultural heritage, stressing the relationship between goals and accomplishment. Does the application achieve the deep cultural goals it was designed for? Do all its features (graphics, interaction, semiotics) cooperate to this end?

We find many Cultural Heritage applications have fallen victim to a fallacy that 3D graphics must reproduce reality as carefully as possible. The result is certainly of high quality, in terms of "aesthetic" rendering, but does the application teach something? Do users feel engaged? Are the interaction possibilities fully exploited?

We claim that "be as realistic as possible" is a commandment whose fulfillment seldom results in an effective learning experience. On the other hand, 3D graphics can be highly effective if designed in order to comply with deep cultural and relational goals, on which the graphic, the interaction paradigms, the overall organization of the experience must depend.

Examples will be taken from projects developed by the instructors' laboratory, whose efficacy has already been demonstrated through a number of successful experimentations, involving more than 1400 students and teachers in Europe and Middle East: SEE- Shrine Educational Experience, (in cooperation with the Israel Museum); Learning@Europe (in cooperation with the International Accenture Foundation) and Storia@Lombardia (in cooperation with the Regional Government of Lombardy). Examples from the attendees' projects will be welcome for discussion.

Please note that elicitation of the goals and requirements for 3D applications will be addressed by the workshop "Introducing advanced learning paradigms for 3D environments" (half-day workshop, morning).

Target audience

1.         Cultural Heritage managers and researchers interested in advanced ICT applications;

2.         Developers of applications for educational purposes;

3.         Teachers.

Learning objectives

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Evaluate the cultural/educational value of advanced cultural heritage applications;

2. Better understand the impact of e-learning educational applications.

The workshop is highly interactive providing ample opportunity for sharing experience and visions among participants.



last updated:
March 31, 2005 6:51 PM

Archives & Museum Informatics, 158 Lee Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4E 2P3 Canada
Telephone: +1 416 691 2516 | Fax: +1 416 352 6025 | E-mail: mw2005 @ archimuse.com









Audiovisual tools

Audiovisuals are a powerful medium for helping audiences engage with museum collections and the stories that they tell. Developments in digital technology have transformed the production and presentation of audiovisual programmes and the reliability of display hardware.

But audiovisual material can still be difficult to integrate successfully with other forms of interpretation and many people are unfamiliar with the production process and wary of the costs involved.

If audiovisual displays are examined from a point of view involving practical guidelines / principles in practice, then following topics should be examined further:

• what audiovisuals can offer museums compared with other interpretive media

• the process of planning and researching the content of an audiovisual programme to make best use of the medium within the available budget

• what input production companies will require from museum clients, and what clients can expect for their money

• the types of display and playback equipment required, and the practicalities of installing, operating, and maintaining them in a museum context.

Example 1:

Shadow Play
Curated by Molly Polk
Saturday and Sunday, April 22 through July 3, 2005.

Shadow Play (April 22 - July 2) presents four interactive video works by Scott Snibbe: Compliant, Deep Walls, Shadow Bag, and Visceral Cinema: Chien. Throughout his artistic production, Snibbe creates environments in which the viewer’s presence and physical activity are essential to the works’ realization. In the four pieces exhibited here, the human shadow is the site and the catalyst of this interactive experience. Influenced by the aesthetics of experimental and abstract film and the minimalist environmental art of the 1960s and ‘70s, Snibbe is equally engaged with the philosophies of phenomenology and Buddhism. The interaction in Snibbe’s works occurs both between viewer and screen as well as amongst viewers themselves—a compelling articulation of Snibbe’s interest in exploring how bodies and consciousness are interdependent with all matter and phenomena.

Opening Reception
Friday, April 22, 2005 6-9 pm

For the press
Download the Press Kit
Media requests please contact press@artinteractive.org.



on line exhibitions / virtual exhibitions

Online Cultural Heritage Exhibitions[7] is a topic addressed by Yen Ping Yeo [8] who is doing currently research on online cultural heritage exhibitions.

Interested in all kinds of online exhibitions – she considers, for instance, HERMES Internet Radio a kind of online sound and text exhibition being created by the various contributors [9] – she is conducting right now for this purpose an e-survey. [10] The survey aims to find out what issues cultural institutions (archives, museums, libraries, etc) face when it comes to setting up online exhibitions.  These may include technology, funding, standards, etc. She thinks that these are essential issues that support or hinder access to cultural heritage.

In her introduction to the survey she writes that:

"Online exhibitions are a relatively recent phenomenon - already I'm finding that archivists/curators in different parts of the world have varying notions of what it means - so the findings should be quite interesting.  The fact of its recency also means that little is known about it.” For this reason she addresses all museum experts but also now members of the HERMES project because she believes all experiences made when creating online exhibitions would be very valuable to her research.

Jennie Harré Hindmarsh, who has been for 6.5 years at the head of development of the National Services in New Zealand with the aim to support museum developments and now free consultant for museums, she thinks “museums need to be central to the region's / local community's development, relevant (socially, culturally, economically and environmentally), and provide engaging experiences (including through the use of new interactive technologies)”.  Consequently she comments that this “on-line exhibition project by the Library and Archives student at VUW looks interesting - VUW is the only university in NZ that has a Library course.”

Example 1:

Te Papa in New Zealand has launched is first on-line only exhibition in 2004 about Maori Showbands to show how this culture evolved in New Zealand over the years. Aside from exclusion they faced numerous cultural set-backs. The exhibition documents their development by means of photos, texts, videos and audio files of recordings. Similar to the set-up of heritageradio, the design of the website has something nostalgic to it with old records spinning on the left while on the right side in the form of a flip calendar date and cultural news items related to that date pop up. Based on online streaming requiring quick time system to be able to play the audio files, the exhibition offers any visitor a personal and extensive experience of what ‘a clear blue sky’ means when a whole family is being sung about as having gone to the city in search of new opportunities.


For other long term exhibitions feature on the web site of Te Papa see, for example:


Bush City is a living, growing exhibition that brings New Zealand's great outdoors into the city. Take in some of the wonders of our natural environment, from native bush to volcanic landscape. Cross a swing-bridge, visit a glow-worm cave or a wetland, climb a lava flow, dig for fossils. Or simply have a quiet time in the fresh air.

In Bush City you take a short walk through a recreated natural world. Examples of New Zealand's rocky landforms are extensively overplanted with native trees and shrubs. The thick growth offers a hint of the jungle-like feel of New Zealand’s rainforest. Most of these plants would have been seen on the harbour’s edge two hundred years ago.

Examples of our volcanic landscape are here for exploration - a lava flow to clamber up and layered ash falls from the central North Island volcanoes. Budding palaeontologists will love the fossil dig, where a true-to-life replica of a giant fossilised marine reptile, the mosasaur, can be uncovered.

For more adventure, there’s a crawl through the cool and damp limestone cave, inspired by the Waitomo caves. Dripping water, darkened passageways, stalactites, glow-worms, cave wētā, and the bones of extinct flightless moa all add to the authenticity of this underground experience.

A large rock wall, buckled by the earth processes that formed New Zealand, acts as a backdrop to the oldest exhibits at Te Papa. These colourful rocks, some dating back almost 600 million years, are there to climb on and embrace.

Bush City is a surprising opportunity to wander outdoors and be surrounded by nature in the centre of the capital city.

The online short video depicting some features of Bush City is accompanied by natural sounds of birds and water falls. It lets the visitor imagine that he is starting to walk through such nature in the city. One word to describe this lure towards the real and away from the virtual is that the presentation entices the visitor to follow suit the children crossing over a swing bridge.

Example 2:

Lithuanian cultural heritage exhibition – is another interesting site to visit. The main website introducing the cultural heritage of Lithuania has been created by various means and resources as indicated at: http://alka.mch.mii.lt/index.en.htm

Lithuania in Europe: a Map and Main Facts

Visitor's Guide











© Institute of Mathematics and  Informatics, 1998-2000
ALKA Project group

Contact address: paveldas@mch.mii.lt.
Web site updated  2001.10.26

Internet Explorer  4.0 or later version is recomended to browse this site

The open door acts like a virtual gateway. Symbols like these are very inviting especially if the space behind makes the visitor curious about what else can be seen behind the gate. The tree and the spaces behind the gate indicate a path towards the city. It is an outward looking picture and can be taken to symbolize what else there is to be discovered about Lithuania’s cultural heritage.

From the main website one can enter on a second page the Foyer – a virtual exhibition space about various aspects of Lithuania’s cultural life in relation to the Baltics, the State, society and various categories linked to artistic and cultural activities.
















The Balts and Baltic Archaeology


The Lithuanian Statutes


Jews in Lithuania



Lithuanian Textiles Patterns

The  Samogitian Parks and Museums

Cultural Heritage and Current Treasures in the Most Beautiful Parts of  Lithuania


Church and

The First
Book and Its


M. K. Ciurlionis "Look About From High Towers"


American Community




Lithuania and the Borderlands of Europe in Maps



Russian Culture in Lithuania



a Unique
Region of




The Architecture of the University of Vilnius



Worship and Art


Humanistic Ideas in Lithuania During the 15th-17th Centuries




Vilnius in Old Photographs


Lithuanian Sports







Lithuanian Tatars



Lithuanian Ethnic Culture




Russian Old Believers in Lithuania: Their History and Culture




Vilnius Art School






Lithuanian Karaims








Art Deco in Lithuania



A Virtual Exhibition of a Millennium of Lithuanian Cultural Heritage:
[Home] [Visitor's Guide] [Review] [Site Map] [Search]  [Information]

© Institute of Mathematics and  Informatics, 1998-2000
Contact address: paveldas@mch.mii.lt. Page updated  2002.02.21

By going, for instance, to Lithuanian poetry, a list of poets and a sample of their poetry can be found. All texts are in English and, of course, Lithuanian language. Still, from a virtual exhibition one could expect more live images conveyed through video and sound texts to show the poet reading or even walking through his favourite streets. Naturally as always it depends on the budget made available for such online exhibitions and quite often they have to remain humble. Nevertheless they are a significant start to give access to cultural heritage to a wider audience learning daily on how to come to terms with these web based experiences – an ongoing experimentation of museums making cultural heritage accessible online.


In reviewing use of multi media by museums, the identification of issues (problems) is crucial in providing a first overview of what is at stake when deciding to go in a certain direction.

a) Information Society Issue

When Jesse Marsh and his group of researchers undertook for STOA of the European Parliament the task to understand how cultural diversity would fare in the Information Society, they decided to evaluate the impact of four main Information Society issues currently being debated: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR); Liberalisation and Universal Service Provision (USP); Privacy; and Taxation. In the following table the key research findings are summerized:





Intellectual Property Rights

1.        Artists live on authorship rights.

2.        Need for community ownership of collective heritage.

1.        Importance of Open Source and Copyleft movements: new approaches to managing ownership.

2.        Evaluation of quality.

1.        Distributors have the monopoly.

2.        Competition authorities should be involved. Protection of free access.

Liberalisation / Universal Service Provision

1.        Communication as a basic human right. Individual vs. public good.

2.        Balance telecoms policy with social policy.

1.        How to define universal access? Need to think in technology-neutral terms.

2.        Important role for education.

3.        Community centres for access mentoring.

1.        Beware of cost increases.

2.        Outdated marketing concepts ignore peripheral regions.

3.        Access is not just connectivity.


1.        Individuals must feel respected in the Information Society.

2.        Personalities are different from user profiles.

1.        Awareness of the data processes.

2.        Individuals should be able to manage their info: data accounts.

1.        Individuals need to have access to info about them and profiles: who knows what.

2.        Role for government in enabling social control.


1.        Cultural exchanges should be treated differently from market exchanges.

2.        Resource use different from profit.

1.        Taxation laws need to be totally re-thought in the Information Society: can be used to drive the vision.

1.        Hard to harmonise taxation globally: emergence of three or four world areas.

2.        Accounting requirements exclude micro-enterprises.

Other topics raised by interviewees include the impact on education and the general need to facilitate rather than prohibit through regulatory actions. [11]

b) Cultural transformation issues: how to go from Information to Knowledge

There was held 7-9 April 2003 in Moscow, Russia a conference with the title: The role of culture in the knowledge based society in order to to debate the digital era of culture and its impact on the development of knowledge based societies. Aiming to improve communication between memory institutions in Russia, CIS and their counterparts in Central and Eastern Europe, the EU and the USA, the IST Programme of the European Commission was evaluated whether it fosters or not the dissemination and exploitation of IST results in Russia. Besides being a showcase of best practices in cultural heritage and technology and a forum of opportunities for future international co-operation, the conference identified at that time several distinct categories of issues when faced by the challenges of culture coming under the influence of digital technology:

Policy, strategic and legal issues

Technical issues

Societal issues: the impact of digital culture on

Professional issues

Case studies

Contact: conf@cultivate.ru

d) Ownership, intellectual property and copy right issues

The free access on the Internet on the one hand, and the increasing types of commercialization on the other (e-commerce, e-bay etc.) have all converted upon a space considered until now invaluable because based on trust and information without charge.

But as the music industry revealed, down loading of music otherwise sold in music stores and thereby a guarantee that music producers and artists would receive their revenues, was attacked. Several global players positioned themselves accordingly on how to deal with the new technology without loosing sight of the need to make sure a lucrative business is not lost. For youngsters contemplating the purchase of a CD of any musician costing in the average between 10, 20 and 30 Euros, it is absurd to hear from a producer that the production costs of such a CD does not reach even 1 Euro. There is an increasing tendency by youngsters who do not wish to purchase an entire CD to select themselves the songs and music scores they like in order to edit themselves what they would like to have and to hear on their self made CDs. Practically this stands for basic attitudes and how use is made of new technology as youth culture show a tendency towards exploiting the new potentialities in only a certain and limited way. [12]

Example: THOUGHT THIEVE$ - short movies show


THOUGHT THIEVE$ is exploring by means of short movies how knowledge, culture and creativity is appropriated by the big companies of the world. The project is an answer to a competition initiated by Microsoft under the same name. This competition is a way Microsoft propagates its own name at the expense of others. If Bill Gates can own drawings and works by Leonardo de Vinci as if wishing to equate his personality with that of the Renaissance, this appropriation of cultural heritage for private use has to be examined in terms of how creativity is usually diverted in societies capitalizing on things without giving recognition to the overall social conditions which have brought forth such inventions and innovations.


Netbase and World-Information.Org support this "other" version of THOUGHT THIEVE$.

The best films depicting mega companies as pirates of cultural heritages and social creative processes will be shown in Bangalore (World Information City), Tunis (WSIS), Geneva and London after closing date for submissions on 16th of September 2005.

e) Key terms in use and qualification required for work with new media

It is certainly the case that many people just use the new media without really understanding how a computer works. There are various levels of competence but a museum should not be afraid to show the different levels of competence as they do have an impact upon the qualification strategy of a society. Since this is often reduced to the simple formula of knowing how to keep up with the latest developments, there is even an issue and problem for museums how to keep up when today is already tomorrow the past in the digital age?

Possibilities for experimenting and making experiences within the scope of a museum include: net art, computer animation, computer-mediated performance and object art, video installation, video design for dance and theatre, design as performance, show control systems, Max/MSP/Jitter, scripting and/or programming for visual and performance artists, and related areas.

Qualifications: must be a practicing demonstration done best together with New Media/Intermedia artists who have a strong theoretical basis and the expertise in two or more of the following: motion capture, CAVET technology, motion graphics, tele-presence, robotic or sensor-based technology, performance art, programming and/or scripting, human-machine interface, virtual reality, or other related areas. As was the case of showing in the past how traditional printing works, so museums should install work spaces where people can explore the new media possibilities in an artistic and explorative way.

Evaluations of multi-media use

Quality of websites

Work has been done on this by the Institut für Museumskunde / Institute for museum research In der Halde 1, D-14195 Berlin (Tel.: +49 30 8301 460, FAX: +49 30 8301 504)




Museophile accessibility web server

New: MW2005 workshop material: Making Museum Websites Accessible

This is the museophile.net accessibility server. Using this service you can access various museum sites through a filter which removes extraneous page detail and images, extracting the text in a form suitable for screen readers or speech synthesisers.

For example, you can visit the following sites:

For more information, please visit www.museophile.lsbu.ac.uk/access, including MCN 2002 conference workshop material, EVA London 2003 Conference Keynote Address slides (in PowerPoint format), Phyllis Court July 2003 talk slides (also in PowerPoint format) and MW2004 conference workshop material.

Selected publications by Prof. Jonathan Bowen:

  1. Web Access to Cultural Heritage for the Disabled . In James Hemsley, Vito Cappellini and Gerd Stanke (eds.), EVA 2003 London Conference Proceedings, University College London, UK, 22-26 July 2003, pages s1:1-11. Keynote address. ISBN 0-9543146-3-8.
  2. Disabled Access for Museum Websites . Conference poster. WWW2003: The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 20-24 May 2003.
  3. Internet: A question of access . New Heritage, 04.01:58, August 2001.
  4. Tackling web design & Advice on accessible website design , Museums Journal, 101(9):41-43, September 2001.

Media and public awareness – Internet Radio

Accessibility can be given by the media which furthers general public awareness and understanding of technical means. It facilitates and motivates entry into all kinds of archives made available online. The key problem is here the representative character. Most of the information provided on the web is of highly suggestive nature, includes self advertisement and is designed to entice the visitor to follow up by entering a more concrete, usually paying relationship for services advocated but not without further costs and efforts available. The highly suggestive nature of these offers, and this includes museums praising their own collections, whether to be seen in temporary or permanent ones, does mean a limited experience at the extra risk of being without any validation possibility.


Upgrading services related to accessibility: language, information, questions and answers – new tool kit based on linkage of Internet Radio services, mobile phones and i-podsters as guidebooks

Media – awareness in the Information Society for cultural heritage

Starting out from a description of various news sources / reporting about cultural heritage e.g. h-museum network, an Internet Radio based discussion will be organised by POIEIN kai PRATTEIN in collaboration with www.heritageradio.net and other Internet Radio stations closely related to cultural heritage / cultural events to set the stage. The interdisciplinary discussion between the fields of culture, science and software-development shall be achieved by focusing on problems of how to gain accessibility and on the degree of awareness needed as to what solutions are being offered for improving accessibility. Here we want to encourage especially young scientists and cultural-producers to contribute to such discussion and raise their awareness for such issues. Based on the findings of the European project LOGOS, a key question shall be why resources offered potentially by the Information Society are not used as this is as much a cultural phenomenon as it may be for economical, technical and educational reasons that people are reluctant to use resources made available via the Internet and computer based systems. Right now various countries, including Greece, attempt to provide faster Internet access to especially students but it requires active co-operation academic community and information technology business people in order to overcome monopolistic structures and one sided dependencies in this sector. Here the pan-European academic network GEANT has set a standard in terms of unlimited down-loading and a monthly charge not exceeding 10 Euros per month (including taxes). What would be needed is a company providing such services that include maintenance and advisory services.

Source: Conference topics

Example: VAST Symposium was dedicated to the theme:


Ethical guidelines and the work with memory

One of the cultural deficits of the digital age is forgetting as a fast moving and ever changing present makes it most difficult for anyone to keep up, let alone a museum being able to follow all developments within society. That means some ethical guidelines must be in place in how to deal with the time dimensions of changes in society as the past, present and future are under constant reshuffles in perceptions and subsequently in changing interpretations.

Between informative summaries and what lands in digital dustbins – how reporting in the media provides an indication the degree of accessibility existing in museums, libraries and archives – something has to be learned from museums on how they set up, update and valorize their collections. It indicates how memory can work if consistent with the demand to highlight crucial parts of development. Naturally here holds what Hegel said already when he mentioned that anything being remembered is already suspended within some container at the next level and therefore by necessity an abstraction of what existed before. If one adds to this the statement made by Jürgen Habermas, that the past cannot be reconstructed, then this abstraction from what took place in the past is even more difficult to verify in the present. Moreover the present is an on-moving potentiality. Roger Simon calls it the 'historical imagination' without which we could merely succumb to given reality and not go beyond it. By implication this says all materials kept from the past cannot be received if the people in the present do not have the imagination to link the parts with the whole and vice versa when seeing a temple cannot picture how people lived then when the temple was in use. The imaginative use of artefacts cannot be reduced to the meanings they have within the strict catalogue of the archaeologists and experts but should include making use of the museum to imagine more than just what is given.

When wondering why journalists do not use online websites so much safe for obtaining addresses of possible persons they would like to interview when writing about a certain issue, then this limited use suggests a practical opposition to the full potentiality the new media has to convey information.

That limited interest can be linked as to how data banks and information systems are reviewed and used by journalists. The key factor is not merely search – quick access possibilities, but how materials are archived in terms of time flows. What is called in German ‘Zeithistorische Archaeologie’ or archaeology and history as presentation of time sequences, it can be tested by journalists through interviews given, recorded and archived to establish that one cannot precede the other if in specific reference to events and interpretations of cultural heritage existing at that specific time. There has been made already a critical review of Wiki in how short descriptions of materials archived miss many nuances and thereby risk spreading misunderstandings rather than allowing for an authentic reporting of historical developments.

The question to be examined here is then if the various layers of archiving starting with key words and short summaries can lead to comprehensive texts or if more substantial knowledge is being missed out or simply by-passed due to shortage of time. This would support the thesis that many people have no longer the time to read long exposees and instead of slowing down, they merely demand three lines as information or executive summaries. Such abstraction alters the dispostion towards substantial and verified knowledge altogether. Buzz words are in, concepts in need of epistemological clarification out! That has a cultural impact upon layers of memory and meanings.

If this problem is not heeded, it can and does lead to a systematic distortion of historical but also contemporary accounts. Here the museum can act as corrective if aware of its own capacities to deal with these issues. It can set already a good example by making the learning process possible and especially by distinguishing between info-tainment and knowledge.

Within the context of the museum it all depends if the entire material is identified with but one historical image standing for the entire event e.g. battle of Waterloo or if space is given to show that this image is itself a distortion of the event but which has been passed on over time to short circuit a full account. Whatever happens when the short version becomes a symbol linked to the illusion of having understood the entire event, there is a need to show that symbols distort the perception not only back then but how these events are viewed nowadays. A museum should not succumb to the ideological narrative of battles without thereby questioning the war from still other angles. That is an ethical issue and underlines the need for the museum to be independent from political forces.

As this a reverse to the problem of complexity when it comes to handling and managing information, journalism but an example, it will be an indication of the ethics of museum practice how valid a treatment of historical and cultural heritage materials become if conveyed by the new media. If use thereof enhances the risk of distortion by favoring short versions and a tendency towards virtual symbols, then it shall mean that this level of abstraction shall be completely out of reach of visitors and serve no other purpose but to illustrate an accompli when in fact learning requires reasoning in knowledge of history pondered upon and questioned by means of an inquisitive mind free to imagine many other possibilities.

Case Study 1:

Wieland Museum with different competences based on use of a technical infrastructure (GIS location system / wireless transmission of data) to allow deployment of i-Podster system for three different qualification levels: average tourist, more interested person, scientists. Such a model should be evaluated out of the perspective of these different users. It would make journalism of the Information Society into a mediator of ‘multimedial contents’ by using livestream linked to i-podster and pdas in rich-media and text form.

Case Study 2:

Function und role of media especially photography as window to history – the use of digital photos in news and other forms of communication?

Radio Magazine – As to ‘Accessibility to Cultural and Scientific Resources’, there should be given access at different levels. A Journal for the Youth should differ from adults and life long learners but both should contain interviews with experts and citizens to reflect the current discussion about accessibilities being contingent on numerous factors. As this is a part of media coverage, the publication of such a magazine on the Internet Radio will be a part of the dissemination process of the project itself. It does not need to be limited to the time sequence in the project but can have a follow-up. Important is that the way the technical means for gaining access to scientific and cultural resources is being presented as it can show differences in public versus only commercial and/or private accessibilities. Certainly heritageradio has experienced when producing such magazines, that also positions by ICOM and other world bodies have to be taken into consideration when certain policy and legal issues are involved e.g. protection of cultural heritage as part of the collective memory should be ‘free’. Since a public debate provides a key guideline for future developments, this will be another way of testing accessibilities according to different standards and in terms of set criteria. The magazine will present also the case studies in a way to show how various museums and memory institutions work online and within given constraints all in an effort to improve and to enhance access to cultural and scientific resources. Drawing a digital map for Europe might be here too big a task but certainly something like an evaluative review in terms of accessibility (degree of complexity and level of understanding required aside from other technical, financial, legal and organisational issues) can be expected to be the content of this magazine.

The Journal will want to set standards in radio work when reporting about accessibilities. This means locating interesting projects starting with the participating partners and what they are doing in their respective fields to improve accessibility. Here the aim shall be to link up relevant questions to the overall project itself with what is happening in culture e.g. urban screens and use of digitalised images.

This can become the production of a regular Internetradio-magazine with the long term aim to collect data about core themes and their subject matters. It is conceivable to create as outcome an audio-collection of interviews with key players.

One cost factor here would be external contributions for editorial work or in making contributions.

Example of a possible question relevant to all partners and their competencies: how do they think a cultural heritage licence must look like and which social as well was technical implications must be taken into consideration, if accessibility is to be the key perspective for future innovation, research and development?

Key terms: digital copy rights, compression format…overcoming the digital divide etc.

Models of ‘virtual spaces’

Media and museums, archives and library – sense experiences and virtual reality - compared with ‘virtual environments’ with validated evaluations of accessibilities through a) interaction and b) immersion – examine different learning environments related to awareness for different accessibilities. As a start this may be only text based and can be developed further to ‘virtual spaces’ becoming real environments within museums linked to real experiences e.g. unpacking archives of radio stations and redoing former radio plays in new spaces as was the case in Croatia to convert old files into digital ones. As this involves a kind of transcription into the digital age, it reminds of what Armenians and later monks did in monasteries that saved old texts by copying them while at the same time transcribing them into newer languages. Practically this will become a report on how radio stations can handle their archives and take advantage of latest developments when it comes to archiving their materials under new conditions. The pros and cons of the digitalization will have to be evaluated here for the purpose to advise radio stations in future on how to proceed. It goes beyond ‘management content’ insofar it may become as part of cultural heritage a part of a public good to be made accessible to everyone. Here certain issues have to be identified and dealt with in terms of a future policy when it comes to archiving radio and Internet Radio materials. The key question becomes here if radio stations can be visited online with access to the archives in order to have genuine reproductions of old radio programs.

Key terms: neuro spaces – urban screens – cultural spaces – museums when using caves – sound spaces for special listening

Extend to:


Internet radio guidebooks for accessibility - i-podster model of good practice for new guides based on validated forms how to read and to conceptualize e-learning processes when wishing access to cultural heritage as made available by various web based services.

Key word: creative-commons and cultural heritage


Technical infrastructure – future users – types of information transport e.g. containers to store all the multi media content.

Metaphorical description of the landscape of the Information Society with its ‘information streets and highways’:

Special conditions for journalists:

The 'creative common license' is to give special / privileged access to journalists, editors, scientists, and other users of the creative industry / ‘information’ as key product: how provided to ensure at the same time accessibility. – reference: Christiane Asschenfeldt, iCommons and privileged access to the executive director.

Since such a ‚cultural heritage license’ in the sense of a creative-common (ground or basis of knowledge interrelated with know-how when it comes to using tools of the information society) is an interesting question as to the ‚essence’ and distribution of such ‚knowledge’ (validated information), ‘good practices’ in the Information Society would need to specify as well what technical infrastructure is needed to make the cultural heritage accessible to the public? In addition to that there would need to be answered the question how such knowledge is valorised by journalists, scientists, teachers, students etc., but also by advertisement firms, governments and their institutions.


The main advice is ‘use of multi-media should be kept to a minimum and remain as much as possible invisible’.

There is the problem of costs but also a tendency towards edu-entertainment: a kind of mix form with the possible impact of less learning and much more a short sensation with the risk of being no longer attractive after one time use. This has an impact upon visitors and can be evaluated not merely in terms of number of visitors coming and how often, but as to the level of literacy.

The forms and means to be developed in future with the help of technologies still not imaginable should take into consideration two aspects: technological innovation defines often what is possible without any sign of morality and the moral discussion – the conscience of the scientist a key topic – very often a retrospective rationalization of what took place e.g. gene and stem cell research. Museums should keep that in mind whether they communicate only a fascination for objects and attempt to demonstrate scientific values of objects free of value judgments, or if there is needed another kind of problematization: the failure of society to hinder some feasibilities becoming reality and that what can be made or produced is not necessarily the full truth.

The growing interest of visitors to museums to find out more about why societies fail even though it appears out of today’s perspective that they were heading for obvious disasters e.g. Athens deciding to enter the war with Sparta despite the prediction that such a war cannot be won but rather will lead to the own downfall, must be taken into consideration. Technology as means of power over the masses had been addressed as a critical departure point after First World War according to Bertrand Russell who wonders in his essay about “the fathers of Fascism” why so many intelligent young men engaged themselves in that direction for they had no morality. To make tools available to power is in simple words of philosophy the best way to ask for trouble.

Key references:

  1. Study by Hatto Fischer on ‘Potentiality of the Internet Radio to further the European debate’ (Greens, European Parliament, 2001)
  2. Study by Jesse Marsh, “Cultural Diversity in the Information Society” for Stoa of the European Parliament, 2002
  3. Papers and procedures of the e-challenge conferences
  4. Work by heritageradio within the Interreg III B – CADES project HERMES on ‘promoting and protecting cultural heritage through use of the new media’

Further references:

[1] Margarita Pournara, “Museums: Houses of education – Lesley University Professor George Hein talks to Kathimerini about the role of these institutions today.”, Kathimerini, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004, p. 7

[2] Dimitris Rigopoulos, “New architectural idiom for new museums”, Kathimerini, Tues. August 23, 2005, p. 3

[3] From: "Stefan Traxler" <s.traxler@landesmuseum.at>

Subject: 17. Oesterreichischen Museumstag, NHM Wien

Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 09:13:00 +0200


[4] For further information contact:

Mag. Brigitta Schmid, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

Abt. Ausstellung & Bildung

Burgring 7, 1010 Wien

T +43/1/ 521 77 -564

F +43/1/ 521 77 -585

M brigitta.schmid@nhm-wien.ac.at

Source: H-Net Network for Museums and Museum Studies

E-Mail: h-museum@h-net.msu.edu

WWW: http://www.h-museum.net

[5] http://www.cordis.lu/ist/directorare_e/telearn-digicult/index.htm

[6] These categories were proposed for discussion at the Volos workshop on museums in June 2005 by Prof. Yiorgos Papakonstantinou of the University of Thessaly

[7] Information about current developments in research have been received by H-MUSEUM standing for H-Net Network for Museums and Museum Studies E-Mail: h-museum@h-net.msu.edu

WWW: http://www.h-museum.net

[8] A short background of this project and myself:  “I'm a postgrad student at the School of Library and Information Studies assisting on this research project funded by the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  The principal investigator is Dr. Chernli Liew, a lecturer at the university.” For further information contact Yenping Yeo (Ms), Research Assistant at School of Library and Information Studies Victoria University of  Wellington, New Zealand yeoyenp@student.vuw.ac.nz or else visit the student portal @ http://www.studentvuw.vuw.ac.nz

[9] After having taken up correspondence with her, she replied:

“I think I will be returning regularly to keep up with the HERMES developments (they're relevant to my other research interests in digital cultural heritage); CADSES is an interesting model of collaboration for cultural heritage.”  (28.7.2005)

[10] http://surveys.sim.vuw.ac.nz/survey.aspx?surveyid=4&uid=[--invitationid

[11] Source: Taken from Jesse Marsh Study to the European Parliament 2001

[12] “Whose Culture is it? Trans-generational approaches to Culture”, Reader compiled by Diane Dodd, 17th – 18th December 2004, Barcelona with national study about Greece done by Hatto Fischer (p. 51 – 57)


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