Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
T-PII-2: Cultural Heritage and Art
Thursday, 08/Mar/2018:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Bente Maegaard
Location: PII

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2:00pm - 2:30pm
Long Paper (20+10min) [publication ready]

Cultural Heritage `In-The-Wild': Considering Digital Access to Cultural Heritage in Everyday Life

David McGookin, Koray Tahiroglu, Tuomas Vaittinen, Mikko Kyto, Beatrice Monastero, Juan Carlos Vasquez

Aalto University,

As digital cultural heritage applications begin to be deployed outwith `traditional' heritage sites, such as museums, there is an increased need to consider their use amongst individuals who are open to learning about the heritage of a site, but where that is a clearly secondary purpose for their visit. Parks, recreational areas and the everyday built environment represent places that although rich in heritage, are often not visited primarily for that heritage. We present the results of a study of a mobile application to support accessing heritage on a Finnish recreational island. Evaluation with 45 participants, who were not there primarily to access the heritage, provided insight into how digital heritage applications can be developed for this user group. Our results showed how low immersion and lightweight interaction support individuals to integrate cultural heritage around their primary visit purpose, and although participants were willing to include heritage as part of their visit, they were not willing to be directed by it.

McGookin-Cultural Heritage `In-The-Wild-200_a.pdf

2:30pm - 2:45pm
Short Paper (10+5min) [publication ready]

Negative to That of Others, But Negligent of One’s Own? On Patterns in National Statistics on Cultural Heritage in Sweden

Daniel Brodén

Gothenburg University, Sweden,

In 2015–2016 the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies conducted an interdisciplinary pilot project in collaboration with the SOM-institute at the University of Gothenburg. A key ambition was to demonstrate the usefulness of combining an analysis rooted in the field of critical heritage studies and a statistical perspective. The study was based on a critical discussion of the concept of cultural heritage and collected data from the nationwide SOM-surveys.

The abstract will highlight some significant patterns in the SOM data from 2015 when it comes to differences between people regarding activities that are traditionally associated with national cul-tural heritage and culture heritage instititions: 1) women are more active than men when it comes to activities related to national cultural heritage; 2) class and education are also significant factors in this context. Since these patterns has been shown in prior research, perhaps the most interesting finding is that, 3) people who are negative to immigration from ‘other’ cultures to a lesser extent participates in activities that are associated with their ‘own’ cultural heritage.

Brodén-Negative to That of Others, But Negligent of One’s Own-114_a.doc

2:45pm - 3:00pm
Distinguished Short Paper (10+5min) [publication ready]

Engaging Collections and Communities: Technology and Interactivity in Museums

Paul Arthur

Edith Cowan University,

Museum computing is a field with a long history that has made a substantial impact on humanities computing, now called ‘digital humanities,’ that dates from at least the 1950s. Community access, public engagement, and participation are central to the charter of most museums and interactive displays are one strategy used help to fulfil that goal. Over the past two decades interactive elements have been developed to offer more immersive, realistic and engaging possibilities through incorporating motion-sensing spaces, speech recognition, networked installations, eye tracking and multitouch tables and surfaces. As museums began to experiment with digital technologies there was an accompanying change of emphasis and policy. Museums aimed to more consciously connect themselves with popular culture by experimenting with the presentation of their collections in ways that would result in in-creased public appreciation and accessibility. In this paper these shifts are investigated in relation to interactive exhibits, virtual museums, the profound influence of the database, and in terms of a wider breaking down of institutional barriers and hierarchies, resulting in trends towards increasing collaboration.

Arthur-Engaging Collections and Communities-270_a.pdf
Arthur-Engaging Collections and Communities-270_c.pdf

3:00pm - 3:15pm
Short Paper (10+5min) [abstract]

Art of the Digital Natives and Predecessors of Post-Internet Art

Raivo Kelomees

Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia,

The new normal or the digital environment surrounding us has in recent years surprised us, at least in the fine arts, with the internet's content returning to its physical space. Is this due to pressure from the galleries or something else; in any case, it is clearer than ever that the audience is not separable from the habitual space; there is a huge and primal demand for physical or material art.

Christiane Paul in her article "Digital Art Now: The Evolution of the Post-Digital Age" in "ARS17: Hello World!" exhibition catalogue, is critical of the exhibition. Her main message is that all this has been done before. In itself the statement lacks originality, but in the context of the postinternet apologists declaring the birth of a new mentality, the arrival of a new "after experiencing the internet" and "post-digital" generation, it becomes clear that indeed it is rather like shooting fish in a barrel, because art that is critical of the digital and interactive has existed since the 1990s, as have works concerned with the physicalisation of the digital experience.

The background to the exhibition is the discussion over "digitally created" art and the generation related to it. The notion of "digital natives" is related to the post-digital and post-internet generation and the notion of "post-contemporary" (i.e. art is not concerned with the contemporary but with the universal human condition). Apparently for the digital natives, the internet is not a way out of the world anymore, but an original experience in which the majority of their time is spent. At the same time, however, the internet is a natural information environment for people of all ages whose work involves data collection and intellectual work. Communication, thinking, information gathering and creation – all of these realms are related to the digital environment. These new digital nomads travel from place to place and work in a "post-studio" environment.

While digital or new media was created, stored and shared via digital means, post-digital art addresses the digital without being stored using these same means. In other words, this kind of art exists more in the physical space.

Considerable reference also exists in relation to James Bridle's new aesthetics concept from 2012. In short, this refers to the convergence and conjoinment of the virtual and physical world. It manifests itself clearly even in the "pixelated" design of consumer goods or in the oeuvre of sculptors and painters, whose work has emerged from something digital. For example, the art objects by Shawn Smith and Douglas Coupland are made using pixel-blocks (the sculpture by the latter is indeed reminiscent of a low resolution digital image). Analogous works induce confusion, not to say a surprising experience, in the minds of the audience, for they bring the virtual quality of the computerised environment into physical surroundings. This makes the artworks appear odd and surreal, like some sort of mistake, errors, images and objects out of place.

The so-called postinternet generation artists are certainly not the only ones making this kind of art. As an example of this, there is a reference to the abstract stained glass collage of 11,500 pixels by Gerhard Richter in the Cologne Cathedral. It is supposed to be a reference to his 1974 painting "4096 Farben" (4096 colours), which indeed is quite similar. It is said that Richter did not accept a fee; however, the material costs were covered by donations. And yet the cardinal did not come to the opening of the glasswork, preferring depictions of Christian martyrs over abstract windows, which instead reminded him of mosques.

One could name other such examples inspired by the digital world or schisms of the digital and physical world: Helmut Smits' "Dead Pixel in Google Earth" (2008); Aram Barholl's "Map" (2006); the projects by Eva and Franco Mattes, especially the printouts of Second Life avatars from 2006; Achim Mohné's and Uta Koppi's project "Remotewords" (2007–2011), computer-based instructions printed on rooftops to be seen from Google Maps or satellites or planes. There are countless examples where it is hard to discern whether the artist is deliberately and critically minded towards digital art or rather a representative of the post-digital generation who is not aware and wishes not to be part of the history of digital art.

From the point of view of researchers of digital culture, the so-called media-archaeological direction could be added to this as an inspirational source for artists today. Media archaeology or the examination of previous art and cultural experience signifies, in relation to contemporary media machines and practices, the exploration of previous non-digital cultural devices, equipment, means of communication, and so on, that could be regarded as the pre-history of today's digital culture and digital devices. With this point of view, the "media-archaeological" artworks of Toshio Iwai or Bernie Lubell coalesce. They have taken an earlier "media machine" or a scientific or technical device and created a modern creation on the basis of it.

Then there was the "Ars Electronica" festival (2006) that focused on the umbrella topic "Simplicity", which in a way turned its back on the "complexity" of digital art and returned to the physical space.

Therefore, in the context of digital media based art trends, the last couple of decades have seen many expressions – works, events and exhibitions – of "turning away" from the digital environment that would outwardly qualify as post-digital and postinternet art.

Kelomees-Art of the Digital Natives and Predecessors of Post-Internet Art-212_a.pdf
Kelomees-Art of the Digital Natives and Predecessors of Post-Internet Art-212_c.pdf

3:15pm - 3:30pm
Short Paper (10+5min) [abstract]

The Stanley Rhetoric: A Procedural Analysis of VR Interactions in 3D Spatial Environments of Stanley Park, BC

Raluca Fratiloiu

Okanagan College

In a seminal text on the language of new media, Manovitch (2002) argued:

Traditionally, texts encoded human knowledge and memory, instructed, inspired, convinced, and seduced their readers to adopt new ideas, new ways of interpreting the world, new ideologies. In short, the printed word was linked to the art of rhetoric. While it is probably possible to invent a new rhetoric of hypermedia […] the sheer existence and popularity of hyperlinking exemplifies the continuing decline of the field of rhetoric. (Manovitch, 2002).

Depending on the context of each “rhetorical situation” (Bitzer, 1968), it may be both good and bad news to think that interactivity and rhetoric might not always go hand in hand. However, despite the anticipated decline of rhetoric as announced by Manovitch (2002), in this paper we propose a closer examination of what constitutes a rhetorically effective discourse in new media, in general and virtual reality (VR), in particular. The reason we need to examine it more closely is that VR, especially when it has an educational goal, needs to be rhetorically effective to be successful with audiences. A consideration of the rhetorical impact of VR’s affordances may enhance the potential of meaningful interactions with students and users.

In addition to a very long disciplinary history, rhetoric has been investigated in relation to new media mainly through Bogost’s (2007) concept of “procedural rhetoric”. He argued that despite the fact that “rhetoric was understood as the art of oratory”, “videogames open a new domain for persuasion, thanks to their core representational mode, procedurality. (Bogost, 2007) This has implications, according to Bogost (2007) in three areas: politics, advertising and learning. Several of these implications have already been investigated. Procedural rhetorical analysis in videogames has since become a core methodological approach. Also, particular attention has been paid to how new media open new possibilities through play and how in turn this creates a renewed interest in digital rhetoric. (Daniel-Wariya, 2016) At the same time, procedural rhetoric has been also investigated at length in connection to learning through games (Gee, 2007). Learning also has been central in a few studies on VR in education (Dalgarno, 2010). However, specific assessments of procedural rhetoric outcomes of particular VR educational projects are non-existent.

In this paper, we will focus on analysing procedural interactions in a VR project developed by University of British Columbia’s Emerging Media Lab. This project, funded via an open education grant, led to the creation of a 3D spatial environment of Stanley Park located in Vancouver, British Columbia (BCCampus, 2017). This project focused on Stanley Park, one of the most iconic Canadian destinations as an experiential field trip, specifically using educational content for and 3D spatial environment models of Prospect Point, Beaver Lake, Lumberman’s Arch, and the Hollow Tree. Students will have opportunities to visit these locations in the park virtually and interact with the environment and remotely with other learners. In addition, VR provides opportunities to explore the complex history of this impressive location that was once home to Burrard, Musqueam and Squamish First Nations people (City of Vancouver, 2017).

This case analysis may open up new possibilities for investigating how students/users derive meaning from interacting in these environments and continue a dialogue between several connected areas of education and VR, games and pedagogy, games and procedural rhetoric. Also, we hope to contribute this feedback to this emerging project as it continues to evolve and share its results with the wider open education community.


BCCampus. (2017, May 10). Virtual reality and augmented reality field trips funded by OER grants. Retrieved from BCCampus:

Bitzer, L. (1968). The rhetorical situation. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1, pp. 1-14.

Bogost, I. (2007). Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. . Cambridge: MA: MIT Press.

City of Vancouver. (2017). The History of Stanley Park. Retrieved from City of Vancouver:

Dalgarno, L. (2010). What are the learning affordances of 3-D virtual environments? British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol 41 No 1 10-32.

Daniel-Wariya, J. (2016). A Language of Play: New Media’s Possibility Spaces. Computers and Composition, 40, pp 32-47.

Gee, J. P. (2007). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition. New York: St. Martin's Griffin.

Manovitch, L. (2002). The language of new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fratiloiu-The Stanley Rhetoric-122_a.pdf
Fratiloiu-The Stanley Rhetoric-122_c.pdf

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