Digital Debate: Bridging digital and material in cultural heritage settings
Interactive digital technology has been employed in cultural heritage settings for several decades. However, while providing visitors and staff with novel opportunities for engagement and interpretation, such technologies have also created a divide between digital information and material heritage holdings, and between those institutions who can afford to experiment and innovate in their use of technology and those who have limited resources and other constraints in place.
In recent years, emerging movements such as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and digital fabrication have created new opportunities to engage with novel technologies, and are increasingly affecting the way in which heritage technologies are ideated, designed and maintained.
In this talk, current developments of the DIY approach to cultural heritage technologies will be presented and discussed, as well as some open questions regarding the new challenges surrounding ownership, control and community participation in heritage DIY initiatives. Particular focus will be on the EU research project "meSch - Material Encounters in Digital Cultural Heritage", which is working towards the release of an open DIY platform for the design and implementation of tangible interactive artefacts in cultural heritage exhibits, and the establishment of a related community of interest around this technology.