Digitizing the Cultural heritage

International Conference, 12–14 February 2018, Athens, Greece


Historians and archaeologists are gradually focusing more on the digital transduction of texts and materials. Repositories, databases, 3D artifacts, immersive environments, interactive maps, and computer games are means by which the past is currently reproduced and conveyed. Taking into consideration that digitization creates a representation that shares some of the attributes of an original, the purpose is to explore the aesthetic, political, economic, and (im)material dimensions of digitization and further visualization of past texts and materials. Themes include but are not limited to: 1. Visualizing Interfaces: Digitized Manuscripts, and Interactive Maps; 2. Augmented, Virtual, Gaming, and Mixed Media; 3. Implementation, Infrastructures, Policies, and Citizen Science (i.e., archives, creative and cultural heritage industry). In addition to academic deliverables, the conference will use the unique environment of the Swedish Institute of Athens and its surroundings (a broad range of museums and repositories around, archaeological sites) to bridge humanistic questions with business management (creative and cultural heritage industry, tourism, and advertising). The workshop, overall, aims to contextualize digitization within academia, museums/cultural institutions and tourism, reenactors and the public.

By discussing the possibilities and issues this workshop explores digitization within academic, archival, and museum settings. In doing so, we aim to have open discussions concerning new trends in the following:

  • Methods (Collecting and Archiving, Semantic Annotation and Text Mining)
  • Methodologies (Categorizations and Ontologies, Hapticity, Multisensory approaches, Critical Visualisations, Virtual Ethnography)
  • Media (manuscripts, artifacts, epigraphy, maps, interactive and gaming interfaces, software, augmented, virtual, and mixed realities)

With both media and methods in mind, the ultimate purpose of this workshop is to confront the current state of Digital Research Infrastructures (libraries, museums, and archives, the incorporation of VR/AR, literacies, space and place as socio-technical components) and to discuss the importance of openness and linked data on an international level. Historical records can be bias and subject to national and continental schemes. Our understanding of place, history and culture are bound up with issues of historical representation and identity formation within Europe appears fragmented by and refracted through various moments of intersection between space and time. Workshop deliverables aim to inform on how digitization is related to both ubiquity and dissemination: museums and archives can build upon visualizations for exhibitions open to the general public, physical or virtual; curators and restorers may use 3D models to monitor changes to and degradation of artefacts and historical buildings. Rather than concentrating on the properties of digital representations, historians are encouraged to think of transduction, the conversion of energy from one form to another. From this perspective, new possibilities can be found for creative research and expression which integrate affective history with more traditional modes of understanding.

Attached files: Future for the past: Programme

 The conference is held at the Swedish Institute at Athens, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and organized by Humlab, Umeå University, in collaboration with the Centre for Critical Cultural Heritage Studies, Gothenburg University.

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