The international conference called 'Cultural Heritage: Recalibrating Relationships' was attended by more than 150 people from all over Europe, from China and Australia. The event was held within the framework of the European RICHES project (Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society), and organized by Promoter Srl (the Italian representative of the consortium) in Pisa, at the prestigious seat of the Museum of Graphics of Palazzo Lanfranchi, facing the left bank of river Arno.
On behalf of Waag, Douwe-Sjoerd Boschman, Janine Prins and Dick van Dijk were attending the conference on December 5th. In the morning, the conference programme had four presentations by international speakers. First keynote speaker was by Neil Forbes, Professor of History at the University of Coventry. Neil discussed the definition of "value" in the context of cultural heritage. Then it was the turn of Situ Xiao Chun, Peking artist and reporter at the official national Chinese newspaper Beijing Youth Daily. On the basis of his personal experience and the results of interviews with artists, critics, galleries and directors of cultural organisations, Xiao Chun offered an interesting synopsis of the Chinese cultural heritage’s digitisation stage and of the impact of the digital world on the creative processes in China.
Third keynote speaker was Bill Thompson, technology writer at BBC, who spoke about the cultural heritage of the broadcast archives, which as well as they inform, teach and entertain also need to find new ways of engaging their public. Then Karol Borowiecki, Professor at the Syddansk Universitet, intervened with an extensive presentation about the case of music composers of the last 500 years; Borowiecki showed how personal relationships and clustering processes affect the artists’ productivity and how digital technologies and computer analysis of texts and data can help in the study of individual and collective behaviours.
The conference ended with an afternoon session full of videos and photographs related to the co-creation experiments conducted in the Netherlands by Leiden’s Ethnographic Museum and Amsterdam’s Waag. This session was enriched with the declarations by many Dutch youngsters who participated in such co-creation activities and came to Pisa to bring their testimonies.
The conference included a very interesting collection of posters, videos and interactive presentations accessible to all delegates. The poster virtual gallery and the speakers’ presentations are available online on the conference website for those interested.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 612789.