The Art Newspaper is co-hosting a live YouTube discussion on digital innovations and the preservation of cultural heritage on 1-3 May.
We have all become profoundly more digital over the last weeks. We are ready to live a digitally changed life, and digital change is rushing into the heritage and museum world too. This is not a matter of some slightly cleverer didactic material or off-site experiences, but the material itself of the works of art and monuments, their presence or absence, their uniqueness, their very survival.
Starting this Friday, until Sunday, museum directors, artificial intelligence (AI) specialists, writers, professors of science and architecture theory and other thinkers are meeting online to discuss what can be done with digital technology, now and in the future. The free-to-attend event has been organised by The Art Newspaper and Factum Foundation, with Il Giornale dell’Arte. The discussions will consider, but go far beyond the question, if an object can be reproduced exactly, which has the “aura”—the original or the facsimile? They will be broadcast live on The Art Newspaper’s YouTube channel, and viewers are invited to submit their questions.
A summary of the programme:
New Technologies and the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, 1-3 May
Discussion 1: The Future of Museums, Exhibitions and the Objects they Display
Rethinking the role and value of culture in the shadow of an uncertain future
Friday 1 May, 5pm BST/1pm EST
The role of the museum as a repository of physical objects that give access to collective memory is changing. New digital recording technologies that (among other things) allow exact facsimiles to be made and are providing access to a global audience, while new display technologies are inviting us to look at the nature of the object with new eyes.
This panel discusses the purpose of a museum, its role, what should it show, how and to whom. It will look at the way technology is making a “museum without walls” possible and realigning the relationship between the original and the authentic. Is the “aura” of originality now an obsession that is constraining what can be displayed, how it can be seen and how it can be effectively preserved?
Discussion 2: The Circulation of Objects: the Politics of Recording, Training, Preserving and Sharing. Creating a cultural economy based on sharing skills, technologies and knowledge
Saturday 2 May, 5pm BST/1pm EST
For museums and other cultural heritage institutions, digital technologies open up unprecedented possibilities for sharing and collaboration, but they also give rise to new responsibilities. This panel asks how the international heritage community can best work to create accurate records and share both objects and knowledge with audiences across the world.
Discussion 3: An Intimacy with the Physical World: New Technologies Generating New Knowledge. Compiling, analysing, presenting information in an age of machine learning
Sunday 3 May, 5pm BST/1pm EST
This discussion focuses on the technologies that are creating new knowledge about cultural heritage—on where we are now and where we go next. Among the subjects to be discussed are new possibilities for image and information analysis, new technologies of display, and the problem of long-term digital archiving.
More details on the programme and speakers here:
Pictured: Factum’s facsimile of The Wedding Fest at Cana in the space for which the original was painted, the refectory designed by Palladio on the island of San Giorgio, Venice. Photo: Factum Foundation