Medieval choir-stalls tell a story. About how churches were used, about religious symbolism but also about skilled artisans. The Center for Art History (CKD) of the Department of Art History at Radboud University has a lot of knowledge about choir stalls and their context. Together with the CKD, Waag Society will develop a prototype of a mobile application that makes mediaeval imagery and accompanying stories accessible to a wider audience.
The choir-stalls are richly decorated with wood carvings with representations of fantasy creatures, types of people, animals, proverbs and fables and are located in the choir - a specific part - of a church. The prototype to be developed is a proof of concept and will take the form of an interactive prayer book that invites the visitor of a church to visit the choir and to delve into the context of that speicific area and the choir stalls. The prototype will be evaluated with the public in the Grote Kerk in Breda and the Sint-Catharinakerk in Hoogstraten in short-term pilots.
The meSch platform (Material EncounterS with digital Cultural Heritage) is used for the development of the prototype. In the meSch project, an editorial platform has been developed to strengthen the interaction with and between museum objects by means of digital media (an Internet of Things platform). This platform uses 'recipes' that describe the interaction between visitors to a specific installation and the necessary ingredients (ie hardware and media (content)). The recipes are reusable and adaptable for new contexts.
The CDK has been collecting images and information about choir-stalls in Western Europe since 2005, and in particular the Netherlands, Flanders and the German Rhineland region. The aim of the digital collection is to support scientific research into these objects and the late medieval visual language. More than 4,000 images have now been collected in the database. Like many other research institutions, the CDK is looking for a new way to make their research relevant to a larger audience through the use of digital technology.