Museology, museography and new forms of address to the public

22, June 2010  |  Published : Seminars, Ecologie de l'attention  | 

The Ministry of Culture and Communication (Mission on Research and Technology / Delegation to the Development and International Affairs) and the Research Center of the Castle of Versailles organized on November 8th 2006 a seminar on the « Cultural Spots and New Digital Practices ». From March to June 2007 the Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI) organized accordingly a seminar in 8 sessions opened to the students of the School of the Louvre (4th year, Master I) which covered a wide spectrum of digital issues. The seminar also accepted personal staff-members from the Minister of Culture and to the academic institutions and professionals who applied for it.

IRI’s program of research for new critical apparatus that may enable the emergence of new types of « amateurs » is thus confronted to experiences led within museums and exhibitions as well as theoretical reflections on the impact of these new ways of « address to the public » and how they affect cultural practices. At the core of the program is the idea that the works of art exhibited must be reinserted within series and monographies that enable new kinds of depictions and feed-back, by taking in account all its aesthetical, cultural and historical background.

During the academic year 2013-2014, the program will focus on the question of the « Collaborative reading ». The objective of the seminar is to examine the impact of the emerging practice of collaborative reading in the cultural field. This practice is both a reality (through the appearance of a new technical object, the digital book, which changes our ways of writing and reading) and a project (the idea of a practice of shared electronic annotation, allowing a social and contributory reading). Our hypothesis is that aesthetic or scientific thought, as notably highlighted in cultural institutions and museums, is never absolute but always embodied, conveyed by an instrument which shapes it in turn, and thus that studying the modulations of instruments is at the same time studying the profound evolution of human thought. This hypothesis will be analyzed in light of a recent or even current change, that of electronic reading media which are experiencing a growing development.

Each session lasts two hours and is divided between experiences from the museum environment and theoretical reflection, opening to the possibilities and problems induced by those new devices and technologies.

All applicants must register here.

Tel : 01 83 87 63 25

3-21- 2007 : Engineering of Knowledge

How can we index, document and articulate contents according to a specific audience ? How to build up a stock of expertises which could be mobilized at the very conception of a program ?

4-4-2007 : Engineering the documentary

How can we digitalize, index and valorize while being independent from the format we use and while adapting contents to various audiences . Can a database be directly put at the service of the production of an exhibit ? Production line : how can we go from the digitalization of works toward digital publishing ? Information systems : how can we retrieve the documentary aspects of an exhibition for a reedition or an online edition ?

2 mai 2007: Interaction, visualisation 3D, avatars

Interaction, 3D visualization, avatars : what artistic content could they serve ? The new status of the work of art at the age of digital reproducibility. Added value to the contents in a digital environment ?

5-9-2007: Participation of the public / personalization

Policies toward the public, analysis of the public, taking their reactions in account, personalized courses, live intervention of artists, role-playing games and video-games.

5-30-2007: The virtual galleries : virtual reality, augmented reality and multimodality.

How can we reach all the senses ? When is immersion justified ? How can we articulate our documentary databases and advanced visualization tools ? A look at tools for cartography.

6-6-2007: Along with mobility.

How can we accompany and extend the visit ? What innovating aspects of mobility can we use in a cultural context ? How can we conceive systems/networks/devices adapted to the museums ?

6-13-2007: The museum online

How can we prepare and complete the visit ? Taking the database to the networks. The impact of Web 2.0 technologies. Personal spaces and educational websites.

6-27-2007 : Annotation, enrichment of contents by the visitor, pedagogic courses : toward a community of amateurs.

In a participative context based on exchanges, what tools will favorize a better appropriation of the works by the public himself and the enrichment of contents ? What pedagogy can we develop around those tools ?

2007 Edition : the engineering of knowledge within the museum.

This seminar will take the analysis of the tools for the engineering of knowledge toward the idea that they can be put at the service of a publishing and presentation strategy of the works of art. The experiences toward the management of the documentary dimension will be then explored, particularly when they aim at a production offering a variety of forms adapted to different publics and devices. We will then move on to the question of the field of representation and the ways to bring a final result to the audience, especially through new environment still in development in research lab. The last sessions will deal with the issue of participation and the personalization of cultural spaces, as well as the issue of Internet and its mobile dimension.

Access : on registration to :

  • Museum professionals (curators, audiovisual and computer services, public services)
  • Ministry of Culture and Communication employees
  • Students (museology, cultural action, Ecole du Louvre, Institut National du patrimoine)

Inscriptions :

10-14-2008 : Collaborative spaces open to critical activities.

An acknowledged characteristic of Web 3.0 is the conjunction between an editorial point of view and contributions from the visitors. In social engineering it is seen as the combination of a « top-down » approach and ascending innovation of a « bottom-up » type. This session will introduce and debate this notion, with a special highlight on the « viral » effects so eagerly sought by the cultural industries, with concrete demonstration of the way museum can succeed or fail to combine the singularity of the points of view on its works and the contributions from the visitors.

12-17-2008 : The articulation between the museum and social networks

Can a museum articulate its contents around social websites and existing collaborative structures (like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Daily Motion, etc.) ? On what extent should it operate for the choice of its metadata and the way to retrieve them to enrich its own database ? Does it have to create its own social networks from pieces ?

  • Philippe Bouquillon, MSH Paris Nord (Paris VIII et XIII),
  • Martin Rogard, Daily Motion,
  • Elisabeth Gautier-Desvaux, General Conservator of the « Patrimoine », Director of the Archives of the Yvelines

01-21-2009: Communicating objects : a link between museum space and digital spaces.

The mobile technologies, which can be useful to personalize visits, also constitute a « pervasive » link toward the digital spaces. But there still remains to find new ways to address the public intelligently (through debates, further exploration, games…) so that the communicating object may become a true instrument for the critical mind.

  • Joëlle Le Marec, University professor, ENS LSH,
  • Yves-Armel Martin, Director of the Technology and Information Mission / Computer Center Erasm, Computer department of the Rhônes.
  • Elisabeth Shimmels, Head of the « Discovery Spaces» project / Public service at « Musée des Confluences ».
  • Vincent Puig and Cécilia Jauniau, IRI/Centre Pompidou : Presentation of the set-up and analysis of the public’s behaviours during experimentations on the « Traces du Sacré » exhibit.

02-11-2009: The issue of sensorial instruments in the educative programs of the digital world.

The educative context in museums is truly favorable to experimentation, making visible the importance of an « instrumentation » of perception and judgement. In this session we will deal with the question of teenagers.

  • Stephan Schwan, IWM/KMRC Tübingen (Germany),
  • Vincent Maestracci, Dean of artistic teaching, General Inspection, Ministry of National Education
  • Nancy Proctor, Smithsonian American Art Museum (USA),

03-11-2009: Economic models and tourism

What kind of new organization of value creation is emerging through the context of collaborative Web, social networks, mobility and access to very fast networks ? How can we re-think the articulation between cultural services and tourism ?

  • Round table directed by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, project manager for the minister’s cabinet on the project of a national centre for the preservation of the « Patrimoine », with Philippe Fabry (Odit France), Laurianne Barbier (Voyazine – and Jacques Naves (ViaMichelin).
  • Philippe Dubé from LAMIC Lab (Museology and cultural engineering lab, Québec)

2008-2009 Edition : Collaborative spaces open to critical activities

According to its research program on new educative and cultural technologies, as well as the new ways to address audiences, IRI focuses this 08-09 seminar on collaborative technologies, through a partnership with the ADONIS/CNRS Anthroponet project (toward the access and valorization of museums’ archives) and the THD Cap Digital project (cultural practices on very fast networks). This seminar will confront museum experiences and theoretical as well as scientific reflections by analyzing the impact of the new ways to address a public unto museum practices. This year this seminar is more open to students from l’Ecole du Louvre (Master I), from l’Institut national du patrimoine (INP) and from l’Ecole des Chartes, as well as professional from the cultural sector.

12-08-2009: Forms of attention and cognition the question of « care ».

16h-18h30, Petite Salle/Centre Pompidou
Let us start from recent cognitive studies such as those of Katerine Hayles on the fall of sustained attention (deep attention) and the rise of scattered forms of attention (hyper-attention). How in this context can the museum « take care » of its visitors ? We will also tackle the issue of the modelization of those attention process, under the light cognitive studies on attention, marketing and the micro-economy of attention.

  • Katerine Hayles, Literature teacher at Duke University, Critic.
  • Alain Giffard, Director of the Scientific interest Culture and digital Medias groupment.
  • Bernard Stiegler, Director of IRI.

01-19-2010: Attention technics and modern pathologies

16h30-19h, Espace Piazza
The libidinal energy and the question of desire are at the heart of the question of attention processes. We will raise the issue of modern attention pathologies, and the question of therapy to addiction.

  • Philippe Bordes, Research director at INHA (moderator)
  • Marc Valleur, Psychiatrist, Head of the service of addiction treatments at hospital Marmottan)
  • Jean-Pierre Couteron, President of Anitea (National association of specialists on drug addiction and addictology )
  • Lights on: Mapping the museum, a swiss experimentation tracing visitors within an exhibit:

02-16-210: the question of gaming.

16h30-19h, Espace Piazza
Katherine Hayles is convinced that the paradigm of gaming can provide an articulation between deep and hyper attention. This is also the thesis of « serious game » designers.

  • Stéphane Natkin, holder of the Multimedia Systems chair at CNAM (ENSJVMI).
  • Nicolas Auray, Senior lecturer in sociology, ENS of Telecommunications.
  • Kristel Kerstens, Waag Society
  • Eude Menager de Froberville, Doctor of medicine, Neurologic service Henri Mondor, Head of research at Tekneo.
  • Lights on: the PLUG project at CNAM museum with Annie Gentes, senior lecturer in sciences of information and communication (ENS Telecommunications) and Coline Aunis, Internet manager of the « Musée des arts et techniques ».

03-23-2010 : Social networks, fast bandwidth, new medias, new social and pedagogical practices

16h30-19h, Espace Piazza
Do these new technologies favorize the dispersion of attention ? What tools can we build to strengthen these new pedagogical practices ?

  • François Quéré, Head of public policies, Agence France-Muséums (moderator).
  • Alain Garnier, CEO of social network JameSpot.
  • Thomas Beauvisage, Orange Labs
  • Lights on: presentation of a collaborative website developed by IRI toward teachers with the Cinema Mission of Paris.

05-18-2010: Interfaces, objects and memorial technologies

16h30-19h, Espace Piazza
In a world of constant connectivity, and even mobile mobile connectivity, how can we manage the temporality of the exhibit and the temporality of the visitor, or those of the broadcasted medias ?

  • Roland Topalian, City of Sciences and Industry (moderator)
  • Georges Amar, Head of the Prospective and innovating Development at RATP.
  • Jean-Louis Frechin, Designer-Architect, No Design, Director of the Digital Design Workshop at ENSCI-Les Ateliers
  • Alain Mille, professor at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (LIRIS))

06-08-2010: Sensorial-motricity and active perception

16h30-19h, Espace Piazza

  • Yves-Armel Martin, Director of the innovation center Erasme (moderator)
  • Charles Lenay, director of the COSTECH Unit, Université technologique de Compiègne
  • François Pachet, head of a research team on musical computer science at Sony CSl lab
  • Lights on: presentation of the Natal project (a gestural interface from Microsoft).

2009-2010 Edition : Technics of attention

The massive consumption of cultural contents is more and more shaped by the « compulsive » evolution of consumerism, which is made evident through attitudes of generalized « zapping ». The museum does not escape this evolution as the attention and care is formatted by mass media. According to a 2005 sutdy, a visitor at the Louvre pays attention to each for work of art for an average 42 seconds, and the number is dropping.
In this context which should alert the whole sector of cultural institutions in general and museums specifically, we want to direct our 2009-2010 Museology seminar toward the confrontation of the theoretical question of the social, economic and cognitive conditions which make attention receptive, with concrete examples of developing technologies such as collaborative instruments and spaces for the critical activities through the rise of social networks and very large bandwidth.

Inscriptions : or here

Subscription :
On tuesday from 4H30 PM to 7PM in the Piazza room in front of Centre Pompidou.

Collaborative reading, a challenge for cultural institutions?

The objective of the seminar is to examine the impact of the emerging practice of collaborative reading in the cultural field. This practice is both a reality (through the appearance of a new technical object, the digital book, which changes our ways of writing and reading) and a project (the idea of a practice of shared electronic annotation, allowing a social and contributory reading). Our hypothesis is that aesthetic or scientific thought, as notably highlighted in cultural institutions and museums, is never absolute but always embodied, conveyed by an instrument which shapes it in turn, and thus that studying the modulations of instruments is at the same time studying the profound evolution of human thought. This hypothesis will be analyzed in light of a recent or even current change, that of electronic reading media which are experiencing a growing development.

But beyond the question of media, this seminar aims primarily to examine emerging or prospective practices in the context of the museum particularly through its exhibition, publishing and education missions. First we need to distinguish text reading and image reading by questioning their joints, knowing that in both cases reading and writing (or reproduction) processes are involved, especially if one is interested in the digital art book. How then can the reading activity be an agent of socialization in the museum? May the « reading on together » encourage new practices of discovery, learning and sharing? Finally, in the digital field, what will be the status of our readings and writings (annotations, comments, browsing traces) and of the underlying metadata thus produced?

Sessions proposals
IOntological and organological issues, the question of categories (November 12, 2013 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) This first meeting lays the philosophical foundations of the seminar, in supporting the thesis of a circular causality between the technologies of knowledge and the contents of knowledge, between the « intellectual technologies » (Goody) and the thought patterns they reflect and involve. This approach could be underpinned by a reflection on categories, which since Aristotle and as pointed by Benveniste, are both intellectual and linguistic, being conveyed by the structure of thought as much as by its way of expression. We should now reflect on the new kinds of categorization induced by the digital, and thus on the implications of this technology in our approach to knowledge and culture. We will also question the boundary between text and image in the context of non-Western writings.

IIThe anthropological and historical issues of reading (December 10, 2013 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) This second session turns to the history of books and reading to observe the changes in the relationship between technology, culture and knowledge in different periods. In particular, it could show the transformations undergone over the centuries by the interaction of the reader with the text, and the successive modes of the reader’s participation to the textual evolution. This reflection on the text applies equally well to the place that the viewer takes into the evolution of the image. To which extent does the digital induce new links between reading and writing? And as a corollary, which new relationship do these mutations draw between the art creator and the art receiver? How does this medium tend to bring the production and the reading of a work closer, forging implicitly an original understanding of the amateur?

IIICognition and learning, the question of reading in a museum? (14 January 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) This session focuses in particular on the field of knowledge, whether individual (learning to read and learning through reading) or collective and societal (how do the textual technologies shape an Epistême). We need to put forward a neurological point of view (to analyze how the brain changes and reconfigures itself through the reading tools it implements), and an anthropological perspective (what is the impact of oral or written textual technologies on the mode of representation and thought of a given society). Consequently, we should especially point out the educational challenges of this instrumented learning of thought, also focusing on how it can enlighten a pedagogy of the image.

IVActive reading in museums: cooperation and contribution according to the medium (text, image, video) – (February 11, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) Collaborative and contributory reading are distinguished by a difference of nature in the way the reader participates to the work: whereas collaboration takes place between readers, in order to create around the text for example an annotation community (e.g. the social book), contribution for its part takes place between the reader or community of readers and the author, in that readers become directly involved in the writing of the text (e.g. Wikipedia). In the context of cultural institutions, this distinction could be the basis to reach two new modes of public addresses brought by the digital: those occurring through the formation of clubs or groups of amateurs who exchange around works, and those where the amateurs become actors of the cultural production (participation in the exhibition design that thus becomes crowd-sourced, contributory development of knowledge about the works…)

VNew forms of edition articulating text and image: art books, exhibition catalogs, catalogues raisonnés, what future in the digital? (March 18, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) The art book retains an iconic impact and acts as a memory object without necessarily being read. Can some more sensorimotor and more tactile forms of perception be imagined on digital media? How to rearticulate text and image and promote other forms of reading? What new forms of writing do these new forms imply in relation with digital online resources? What new media for these contents (eBooks, Google Goggles, …)?

VIPersonal annotation and Social books (new platforms for collaborative reading) (April 8, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) We would like in this session to show the interest of personal annotation and its collaborative dimension allowed by the digital, in terms of production of knowledges and new approaches to our cultural heritage. How to connect the notion of digital contribution to its consequences in the field of artistic research and aesthetic sharing, with the disruption of copyright it implies?

VIIVideo playing (May 13, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) In a context where video becomes more and more chaptered and indexed, and where it largely reuses book metaphors (table of contents, index, footnotes, annotations in the margins), what can we learn from active reading of videos where reading and writing are closely related, for example on the new players of YouTube? How can these audiovisual readings, sometimes improperly reduced to the consulting of « webdocs », be staged by the museum in exhibitions or websites?

VIIIEducational challenges, impact of the MOOCs in museums? (June 17, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) Concluding session in the frame of Futur en Seine, dedicated to the challenges of collaborative reading in educational activities, especially the MOOCs (online courses). How may the museums develop a dissemination policy on this model? To what extent do these devices bring museums and universities closer?

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