Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

HERMES project: concepts of the 5 work packages


Insights and outlooks differ very much from partner to partner within the HERMES project. This is especially the case when partners do not necessarily relate to the whole project but only to one of the specific work packages e.g. museums to WP 3 and the radio stations to WP 4. Consequently a lot of work is needed to inspire, for instance, Radio Stations to relate to the whole project or as one journalist present at the First Meeting put it, no one will tell him or any other journalist what to report or what is a news story.

The work packages are designed to let all partners work through various stages related to promoting and to protecting cultural heritage, but there is a risk that this will not be the case in reality. Aside from the German partners and Volos being involved in all 5 work packages, and even this not the same degree, particular interests may prevail in each of the work packages and thereby not take actions any further to link up with work being done in the other work packages.

There is one prime reason for this apprehension about the project being able to come together. Many of the actions undertaken by individual partners appear as if they would be undertaken anyway, that is independently from the HERMES project e.g. summer course in Weimar, discussion forums in Toblach. Even now that the first summer course has taken place in Weimar, there is no evidence as of yet that any linkage to the other work packages has been used or created. Neither is there any indication of a discussion within the project attempting to conceive the other summer courses as possible dissemination of the results of the HERMES project.

Consequently much more work will be required by coordination to make a convincing case for the HERMES project as a whole and to ensure that actions undertaken by the partners do connect in the end. Crucial will be that the project does converge at one point and that common outputs, results and impacts are brought about by partners not acting alone but in cooperation with the others.

One model for linking all work packages has been named in the application file when referring to possible outcomes. It is mentioned that the project shall attempt to give shape to a common media policy to allow people of the CADSES space to find richer cultural identities based not only on their immediate surroundings, but equally on the different cultural heritages to be found within the entire CADSES region. Obviously such a model has only then a chance to be realized if this multi-cultural model is not replaced by single interest, indeed one nation – one culture model. That would be already the case if discussion in WP 2 would be dominated solely by the question what could be the role of German culture in Europe or the Greeks only resort to their past without any openness to modern influences having a different origin e.g. Swedish influence upon the European cultural streams.

Unfortunately there are many signs in Europe that local, regional and national forces wish to replace a multi- and cross-cultural model with a single national cultural model. As if the European cultural identity based on cultural heritage is not strong enough, these tendencies reinforce such cultural policies which favor the strengthening of local and national identities. They lead automatically to an over identification with new forms of Nationalism as the case in Belgium with the Flemish society wishing to be recognized as if a nation state with own language and hence direct access to funding from the European level.

Certainly Volos will want to stress both the local and national characteristics of their cultural identity as claimed by forces which have become stronger in recent years in Greece. It may be called patriotism or a new form of innocent Nationalism (as commented upon by observers when seeing the eruption of such forces during the European football competition in Portugal 2004). Still, a national approach to culture would set quite a different framework of values and assumptions in HERMES than was the case when filing first the application and what aspirations were connected with the making of such a European project. Then it was sought to look at different cultural layers of experiences in what may be the base for a new European cultural identity.

The tendency to a re-nationalization of European Programs has set in already well before 1999 but what role cultural and ethnic assertiveness play today as was the fatal case in former Yugoslavia where such forces delineated themselves from others and then exploded in violent forms of ethnic cleansing and in ‘crimes against humanity’, that is a matter to what extend xenophobic forces can gain the upper hand.

Questions about cultural and social integration of others have to be confronted anew with the entry of the ten new member states. As if generalizations are unavoidable, still too often recourse is taken to ‘those Greeks’, ‘these Germans’, ‘the Poles’. The fact that so many are taking recourse to national identities has been explained by referring to global challenges and the new uncertainties that go with them, but this cannot be the only explanation. Rather there is after all the dream of a united Europe so something about disillusionment may play a role. Brussels is quite often blamed when things go wrong but people have no clear way of addressing their grievances as the European institutions are far removed from everyday life of ordinary citizens.

On the other hand, European societies have not comprehended as of yet that culture has started to emancipate itself from state tutelages as the arts freed themselves from the church and kings in the past. The defining power of culture and identity is no longer just a state matter and active citizenship does go further than what are borders and boundaries of local, regional and state administrated ways of governing territories. The secularization of culture is, however, a little understood phenomenon and would require deeper analysis in order to see how states and in turn citizens respond to the growing emancipation of the arts and culture from these political structures.

In determining cultural heritage, identity building processes are influenced in a most substantial way. That is why the HERMES project is not just an innocent European project, but a highly political one the moment the deeper implications of a common media policy with regards to cultural heritage as found within the CADSES space is understood. Hence it will be interested whether or not the partners of HERMES respond differently to the same questions the more they become aware of all the implications involved. It will reflect itself also whether or not cultural heritage is to be used to get people become interested in the cultural heritages of the other countries or if understanding remains at typical or even stereotypical levels with each identifying general characteristics in a way that will not allow anything better than what understanding a tourist would get by visiting a place for two, maybe three days. Certainly superficiality will be outplayed by local actors claiming to have a different understanding of their affairs, but this means not only societies but also local markets will remain restricted to those who know how to play the local game. That is not the same as being open to other identities not to be defined by being restricted to just one community speaking but one language. It will also be crucial that HERMES does take a position vis a vis states and their institutions attempting to reclaim culture and cultural heritage for a single identity formation purpose.

But prior to entering such a debate initiated already partially by the discussion papers made available by Bauhaus and Foundation Weimar Classic at the First Meeting for the second work package, it is wise first to review the key concepts which characterize the 5 work packages of HERMES:


WP 1 Management and Co-ordination of the Project

Responsible: Burkhardt Kolbmueller / Foundation Weimar Classic


WP 2 Theoretical Understanding of the Project (two parts):

Part 1: art historical understanding of cultural identity building processes – responsible: Justus Ulrich, Foundation Weimar Classic

Part 2: cultural heritage and spatial planning

responsible: Bauhaus University, Prof. Hassenpflug and Sebastian Schroeder


WP 3 New Media in Museums

Responsible: Dr. Hatto Fischer, Volos


WP 4 Internet Radio

responsible: Mathias Buss, Radio Lotte


WP 5 Summer schools

responsible: Hansjoerg Viertler, Hans Schmieder, Dr. Hans Glauber,



On that scheme for possible cooperation between the partners there has to be super imposed the objective of HERMES, namely to promote and to protect cultural heritage through use of the new media. This then requires an interpretative framework in order that the partners can evaluate and appreciate their own work in relation to what the others do and to valorize what the project as a whole can achieve.

At the same time, cultural heritage cannot be regarded only by itself but must be valorized to what extent protection and promotion of cultural heritage can contribute to regional development. Here the project needs to develop a methodological framework for analysis and evaluation if it is to avoid overt claims and instead develops the capacity to validate its findings and outcomes. The fact that the Bauhaus institute for European Urban Studies under the director of Prof. Hassenpflug is involved, leads to the assumption that with time HERMES will develop and adopt such a methodology. Indications of the first discussion papers are that there is every intention to give the project a scientific framework.


WP 1 – coordination and management

This work packages touches upon all organizational matters as perceived and resolved by the Project leader who is recognized by the European Commission as being responsible for the implementation of the project.


Project Leader: Stiftung Klassik / Foundation Classics

President: Hellmut Seemann

Project Coordinator: Dr. Burkhardt Kolbmueller


The project is supported also at both the regional and federal level:


Federal level

Ministry of Construction

Represented by: German Association for Housing, Urban and Spatial Development

Activities in the project: none

Synergies: Cultural Route of Brick Churches, Historical Buildings made out of red brick


Regional level

Foundation for Promotion of Technology and Innovation Thuringia

Activities in the project: none

Relationship to project: delegation of Internet Radio to Radio Lotte

Status: observer at decision making meetings of the project

Work Package 1 indicates that there is a double function to be fulfilled: management and coordination. While management deals with financial reporting, resource allocation, deliverables on time, contracts, etc. it is up to coordination to bring partners and their actions together so that HERMES becomes one project able to achieve its objectives. Naturally the project leader is also responsible for reporting to the Commission and for overseeing that the things agreed and specified upon in the subsidy contract with the Managing Authority are fulfilled.

Clearly all those partners with their own budget must perform likewise this double function while taking management and coordination further in order to fulfill objectives at local level or within a very concise and defined project e.g. installation of new media in a museum.

With the concept of management goes also the crucial question can the project be sustained after funding from the EU has ceased after three years.


WP 2 : theoretical understanding of the HERMES project

As to conceptual approaches within work package 2, the presentations of discussion papers presented at the April meeting (but which have gone unanswered until now) indicate that the project will have two inputs: one from the Foundation Weimar Classic, the other from the Bauhaus university.

Strand A: cultural heritage as factor of regional development

Of interest is that the Bauhaus university wishes to focus on a particular strand of thought that links spatial planning and cultural heritage by evaluating among other things impact upon urban and regional development based on tourism. Further contributions to this discussion about cultural heritage within spatial policy terms can be expected especially from the Bulgarian National Centre of Regional Development and Volos. Miriana Iordanova suggests examination of the European Spatial Development Perspective with regards to cultural heritage understood in following way:

As to the ESDP, cultural heritage (it includes natural heritage such as landscapes, rare water ways, vegetation etc.) is perceived as economic factor:

(134) The natural and cultural heritage is economic factor, which is becoming increasingly important for regional development (1). The quality of life of towns and cities, their hinterland and rural areas plays an increasingly important role in the location decisions of new companies (2). Natural and cultural places of interest are also an essential precondition for the development of tourism (3).

(158) …. The different lifestyles of inhabitants of European towns and cities have to be viewed in their entirety, as a part of the cultural heritage. Many European cities are subject to the dangers of commercialization and cultural uniformity, which destroys their own individuality and identity. This includes, for example, real estate speculation, infrastructure projects that are out of scale with their environment or ill-considered adaptations to mass tourism.

These factors frequently combine to cause serious damage to the structure and the social life of towns and cities and to reduce their potential as attractive locations for mobile investments"

In conjunction with the ESDP, the HERMES project should take up discussions within Europe as to the impact of the European Commission’s European Spatial Development Perspective, and of the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT).

Within the project, practical cases should be taken up e.g. possible media campaigns to safeguard cultural heritage and to bring about a new law for listing cultural heritage sites in Bulgaria. As this needs coordination and in the final end world wide recognition e.g. UNESCO, these steps must be carefully planned and given due consideration. Here a potential coordination between theoretical studies, museums and media i.e. radio stations could lead to successful media campaigns in support of cultural heritage. Also it is to be expected that evaluation reports of the project will lead to recommendations for new spatial planning initiatives. Since this involves the structural fund as administrated right now within the European Union, the Interreg III B – CADSES program one example, the project must be able to articulate in the final end ideas at this European level. Crucial would be if the HERMES project could demonstrate convincingly on how altogether cultural heritage as development factor can contribute to the social and economic cohesion within Europe.

Strand B: cultural identity questions

There is a second component to WP2. It deals thematically with cultural identity questions. Here the Bauhaus University presented a discussion paper at the First Meeting held in Weimar in April 2004. As in the case with the other discussion paper the contents of this paper have still to be reviewed by the other partners. The fact that no response has come so far indicates the other partners have not any equivalent or still need setting up before being able to respond.

Clearly the cultural identity question is such a crucial matter that it should not be left exclusively to the terms of culture as currently defined within the German context. There are some historical but also socio-political reasons for saying this. After German reunification in 1989, the cultural gap between East and West Germany could not be bridged so easily. At the same time, former East Germany is experiencing severe structural problems leading to shrinking cities and a high rate of unemployment. The crisis is not merely one of the economy for has given rise to existential insecurity and even ‘fear’. Instead of coping with the need to adapt to the new, people of Eastern Germany perceive perhaps a stronger need for identification at national level than do West Germans. Still, the current crisis in Germany and the debate about reform of the welfare state reflects the fact that people especially in Eastern Germany perceive the state of not being able to give them that protection against this existential fear as they had experienced under former Communist rule. This may explain why the PDS, the reformed former Communist party, is gaining in political mandates. Still, the cultural policy of the GREENS, a coalition partner in the current government, is attempting to strengthen the national trend, in order to counter this surge of popular support experienced by the PDS. At the same time, the Conservative party in Thuringia managed to hold onto power at the recent regional election due to the personal popularity of Althaus.

All this will affect the lead partner in Germany. As a matter of fact the Weimar Classic Foundation is facing itself a difficult transition to another kind of management and cultural policy. A special national Commission has been formed to make proposals for a structural reform. Presiding over that Commission shall be Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Prussian Cultural Foundation with seat in Berlin. He hopes to have ready for presentation a new concept by summer 2005. The scientific council had most recently critized the Foundation Weimar Classic not to have achieved any significant new beginning after 15 years of working under new auspices, that is after German reunification in 1989. The demand is that the Foundation must show more presence both nationally and internationally than what has been the case up to now.

One reason for this increased pressure to show some visible results is that the upkeep of cultural heritage is becoming ever more harder, politically speaking, to justify expensive restoration costs when money is lacking everywhere and unemployment a chronic problem. The series of problems to be resolved can provide an interesting insight into what also the societies of the new member states shall face within the European Union.

Another reason is the weakness of or even non existence of a substantial cultural policy. This goes hand in hand with a chronic deficit of institutions which could conduct research in cultural matters and provide politicians a workable base i.e. cultural indicators. Furthermore, the seriousness of the situation should not allow such a vacuum as to let policy measures in the cultural fields be dictated by extreme nationalist trends. Such overt recourses to national identities run counter productive to European integration. Equally they are in no way a contribution to upholding cultural diversity and the cultural identities which go with such diversity.

Also a political lie needs to be countered: unemployment is not merely the result of structural deficits due to lack of investments leading to an absence of viable economic structures. There is also that underlying cultural crisis which hinders people from working together. As this goes hand in hand with sharing of work, the very absence of a cultural consensus about the most pertinent and crucial values will create weak regions as defined by Phil Cooke. They are not competitive with others and cannot meet demands when such opportunities arise for the region. This is because the weakness in culture means also people do not share enough values so as to be willing to distribute work amongst themselves rather than trying to do everything alone, something never possible when the demand exceeds the capacity of even bigger companies. The recent failure of Leipzig for the Olympic bid is such a case that has many negative socio-psychological impacts upon even the surrounding regions which had hoped to benefit from a certain ‘growth pole’ or economic engine pulling up the others.

What Phil Cooke means with the readiness to share work on the basis of shared values is that strong economic regions have people trusting the others will do equally good work and thereby add to the quality of the output as a way to enhance the reputation of the overall region. By not distributing demands and therefore work loads amongst themselves weak regions indicate really the lack of consensus insofar as not many values are shared, culturally speaking. Sharing of work means not seizing opportunities alone but creating together with others work opportunities for all. This would mean perspectives are opened for everyone.

That politicians and communities face an uphill battle is also undisputable but this should not mean to leave ‘irrational tendencies’ in society – the willingness to destroy freedom and thereby perspectives to become creative – unanswered. Culture rests on a ‘friendly attitude towards the world’ (Cassirer). Extreme pessimism or even destructive skepticism is, therefore, already a sign of being able to pull everything down rather than helping to uphold a spirit of optimism. Therefore, the pessimism and even depression felt in many areas create such negative appearances as if life has disappeared from these cities and regions.

In such a situation one clear danger has to be avoided, namely to let highly suggestive solutions at mere symbolic level dominate public debates and thereby replace a political discourse based on the practical knowledge of what is possible. Obviously irrationalities come with all kinds of distortions of reality. A poet like Brendan Kennelly would identify this even as a kind of ‘hate’-language seeking only consensus in the negative. It does take a convincing culture to uphold and to further democratic practices based on dialogue and identification with others.

Given such needs, it is not clear yet how HERMES will follow the emphasis the German lead partner gives to national culture or rather to the role of ‘German culture in Europe’. Rather HERMES should as European project show how different cultures contribute to the identification process with European integration.

It is hoped that the scientific framework, as it shall be designed by the Bauhaus university, will include a wish to understand on how different cultures in Europe can contribute towards such identity building processes that go beyond the national level while not neglecting the local and regional specifics. The European model so far has given priority to “minority languages” or ‘lesser spoken languages’ while not giving in completely to demands of Welsh or Catalonia communities to be recognized as nation state like the already existing ones such as Spain. It is furthermore sought by the European Commission to safeguard culture and cultural diversity by furthering cultural co-operation between all states and at all levels. Here the Ruffolo Report leading to the creation of cultural observatories should be seen as work going on already in this direction. There are many other examples which HERMES needs to relate to as a project and design accordingly the research to be undertaken within work package 2.

Once culture is perceived as giving orientation, it should be clear from the outset that the HERMES project shall deal also with ‘theories’ about many things, including signs, materials used, and even interpretations as found in stories and meanings attached to certain places and things. A routine look alone at a church portal is not enough to decode once again what people used to feel and comprehend when filing past such doors when coming to church services in the Middle Ages. The same applies to monuments, in particular those remembering wars, as there is an own special study called ‘political iconography’ that allows for the categorization of different types of monuments: those expressing horror at war while others glorify and solidify the myth of heroes at war.

As such this can lead to further discussion about how culture is expressed through different ways of perceiving things (and not only as being an expression of a way of life – the anthropological definition) and what meanings are attached to them. A sacred mountain appears differently to Indians compared to those who came to find mines or else new hunting grounds for furs. As culture is a way to adapt to the needs while attempting to go beyond just needs, in order to attain a degree of self consciousness, it will be interesting to see if HERMES can draw out of concrete examples some underlying principles of a European culture in the making. After all unification and integration has been attempted before the many wars erupted in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Furthermore, if HERMES is to link cultural heritage with regional development, then a point of entry into linking specifically the two strands in WP2 would have to be a comparative methodology allowing the partners to examine how cultural resources are identified, used and taken into consideration when it comes to spatial planning. As this is directly connected to ‘cultural planning’ 1, it will be crucial to see how the different partners contextualize their particular projects for a museum or cultural heritage route within the overall regional development strategy. All that has direct ramifications on how

As long as these crucial elements for a successful policy towards protecting and promoting cultural heritage are neglected, it can be said that there is no effective policy to protect and to promote cultural heritage in place.

It is to be expected from the HERMES project with all its inherent potentiality that a culturally based discursive practice will give shape to this project. So far there has been made some tentative effort to provide a practical basis for the implementation of such a cultural policy at local level. Following key issues will determine the outcome of such a practice:

Once the project begins to make sense within the diversity of its partners, then various strategies deployed to protect and to promote cultural heritage in the regions of the partners can be identified and compared. Of interest will be where and how respective societies allow people to come to terms with cultural heritage as a complexity having a life of its own and which cannot be reduced to mere administrative measures. This will say a lot about the time scale of development and development chances as the variation from static to dynamic factors within key structures will become very apparent e.g. neglect of ancient buildings or sites as a reflection of a lack of economic means to bring together means and ends.

All this can also be taken a bit further with regards to what will be the work within work package 2: modern technologies in museums. In both cases, the technical means cannot be an aim by themselves for appreciation and validation of cultural heritage requires that institutions and other means provide narratives about cultures lived and experienced over time. As such the key term becomes the ‘narrative’ whereby this too will influence theoretical perception and how it is translated into the actual presentation of materials and cultural artifacts e.g. a letter of Goethe, within a museum and the context provided within that museum. Technical means should be used to extend the experience thereof over and beyond the limitations of the museums and make the experiencing process become a part of ‘cultural innovation’. The latter begins already with the same old stories being retold anew and thereby offering chances to discover something else, something not seen until now. This then will enrich the cultural self understanding needed to come to terms with cultural heritages in Europe.

Needless to say WP 2 would not be complete, if it would not include references to work having been done with regards to cultural heritage in Europe. There is the Raphael Program prior to the Culture 2000 EU funding program that was devoted exclusively to furthering cultural heritage. Within Culture 2000 some excellent projects have been funded such as the European Network of Cultural Centers – ACCR. Alone its most recent publication about “reviving monuments” sets standards in both restoration and use of cultural heritage sites, including former industrial sites. Then, there is the institute for Cultural Heritage Routes which can provide further examples of how to link important cultural heritage sites and places to emphasize that Europe has a common history.

HERMES should take up also previous resolutions initiated by the Council of Europe (Palermo 1995, The Budapest Document 1996) and by European projects such as the Article 10 - ERDF project CIED with its Palermo Declaration and Leipzig Action Plan 1999 to further ‘cultural heritage’.2 It should also relate to efforts by UNESCO to promote and to protect ‘cultural diversity’ against over commercialization. The outcome can be expressed in the form of improved practical guidelines linking knowledge to good practices by museums and the media.


WP 3: New media in museums

The museums in the project are varied and point to an interesting future, provided all questions are taken into consideration and discussions in the project can be connected to ongoing work. Volos presented here some virtual images of the Argonaut museum while Poland was presented by both an ethnological museum and a castle envisioning HERMES related activities. The visit to the Wielandt museum was very stimulating due to explanations given by students from the media section of the Bauhaus university. The subsequent discussion on the use of new media in museums points to the way the HERMES project can perhaps be best understood.

HERMES will have to trace the steps undertaken by such projects undertaken by official institutions as they shall influence the discourse developed alongside implementation processes of such projects when it comes to the European identification process.

Some key concepts can be introduced already at this point and be based on a public lecture given by Peter Higgins in Volos 2004. He is a museums expert who works for Land Design Studio in the UK and has been involved in the construction of many museums as of late thanks to the enormous funds provided for this purpose by lottery. This ranges from a football museum underneath the stadium to a maritime museum which exchanges every year the ships being shown as part of naval history. His emphasis is that three dimensions must go together: design (or content), architecture and location. The latter means really spatial planning and follows location theories as to where in the cultural landscape a museum is most suited e.g. not at the outskirts of the city but close to the centre.3

Following terms should be taken into consideration when attempting to link modern technology to museums and how they wish to present cultural heritage as part of an ongoing experience connecting a specific past to the present as ongoing reflection of the future.

i. narratives

Museums are nothing, if they are not capable of telling a story. Peter Higgins’ first question in Volos was when evaluating the chances for the creation of a History of the City Museum: how to open the archive to see what things are there by which such a story can be told. When Leipzig did an exhibition about the history of that city, the curator asked people to donate single items for key time periods such as 1933 – 45. Subsequently a Jewish man who escaped concentration camp and emigrated to New York donated the suitcase he had used at that time to carry all his personal items when leaving for the New Continent.

The narrative is a re-account and can take on many and various shapes. Here it may even help to solicit the opinions by poets, writers, while listening to what stories parents tell their children and how children see adults as to what they stand for. Often this inter generational dialog limits what everyone can see, hear, think of and reflect upon all while trying to link up with meaning of place and oral history.

Some further methodological considerations may clarify the role the narrative can play in museums and then what means are used to illustrate these stories. Sometimes it should also be reminded that overuse of technical means e.g. virtual trip through a city may provide certain illusions the sensation of being suspended over the city, but it is quite a different experience when walking through the streets and giving an account as did James Joyce of Dublin.

Some further examples may illustrate the possible use of the narrative:

Altogether the narrative or stories told will reflect what key principles underlie any museum or rather what policy is being implemented. Stories are told already by such artifacts that emphasize only the order in the city whereas other stories may exist side by side but which were not given either in their time nor nowadays their due recognition.

Once a city moves towards having many museums with their own stories, then it becomes even more interesting what aspects give entry into an entire new dimension. Maurizio Carta in Palermo said this is best described by an innovative network linked to certain sites and functions e.g. marine museum beside the sea, children’s toy museum near the community centre etc.4 Once this is incorporated into the Master Plan of a city, then such aspects as traffic linkages, status (public or private), identification possibilities of the local population with “their museum” (see how Carol Becker talks about the people of Brooklyn in relation to the Brooklyn museum often not known to those coming to New York to see the Modern Museum, but hardly ever that museum known so well to its own local people) will come also into play and give shape to the success or not of the museum fitting into the cultural landscape.

ii. movements

While the technology world means movement due to a change in energy being transformed into something else (bicycle, car, locomotive, airplane, rocket), a person entering such a world of movements (whether now of images or of the person itself) will search for the ‘unity of perception’ (Parmenides) at different levels of abstraction. As Viktor Weizsaecker showed in experiments, a person walking will perceive many more details in the landscape around him compared to someone running. The latter will abstract and look only for dangers like stones or other obstacles over which he might stumble. An extension thereof is as vehicles become ever faster, the less resistance they will have to experience if they are to move unhindered. Compared to the old roads, a super highway is already an extreme alienation from nature and shows to what extend movement displaces one of the oldest and most important cultural heritages: the natural landscape.

With any movement go a typical kind of observations and give rise to certain associations e.g. many people thought with the coming of the train people will grow sick and cities will die as Expressionists depict it as if a iron rod is punctured into the heart of a city.

There are many ways of understanding movements. Already small children are fascinated by something moving. As a matter of fact movements are decisive for experiencing and tracing the path of innovation. The Greek poet Pindar in Ancient Greece left a fragment in which he noted when the Goddess took the person in her chariot out of the city, as the axe was starting to grind faster and faster in the hole, smoke came out of that hole as the wood put up strong resistance and a proper wheel had not as of yet been invented.

By creating movement both by himself and through other means, man begins with poetic experiences but then extends them into further going observations on how to fulfill certain dreams e.g. landing on the moon. Once movement can become a scientific observation, it is translated from a metaphorical description into an analytical and empirical classification system. As such human development goes side by side at certain times with a technological induced development.

Thomas Kuhn took this a bit further by iterating how differently was the impression of energy being created and used to move things in the case of a steam engine compared to those high speed trains that glide over the track at 200 Km in an hour and still the person traveling in that train does not experience anything of that fast movement. As a matter of fact, people resort to poetic metaphors to bridge the unexplainable with what is happening to them, and thus a woman sitting in the train can write if the kiss per SMS did not arrive, then it is because of the high speed of the train.

There are many beautiful movements to be seen. The silhouette of the photographer leaning against a pillar in Cap Sounion while the sun is setting down shows that in certain places reflections of these kinds of movements – the sitting still at a certain time of the day – can take one through the ages. In Greece, the poet Ritsos when seeing an old woman stepping out of her hut was suddenly reminded of ‘ancient movements’ by the way she walked.

iii. reality as difference between the concrete and the abstract

Peter Higgins says nothing virtual in a museum display has any meaning, if not shown in terms of the power of the real. People cannot associate only to something, they must taste, smell, feel it and be able to take the experiences further. As the case with movement becoming ever faster and thereby bringing with it an abstracter way of ordering things, the power of abstraction resides in being able not to unify things as much as putting things under certain principles. The latter is a logic working by subsuming things under certain key categories.

Michel Foucault in ‘The Birth of the Clinic’ demonstrates how a new definition of a healthy human being went hand in hand with the nation states of the nineteenth century requiring new soldiers for their armies. Consequently a certain selection principle was applied and repeated in hospitals organized now in treating people according to only certain identifiable sicknesses or injuries while excluding many other aspects of the human malaise. The power of the abstract is really entailed in the ordering principle suppressing the concrete human being, or as Foucault puts it, the person asking for the reasons of the pain disturbs the diagnosis process of the doctors.

The interplay between imagination and movement can be best perceived in what experiences of the world allow mankind to stay in touch with reality. If movement makes the relationship to the world more abstract, then the contention of power has to be concrete at a certain point in time. In terms of time and space it means human history has attempted to become completely independent from any concrete location, while the counter movement has been always to stay rooted at one place.

In terms of stories to be told, this is the interesting point: even while space odysseys have become virtual realities in a digitalized world presentation, it is clear that cultural heritage differs from such extensions into outer space. Museums using the new digital world of presentation experience already very quickly the limits of this technology since people will not come again if the story is not told in an imaginative way and hence does not give them the sense of experiencing something new if they would come again. So no matter what different approaches to things are being taken, the need to be linking content with the imagination means the story must always begin and end with a concrete location e.g. the departure of Jason from Iolkos – near modern-day Volos - in order to head for Colchis of the Black Sea while it remains a lapse of experience nowadays that the way there does not seem to count so much as just reaching the destination. This has lead to a reverse of what may be considered the inner compared to the outer world and gives museums thereby a chance to help define human reality anew.

iv. dialogue with the past

Access to cultural heritage can be found best through dialogue with the past. HERMES can enter these dialogs and reflect upon current European policy measures applied to present cultural heritage. This should not be done at random, but within a systematized order of interpretation, if only to question this very order as an inadequate classification scheme. Precisely the versatility between form and content matters in terms of the taxonomic structure used to collect and to identify materials as being relevant to the story to be told. As the case with a detective seeking to resolve the case, it does matter what details are either included or excluded, when presenting the full facts. It still matters what ignites our imagination and lets our senses trust when things end up going in a certain direction.

Like the flow of the river, it would be good to depart in this dialog with the past from the ancient wisdoms and then proceed like Socrates with questions as to what can be known really about them, what not. But at every juncture of time, there is a discovery which can be rediscovered in order to rekindle the overall learning process humanity has gone through over the ages in order to not merely survive at a purely simple level, but at such levels of refined tastes and abilities to seek pleasure that happiness as condition of life continues to be of major interest as to what makes new discoveries and experiences possible. In that way different distances from the event can draw certain conclusions about was then a novelty but today a questionable thing since its usefulness has been reduced to but a mere demonstration of how things were done then but no longer today.

Still, by entering a lot of these very localized dialogues all involving some kind of sense for time and place, people and their history, it means a lot if something can be said forcefully and faithfully to reality about certain periods of time that mankind had to go through before being able to discover other things, things that might exist just around the corner but to where they could never get to if they had not undertaken that other first and very important step. In the case of the Argonauts this was the realization that not just any boat could make it across the torrents and streams when attempting to enter the Black Sea but that it would require a longer boat to allow for more rowers.

This increase in power meant, however, developing new joints in the wood for no single tree was long enough to cover the entire needed length of the boat. But then that is but just one demonstration of many other possibilities to see and to reflect upon how one thing lead to another and thereby changed afterwards the whole perception of the world. For once the boat did manage to go where others could not travel before, not merely the Fleece was retraceable but the very concept of movement linked to accessibility altered the perception of man as to what he can do and what would be desirable to do so in future, namely to go still further as if wanting always to test the limits.

v. the cultural framework of museum policy

The cultural framework is influential upon what leads and shall lead to a definite identity making process. Once cultural heritage is linked to what ideas about the past future generations can obtain from their elders as they grow into society, that influence becomes evident in all kinds of cultural and social manifestations. Of course, there is a difference between static societies in which the same job is being performed over the generations compared to rapidly changing societies where industrial jobs vanish while the new ones are being created all the time as the Information Society takes shape.

The same applies to museums: what they show, what not will influence the identity building process. It is not an innocent process and gives rise to the question but for what identity processes do museums stand for?

As a child may have different ideas about the father once knowing what he did in the war, so it matters if some crucial details are left out when a city, region, nation or Europe begins to retell its story.

would alter the composition already becomes clear that sustaining democratic practice depends upon finding and retaining access to such a process starting from ancient wisdoms and going through the hard learned experiences made since then when it comes to governance and rule of the land.

In particular, museum policies will have to be evaluated in terms of what they show to people so that they recognize themselves in terms of history. Any curator knows by showing how things were not only done, but left unfinished, then the incomplete, the things done not in vain but often rejected then, can become today a potential for the future. There are many things which make up a part of the story. It depends on how they are told and that is why the ‘narrative’ based on cultural heritage becomes so important.

If heritage is to be connected with culture, then also by coming to terms with all kinds of failure, including the failure to prevent war. Learning out of the past to shape the future is a special task and needs to be defined as an ongoing re-interpretation of what we know about the past.


WP 4: Internet Radio

The radio stations need to find a way to collaborate, in order to make possible online streaming as a first step towards an Internet Radio. It became clear at the First Meeting that the collaboration depends on what each representative shall report back to their various bodies and how they will then decide. In some cases the participation in the project of these Radio stations is not as of yet sure.

Logically speaking, it would be important that the radio stations work together to see what coverage they can give to cultural heritage in general and in particular in relation to the individual partners within HERMES, what work can be achieved together by using this communication tool of an Internet Radio.

The concept of an Internet Radio is not so clear as to be readily understandable for it involves elements of a traditional radio based on live broadcasts, while including the modern means of the Internet to send files and be accessible to a world wide audience. This alters the concept of audience and for whom such an Internet Radio station shall design the programs. As there is also the possibility of having discussion forums since Internet Radio is primarily an interactive media, editorial structures will alter and depend much more on good moderation and people capable of giving feed-backs to contributions made. The quality of debate will depend upon certain rules are applied e.g. no incitement of violence or use of materials for ideological claims, the latter more difficult to judge if not experienced in working with this new kind of public opinion residing on expression of personal opinions.

Still, world debates as organized before the WSSD 2002 or afterwards by the World Bank show that thematic approaches can lead to opinions being expressed once an initial discussion paper has been made available while the moderator(s) structure the debate and make resumes to reinforce the self understanding of those partaking in the debate. Usually less than 5% of the listeners will actually respond in written form. Here the Internet Radio can alter that by reaching out and letting voices speak in reference to the texts presented. The editorial part comes in when materials are used to enrich and to delineate the subject matter being discussed.

At the First Meeting of HERMES the representative of Slovakia radio asserted the freedom of the press. Departing from that traditional role and what kind of relationship a journalist will enter the media, he claimed that no journalist will follow any prescribed coverage but will want to retain his independence. Also if coverage of a story is not paid for, then nothing will happen. Such journalism will not stand up to the demands of an Internet Radio since journalists shall be replaced by an audience becoming active itself and editors becoming more moderators. This means the entire financial structure and how opinions are validated will determine the character of the Internet Radio.

To get traditional radio stations to review as part of the HERMES project its information policy vis a vis cultural heritage, this would be important for a start. Once consensus between all participating radio stations has been achieved, they may come to a first agreement on how they could share programs by online streaming and this according to pre agreed upon financial and editorial conditions. Here the Internet will become a tool to substantiate the networking between radio stations as it facilitates the online streaming of programs already produced.

However, the setting up of such a network to facilitate online streaming is something else than setting up an Internet Radio network to promote cultural heritage. Here many more deliberations shall be needed if HERMES is to activate these radio stations into further collaboration. Right now most of the representatives, if not journalists, were a part of the foreign language department and thus quite far removed from the decision makers of their respective radio stations. It was, therefore, proposed that the project leader addresses a letter to these decision making bodies – in some cases these must be the trustees of these radio stations e.g. National Radio of Bulgaria – to explain the interests of the HERMES project further and thereby help prepare the ground for the Internet Radio meeting to take place immediately after the First Steering Committee meeting, namely in Weimar, September 5 – 7, 2004.


WP 5 Summer courses, discussion forums

Right from the start of HERMES, Weimar and in particular Dr. Burkhardt Kolbmueller emphasized the summer courses as a main action of HERMES. Since such summer courses take place in Weimar every year, it is, therefore, not necessarily something HERMES specific, but an ongoing action. Within HERMES the concept has been modified insofar as there is the wish for the summer courses to have of a multiplier function. They should aim to have as participants future leaders and decision makers. It offers a meeting place especially for the younger generation experiencing an enlarged European Union since May 1st 2004. Crucial would be to see how these younger generations regard cultural heritage not only in their respective countries but throughout Europe. As the first summer course has just taken place in Weimar throughout August 2004, some reports can be expected by the time the HERMES partners shall meet there in early September.

It is not clear how HERMES shall relate to the summer courses given two strands: Toblach will organize such a course in 2005 and Volos in 2006 while Weimar will continue to hold as well such a summer course. The concept for these summer courses is not as clear as presumed since in reality they should be a part of the dissemination activities of the HERMES project and therefore require results from work being done in the other work packages, or at least some courses in relationship to that e.g. museum design and use of new technology as one possible course, before being able to determine the content.

As to the concept of these courses not being teacher – learners orientated, here Burkhardt Kolbmueller outlined his concept of their very successful summer courses in Weimer. They are thematically orientated, have no peer person leading the course, but instead let the groups work out their own ideas on the given subject matter. If this is the methodology, then the results of HERMES will have to be disseminated differently to the participants or else be made available as materials in a way that group processes can undertake the task of coming to terms with the content by themselves.

The coordinator for the summer courses is supposed to be the Cultural Centre of Toblach. After the First Meeting, it appears that they wish to introduce the key term ‘sustainability’ as orientation for HERMES as a whole. However, their concept is to introduce the topic by having many, already selected speakers who come from outside the project itself and may be linked to the kind of discussion forums as has been initiated by Toblach in the past. It is their understanding that this will be a contribution to the HERMES project insofar as it will contribute to how in future this contributes to the discussion about sustainable development. But by linking this to solar energy, it is quite another topic when compared to the main task of HERMES, namely to focus on cultural heritage, that it remains to be seen what will be in the final end the concept for the summer course in Toblach 2005.


As it appears right now the working methodology adopted by the project leader for bringing together the different partners relies more on summer courses and discussion forums e.g. Toblach’s proposal on solar energy, than on coming to terms with the need to coordinate the actions of each partner to ensure that the project as a whole begins to produce common outcomes.

There are the two discussions papers as initiated by the project leader in Work Package 2 and the proposal by Toblach to concentrate on sustainable development, but right now it is not sure how these very different theoretical strands will be linked to ongoing work done by certain partners and how this ties in especially with the work of museums and of radio stations. Given also the fact that this is an Interreg project, it appears as weakness of HERMES that no many partners are willing or even able to take up the matter of planning with the factor cultural heritage and thereby be able to link the spatial dimension of cultural heritage to regional development issues within CADSES space. As pointed out, the Bauhaus university may have only one equivalent partner in the project, namely the National Centre of Regional Development in Bulgaria, but while the one is scientifically interested in development issues, the other is much closer to policy implementation.

Consequently the Centre is orientated towards the political process of attaining some degree of compatability between the interest to preserve cultural heritage in Bulgaria and finding ways to stimulate regional and therefore economic development in a country facing severe economic conditions. Bulgaria is not yet a member of the European Union and faces stiff conditions if the country wants to enter 2005. The lessons from those who have entered already can be taken up in terms of impact of the European Union but it is not clear if HERMES has the capacity to do so.

What else shall be needed so that all five work packages come together, remains to be seen. While the project must be able to upgrade the work done by each the partners until the outcomes, results and long term impacts have a real value at European and international level, clearer references and interaction between the partners can facilitate flow of information and in reaching together interesting outcomes. However, there seem to be still missing key concepts by which all of this can be tied together as there seems to be absent the kind of working methodology that would allow all partners to find on the basis all five work packages a consistent way to work together.

Whether or not the radio stations will manage to set up an Internet Radio network to further cultural heritage remains to be seen. Altogether it appears after the First Meeting that some crucial concepts to explain the project are missing and thus the partners have not as of yet a clear idea where they could work together. As this stands and falls with the common working methodology, HERMES must make sure that a clarification on this point is reached as soon as possible. Otherwise the usual feasibility studies and also social and local biased reviews are taken as being valid enough to be considered as contribution to the common outcomes. The lack thereof reflects clearly the vast difference between partners associated only to individual work packages compared to partners that cover all five work packages.

One solution is to have besides the Steering Committee as highest decision making body, a sub-committee of the coordinators of each work package undertake the coordination of the work in substance. Since the minutes of the first meeting do not pick up this point although it was decided upon by the partners at the First Meeting, it is emphasized here.

1 See Lia Ghilardi, “Cultural Planning and Cultural Diversity” (Noema Research and Planning Ltd, London); the paper was written for the Council of Europe.

2 EU CIED conference held in Leipzig, June 1999, see:




3 see lecture notes written by Hatto Fischer, Volos – HERMES archive (to be created in conjunction with the Internet Radio communication platform).

4 Maurizio Carta, “Palermo: The City of Opportunities – an Industrial Heritage Network Plan”, CIED Conference in Leipzig, 1998, CIED Archiv.

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