Materiality within museums, archives, cities and households in local, global and future perspectives.
The Heritage Academy and the CHS at the University of Gothenburg presents a two day seminar discussing materiality within museums, archives, cities and households in local, global and future perspectives. Short introductions to the presentations and links to the videos will be presented below. The first day will be presented in Swedish and the second in English. The venue for both days is the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg. The program in pdf for the two days can be found here.
Den 17 september 2014 arrangerades det första seminariet med tema samlingarna och samhället på Bohusläns museum. Inför seminariedagen Samlingarna och samhället 2 2015 ställdes bland annat frågan om vad som egentligen är museisamlingarnas potential i vår tid – vad är det vi gör med samlingarna? Fokus i presentationerna ligger på frågor om gallring, tillgängliggörande och etik ur både ett samtids- och framtidsperspektiv.
Introduktion av Anita Synnestvedt. Video
Världskulturmuseets arbete med att tillgängliggöra samlingar i muséet
Hur ser målbilden ut, vilka perspektiv är vägledande och vilka samarbetsmöjligheter skapas?
Presentatörer: Museichef Karl Magnusson, Enhetschef Britta Söderqvist, Intendent Klas Grinell
Göteborgs Stadsmuseum om magasinering och arkivering av arkeologiskt material
Hur hanterar vi materialet? Vi har t ex mer än 900 mänskliga kvarlevor att ta hand om. Hur magasinerar och arkiverar vi detta? Vad är intressant forskningsmaterial och hur visar vi det bäst för publiken?
Presentatörer: Ulf Ragnesten, arkeolog, Göteborgs stadsmuseum
Karolina Kegel, antikvarie och arkeolog, Göteborgs stadsmuseum, Åsa Engström, intendent, Göteborgs stadsmuseum och Håkan Strömberg, pedagog, Göteborgs stadsmuseum
Gallring, avyttring, glömska - hur hanteras etiska frågor om obehagligheter på museer och vad sker när obehagligheter glöms bort?
Etik kring gallring och avyttrande, liksom etik kring svåra samlingar/museer, exemplet personmuseer. Frågan om hur vi inte bara avyttrar, utan även glömmer obehagligheter på museer, kommer att lyftas.
Presentatör: Stefan Bohman, ordföranden i Svenska ICOM
Kulturarvsframtider - vad betyder det egentligen?
När vi som arbetar med kulturarv sparar och konserverar för framtiden gör vi det med motivet att det som finns nu också ska finnas i framtiden. Framtiden är alltså en anledning till att göra på ett visst sätt idag. Denna framtid kommer diskuteras. Hur ser den ut i kulturarvsbranschens tankegods? Samtal om hur man kan tänka om framtiden för att skapa fördjupad förståelse av vad kulturarvsframtider kan vara.
Presentatör: Anders Högberg, docent arkeologi, Linnéuniversitetet
The main purpose of this seminar day is to summarize and bring out key issues and critical examples from the work and discussion in the three present clusters of the CHS (Critical Heritage Studies) at the University of Gothenburg, and create a base and inspiration for the forthcoming work of the clusters. The tree clusters Staging the Archives, Globalizing Heritage and Curating the City had a section each during the day. Introducing CHS video
Staging the Archives
Within the theme of Curating Overflow, the cluster’s presentations concerned the possibilities and difficulties involved in digitizing archival material: on the one hand producing vast materials, on the other hand developing methods of handling them. In focus were three projects: one on new ways of structuring, representing and understanding Moravian culture; one on "Curating Mary Digitally: Representations of Medieval Material Culture in Installations and Online Archives” and one on new ways of understanding the artist by coordinating different archives. Staging the Archives explores material and conceptual archives from a number of angles, from the gathering, documentation and representation of material artefacts over the problems of immaterial cultural heritage to the many questions of how digitization and digital methods change the conditions – technological as well as ideological and political – of the field.
One of the cluster leaders Christer Ahlberger was moderator for the presentations. Presenters were:
Cecilia Lindhé, director of the Centre for Digital Humanities that has been established from the efforts of the Archives cluster, previously director of HumLab Umeå, involved in several projects one of which concerns digital representations of medieval materials. Video
Jonathan Westin, sub-cluster leader and affiliated to the CHS also as one of the organizers of the conference Challenge the Past/Diversify the Future (March 2014) and as participant in the project "Conjuring up the Artist from the Archives: Ivar Arosenius. Digitization and Koordination of Archives for Enhanced Accessibility and Research”. Video
A central theme within the Globalizing Heritage cluster concerns the flows of used, aging and obsolete material culture that crisscross the globe. Within the modernist paradigm, these flows have tended to end up in either one of two “end stations”: the valuable stuff in the museum, and the worthless in the garbage heap. As these iconic institutions of modernity increasingly are under pressure to cope with inevitable processes of material transformation and reoccurrence, as opposed to the ideals of preservation (in the museum), or disappearance (in the garbage heap), different forms of handling used stuff emerge. These may involve reuse and recycling as well as novel and alternative forms of heritage and future-making.
The Cluster leaders Anna Bohlin and Staffan Appelgren were moderators during the slot. Presenters were:
Jennie Morgan, University of York. Jennie is involved in a UK-based partner project, Assembling Alternative Heritage Futures, and she speaks about her experiences from research on the choices, understandings and strategies involved when people keep or discard things in the household. Video
Staffan Holm - As a Gothenburg-based designer, Staffan Holm has experimented with different approaches to broken but treasured things. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, Holm speaks about the possibilities opening up when repairs are highlighted rather than hidden. Video
Will Straw - Are cities repositories for memories? Following the paths of used material objects in the urban landscape of Montreal, Professor Will Straw, Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, explores the waxing and waning of different forms of popular culture and their material traces. Video
California-based artist and photographer Gregg Segal has recorded reflections from the making of his acclaimed project 7 Days of Garbage, where people are photographed lying in a week’s worth of their own trash. Will be updated with a Slideshow
The theme for this section is to inspire our thinking around cities in the light of their palimpsest character and the possibilities it offers as places and spaces of engagement. Indeed, urban heritage confronts scholars and policy makers alike with a number of questions and dilemmas about how to deal with tangible-and-intangible aspects of the existing city fabric. This theme aims to explore how heritage practitioners and heritage practice ‘curate’ the past, present and future of cities, in terms of defining, preserving and mediating urban heritage in a broad sense. This entails negotiation over aesthetic regimes, intervention in planning, as well as proactive measures in order to understand, develop and conceptualize the urban heritage landscape. It also entails promoting dialogue and participation, navigating the threshold between multiple institutional and non-institutional actors, such as grassroots movements, NGOs, private entrepreneurs and various official bodies.
The cluster leaders Henric Benesch and Ingrid Martins Holmberg were moderating the theme and taking part in the book release panel. Invited as presenters were:
Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, Prof. Dr. phil, Technical University of Berlin. Gabi, who is professor in Urban Heritage preservation at the SRI, Berlin, has a fascinating solid career as a former head of heritage documentation of the City of Berlin after the removal of the wall. She is also a scholar of the Getty Conservation Institute. Her talk on “Urban collections and redistributions” will illustrate the complex interrelationship of objects and location in the context of urban museums. http://www.dolff-bonekaemper.de/ Video
Astrid Swenson, Senior Lecturer Brunel University London. Astrid’s research focuses on understanding cultural heritage historically and transnationally. Most of her writing centres on nineteenth and twentieth century Europe, but some has a more contemporary and more global focus. Fundamentally, she is interested in how individuals and societies relate to the past, how knowledge moves across cultures and how locality and globality relate. She is a fellow of the University of Cambridge and has, since 2010, co-direct an international project on ‘Border of Heritage’, hosted at the EHESS in Paris. https://brunel.academia.edu/AstridSwenson. Here, she will give her talk on an emerging field of research, “Curating the Senses”, which is a fascinating and thrilling re-reading of some of the preservation classics. Video
Heritage as commons – Commons as heritage: Henric Benesch, Christine Hansen, Ingrid Martins Holmberg, Pascal Prosek and Linda Shamma. This book release panel gathered a few of the many enthusiastic authors, editors and designers of a book that, per se, mirrors the mode in which it came into being: commoning, rich perspectives, and not at least the sensitive seminar format that could give birth to new ways of combining ideas about and perspectives on heritage. Under the limber moderating by Ola Wetterberg, the panel developed into a nicely tuned conversation, to be continued. Video