From “exhibition” To “laboratory”: Rethinking curatorial practices through a digital experimental project. The case study of #Dolomitesmuseum - laboratory of stories

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.52152/heranca.v6i1.680

Keywords:

Digital Curation, Digital Storytelling, Collaborative Design, Digital Heritage, Community Stories

Abstract

Digital curation is one of the most experimental areas of museum practice introduced by the digital revolution. A whole new generation of cultural experiences are emerging from the interaction with online spaces and social media platforms, encouraging museums to explore new curatorial approaches. In this paper, we will show how a digital experimental project led to the rethinking of the exhibition format into a more collaborative, interdisciplinary and laboratory approach to museum curation. The case study analysed is Laboratory of Stories, a dynamic participatory archive which was co-designed with a vibrant community of heritage professionals, local communities, and lovers of the Dolomites during a three-year project. An evaluation study combining different qualitative and quantitative methods was implemented to explore the nature of this curatorial practice. A series of key findings emerged from the study: the introduction of new narrative styles and interdisciplinary perspectives; the involvement of different communities in the curatorial process; the shift from a tangible, object-based, to a more intangible, open, and dialogic interpretation of heritage and of knowledge making. The findings show how the ‘laboratory’ metaphor can help museums to embrace the challenges of a participatory, post-digital society, suggesting a novel approach where the co-creation of narratives is at the heart of the curatorial practice.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Stefania Zardini Lacedelli, Universita Ca' Foscari, Italy

I am an interdisciplinary researcher with 10 years’ experience in digital transformation in museums. My doctoral research at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, funded by the AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, has explored how the curation of sound in a platform world can foster the adoption of a new museum conceptualization: the ‘Platform-Museum’, a post-digital infrastructure where heritage is co-created. From this model, in 2016 I have founded DOLOM.IT, a virtual participatory museum that co-creates its digital collections in collaboration with the inhabitants, cultural professionals, students and researchers of the Dolomites area.

I have advanced curatorial experience in the design of digital narratives, sonic practices and participatory projects. Alongside my academic career, I supported the digital transformation of more than 50 cultural organizations and 150 museum professionals. In 2019 I received the M4C Cultural Engagement Award for impact of my research in the museum sector.

Since 2022 I am Research Fellow at the Science Museum Group within the Congruence Engine Project, one of the five discovery projects of the Towards a National Collection funding stream, whose aim is to take the first steps towards creating a unified virtual national collection.

Chiara Zanetti, University of Trieste, Italy

.

Giacomo Pompanin, Museo Dolom, Italy

.

References

Adair, B., Filene, B., Koloski, L. (eds) (2011) Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, Philadelphia: The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Agostino, D., Arnaboldi, M., Lampis, A. (2020) ‘Italian state museums during the COVID-19 crisis: from onsite closure to online opennes’, Museum Management and Curatorship, 35:4, pp. 362-372.

Alexander, B. (2017) The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media, Praeger

Asselin, A. E., Maisonneuve, M. (2012) ‘Digital libraries: Comparison of 10 software’, Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services, 36:3-4, 79-83

Bason, C. (2017). Leading Public Design. Discovering Human Centre Governance. Policy Press. University of Bristol.

Bautista, S. (2013) Museums in the Digital Age: Changing Meanings of Place, Community and Culture. Altamira Press

Bernard, H. Russell (1994). Research methods in anthropology: qualitative and quantitative approaches (second edition). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Bonacini, E. (2019) ‘Engaging Participative Communities in Cultural Heritage: Using Digital Storytelling in Sicily (Italy)’, The international information & library review, Vol. 51 (1), pp. 42-50.

Boogh, E., Hartig, K., Jensen, B., Uimonen, P., Wallenius A. (eds) (2020). Connect to collect. Approaches to Collecting Social Digital Photography in Museums and Archives. Stiftelsen Nordiska museet 2020

Cameron, F. (2021) The Future of Digital Data, Heritage and Curation in a More-than-Human world. Routledge

Crooke, E. (2011) Museums and Community: Ideas, Issues and Challenges, Museum Meanings. Oxon and New York: Routledge

Drotner, K., Dziekan, V., Parry, R. & Schrøder, K. (2019). 'Media, Mediatization and Museums: A New Ensemble', in Drotner K., Dziekan V., Parry R. and Schrøder K., (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication, Routledge

Duffy, P.R.J., Popple, S. (2017) ‘Pararchive and Island Stories: collaborative co-design and community digital heritage on the Isle of Bute’, Internet Archaeology 46. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.46.4

Falchetti, E., Da Milano, C., & Guida, M. F. (2020) ‘La narrazione digitale come strategia per l’accessibilità e l’inclusione culturale in museo’, L’ACCESSIBILITÀ NEI MUSEI, 21, 193-197.

Fazzi, F. (forthcoming) ‘Promoting students’ multiliteracy, multimodal, and global citizenship skills in the second language classroom through designing a digital city tour on izi.TRAVEL’, Babylonia Journal of Language Education, no. 3.

Flinn, A. (2007) ‘Community Histories, community Archives: Some opportunities and challenges’, Journal of the Society of Archivists, 28, no. 2, pp. 151–176.

Galani, A., Kidd, J. (2020) ‘Hybrid Material Encounters: Expanding the Continuum of Museum Materialities in the Wake of a Pandemic’, Museum & Society, 18 (3), pp. 298-301

Galani, A., Moschovi, A. (2015) ‘Other People’s Stories: Bringing Public-Generated Photography into the Contemporary Art Museum’, Museum & Society, Vol. 11, No 2, pp. 172-184

Giaccardi, E. (eds.) (2012) Heritage and Social Media. Understanding Heritage in a Participatory Culture. Oxon, Routledge.

Gill, H., Vos, J., Villa-Torres, L., Ramirez, M.S. (2019) ‘Migration and Inclusive Transnational Heritage: Digital Innovation and the New Roots Latino Oral History Initiative’, The Oral History Review, 46:2, 277-299, DOI: 10.1093/ohr/ohz011

Hackney, S. E., Pickard, Z.F. (2018) ‘Creating Digital Collections: Museum Content and the Public’, Transforming Digital Worlds, Conference Proceedings, pp. 626-631

Haldrup, M., Achiam, M. and Drotner, K. (2021) ‘Introduction: For an Experimental Museology’. In M. Achiam, M. Haldrup, and K. Drotner (eds.), Experimental Museology: Institutions, Representations, Users. Routledge, pp. 1-12.

Habermas, Jurgen (1981). Theorie des kommunkativen Handelns. Francoforte: Suhrkamp Verlag.

Hardesty, J. (2014) ‘Exhibiting library collections online: Omeka in context’, New Library World, Vol. 115 No. 3-4

Jenkins, H. (2009), Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: The MacArthur Foundation, MIT Press

Lim, Y., Stolterman, E., Tenenberg, J. (2008) ‘The anatomy of prototypes: Prototypes as filters, prototypes as manifestations of design ideas’, ACM transactions on computer-human interaction, Vol. 15 (2), pp. 1-27

Mason, M., Vavoula, G. (2021) ‘Digital Cultural Heritage Design Practice: A Conceptual Framework’, The Design Journal, Volume 24, 2021.

Mason, M. (2015) ‘Prototyping Practices Supporting Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Digital Media Design for Museums’, Museum Management and Curatorship, 30 (5), pp. 394–426.

Milligan, D., Wadman, M., Ausland, B. (2017) ‘Discovering, creating, and sharing digital museum resources: a methodology for understanding the needs and behaviors of student users’, Museums and the Web 2017. Available at: https://mw17.mwconf.org/paper/discovering-creating-and-sharing-digital-museum-resources-a-methodology-for-understanding-the-needs-and-behaviors-of-student-users/ (Accessed: 31 March 2022)

Moore, K. (1997) ‘Museums and Popular Culture’, in Pearce S. M. and Gurian E. H. (eds.), Contemporary Issues in Museum Culture, Cassel: London and Washington.

Page, R. (2012) Stories and social media: identities and interaction. Routledge

Parry, R. (2007) Recoding the Museum. Digital Heritage and the technologies of change. Oxon, Routledge.

Parry, R. (eds.) (2010) Museums in a digital age. Oxon, Routledge.

Parry, R. (2013), ‘The end of the Beginning. Normativity in the Postdigital Museum’, Museum Worlds: Advances in Research, 1: 24–39. Berghahn Books.

Popple, S. (2015) 'The new Reithians: Pararchive and citizen animateurs in the BBC digital archive', Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 21(1), 132-44. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856514560312

Popple, S., Mutibwa, D. (2016) 'Tools you can trust? Co-design in community heritage work' in K.J. Borowiecki, N. Forbes and A. Fresa (eds) Cultural Heritage in a Changing World, Germany: Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29544-2_12

Proctor, N. (2010) ‘Digital: Museum as Platform, Curator as Champion, in the Age of Social Media’, Curator: The Museum Journal, Vol. 53 (N. 1): 35-43.

Radovac, L. (2018) ‘Re/mediating the archive: building Alternative Toronto’, Continuum, 32:1, 97-110, DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2018.1404679

Ridge, M. (2017) Crowdsourcing Our Cultural Heritage. Routledge.

Robin, B. R (2008) ‘Digital storytelling: A powerful technology tool for the 21st century classroom’, Theory into practice, Vol. 47, Issue 3

Samaroudi, M., Rodriguez Echavarria, K., Perry, L. (2020) ‘Heritage in lockdown: digital provision of memory institutions in the UK and US of America during the COVID-19 pandemic’, Museum Management and Curatorship, 35:4, pp. 337-361.

Simon, N. (2010) The Participatory Museum. Santa Cruz, Museum 2.0.

Spradley, J. P. (2016) Participant observation. Waveland Press.

Swann, C. (2002) ‘Action Research and the Practice of Design’, Design Issues, Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2002.

Szabo, V., Zardini Lacedelli, S., Pompanin, G. (2018) ‘From landscape to cities: a participatory approach to the creation of digital cultural heritage’, International Information & Library Review, Volume 49 – Issue 2.

Vavoula, G., Mason, M. (2017) ‘Digital exhibition design: boundary crossing, Intermediary Design Deliverables and processes of consent’, Museum Management and curatorship, Vol. 32 (3), pp. 251-271

Ybema, S., Yanow, D., Wels, H., & Kamsteeg, F. (Eds.) (2009). Organizational ethnography: Studying the complexities of everyday life. SAGE Publications Ltd, https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446278925

Zanetti, C., Zardini Lacedelli, S, Pascolini, M. (2019) ‘Social innovation and participation in cultural production. DOLOM.IT: a case study in the museum field’, in Lattarulo P., Palermo F., Provenzano V., Streifeneder T. (eds.), The regions of Europe between local identities, new communities and territorial disparities, Franco Angeli, Milano.

Zardini Lacedelli, S. (2018) ‘The platform-museum. Conceptual revolutions and practical implications’, Museological Review, University of Leicester

Zardini Lacedelli, S., Tamma, M., Fazzi, F. (2019) ‘Digital Education as a catalyst for museum transformation: the case of the Museums and New Digital Cultures course’, European Journal of Cultural Management and Policy, 9 (2), pp. 47-65.

Zardini Lacedelli, S. Stack, J., Jamieson, A. (2021) ‘Curating Sound in a Platform World – Insights from the #SonicFriday project’, Museums and the Web 2021, MW 2021. Available at: https://mw21.museweb.net/paper/curating-sound-in-a-platform-world-insights-from-the-sonicfriday-project/ (Accessed: 15 April 2022)

Zardini Lacedelli, S., Pompanin, G. (2020) ‘Musei delle Dolomiti. Report Attività’, Dolomites UNESCO Foundation. Available at: https://www.dolomitiunesco.info/musei-delle-dolomiti-una-porta-sul-futuro/ (Accessed: 15 April 2022)

Zardini Lacedelli, S., Winters, J. (2022) ‘What can Omeka do for your digital journey? Reflections from the first Congruence Engine pilot study’. Available at: https://ceblog.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/2022/07/01/what-can-omeka-do-for-your-digital-journey-reflections-from-the-first-congruence-engine-pilot-study/

Zardini Lacedelli, S. (forthcoming) The Museum as a Platform for Sound Culture. PhD thesis. University of Leicester

Zimmerman, J., Stolterman, E., Forlizzi, J. (2010) ‘An Analysis and Critique of Research through Design: towards a formalization of a research approach’, Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM, 2010.

Zuanni, C. (2017) ‘Italian Museums and Twitter: an analysis of Museum Week 2016’, Archeostorie. Journal of Public Archaeology, Vol 1 (2017), pp. 119-133

Zuanni, C. (2021) ‘Theorizing Born Digital Objects: Museums and Contemporary Materialities’, Museum and Society, Vol. 19 (2), pp. 184-198

Published

2023-03-08

How to Cite

Zardini Lacedelli, S., Fazzi, F., Zanetti, C., & Pompanin, G. (2023). From “exhibition” To “laboratory”: Rethinking curatorial practices through a digital experimental project. The case study of #Dolomitesmuseum - laboratory of stories. Herança, 6(1), 158–183. https://doi.org/10.52152/heranca.v6i1.680