ISSUE 2 – CONTENTS The Editors. Davies, J. and Raine, J. Editorial: Cultural Heritage in a Digital Age. Stone, R J. Keynote Paper: Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies for Applications in Cultural Heritage: A Human Factors Perspective. Majewski, J. Cultural Heritage in Role-playing Video Games: A Map of Approaches. Wicks, S. The Value of Mobile Phones in Heritage Interpretation. Akcebe, N and Baydar, N. An Assessment of the Digital Preservation of Manuscript Collections: The Experience of Topkapı Palace and İstanbul Archaeology Museums Libraries. Bonacini, E. Inzerillo, L. Marcucci, M. Santagati, C and Todisco, F. 3D #DigitalInvasions: A Crowdsourcing Project for Mobile User Generated Content. Hazan, S. Performing the Museum in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Hughes, R. The International Council of Monuments and Sites: A New Digital Technology National Committee. Agisheva, S. Exhibition Review: Historic Urban Landscape: Dreaming, Drawing, Design. #Our UNESCO. Call for Papers: Cultural Heritage in a Transatlantic Age. Call for Book Reviewers. Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage Forthcoming Conferences.
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ISSN 2057-519X (Online)
The Editors @furnacejournal Jamie Davies – email@example.com My AHRC CDA PhD research at the Ironbridge Institute is on Education at World Heritage Sites- How are World Heritage Values communicated within the formal learning process. I hold a Archaeology BA and International Cultural Heritage Management MA from Durham University. Outside of my PhD research my interests are Digital Heritage, Maritime Heritage and Community Heritage. I am Vice Chairman of MOROL- Institute of Welsh Maritime Historical Studies, Founder of Cymdeithas Archaeoloeg a Hanes Llŷn/ Llŷn Archaeology and History Society and Trustee and Committee Member for the Llŷn Maritime Museum. Joe Raine – firstname.lastname@example.org I am an AHRC CDA PhD candidate based at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage within the University of Birmingham and my research is on the communication of Industrial Heritage, particularly within a World Heritage context. I previously graduated with a BA in Archaeology and Ancient Civilisations and MA in Museums and Artefact Studies from Durham University and have a particular interest in industrial, sporting and conflict heritage along with museums and interpretation. Małgorzata Trelka – email@example.com I am an AHRC CDA PhD researcher in Cultural Heritage based at the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage. My research aims to explore the relationship between ‘community’ and World Heritage. I am an archaeologist holding an MA in both, Medieval Archaeology and Public Archaeology. My professional interest is in field archaeology as well as in heritage policy. I have experience working as a field archaeologist in commercial urban archaeology in the UK. I also worked as an intern in the Culture Department of UNESCO Bangkok, where I coordinated the Museum Capacity Building Programme for Asia and the Pacific undertaken by UNESCO and the Asian Academy for Heritage Management. In 2009, I was a rapporteur for the Intangible Cultural Heritage Field School in Lamphun, Thailand. In 2010, I took up a post with the National Heritage Board of Poland, where I eventually became Head of the Heritage Policy Department tasked with the implementation of the UNESCO 1972 and 2003 conventions.
EDITORIAL: CULTURAL HERITAGE IN A DIGITAL AGE
Authors: Jamie Davies and Joe Raine Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage University of Birmingham, UK
The 21st Century is the Digital Age. Theory has become practice, with digital technology becoming embedded across all forms of engagement with cultural heritage. It is only fitting that furnace Journalâ€™s second edition is on the theme of Cultural Heritage in a Digital Age. furnace journal itself is a product of this digital age- as it is a free online open access cultural heritage journal. We are lucky to have had high-quality submissions, exclusively showcasing innovative research and practice of digital technology and cultural heritage. We hope that this edition will illustrate not only the current relationship but also provide an insight into the exciting future of our sector. It is proposed that digital technology can be used for cultural heritage, from cultural heritage, with cultural heritage and in cultural heritage, as illustrated by papers in this edition. Digital Technology in cultural heritage refers to the role it plays in interpretation. From digital mobile applications as discussed by Sanna Wicks, to digital touch tables, developed here at the University of Birmingham, digital technology is becoming the norm and expectation at cultural heritage sites. It is creating unprecedented access to information and interactivity for visitors of all ages. Digital Technology for cultural heritage refers to the role it plays in conservation, preservation and restoration. From the destruction of cultural heritage in Nepal to sites across Syria and Iraq and the manuscripts and tombs of Mali and sites threatened by natural destruction, the monitoring, digital recording of artefacts and sites and digital archiving has been essential in the battle for their preservation, future conservation and restoration. 3D scanning, for example, the ambitious CyArk initiative, satellite monitoring, 3D printing and crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are the latest tools widely available. Nurgul Akcebeâ€™s paper on the preservation of rare and fragile manuscripts in Turkey through digital scanning confirms how digital preservation is now an accepted practice across the cultural heritage sector. Digital Technology from cultural heritage, refers to the role cultural heritage is playing in developing and innovating technology. The keynote paper by Professor Bob Stone (University of Birmingham) provides an exclusive insight into the role of cultural heritage as a testing bed for the latest technology. From drone and submersible technology to Augmented Reality, the research is using cultural heritage and is not only advancing the technology but also providing benefits outside the sector for example in the health sector. Digital Technology with cultural heritage refers to the new relationships born out of this new world. Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing have created a new landscape for cultural heritage, just some of the approaches that use digital technology which our changing our relationship, as illustrated by a recent EU report. Bonacini et alâ€™s paper on #InvasioniDigitali is a fantastic example of how digital technology is changing the relationship with cultural heritage. It is a bottom up globally spreading
initiative, based on the principle of crowdsourcing as a result of the negotiating between people, politics and cultural heritage within the changing economic landscapes of the 21st century. Susan Hazan’s paper introducing the concept of the ‘Musesphere’ provides a fascinating insight into how museum institutions are finding their voice and communicating their messages and products through the online space. Jakub Majewski’s paper on video gaming illustrates the unexpected relationship between cultural heritage and digital technology. While edutainment is not new; this is an underexplored mechanism for communicating cultural heritage. The paper raises important questions about authenticity and illustrates examples of how cultural heritage is communicated and consumed through high-quality representations and the implications on the value of the tangible heritage. Other examples include the role of Minecraft in communicating cultural heritage as an educational tool, and the communication and preservation of intangible heritage through video gaming- for example, Never Alone, released in 2014. Finally, we are lucky to have an exclusive report from the newly formed ICOMOS UK Digital Technology Committee. Not only the first committee of such in the UK, but globally. The report sets out the vision and scope of the committee, reaffirming the current practice and future opportunities discussed here and in this edition. To conclude, while we hope you enjoy reading and discussing this edition, we also ask you to consider the challenges which our sector faces as a result of our now dependence on digital technology. Susan Hazan rightly raises questions about authenticity and power in a digital age. With over 4 billion without access to the internet, let alone smartphones, are we excluding a majority of the world from digital cultural heritage? While digital technology is seen as a solution to the preservation and access of cultural heritage, new threats and challenges arise. Big data, open access and linked data provide immediate challenges while the long-term preservation of digital formats remains uncertain and fragmented. Combined with our dependence on it- the challenge has been summarized as a ‘Digital Dark Age’. Many institutions are taking steps, research and innovation continuing and organisations such as ICOMOS are seeking coordination, evaluation and standards to ensure sustainability. This edition coincides with second Digital Heritage International Congress. Therefore we hope that the delegates will enjoy reading this edition, but also consider, reflect and act on the challenges we face. Perhaps in the near future, we will be able to have an edition on ‘Cultural Heritage in a sustainable digital age’?
Jamie Davies and Joe Raine furnace Journal General Editors Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham October 2015
KEYNOTE PAPER: VIRTUAL & AUGMENTED REALITY TECHNOLOGIES FOR APPLICATIONS IN CULTURAL HERITAGE: A HUMAN FACTORS PERSPECTIVE R. J. Stone ABSTRACT: After three decades of “technology push”, Human Factors design techniques and processes are finally being applied to applications of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR, AR) in such sectors as defence, engineering, transportation, medicine and scientific visualisation. However, the importance of Human Factors, or human-centred design, is yet to impact significantly on the Virtual Heritage sector, especially given the recent emergence of new VR and AR technologies, where a preoccupation with unproven and often unreliable examples of “immersive” technologies is already resulting in costly, unusable “interactive” systems. This is unsatisfactory, especially as Virtual Heritage must, out of necessity, engage with individuals from all walks of life, especially those who possess valuable personal recollections or material resources. Furthermore, these are also individuals whose knowledge, skills and abilities must be taken into account from the outset, as these factors are of fundamental importance to the design of usable and meaningful interactive media. Using three recent examples involving VR and AR technologies, this paper sets out to emphasise just some of the key human issues involved in the Human Factors life cycle, from concept to delivery, underpinning the delivery of future interactive systems for Virtual Heritage, including the importance of what may be termed “Heritage on my Doorstep” in overcoming end user anxiety or low self-efficacy in using “hightech” human interfaces. KEYWORDS: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Virtual Heritage, Drones, Human Factors
INTRODUCTION Over the past decade, there has been a wide range of publications and conference presentations describing the potential contributions of new and innovative interactive digital technologies to the preservation, understanding and interpretation of sites, artefacts and events that come under the banner of “industrial heritage”. Digital, or Virtual Heritage applications are as diverse as the recreation of Spanish windmills and watermills (RojasSola and Amezcua-Ogayar 2005), the operation of lighthouses (Gabellone and Monte 2005), the mechanical functioning of historic salt-washing machinery (Laroche et al., 2008), and the visualisation and exploration of artificial subsea reefs and shipwrecks (Flack & Rowland, 2008; Stone et al., 2009). Just as diverse as the applications are the technologies that have been or are currently being exploited to support the display of information and interaction with it. These include smartphones and palmtops (Michaelis et al., 2012; Benini et al. 2002), tablet computers (Rubono 2011), custombuilt “museum kiosks” (Karoulis et al. 2006), and so-called “immersive” Virtual, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality (VR/AR/MxR) techniques – head-mounted displays, theatres and CAVEs (“Cave Automatic Virtual Environments”; Rousso 2002; Noh et al., 2009). The delivery of rich multisensory worlds to a technologyhungry population of end users now exploits familiar media platforms, from “serious games” (DeLeon and Berr, 2000; Stone et al., 2009), to online communities (Harrison 2009). However, whilst many of the publications appear to concentrate on the exploitation of new technologies in “enhancing” end users’ “experiences” (be they for entertainment or educational applications of virtual heritage), there are very few that focus on the challenges faced by developers active in the more human-centred activities associated with the field – the acquisition and presentation of meaningful interactive Virtual Heritage content to a diverse and sometimes technology-averse audience (Laroche 1980), be it made up of members of the general public or historical subject matter experts (SMEs). The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of considering Human Factors and humancentred design processes early on in the development of interactive technologies, especially those that “target” a diverse end user population, and to illustrate the key issues using three recent VR and AR Heritage projects. Human Factors “Human Factors is the study of the relationship between the human and his or her working environment. It makes no difference if the working environment is real or virtual” (Stone 2012a).
The importance of Human Factors in the development of interactive 3D systems has long been the focus of intense research interest, particularly in the industrial domains of aerospace and defence training, and in engineering design and prototyping, with recent guidance documents providing a wealth of case study-related material (Stone 2012a). However, good examples of the application of Human Factors knowledge and techniques to the field Virtual Heritage generally, and Virtual Industrial Heritage specifically, are very few and far between. The motivation for attempting to address the merits of “cross-feeding” the latest Human Factors principles from the industrial and defence worlds to those more focused on Virtual Heritage pursuits originally arose as a result of two projects that occurred in the 1990s, where a preoccupation with interactive technologies came very close to ruining the experience of the end users, not to mention compromising the quality of otherwise sensorially-rich virtual environments. That same preoccupation is being witnessed yet again today, not just in the Virtual Heritage sector, but in other interactive media pursuits, including so-called “serious games”, where the target user populations are often dominated by non-technical specialists, lay users and schoolchildren. Virtual Stonehenge, a project originally sponsored by English Heritage, set out to deliver a high-fidelity (for the mid-1990s) VR model of the monument and its environs (Figure 1). The original aim of the project was to provide end users not only with a real-time exploration capability, but also with a means of interacting with certain stone features, thereby exposing historical details, such as Christopher Wren’s famous graffiti, or axe and dagger marks (Stone, 1998; Stone 1999). However, the focus of the project was changed to some extent by a well-known computer chipset company, keen to provide sponsorship, but only to demonstrate (and, thus, publicise) the realtime graphics power of its latest processor. As a result, the project emphasis changed from one of strong educational potential to one dominated by technology (Burton et al., 1997). Indeed the final presentation included a rather distorted display of the VR model using the London Planetarium Dome Theatre, “enhanced” by the use of an inappropriate synthetic odour, allegedly representing “cut grass”! Fortunately, Virtual Stonehenge has, more recently, been recreated using appropriate “serious gaming” software and the original aspiration of using interactive techniques to display the educational potential of a Virtual Heritage recreation is now demonstrable.
Figure 1. Virtual Stonehenge (1996). Figure 2. Virtual Lowry (1995). Virtual Lowry (Stone, 1996; Stone, 1998), one of the most popular examples of VR for heritage of its time, was based on the notion of exploiting technology to allow end users to approach and actually enter a famous L.S. Lowry painting – Coming From The Mill (circa. 1930). “Reappearing” on the other side of the virtual canvas, the observers would be free to explore a 3D reconstruction of Lowry’s townscape, complete with animated “matchstick” figures (Figure 2). This demonstration was commissioned by Salford City Council, as part of their bid for national funding to build the now-established Lowry Centre on Salford Quays in the north of England. However, a preoccupation with high-tech “gadgets” on the part of some of the council personnel very nearly compromised the final presentation to the bid assessment panel. By providing three of them with relatively low-cost (and, therefore, low-quality) VR headmounted displays, and then moving them passively through the painting transition process and into and around the virtual world, the resultant disorientation effects and dissatisfaction were plain to see. The situation was, fortunately, recovered by a repeat presentation using a projector-based display. There have been a number of other examples of “near misses” as a result of the use of inappropriate interactive technologies in the delivery of VR application solutions (including the Virtual Scylla shipwreck/artificial reef presentation described by Stone et al., 2009). Space precludes giving each example a full coverage, but the lessons learned and Human Factors principles established as a result of these and a wider range of applied VR projects have recently been collated under a single cover and published as a freely available guidance booklet (Stone 2012a).
Human Factors Challenges in Virtual Heritage As emphasised by Rojas-Sola & Castro-Garcia (2011), the two key elements that underpin the generation and acquisition of Virtual Heritage material are “working memory” and “culture”. Working memory, a term more familiar perhaps to cognitive psychologists than Virtual Heritage specialists, refers to information drawn from the spoken and written accounts from people who are able and willing to provide their own recollections. Culture, in this context, and again referring to the work of Rojas-Sola & Castro-Garcia (2011), refers to the exploitation of data from ethnographic, anthropological, sociological and historical sources, including historical and modern maps, local authority archives, photographic and film collections, and so on. Each of these elements brings with it its own unique human challenges – challenges that are not necessarily made easier with the passage of time, nor with the evolution of innovative interactive technologies. The key “research question” facing designers and developers of Virtual Heritage (where there is still a significant likelihood that the end results will be experienced by surviving and, therefore, highly knowledgeable SMEs), can be phrased thus: How can we present and manipulate the early findings and results of VR or AR recreations in such a way as to engage end users, stakeholders and SMEs and to avoid their alienation, either as a result of errors in historical interpretation, or by compromising their experience by exposing them to inappropriate human interface technologies during design and final presentation? “Working Memory”. Material from Rojas-Sola & CastroGarcia’s (2011) category “working memory” is essential to the execution of an accurate and educational Virtual Heritage experience. Each of the three “case study” projects described later in his paper serves to support this statement. Exposing the owners of “working memories” on a regular basis helps to ensure the accuracy of the virtual sites and artefacts developed. Indeed, early
engagement with and iterative exposure of end users or stakeholders are well-established principles in humancentred design processes, as laid down, for example, in International Human Factors standards such as ISO9241210 (ISO 2008). In addition, exposing stakeholders to the evolving VR or AR deliverables could very well help stimulate memories that were not forthcoming during earlier review or recall sessions. However, as time passes, it is a fact of life that the SMEs will diminish in number, and there is no guarantee that any knowledge they once possessed will be recorded, archived or passed into the hands of the generations they leave behind. The attitudes of those generations to the preservation of such knowledge may also be problematic – there is little doubt that, in the past, valuable heritage material will have been lost as a result of removing the old to make way for the new. “Culture”. In many respects, material from the “culture” category defined by Rojas-Sola & Castro-Garcia (2011) is a much more complex issue. At one end of a very broad “cultural continuum” of issues is the need to engage closely with the owners of these different cultural material assets and to convince them that their material will be treated carefully and sympathetically. Not only does this refer to care in handling assets such as photographic images, maps and the like, it also refers to how they are likely to be transformed when implemented in a digital form and how their distribution will be protected (especially if specific assets contain images of personal significance for the owner).
Figure 3. Information “window” on Sir Christopher Wren activated via a highlighted representation of the architect’s graffiti (insert) on one of the stones in Virtual Stonehenge. This was demonstrated with the more recent “reincarnation” of Virtual Stonehenge mentioned earlier, with its “embedding” of multimedia data into the virtual stones and surrounding terrain (Figure 3). Using hyperlinks or “portals” from the main virtual environment to make archived material such as text, images, video and other virtual objects easily accessible
is becoming increasingly popular as an interactive technique in many walks of VR and AR. However, it is important that the digitisation of that material does not compromise the owner’s expectations or leads to the owner’s disengagement through such practices as image warping, the use of false colour or low resolution, highly pixelated images or video sequences, or the inclusion of annotation that may obscure facial or other personal features or characters important to the owner. Another example is how images sampled from areas within photographs or paintings could be used as textures in the target VR scenario. The Virtual Lowry project was an excellent example of this. The “construction” process of the virtual “dreamscape” (a term used by L.S. Lowry himself to describe some of his work) demonstrated the importance of engaging with the owners and custodians of the artist’s unique works to ensure sympathetic treatment of the painted content. For example, early engagement helped to define acceptable and appropriate levels of fidelity when using scanned area samples of different paintings for texturing buildings, roads and terrains, and for skydome and horizon bill-boarding purposes. As well as the diminishing number of SMEs in the Virtual Heritage arena (and Virtual Industrial Heritage in particular), detailed and accurate cultural assets are also becoming increasingly hard to find. Space does not permit a detailed discussion of the hypothesis that industrial heritage sites and artefacts may be more likely to deteriorate faster than their centuries-old counterparts (due to acts of vandalism, new building projects, accelerated decay of 1990s building materials, etc.). Excellent examples of this particular concern can be seen in books relating to the UK’s “subterranean heritage”, such as Cold War Era nuclear bunkers (Catford 2010). Even when gaining access to actual physical sites is no longer possible, relevant information and material collections that are temptingly referenced on the Web (such as those held by councils and museums) are – frustratingly – often not accessible directly from any online catalogue. To acquire such information may demand significant expenditure on travel to the host locations and, even then, “hands-on” time with the assets themselves may need to be pre-booked and of limited duration (not to mention the restrictions that may be in place for digitising historical material). Furthermore, where limited or practically non-existent assets exist (as was the case with the Wembury Commercial Dock project, described later in this paper), it becomes necessary to extrapolate details from other sources and reference texts and, in many cases, to simply make one’s best guess as to the appearance and extent of the virtual environment one is attempting to develop.
Figure 4. Virtual recreation of Burrator & Sheepstor Halt on the now-abandoned Yelverton-to-Princetown Railway. When it comes to the actual process of creating 3D models or scenes, it is often the case that the more unique the site or artefact is, the more one has to expend considerable time and resource in the construction of 3D models that are of the correct design, style and era. In the UK, this has proved to be particularly problematic, and the extent to which 3D content has had to be built from scratch has, on numerous occasions, resulted in the distraction of researchers and students from their primary focus of developing interactive and educational Virtual Heritage applications (although see comments relating to the use of Pix4D towards the end of this paper, under “Project 3”). Recreating a short section of the longabandoned Yelverton-to-Princetown railway line, close to Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor National Park, is a particular case in point (Figure 4; Stone 2012b; Stone 2015). In some cases, it has been possible to acquire 3D content from such online repositories as Turbosquid, 3D Studio, 3D Cafe and the like. However, despite the huge number of 3D models these sites possess, it is often the case that there is little of relevance to the project one happens to be working on at the time. Whilst this situation is slowly improving (with sites such as Trimble/Google SketchUp Warehouse doing much to alleviate the situation), it is still a fact that there are more US-relevant objects and datasets available online than there are for other countries. The temptation is often to download the closest match to the object one requires and to modify the geometry or associated textures. However, this practice runs the risk of attracting significant criticism from, and, potentially, losing the engagement of surviving stakeholders. Finally, and at the other end of the “cultural continuum” from a Human Factors perspective, is the question of how one defines the nature of one’s end user population. What are their informational and educational needs, their current and previous interactive experiences and their knowledge, skills and attitudes, and how does one use this information to ensure that the Virtual Heritage content is delivered using the most appropriate
interactive technologies? Again, this is a complex topic that cannot be covered in detail here. However, attention is drawn again to Stone (2012a). The most important message from this guidance document is quite simple. Interactive 3D media has to be designed in conjunction with its end users, identifying the skills that need to be trained or the knowledge that has to be imparted, and then delivering a solution based on appropriate content, fidelity and interactive technologies. Furthermore, the solutions must be packaged in a form that can be delivered to the end users in their own working and living environments, as opposed to expecting them to experience the technology in isolated and restricted laboratory-like environments. There now follows short reviews of three recent Virtual and Augmented Reality Heritage projects that have prompted the writing of the present paper. Each project has presented its own challenges, not only in terms of the limitations of the technology during data acquisition in the field and at subsequent demonstrations, but also in the collation of relevant historical material and in attempts to engage with a wide range of SMEs, stakeholders and end users. The ultimate aim of these and related projects, as with the contents of Stone (2012a), is to develop a human-centred body of knowledge specifically aimed at the Virtual Heritage community based on real-world experience and lessons learned.
PROJECT 1: THE WEMBURY COMMERCIAL DOCK & RAILWAY PROPOSAL OF 1909 Wembury is located to in the South Hams district of Devon, to the east of Plymouth. Designated as a Special Area of Conservation and a Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (Figure 5), the original rationale for constructing a 3D model of this particular coastal region did not evolve from any Virtual Heritage pursuit. Rather, the coastal topography was developed to support research into virtual restorative environments – the exploitation of interactive 3D scenes of natural settings (forests, lakes, coastal paths, etc.) to improve postsurgery recovery of physical and psychological well-being for hospitalised patients (Depledge et al., 2011; Stone et al., 2014). Virtual Wembury was “constructed” using commercially available Digital Terrain Model (DTM) data, which represented the undulating scenery of the region in the form of a dense spatial “cloud” of x, y and z points. An area of 3.5km2 was obtained, covering Wembury Bay itself (including the Great Mewstone Island), the coastal path west to Heybrook Bay and Renney Rocks and an area extending approximately 1km inland. In addition, a digital aerial photograph of 12.5cm resolution was used. Draped as a texture over the DTM data (once converted to a 3D model), the aerial image provided a visual template which was invaluable in helping to locate key
natural and man-made features – trees, large plants, meadows, rocks, streams, paths and buildings (including the village church of St Werburgh, from which the image in Figure 5 was taken).
Figure 5. The real Wembury Bay from the tower of St Werburgh’s Church (the distant island is the Great Mewstone). A series of photographic, video and sound surveys were also conducted at the Wembury Bay site. Sounds of birdsong, waves, wind and footsteps have been programmed into the virtual model (the real-time version of which has been created using the Unity games engine and toolkit; Figure 6) to create a dynamic “soundscape” which varies depending on the user’s location. A 24-hour day-night cycle, synchronised with the actual time of day, together with weather effects have also been implemented. During the early site surveys for this virtual restorative environment, opportunistic contact with Wembury Village residents provided the motivation to undertake what became a rather ambitious Virtual Heritage project.
Figure 6. Virtual Wembury Bay from the base of the tower of St Werburgh’s Church.
In 1909, a proposal (HL Deb, 1909) was put before the UK’s House of Lords relating to the development of what could have become one of the largest – if not the largest – and most successful commercial docks in the country, rivalling other ports at London, Southampton and Liverpool. Had the proposal not failed, then Wembury Bay would have been changed forever, with the docks, railway and workers’ houses decimating what is, today, one of the most attractive and popular coastal areas in the south-west of the UK. The port was to consist of breakwaters extending far out into the Bay. Two layout proposals were considered, one consisting of a large single continuous dock structure with a railway terminus; the second boasting four or five “finger” jetties, dry docks and railway sidings taking passengers directly to and from their ship’s berth (Figure 7). The railway would have taken the form of a singletrack branch line from the town of Plymstock just to the north (with expansion space for a double track branch in the future), offering disembarking passengers a more rapid service to London than that being offered by the competing ports, and even by Millbay Dock in Plymouth itself. Another key issue emphasised by the proposal owners was that the geological nature of Wembury Bay would be ideal for berthing of large-draught vessels, unlike elsewhere in the UK, where ships had to weigh anchor offshore and then ferry passengers and cargo into the port area. The proposal failed for a number of reasons, including under-capitalisation, reliance on third parties for significant infrastructure elements, such as railway coaching stock, naïve growth and revenue estimates, and the belief that Southampton’s expansion plans were already well developed and moving forward. It is also fair to say that Parliamentary hostility played a key role in the downfall of the proposal, as did opposition from the London & South Western and the Great Western Railways, for obvious reasons, given their well-developed routes into Plymouth Millbay and Plymouth Friary.
engaged with local villagers from the outset, although in the early stages of the project this proved to be quite difficult, due to the lack of experience with (and suspicion of) computing technology on the part of many of the inhabitants. Members of the Wembury Local History Society provided highly valuable input, although some were unclear as to how a VR or AR reconstruction of the “docks that never were” would appear to the village community. To overcome this, it was decided to stage an evening “Virtual Wembury” event at the Village Hall, initially emphasising how the 3D coastal model was being developed to assist in healthcare pursuits at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but later introducing the Augmented Reality Docks project (using a virtual model of the Docks to introduce the villagers to the key concepts (see Figure 9)). Figure 7. 1909 plan illustrating one (“finger quay”) layout concept for the proposed Wembury Dock (HL Deb., 1909). The Wembury Docks AR and VR Demonstrations Apart from one article in a History Society newsletter (Broughton, 1995), one or two simple concept illustrations and plans, limited personal reflections by local historians, some newspaper cuttings (Anon., 1908; Anon., 1909) and the 1909 hard-bound proposal itself (only one copy of which has appeared on eBay in the recent past), there is nothing to convey the magnitude of this engineering project, nor the impact it would have had on the Wembury environment and local village residents. Consequently, the cultural assets underpinning the actual 3D models were based on extrapolations from historical British railway and maritime publications. In particular, historical research had to be conducted using references to other UK docks, including Liverpool/Birkenhead, Southampton and the Port of London, together with Hull, Cardiff, Falmouth and Bristol, where the current Heritage Dock exhibits proved to be particularly useful. As well as the topographical model developed for Wembury using DTM data, described earlier, the final Wembury Dock Virtual Heritage demonstrator exploited a wide range of 3D assets, procured both from online sources and built from scratch. For the AR implementation (and bearing in mind the huge size of the dock), a low-fidelity model was used in conjunction with ARToolkit and iOS (Apple Inc’s mobile operating system) plugins for the Unity toolkit, thereby supporting on-site AR visualisations using an iPad3 with high-contrast fiducial markers (typically printed monochrome patterns, similar to barcodes, recognisable by the AR software via a laptop or tablet’s camera) and a customised user interface supporting scaling, positioning and orientation of virtual images (Figure 8). To develop as much accurate historical content as possible, it was essential that the development team
The event, which enabled villagers to experience the technologies first-hand (with Virtual Wembury displayed using a 50-inch TV display or a Sony HMZ-T1 HeadMounted Display, and using an Xbox gamepad for navigation), was a considerable success and demonstrated the power of VR technologies in helping to engage with potential end users from all walks of life, and of all ages. In particular, allowing villagers to explore the VR model freely and capturing their comments, no matter how pedantic (and often unachievable with current technologies) they were, it was felt, an important step in removing any barriers to or fears with computing technologies. It was also noted, given the availability of other VR demonstration projects at the event, how important the location of the virtual scene was too strong engagement on the part of the villagers. A similar VR model, based on Burrator Reservoir (mentioned earlier), was also present at the Wembury event, but attracted less attention from the audience than did its more local counterpart. This, and more recent observations, particularly with regard to the exposure of senior citizens to VR and AR technologies, has led to the coining of the phrase “Heritage on my Doorstep”. It may be that, when presenting VR or AR (or, for that matter, any form of sophisticated computer interactive technologies) to often sceptical, and sometimes highly reticent end users, such as those who inhabit remote communities, or communities of predominantly older individuals (75% attending the Virtual Wembury event were older than 50), the more familiar the content, the more likely they are to focus on that content. In doing so, this may help to overcome any barriers to navigation and interaction, including low computer self-efficacy or high computer anxiety, brought about by the display and input technologies used. Indeed, some early experimental findings supporting this theory have been found as a result of recent PhD research (Qian, 2015) involving a small sample of Wembury
villagers (n = 15 (7 male, 8 female) with a mean age of 68). Participants were invited to roam freely around two virtual scenes: a natural coastal scene (Virtual Wembury) and a natural forest scene with a lake (a modified version of Virtual Burrator). Using both subjective (e.g. presence, realism and satisfaction questionnaires) and objective (navigation data-logging) measures of participants’ activities, it was found that their subjective ratings on all three questionnaires were greater for the local coastal scene than for the unfamiliar forest scene. Indeed, the objective results showed that participants spent, on average, 75 seconds longer exploring the familiar coastal scene than the forest scene.
Figure 8. Augmented Reality Wembury Docks using ARToolkit on an iPad3 and a custom-developed image manipulation Graphical User Interface (GUI).
Figure 9. Virtual Reality Wembury Docks using the Unity games engine.
PROJECT 2: HMS AMETHYST’S “FINAL RESTING PLACE” While researching the history relating to the railway infrastructure in South Devon and Dartmoor for the Wembury Docks project, another opportunity arose to undertake an evaluation of Augmented Reality technologies that has since generated enormous interest.
Interest not only in terms of what it set out to demonstrate, but also in terms of encouraging a new generation of interactive media developers, each with a personal motivation keen to preserve a unique part of British naval history. Information relating to the rail transit of people and raw moorland materials to the ports in South Devon is available from a number of established publications (e.g. Kingdom, 1982; Kingdom, 1991), but one in particular provides an excellent account of the history of the oldest maritime part of the city of Plymouth, namely Sutton Harbour, within the famous Barbican area. The book Sutton Harbour, by Crispin Gill (Gill, 1997) contained an impressive (if somewhat sad) image of a famous Royal Navy vessel, awaiting the breaker’s torch. That image was of HMS Amethyst, unceremoniously abandoned in the corner of the Harbour, next to the China House – today a popular public house and restaurant (and itself an historic building, dating back to the 1600s), HMS Amethyst was a “modified” Black Swan-class “sloop”, re-designated as a Frigate, pennant number F116, after World War II. In the late 1940s, the ship and her crew made their mark on history - a mark that was to be immortalised in the film The Yangtse Incident. While based at Shanghai in 1949, a Civil War was being fought by the Communists and the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang). On 20 April 1949 the Amethyst was ordered to relieve HMS Consort, a ship that was protecting the British Embassy at Nanking on the River Yangtze, and to make preparations to evacuate all British citizens facing the Communist advance. Whilst transiting the Yangtze, and despite flying numerous Union Jacks, the Communists opened fire, inflicting significant damage and nineteen fatalities (including the ship’s Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Skinner), not to mention causing the ship to run aground on a sandbank, at an angle that rendered the firing capabilities of the two forward turrets useless. Whilst the politicians and media argued about who was to blame for starting the engagement, Amethyst was stranded for months in unbearable conditions of heat and an increasing population of rats and cockroaches. With rapidly dwindling food and fuel supplies, Commander John Kerans, the British Naval Attaché in China arrived from Nanking and took command of the ship. On 30 July 1949, Kerans decided to make a night-time bid for escape. Once again the ship took heavy fire, but at 05:00 on the 31st, the frigate rendezvoused with the destroyer HMS Concord. Amethyst underwent a refit in the UK in 1950 and, following additional service in the Far East, returned to Plymouth in 1952, was paid off and placed in reserve. Following her final duty, which was to appear as herself in the Yangtse Incident film, on 19 January 1957, Amethyst was towed into Sutton Harbour, coming to a
final stop on Marrowbone Slip (Figure 10 (Anon., 1957)), next to the China House, where she was broken up by Messrs. Demmelweek & Redding. Today, the only physical reminder of the ship’s demise, and one that is unknown to many, if not most residents of Plymouth (let alone the current owners of the China House) is a diminutive commemorative plaque on the site of Marrowbone Slip with a single, almost unreadable sentence – “HMS Amethyst, famed for her role in the Yangtze Incident of 1949 was broken up here”. The Augmented Reality Amethyst Demonstrator The AR Amethyst demonstrator project was designed to visualise the Amethyst’s final resting place and to draw attention to what must have been a spectacular sight – a 1350-ton, 283-foot long Frigate laying silent in a harbour which was, at the time, more used to welcoming small fishing trawlers and sailing ships. The 3D model of the ship was constructed from scratch using 3ds max and a variety of data sources – from screen grabs of sail-by sequences from The Yangtse Incident film and images from the Web, to not-very-detailed radio control model plans, even old reproduction cardboard construction kits from Micromodels (originally costing one shilling and sixpence). As with the Wembury Docks project, the AR software used was ARToolkit, with plug-in features for the Unity game development toolkit. The visualisation hardware utilised for the in situ demonstration was, again, an iPad3.
Figure 10. HMS Amethyst at Marrowbone Slip in 1957, minus her bow (Anon., 1957).
Figure 11. Marrowbone Slip and the China House in 2012 with the Augmented Reality HMS Amethyst visualised via the iPad3. Despite what initially seemed to be a rich collection of data sources, even historical memorabilia relating to the Amethyst, the lack of early contact with SME’s and, indeed, surviving crewmembers was a major drawback in the development of the 3D vessel. Issues relating to the accuracy of deck materials, the scale of various components, weaponry, the design of the bridge and other key features meant that the resultant 3D model was not as comprehensive as would have been liked. However, as the AR demonstration deadlines were approaching, contact was made with one of the ship’s surviving officers, Lt Cdr Stewart Hett, President of the Amethyst Association. Not only was he able to provide valuable assistance in clearing up some misconceptions about the ship’s make-up, he was also able to ensure that the AR Amethyst project (and a VR version, based on the ship moored in Wembury Dock – see Figure 9), would ultimately be presented to a group of highly critical commentators. The real-world trials of the Augmented Reality system took place in two locations in the Plymouth area. The first was Marrowbone Slip, described above (the present-day context shown in Figure 11). For this demonstration, a revised model of the ship had to be used, whereby all significant deck fittings – guns (large and small), life rafts, depth charge launchers, and so on – were removed (as they would have been, prior to delivering the vessel for breaking up). The second location was on the Cornish side of the River Tamar, just south of Her Majesty’s Naval Base at Devonport, where the Amethyst made her penultimate journey prior to being paid off and sold to the breakers. Again the main model had to be modified, with the lower hull region (including propellers and rudder) being removed to create a simple waterline effect (Figure 12).
Figure 12. Augmented Reality HMS Amethyst visualised on the River Tamar.
Shortly after the Amethyst AR exercise in Plymouth was completed, Lt Cdr Hett provided a unique opportunity to present the findings of the early research and field trials. This took the form of an invitation to a reunion event for the surviving crewmembers of the Amethyst (including those from the 1949 Yangtze confrontation), together with three generations of family members. A constructively critical audience indeed. However, their acceptance and understanding of the significance of the technologies used, plus their recognition of the potential for future educational development, was both surprising and inspiring. Subsequent to this event, material from crewmembers and families was forthcoming, helping to improve the accuracy of the 3D model.
PROJECT 3: UNMANNED VEHICLES, AR AND RETURN OF THE WARSHIP ANNE A recent “newcomer” to the domain of technologies for field surveys and data collection for digital heritage projects is the small, low-cost unmanned vehicle system (UxV). Typically UxVs are land, water surface/sub-surface and air (“drone”) vehicles equipped with remote camera devices or more sophisticated sensors, including LIDAR, thermal imagery and navigational packages. Whilst still in an early stage of development, UxVs have the potential to enable end users to conduct more extensive and informative field surveys than before, in more remote and hazardous areas. Recent examples where “drones” (or more correctly, small Unmanned Air Vehicles (sUAVs)) have been successfully tested in support of digital heritage projects include Foggintor Quarries and Foxtor Mire within the
Dartmoor National Park in the south-west of the UK. Once home to an active quarrying community of some 400 inhabitants (Brewer, 1997), Foggintor was responsible, between 1820 and 1938, for producing highquality granite for the construction of such famous landmarks as Dartmoor Prison, Nelson's Column and the original London Bridge (today in Lake Havasu City, Arizona). The granite was transported via tramway and the Great Western Railway line between Princetown and Yelverton – the topic of another digital heritage project mentioned earlier in this paper – (and then on to Plymouth, London and elsewhere). By using commercial software (Pix4D – a product that automatically triangulates aerial video, frame by frame, based purely on image content ), it has been possible to process the digital video to develop highly accurate geo-referenced and fully textured 3D models of this impressive historical site (Figure 13). This technology has the capability to save Virtual Heritage developers enormous amounts of time in the 3D reconstruction process.
Figure 13. A Pix4D 3D reconstruction of Foggintor Quarry on Dartmoor developed from sUAV aerial digital video images. Undertaking aerial searches for man-made artefacts in inhospitable regions is another area in which sUAVs can deliver benefits, such as conducting wide area, lowaltitude search patterns over short periods of time, not to mention guaranteeing the safety on the part of the investigators. A recent example of a project in this respect is the use of an sUAV to fly over the wreck of a 17th Century warship, where the shifting sands and atsea-level location demands short-duration and safetyconscious activities. However, during the early flights, an idea for a unique aerial AR demonstration was conceived. On Pett Level Beach, near Hastings, and only visible at very low tides (especially following periods of stormy coastal-eroding weather), lie the skeletal remains of the Anne, a 70-gun third rate ship of the line, built by Phineas Pett at Chatham Dockyard as part of a late 17th century restoration of King Charles II’s Royal Navy, overseen by Samuel Pepys (Marsden, 1984). Launched in 1678, the Anne was a significant vessel in history and certainly a major component of the Pepys’ Restoration Navy (Figure
14). She was one of thirty new standard ships, built under the “Thirty Ship Programme” of 1677. Designed to be highly efficient frontline battleships, the Anne and others of her class were to have a significant influence on the Royal Navy, becoming direct ancestors of the ships that ultimately fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. However, her life as a fighting vessel was cut short twelve years later during the Battle of Beachy Head, in which a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet took on superior French numbers and lost. Having sustained significant damage, the allies attempted to retreat to the relative safety of the Thames, but en route, four Dutch vessels and one British ship were beached on the coast around Hastings. Under the command of John Tyrrell, the heavily damaged Anne was beached at Pett Level and was deliberately torched to prevent her from being captured by the French. As much of the ship and her contents as possible were salvaged, but the charred remains were abandoned and left to decay.
more exposed than in living memory. Later that year, two months of extensive storms battered the south coast of England, causing widespread flooding across southern England, stretching through Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent. Despite the destructive nature of the weather, the wreck of the Anne was further exposed, and the opportunity was taken by numerous historians to document as much as time would allow. In 2014, and conscious that the Anne’s exposure would be relatively short – 12-18 months at best – an aerial survey of the wreck was conducted, the aim of which was to capture extensive video footage suitable for integrating with a future Virtual Reality model. The video was obtained using a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter, a small drone of 300m (open space) range and equipped with a GPS auto-pilot system for position holding and altitude lock (Figure 15). The Phantom 2 is equipped with a 1080p, full High Definition camera, stabilised on an antivibration tilt axis (only) and controlled remotely via WiFi using an iOS or Android SmartPhone. During the flight of the Quadcopter, the possibility of developing an aerial Augmented Reality “resurrection” of the Anne was discussed, such that a virtual model of the ship could be visualised in real time, in situ, 20m over the wreck site.
Figure 14. Artist’s impression of the Anne at Malta (reproduced with permission from Richard Endsor)
Over time, the Anne sank deeper and deeper into estuarine clay. As a result, the lower part of the ship’s hull, which lists slightly towards the west on her port side, is reasonably well preserved, measuring over 44m long, 11m wide and just over 4m high. Contemporary records of the Anne date back to the early 1900s, but significant interest in the wreck was witnessed in the 1970s. Looters using a mechanical excavator caused considerable damage to the wreck site, for the sake of a few cannon balls, grenades and barrel staves (Marsden & Lyon, 1977). Further objects were discovered after this event, but these were put on show at the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings. In 1974, and to prevent further destruction, English Heritage first designated the wreck site of the Anne under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, and in 1983 the Ministry of Defence and the Nautical Museums Trust jointly created The Warship Anne Trust. In February 2013, following extremely low tides, the Trust reported to English Heritage that the Anne wreck site was
Figure 15. DJI Phantom 2 Vision over the wreck of the Anne at Pett Level.
Using historical records, extensive illustrations and plans of a sister ship to the Anne, the Lenox (Endsor, 2009), and collaboration with staff from the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings, the virtual ship was developed by two accomplished intern students visiting the University of Birmingham from Arts et Métiers, ParisTech, Laval in France (Cécile Thevenin and Emilien Bonhomme). Using the 3D modelling toolkit, 3ds max, the detailed VR recreation took nearly ten weeks to complete. Two versions of the model were produced: one of high detail and fidelity, subsequently imported into the Unity3D rendering engine for real-time exploration (Figure 15), and a second of reduced detail, suitable for Web hosting and as the 3D model to be used in the aerial AR trials.
Two successful aerial AR trials were undertaken. The first involved a somewhat crude solution, involving the temporary attachment of a tablet computer to a hexacopter platform (an experimental sUAV, designed to evaluate new control, sensor and display subsystems, including head-mounted displays, panoramic still and video imaging systems, thermal cameras, radiation sensors, and so on). The hexacopter configuration includes six variable thrust, fixed-pitch propellers rotating in alternating clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. This sUAV is capable of fully autonomous flight, GPS waypoint navigation and auto-landing, with stabilisation being governed by a 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, magnetometer and barometer. Autoheading and altitude hold functions are controlled by an integrated GPS and sonar subsystem. This solution, coupled with the fiducial marker pegged within the centre of the wreck site resulted in a short but nonetheless convincing AR demonstration, visualising the 3D ship as if from the top of the masts, with the real sands as the backdrop.
Figure 15. The Virtual Anne moored alongside a small fishing port.
The second AR trial took place seven months later when it was obvious that the sands at Pett Level were, once again, very close to reclaiming the wreck. On this occasion, a commercial sUAV was deployed. The DJI Inspire 1 (Figure 16) is a very agile quadcopter. As well as reliable geolocation capability using as many GPS satellites as are available at the time of flight, the platform hosts a downward-oriented optical flow camera that feeds data to the quadcopter’s rotor control system to keep the aircraft level, regardless of the terrain topography below. The same system controls the raising and lowering of the quadcopter’s landing struts, (a) to prevent them appearing within the field of view of the camera whilst in flight and (b) to effect safe, controlled landings.
The Inspire 1 is remarkably stable, even in winds of up to 30mph. Unlike the earlier hexacopter flight, use was made of the sUAV’s 4K video capture and wireless streaming capability, delivered from an onboard proprietary camera with a 94o field of view. This enabled the pilot to see the AR demonstration in real time whilst flying the quadcopter in a first-person viewing mode (Figure 16). The technical achievements of the Virtual and Augmented Anne Project were extensive, but the bigger challenge came in deciding how to engage with residents of Pett Level and other nearby villages. A general invitation event was held at the Pett Level Beach Club, just a few hundred yards away from the Anne’s wreck site in December 2015. The event was well attended, with the audience comprising individuals from all walks of life, many in their 60s and 70s. As with the Virtual Wembury Dock demonstrator described earlier, the very fact that the Anne was an important and popular part of local maritime heritage meant that engagement was straightforward, even for those older members of the audience who were given the opportunity to visualise the Anne using one of the (then) latest head—mounted displays (the Oculus Rift DK2). Again, a good example of “Heritage on my Doorstep” helping to overcome end user anxiety or low self-efficacy in using “high-tech” human interfaces. In addition, the same Augmented Reality marker that was used in the aerial beach trials was laid out on the floor of the Beach Club, enabling the audience to visualise and move around a scaled-down version of the ship using tablet computing technology. In addition to the Pett Level event, the Anne project has been shown extensively elsewhere, including an event dedicated to the history of Ship in Hastings in July 2015, and at the Annual General Meeting of Dartmouth’s Museum, where a 92-year-old veteran of the Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945) confidently donned the Oculus Rift headset to explore the VR reconstruction of the ship (again, a good example of relevancy overcoming hesitancy in using advanced interactive technologies).
accessible and capable than ever before, and many are actually available free of charge for academia, small businesses and even the general public. The main drawback with VR lies in the delivery and interaction technologies. Despite the hype one reads online and in Internet technology magazines, once one passes the “wow” phase of donning a head-mounted display for the first time, the reality of low-resolution displays, narrow fields of view, discomfort, disorientation and nausea begins to set in, not to mention the fact that one’s movement is often restricted by the use of cabling. The same is true of interactive controllers, or data input devices.
Figure 16. (Upper) DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter about to take off over the AR fiducial marker within the Anne wreck site; (Lower) Inspire 1 pilot’s view AR screenshot showing the virtual Anne in situ over the real-world wreck location. CONCLUSIONS VR and AR, together with the latest variant of high-tech interaction technique known as “Mixed Reality” (or MxR – blending VR, AR with real-world or “tangible” interface objects) continue to demonstrate enormous potential in the delivery of engaging social and educational experiences for cultural heritage. But, despite their prevalence over the past two to three decades or so, their component technologies still have a very long way to go. Even with the significance of the “Heritage on my Doorstep” concept described earlier, where the familiarity of a Virtual Heritage scenario can help overcome early barriers to the use of high-tech interfaces, there is still an important Human Factors “duty of care” that needs to be adopted by Virtual Heritage developers with regard to the safety and comfort of their target users. Only by adopting such a duty of care will those users be able to engage, enjoy and benefit educationally from the rich experiences VR, AR and MxR will bring in the future as more and more novel interactive technologies mature and, thus, become available to the masses. Of the three variations, VR remains the most mature and has had ample exposure to the heritage arena since the early 1990s, albeit with mixed results in terms of feedback from, and uptake by stakeholders, end-users and the general public. Generating high quality content is not the major issue here, as the VR modelling and rendering toolkits that are available today are more
It is well known that those who spend much of their free time interacting with first-person action computer games are those who will adapt quickly and efficiently to being presented with a new human interface device. For most of the remaining members of the population, however, it is often the case that requesting them to wear obtrusive head-mounted displays, gloves, hand-held “wands” or other devices has two effects. The first is that they spend more time trying to adapt to the interface – getting to grips with what they need to do with the VR system to explore virtual worlds and interact with its constituent objects – than they do benefit from, or to be educated by the experience. The second is that, during the VR experience, they may experience a range of negative effects on their well-being from being sensorially “confined” within a face-enclosing structure, cut off from the security of the real world (although this is not an effect that is exclusively a problem with head-mounted displays; see also Stone, 2102a). Using head-mounted displays – and particularly face-enclosing units – is, therefore, to be discouraged for long-term (i.e. greater than just a few minutes) general population experiences of Virtual Heritage at this point in time and other VR setups, even involving high-definition screens (as was found by Cheng (2015) require their users to be monitored for early symptoms of malaise. There is no doubt that this situation will change, but until that time comes, it is very much the case that there are only a very small number of Virtual Heritage demonstrations that truly warrant the use of headsetbased VR. Such an example is the Virtual GLAUCUS project where, in order to convey the effects of diving down to and entering what was a very claustrophobic early British subsea habitat (Heath, 1967), a headmounted display solution provided an appropriate visionlimiting experience for the designer of the habitat, Colin Irwin, to revisit his 1965 £1000 subsea experiment once again (Figure 17). Turning now to Augmented Reality, which has also seen a recent increase in popularity (despite its much earlier entrance onto the interactive 3D stage at the beginning of the century), whilst some recent conceptual papers have painted a range of “what-if” scenarios (e.g. Morrison et al., 2012), it is still obvious that applications of AR are quite limited, particularly with regard to real, inthe-field experiences, such as the projects described
herein, not to mention subsequent usage of the technology in educational or museum settings. Having explored the potential for AR in museums since 2011, Shelley Mannion, Digital Learning Programmes Manager at The British Museum, summed up the situation quite admirably when she concluded, “As a technology platform and interaction style, AR is still in its infancy. Many applications are mere proof-of-concept rather than robust solutions integrated into museums’ existing programmes and interpretative strategies. However, this does not diminish its potential for creating engaging and meaningful experiences for visitors. AR may have been overhyped to begin with, but we are now entering a more serious phase during which its usefulness will become evident” (Mannion 2013).
Figure 17. The original designer of the UK GLAUCUS subsea habitat uses an Oculus Rift DK2 head-mounted display and Xbox gamepad explore a VR recreation of his 1960s creation.
External or field exploitation of AR techniques is even more challenging in that the use of head-mounted display technologies, putting to one side the comments raised above, may pose serious problems with end users’ safety. Donning a headset that presents rich, attention-grabbing visual information relating to a historical site in an open field, such as the buried Roman City of Wroxeter, is one thing. Using that same technology in already hazardous areas, such as cliff edges (as has been suggested in a West
Country coastal path AR application concept), steep hillsides or mountains, or in areas with waterlogged or marshy ground and so on is quite another. Another particular issue with current AR technologies is that, despite the claims of the developing and vending organisations, using the software in anything but a structured environment with consistent lighting is a major problem. Attempting to use that same technology in a rural location, with (for example) archaeological sites covered in plant growth, seasonal environmental changes and unreliable WiFi or GPS connections can be a very frustrating experience. Furthermore, as anyone who has tried to view a SmartPhone or tablet screen in an outside environment will testify, the on-screen contents of these mobile computing technologies are extremely difficult to view or interact with, despite them being highlighted by many as currently being the interface of choice for “real-world” AR applications. This means that, for the near-term future, the use of high-contrast fiducial markers, as mentioned earlier, is by far the most reliable technique. Even then, setting up such a demonstration in the field brings with it certain challenges, such as moving objects, people and animals causing loss of camera lock, or scaling issues, as was shown during the set-up of an AR recreation of the return of US President Harry Truman’s Douglas VC-54C aircraft, the Sacred Cow, during a 1940s event staged in 2015 at the long abandoned airfield of RAF Harrowbeer in Devon (Figure 18).
Figure 18. Fiducial marker (bottom left-hand corner of picture) used to “activate” an AR recreation of President Truman’s Sacred Cow aircraft at RAF Harrowbeer.
Throughout the course of the projects described herein (bearing in mind that many are still ongoing at the time of writing), Human Factors issues have consistently been at the forefront of activities, be they on-site technologymediated surveys, interacting with subject matter experts, asset holders and, of great importance, members of the public, undertaking exercises to define fidelity levels of Virtual Heritage content, recording usability issues with the VR and AR toolkits, or selecting appropriate display and interaction devices to expose end users to early, interim and mature demonstrator developments. In a very short time, it has become apparent that there are many synergies between the issues covered in international Human Factors standards
and in specific VR/interactive media guidelines, but that the unique nature of the Virtual Heritage arena warrants its own attention to human-centered design. If a sectorspecific document could capture salient experiences and lessons learned from real-world projects and help make those experiences and lessons openly accessible to future developers, then perhaps many more Virtual Heritage projects could deliver the same impact as was experienced when presenting the projects described herein to those who stood to benefit most from demonstration and engagement.
About the Human Interface Technologies Team The University of Birmingham’s Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team, based within the School of Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering (EESE), has been pioneering the development and uptake of interactive media and robotics technologies in the UK since 2003, building on nearly 3 decades of experience in the domain of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality and Telerobotics/Telepresence. The Team’s participation within the UK’s Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre (HFI DTC) between 2003 and 2012, and, more recently collaborative initiatives addressing future human-system interfaces for command and control in defence, aerospace and unmanned systems, continues to provide excellent opportunities to work closely with stakeholders and end users in the development of methodologies supporting human-centred design for advanced part-task trainers, visualisation techniques and novel human interface concepts for telerobotic systems. In the healthcare domain, the HIT Team has been developing interactive data display and control technologies for the investigation of Virtual Restorative Environments and their impact on patient wellbeing, especially in Intensive Care. More recently, the HIT Team has become involved in projects to recreate sites and artefacts relating to industrial and maritime archaeology, as these fields are in keeping with the engineering focus of the School in which the Team resides and offer the opportunity to interact with realworld rural and sometimes remote communities (fostering strong public engagemnt and digital inclusion). The Team uses a variety of novel technologies to support its heritage site surveys, from small Unmanned Air Vehicles and a mini-submarine, to image processing software capable of converting images captured from aerial video into 3D, fully textured scenes.
Contact: Prof. Bob Stone: firstname.lastname@example.org; (07740) 858901 www.birmingham.ac.uk/stone www.birmingham.ac.uk/hit-team
All images are copyright of the author, except where otherwise cited.
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Cultural heritage in role-playing video games: a map of approaches Jakub Majewski Abstract In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to applying video game technology to the development of virtual heritage tools. One noteworthy form of game is the role-playing game (RPG). RPGs seek to immerse the player in a character within a specific imaginary world, usually based to some degree on reality. RPGs can transmit cultural heritage, but the breadth and depth of engagement with culture depend on the gameâ€™s focus. This paper argues games involving heritage can be divided into four categories depending on their focus towards entertainment or non-entertainment, and emphasis on mass market or small market appeal. Each category has different advantages and disadvantages from the heritage perspective. Several RPGs and RPG-like games are examined across the four categories to illustrate their different approaches to accuracy, detail, and accessibility. Keywords: video games, virtual heritage, role-playing games, digital technology, edutainment
Introduction Virtual heritage, defined as the practice of creating virtual landscapes imbued with heritage content and presented with digital media (Tan and Rahaman 2009: 144), has emerged as a significant area of research and practical application within the greater landscape of heritage studies (Tan and Rahaman 2009: 144-146). Within this field, considerable attention has been devoted to the benefits of applying video game technology to cultural heritage, particularly in relation to archaeological reconstruction (Anderson et al. 2009), but also teaching languages and communicating other aspects of intangible heritage such as local customs (Johnson 2010), history (Egenfeldt-Nielsen 2007: 119-130), and cultural knowledge (Leavy 2014). Depending on who develops a video game, cultural heritage can either be a core objective of the game or merely background material used to enhance the product. Equally, games may be designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, or focus on a particular small audience, perhaps allowing greater accuracy while sacrificing popular appeal. Based on these considerations, this paper presents a map of four different approaches to cultural heritage in games: 1. Commercial games 2. Serious games 3. Culture-centric games 4. Player-developed modifications (mods) These categories can be applied to all game genres. However, the examples explored here are drawn mainly from the role-playing game (RPG) genre. Therefore, the paper first discusses the nature of the RPG and its general applicability as a carrier of heritage. Subsequently, the four basic approaches to cultural heritage in games are summarised. Finally, each approach is examined individually with reference to particular games. The role-playing game RPGs as a game genre pre-date the video game, arising out of older traditions including tabletop gaming, live-action role-playing, and Renaissance fairs (Barton 2008: 13-24). In the RPG, the player character, or avatar, is a dynamic entity, often created by the player, and developing under the playerâ€™s control. Players improve and customize their avatars by managing their appearance and skills, as well as by obtaining and equipping progressively better items (Barton 2008: 3-11; Hitchens and Drachen 2008). To draw the player into the game, it is vital for an RPG to immerse the player in character and place. To achieve immersion, a cohesive imaginary world must be built, a process hinging on the three characteristics of inventiveness, consistency, and a sense of completeness (Wolf 2012: 29-64). Champion (2006: 67-89)
approaches world-building from the perspective of presence, a concept introduced from the study of virtual reality. He breaks presence down into three separate concepts, these being environmental presence, cultural presence, and social presence (Champion 2007). The closer RPGs come to creating a sense of being in a “real” place, with “real” people and a “real” culture, the greater the immersion. RPG makers, therefore, devote considerable attention to culture (Monken 2010; Johnson 2013: 31-40). Current RPGs still generally fall short of Champion’s benchmarks for achieving strong presence (Champion 2007; Majewski 2014). Nonetheless, there is a definite correlation between strong RPG worlds and strong exploration of culture. While deep cultural information is desirable in commercial RPGs, cultural accuracy is not intrinsically valuable. Developers frequently resort to popular culture stereotypes, distorted but readily recognizable to audiences, and thus more accessible (Sołtysiak 2014). Conversely, effective transmission of cultural heritage relies not only on strong cultural content but also on the appeal of the game. A game that explores culture in depth and with accuracy while failing to meet audience expectations will not ultimately be successful. This tension between accuracy and popularity leads cultural heritage scholars and practitioners to explore avenues alternative to commercial games, including so-called serious games as well as other, hybridised approaches. Categorising approaches to cultural heritage in games Broadly, four categories of games can be distinguished, emphasising either cultural content or entertainment value, and appealing to mass markets or small markets. Figure 1 depicts a map of these four approaches.
Figure 1. A map of approaches to heritage in games (source: author)
Of the four categories, only commercial games and serious games can be considered as completely distinct and independent categories, the former focusing entirely on entertainment for a mass market, the latter on cultural education for a small market. The remaining two categories should be considered as hybrid and dependent. Thus, culture-centric games are serious games that adapt features from commercial games to improve accessibility for the mass market; alternatively, they are commercial games based on the notion that concentrating on cultural heritage in both game content and game marketing will improve sales. Game mods, meanwhile, are simply additional materials, produced by players, which can be plugged into a particular (usually commercial) game. They exist in the context of that game and are driven by the interests of the gameâ€™s community. These four categories are now reviewed, with a particular focus on RPGs dealing with historical and endangered cultures. Commercial games Commercial games are oriented to entertainment and mass market appeal. Cultural heritage is used here to enhance the believability of the game world. This can apply both to fantastic and realistic virtual worlds. An example of a fantastic world populated with extensive references to a real culture is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks 2011). Though built on a layer of pre-Christian Scandinavian culture, and depicting a recognisable Scandinavian landscape, Skyrim (Figure 2) modifies this culture extensively to fit into a fantasy world of dragons and magic. Johnson (2013: 41-59) argues players are well aware of the historical influences in Skyrim, and are interested in exploring this aspect of the game. Simultaneously, Skyrim has been criticised for resorting to cultural stereotypes (SoĹ‚tysiak 2014). Certainly, a game set in a fantasy world has no need for strict cultural accuracy.
Figure 2. Scandinavia reimagined in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (source: author)
While not an RPG, the Assassin’s Creed series (Ubisoft 2007-2015) is another noteworthy example. Assassin’s Creed is a science-fiction/fantasy story set ostensibly in the real world. The series explores a number of different places and time periods, in each case devoting significant attention to the cultural backdrop. While accuracy is still sacrificed for the sake of the story, Whitaker and colleagues argue for the game’s value as an introduction to culture and history (Whitaker and Glass 2013; Whitaker and Luther 2014; Whitaker and Andress 2015). Nonetheless, as an action game, Assassin’s Creed does not empower the player to explore its milieus in any great depth. Some scholars have argued commercial developers should involve scholars in their work in order to improve the accuracy of commercial games (Johnson 2013: 61-63; Sołtysiak 2014). However, there does not appear to be any intrinsic commercial benefit to drive such an approach, making it unlikely to happen. Serious games The challenge of cultural accuracy in commercial titles has led to games designed specifically for accuracy and educational value. So-called serious games prioritise non-entertainment utility (Sawyer 2010) while still aiming to be enjoyable. Serious games are used for many applications ranging from health and work to learning, training and documentation (Sawyer and Smith 2008; Anderson et al. 2009). Digital Songlines is an example of a serious game exploring cultural knowledge. The project was a repository of Aboriginal cultural knowledge; thus, the entertainment value was not as important as designing a culturally
appropriate way of exploring Aboriginal cultural and natural heritage. This was achieved by presenting data integrated into the landscape, rather than catalogued in a database foreign to Aboriginal knowledge practices (Leavy 2014: 88-109). An outgrowth of the Digital Songlines project is Virtual Warrane II: Sacred Tracks of the Gadigal (Immersive Heritage 2012). This project (Figure 3), designed for a museum exhibition about preEuropean Aboriginal culture in the Sydney area, best demonstrates the small-market nature of the serious game, as Virtual Warrane II was only playable in one museum, and only for the duration of the exhibition.
Figure 3. Aboriginal heritage in Virtual Warrane II: Sacred Tracks of the Gadigal (source: Immersive Heritage 2012)
Another noteworthy example is RezWorld (Thornton Media, Inc, unpublished), a game designed to facilitate learning Native American languages, and built using technology previously employed to train US soldiers in Iraqi Arab language and customs (Johnson 2010). In general, a strong tradition of cultural heritage-oriented serious games exists (Anderson et al. 2009), but most efforts seem to focus on small audiences. Culture-centric games A separate category is commercial titles or serious games designed to imitate commercial titles. Such games either explicitly explore cultural heritage or rely on cultural heritage as a draw factor to the point where this becomes the gameâ€™s most notable feature. This category constitutes a tension-filled combination of mass market focus with an emphasis on cultural content. When a commercial game adapts this approach, there is a risk that the narrower focus will limit the audience while budgetary restrictions may not permit greater
cultural depth. This is the case in Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword (Studio Sich, 2011), which depicts 17th century Eastern Europe (Figure 4), but ultimately is unable to do so in any convincing depth (Majewski 2014: 133-135).
Figure 4. Polish-Lithuanian heritage in Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword (source: author)
Academics or heritage-oriented organisations may also use this approach to reach a wider audience. An example is World of Temasek (Magma Studios 2011), a multiplayer online role-playing game depicting 14th century Singapore (Figure 5). Temasek was partially funded by the National Heritage Board of Singapore (Lim 2012) and developed in cooperation with academics (Wu and Jones 2010: 32) for use in classrooms, and for general audiences. Though Temasek incorporates quests and dialogues for heritage purposes (Wu & Jones 2010), its cultural depth remains limited, while its commercially-inspired form still failed to capture a significant audience outside of the classroom. Overall, the inherent tension between cultural themes and mass appeal results in problems with culture, appeal, or both.
Figure 5. South-East Asian heritage in World of Temasek (source: Magma Studios 2011) Game mods The final category, game mods, demands a few words on the context and manner in which game content can be modified (modded) by its users. Different games facilitate modification to varying degrees, from the incorporation of new scenarios, characters and spaces, to deep alterations of game rules. When a game warrants such interest, players collaborate in what Gee (2013: 133-139) describes as the passionate affinity space (PAS). The PAS is usually an online space such as a discussion forum, where diverse individuals gather to explore and build upon a common interest. The PAS serves both to provide information and expertise to its visitors from other individuals, and as an outlet for their productive efforts. A PAS can thus lead to the development of an online repository of game-related knowledge, or to the creation of new game content in the form of mods. Modding is also possible within an organised environment, and culture-centric mods have been developed by school and university students as coursework (Champion 2012: 115-146) or after-school activities (Squire 2011: 150-161). Player-developed mods thus emerge out of the playersâ€™ interests. When players create culture-oriented mods, they do not necessarily do so not specifically to transmit culture, but rather because they enjoy the process of modding. Nonetheless, the players are exploring an area of interest, and their small market focus enables them to devote considerable attention to cultural details. This attention to detail can be seen in small
mods designed to improve the cultural content already present in the original game, as in the case of Csatádi's Visual and Historical Mod (Csatádi, 2011-2015) for Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword. Mods are still awkward carriers of cultural heritage. They are constrained by a lack of funding and the need to fit within the framework of a particular game not necessarily optimal to that particular culture. This is evident in culture-oriented mods developed for the RPG Mount & Blade: Warband (Taleworlds Entertainment 2010), including Brytenwalda (Brytenwalda Team, 2011) and Suvarnabhumi Mahayuth (Rasiya Team 2012). Brytenwalda (Figure 6) is set in the cultural melting pot of 7th century Britain, while the latter (Figure 7) examines 16th century South-East Asia.
Figure 6. Hadrian's wall in Brytenwalda (source: author)
In both cases, limited funding can be discerned in the adaptation of existing graphical assets, such as where Scandinavian-inspired architecture from Warband is re-textured in Suvarnabhumi Mahayuth to approximate Thai architecture, a clear problem for accuracy. Equally, in both cases the original game’s focus on small-scale battles and feudal relations limits the range of cultural aspects the mods can address.
Figure 7. A Nordic-inspired Palace poses as Thai architecture in Suvarnabhumi Mahayuth (source: author)
Created within a game community, the target market of mods is limited, consisting of the often-small subset of players interested in both the original game and the subject tackled by the mod. However, in some cases, the gameâ€™s publishers empower modders to officially publish the mod as a separate product, expanding its reach. A recent example is Mount & Blade: Warband â€“ Viking Conquest 2015), developed by the Brytenwalda team (Savage 2014).
Conclusion Using games to preserve and popularize cultural heritage is at once promising and daunting. Each of the presented approaches carries with it specific limitations and benefits. A culturally shallow or misleading, but entertaining commercial game, may serve to bring public attention to a particular culture. Meanwhile, culture-centric hybrids or serious games, have been used in education or in museums, but can suffer from limited appeal when brought directly to the public. Of the four approaches presented, the author would point to modding as a noteworthy option for further exploration. Heritage scholars can potentially collaborate with modders, harnessing their technical prowess to develop mods that enhance the cultural content of an existing commercial game, or use new content to explore a different cultural setting within the framework of the original game. Such possibilities are currently virtually unexamined.
However, all four approaches have their unique uses and capabilities, and none should be neglected. What is clear is that the utility of video games in general and RPGs in particular for cultural heritage is no longer a potential possibility. In fact, games are already used for heritage in interesting and diverse ways, as well as making use of heritage for their own purposes.
Jakub Majewski has more than a decadeâ€™s experience of working in the video games industry in a range of roles. In 2014, he began a PhD at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia researching the application of roleplaying video games for individual education and the transmission of cultural knowledge. Contact: email@example.com
References Anderson, E. F., McLoughlin, L., Liarokapis, F., Peters, C., Petridis, P., and de Freitas, S. 2009. Serious games in cultural heritage. Available online at: https://www.academia.edu/191398/Serious_Games_in_Cultural_Heritage Barton, M. 2008. Dungeons & Desktops. Wellesley: A K Peters, Ltd. Champion, E. 2006. Evaluating cultural learning in virtual environments. PhD, Melbourne: University of Melbourne. Champion, E. 2007. Social Presence and Cultural Presence in Oblivion. Available online at: https://www.academia.edu/1003317/Social_Presence_and_Cultural_Presence_in_Oblivion Champion, E. 2012. Teaching Mods With Class. In E. Champion, E. (ed.). Game Mods: Design, Theory, and Criticism. Pittsburgh: ETC Press. 113-146. Egenfeldt-Nielsen, S. 2007. Educational Potential of Computer Games. New York: Continuum. Gee, J. P. 2013. Good Video Games + Good Learning. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Hitchens, M., and Drachen, A. 2008. The Many Faces of Role-Playing Games. International Journal of RolePlaying, 1. 3-21. Immersive Heritage. 2012. July 24. Virtual Warrane II - Sacred Tracks of the Gadigal. Available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwM8t6vs-_c Johnson, W. L. 2010. Serious Use of a Serious Game for Language Learning. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. 20. 175-195.
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The Value of Mobile Phones in Heritage Interpretation Sanna Wicks
Abstract This paper refers to her MA thesis for the University of Birmingham, which assessed how effectively heritage sector mobile phone applications (apps) are currently delivering interpretation to visitors. The full thesis is available
www.academia.edu/13633679/The_Value_of_Mobile_Phone_Applications_in_Heritage_Interpretation. Keywords: mobile technology, digital technology, heritage interpretation, mobile applications
Introduction The heritage sector has woken up to the mobile boom and the possibilities that mobile phone applications (apps) offer for interpretation, and consequently there are many examples of mobile developments and apps in the sector. As new strategies are being formed to include mobile technology, however, there is a lack of information and evidence to base them upon. The Museum Association's Mobile Surveys (2012; 2013) have been carried out among museums and heritage sites and give a useful insight into current apps and future aspirations in the sector, but no indication of how well apps are received by visitors and what kind of a visitor experience they provide. This paper is based on my MA thesis research and will discuss the results. The research revealed that apps' strengths are in enabling users to find new information and offer an engaging and enjoyable experience. The challenges, on the other hand, are technological and user experience issues, as well as offering deeper, life-changing, learning experiences. A summary of the research methodology and conclusions are presented below. Methodology The 2013 research thesis was based on an online survey among heritage app users. The survey, which took the form of a questionnaire with both multiple choice questions and an open question, was completed by 55 people. The target group was not representative of the wider population, rather the sample comprised of people who had already used an app out of their own initiative. This sample represents people who showed an interest in both heritage sites and in mobile phone applications, who owned the technology and had the know-how required to be able to download and use a mobile phone application. It was thought that this group of people would provide information that is most useful to heritage professionals considering app development. The survey measured how effectively apps deliver a selection of interpretation priorities. The priorities were drawn together from the literature review, the findings of the Museum Association's Mobile Survey (2012) and communications with heritage
organisations and managers (Berry, pers. comm., 2013; Kay, pers. comm., 2013; McBride, pers. Comm., 2013). They included the ability of apps to:
Offer good learning experiences Engage visitors Offer enjoyment Offer more of the venue & objects on display Make visitors value the heritage site more.
The first question about learning used the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's (MLA) Generic Learning Outcomes (2008) with the results looking at each of the five GLOs separately, rather than as a whole. The survey section about learning was thus modelled on the questionnaire made available on the Inspiring Learning for All website (MLA 2008) with the word 'app' added to each statement:
1. Using the mobile app made my visit very interesting. 2. I discovered some new information because I used the app. 3. I found out how to do some new things using the app. 4. Using the app, I learnt some things that made me change my mind. 5. Using the app will encourage me to visit again.
The following statements about 'engagement', 'enjoyment', 'seeing more of the site' and 'valuing the site more', used the same pattern.
Strengths Finding new information scored highest of all the questions in the survey. 83% of respondents found some new information while using an app (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Graph showing the results to the question â€˜I discovered some new information because I used the appâ€™. (Source: Author).
In addition, 76% of people had an engaging experience using an app. This statement received the most 'strongly agree' responses with 24% people strongly agreeing and 52% agreeing with it. In third place was enjoyment; 70% of users enjoyed their app experience. People who selected 'strongly agree' to the question about enjoyment had used a mix of different types of apps for different types of heritage sites. Those who did not enjoy their experience had mainly struggled with technological and usability issues. Answers to the open questions indicated that interactive maps were a popular feature, many citing them as convenient. Apps which work as handbooks, such as the National Trust app (National Trust 2014) and the English Heritage Days Out app (English Heritage 2014) scored low on the questionnaire, as they do not offer interpretation as such, but had a lot of positive feedback in the open question. They were thought to be more convenient than websites and paper-based handbooks. Handbooks are a good example of a product that can work better as an app rather than a paper-based version. Most people today do not carry their handbooks with them but will take their phones wherever they go. As long as the phone has the required signal, the GPS feature will enable users to find heritage sites nearby, wherever they are. Visitor information should be up to date, as it is downloaded 'as you go' from the internet. Apps suitable for the whole family were also popular. They can offer a structured way for families to do an activity together. Tour and trail type apps scored highest for 'seeing behind the scenes' and more of the site
Weaknesses Technological issues or app functionality (not meeting users' expectations) scored the lowest. This is not a result of any specific question but a combined outcome of the survey. People who experienced either technological problems (download time, compatibility, battery life) or struggled to get AR (augmented reality) or QR codes (quick response codes that are accessed via a QR code reader app) to work, gave
lower scores across all questions and had the poorest experiences overall. AR failed to deliver for some people. This could be either due to technological problems or to user expectations not being met. The question with the lowest score was 'learning things that make us change our minds', as illustrated in Figure 2. 20% of the respondents indicated that they learned things that made them change their minds. But 35% of people did not learn anything that made them change their minds, and on top of that 45% neither agreed nor disagreed.
Figure 2: Graph showing the results to the question â€˜Using the app, I learnt some things that made me change my mindâ€™. (Source: Author).
The second lowest score went to 'learning new skillsâ€™. 35% indicated that they had learned new skills, but 40% of people did not learn any new skills using an app, and on top of that 26% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
These results seem to indicate that although apps are good at sharing information, this may be at a somewhat superficial level; just information rather than life-changing and life-impacting information. It is hard to determine whether apps are weak at delivering these outcomes or whether they are not currently developed to answer these 'deeper learning' outcomes, but simply to be fun and engaging. The challenge therefore, for the next generation of apps, could be to offer more variety and for some to offer a more meaningful learning experience. On the other hand, different types of interpretation and technology may be best suited for certain purposes. Other forms of interpretation may naturally offer a better solution for the Generic Learning Outcomes (MLA, 2008) that scored low in the survey: 'learning new skills' and 'learning things that make us change our minds', or in other words, life-changing learning. The Heritage Lottery Fund document 'Using Digital Technology in Heritage Projects: Good Practice Guidance' (2012: 17) makes the point regarding different technology solutions: 'Different types of technology, like mobile apps, will be more appropriate for activities on the go, while activities that require more in-depth exploration of content may be more suited to home computers.' Apps should be integrated as part of the bigger picture, embedded within the interpretation plan, offering one of the activities visitors can engage with, with other activities covering different interpretation priorities. The HLF document (2012: 19) encourages blended learning solutions:
'Audiences benefit the most from projects in which their needs have been put first ... Activities which offer a blended learning approach, for example, where computer or mobile-based activities are integrated with practical, hands-on or classroom based situations, tend to engage a wider audience.'
Mobile solutions are becoming a part of everyday life for the majority of people, helping them deal with everyday tasks such as finding information, communicating, shopping, setting an alarm and taking photographs to mention just a few. The popularity of smartphones and tablets means that a large proportion of visitors enter heritage sites with a powerful mobile device, ready in their pocket or bag. This means that apps can offer multimedia interpretation to visitors without additional investment in technology, although the cost of developing apps is still high.
A mobile-optimised website should be the first port of call for anyone starting with mobile development, as more and more of traffic to websites is coming via mobiles (Scott 2014). At times, web apps can work as well as mobile phone apps, and should be considered as an alternative solution. Beyond that QR codes are the cheapest way to implement a mobile activity but are limited in what they can offer. Apps themselves are still expensive to develop, but a successful app can be worth every penny (Lee 2012). Apps are not likely to create a considerable income revenue currently. Whilst they can be charged for, in the heritage sector the majority of apps are free. From the case studies this research looked at, it would seem that monetization of heritage apps does not currently provide a financial return. This trend may, however, change in the future.
Augmented reality (AR) apps have perhaps the most potential to offer something that other technology cannot. According to the Museum Association's Mobile Survey in 2013, only 10% of museums are currently offering AR, but this is the one area that is particularly growing. 32% of respondents planned to provide a mobile AR feature in the next 12 months (Atkinson 2013). Apps offering AR and other innovative technologies get most media coverage and most downloads, but often the worst user experience. AR is still expensive to develop, and when the technology does not work, visitors can be left frustrated. User expectations are also high and not always met with the reality of current technology. Innovative apps have been good for publicity (Lee 2012), but not always great for delivering content to the majority of people.
Other features worth utilising in apps are the ones that give mobile phones an advantage over other types of interpretation tools. One of these is the GPS (global positioning system) feature, which can, for example, locate users and points of interest on a map or show visitors a route. The GPS feature is utilised in apps which help users locate a heritage site near them, such as the National Trust app, English Heritage Days Out and the Churches Conservation Trust's Visit Churches app (National Trust, 2014; English Heritage, 2014; Serious Games International, 2012), or apps that locate a points of interest near the user, such as the Museum of London's Streetmuseum app (Thumbspark Ltd, 2014). However, the GPS feature is also good for showing the user's location on a map, and showing them the way to the next point of interest. Another way of using GPS is to trigger content at specific points of interest, as done by the Island of Wight Dinosaur Island app (Visit Island of Wight, 2014). The app is 'â€Ś available to download from anywhere in the world, but will only be triggered into life at six coastal locations on the Isle of Wight' (Visit Isle of Wight, date unknown). The phone's camera is one of the most popular features. Apps, such as the Isle of Wight's Dinosaur Island, let people take pictures of themselves with augmented reality added to the
There are some considerations, based on the research that those responsible for running heritage sites ought to hold at the forefront when planning to develop an app:
1. Consider if a mobile optimised website or web app would work equally well for your situation and if its benefits would outweigh the benefits of a mobile phone app.
2. Choose a specific purpose for the app and integrate it with the wider interpretation offer for the site, both on-location and online. Apps, mobile technology and other digital resources should not be seen as something separate but included in learning and engagement strategies: neither retrofitting new technology into old strategies, nor rewriting a new strategy based only on mobile technologies, but they should be thought of as part of the whole.
3. Create something that works best as an app and cannot, or cannot easily, be achieved by other methods of interpretation, through making use of a smartphone and tablet's unique functionalities.
4. Augmented reality is currently a very popular feature in heritage applications, but not necessarily the best functionality for every app. It could be advisable to include a solid user experience that is not as reliable on AR working, even in an AR app, so as not to disappoint those who struggle to get it to work, or are disappointed by the results.
Conclusions Marshall McLuhan wrote that the medium becomes an extension of our bodies (1964) and never has this been so true as today with the emergence of mobile phones, smartphones and tablets. They affect the way we live our daily lives, their shape and size may vary, the way we carry them with us may change, but mobile technology, connected to the worldwide web, is the new way of life. The heritage sector cannot afford to ignore it. It is time for each heritage and cultural site to think through their mobile offer. It may be that a mobile-optimised website is enough, perhaps a URL or a QR code displayed in a suitable position,
As heritage site audiences change, so too must the ways in which organisations interpret and present their sites, in order to offer a valuable experience for each and every visitor. The 'one size fits all' approach is not acceptable for the 21st-century visitor, but a 'palette' of interpretation is required 'â€Ś to meet the needs of different audiences' (Black 2005: 5). A balance is needed between new ways of communicating with visitors, which include mobile phone developments, and traditional ways, in order to offer as many as possible with a meaningful visitor experience, and help all audiences to engage with collections. It may well be that mobile-enabled websites and web apps will be sufficient for heritage sites if the technology advances and they can offer more functionalities than they do presently. Apps, however, do currently provide an exciting opportunity for visitor engagement, and as such cannot be ignored by heritage organisations.
Sanna Wicks University of Birmingham firstname.lastname@example.org Sanna Wicks is Digital Media Producer, who enjoys working in the heritage sector.
Bibliography Atkinson, R. 2013. Case Study: augmented reality. Museum Practice [online], Tuesday 15th October. Available from: www.museumsassociation.org/museum-practice/mobile-in-museums-2013/15102013mobile-survey-2013-results?csort=like [Accessed 28 January 2014] Berry, T. (Tony.Berry@nationaltrust.org.uk), 29 November 2013. Re: research questions. Email to S. Wicks (SPW291@bham.ac.uk) Black, G. 2005. The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement. London: Routledge Duggan, M. and Rainie, L. 2012. Cell Phone Activities 2012 [online]. Available from: www.pewinternet.org/2012/11/25/cell-phone-activities-2012 [Accessed 28 November 2014] English Heritage.2014. English Heritage Days Out (v. 2.0.3) [Mobile application]. Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/english-heritage-days-out/id426118255?mt=8 [Accessed 4 February 2015] Heritage Lottery Fund. 2012. Using Digital Technology in Heritage Projects: Good Practice Guidance [online]. Available from: www.hlf.org.uk/HowToApply/goodpractice/Documents/Using_Digital_Technology_Good_Practice.pdf [Accessed 24 June 2014] Kay, S., (email@example.com), 20 March 2013. Re: help with research. Email to S.Wicks (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lee, V.2012. You are here [online]. Available from: http://culturehive.co.uk/resources/museum-oflondon-takes-to-the-streets-of-london-with-its-iphone-app-streetmuseum [Accessed 13 January 2014] McBride, J. (McBrideJ@walsall.gov.uk), 9 April 2013. Re: help with research. Email to S. Wicks (email@example.com) McLuhan, M.1964. Understanding Media. 2nd ed. London: Routledge Museum Association. 2012. Mobile Survey 2012 [online]. London: Museum Association. Available from: www.museumsassociation.org/download?id=731198 [Accessed 6 March 2013] Museum Association. 2013. Mobile Survey 2013 [online]. London: Museum Association. Available from: www.museumsassociation.org/download?id=1025016 [Accessed 5 December 2014] Museums, Libraries and Archives Council .2008. Generic Learning Outcomes [online]. Available from: www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk/toolstemplates/genericlearning/ [Accessed 10 May 2013] National Trust .2014. National Trust (v. 1.9.4) [Mobile application]. Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/national-trust/id360792792?mt=8 [Accessed 4 February 2015]
Scott, H. 2014. Special Places in the Digital World [online]. Available from: www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk/articles/special-places-in-the-digital-world [Accessed 20 November 2014] Serious Games International .2012. Visit Churches (v.1.1) [Mobile application]. Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/visit-churches/id562902014?mt=8 [Accessed 5 February 2015] Thumbspark Limited .2014. Museum of London: Streetmuseum (v.2.03) [Mobile application]. Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/museum-london-streetmuseum/id369684330?mt=8 [Accessed 5 February 2015] Visit Island of Wight .2014. Dinosaur Island â€“ Isle of Wight (v.1.17) [Mobile application]. Available from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dinosaur-island-isle-of-wight/id656752695 [Accessed 5 February 2015] Visit Isle of Wight (date unknown) Come Walking with Dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight [online]. Available from: www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island [Accessed 28 November 2014]
AN ASSESMENT OF THE DIGITAL PRESERVATION OF MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS The Experience of Topkapı Palace & İstanbul Archaeology Museums Libraries Nurgül Akcebe and Nil Baydar
Abstract: The Digitisation of historical manuscripts is the most critical part of the library digitisation programme, given that most of them are rare, valuable, and brittle. In this article, an ongoing digitisation project of the manuscripts in the important libraries of Turkey; Topkapı Palace Manuscript Library and İstanbul Archaeological Museums Library will be presented. Keywords: Manuscripts Institution of Turkey, digitisation, manuscript, preservation, handling, Topkapı Palace Library, İstanbul Archaeological Museum Library, Şifahane Introduction: Access to knowledge is a critical issue for the people of the 21st century. It is not only about the daily necessities, but we also want to know and understand our history of culture, science, literature, art, etc. as human beings. Libraries are the most important sources to satisfy this curiosity. Classical library systems are not adequate for today’s needs. More people want to access books, magazines, maps, and other library objects. On the other hand, we know that all the library materials are living organisms and like other living beings, they have a life span. If preventive conservation is neglected, the life span of these objects will be significantly reduced. When the manuscripts are handled, especially unique ones, the issue becomes more complicated, as they are rare, valuable, and brittle. More people want to access these valuable manuscripts, but librarians have to ensure they follow universal preventative conservation principles. Most of the objects in the manuscript libraries are given to readers only with special permissions. Readers or researchers require an appointment from libraries to examine the manuscripts, and they have to do their research in the time that is determined by library authorities. This is not a sustainable system for manuscript libraries, and it is not sufficient for researchers. Consequently, digital technology can provide opportunities to address these problems Digitisation of Library Materials The digitisation of library materials is a relatively new phenomenon for librarians and institutions and, therefore, there are some challenges that are not fully understood. The lifespan of the digital format is not fully understood; how it will survive within 10, 20 or 50 years periods. Despite this, however, digitisation is the best way to provide maximum access to books with minimum impact on them. Project In 2014, a cooperation protocol was signed between the two governmental organization affiliated with the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Manuscripts Institution of Turkey and the General Directorate for Cultural Assets and Museums for a digitisation project of the manuscripts at the libraries of Topkapı Palace Museum, İstanbul Archaeology Museums, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Haghia Sophia Museum, and Museum of the Tombs.
The Department of Manuscript Conservation and Archive (Kitap Şifahanesi), one of the departments of the Manuscripts Institution of Turkey, is leading the project. All researching, planning, and training steps have been undertaken by Şifahane (an abbreviation of Kitap Şifahanesi ve Arşiv Dairesi Başkanlığı (Department of Manuscripts Conservation and Archive) directly translated ‘’ Kitap Şifahanesi’’ is ‘’book hospital’’). Importance of the Project
Topkapı Palace Museum Library Collection
Topkapı Palace (Figure 1), which was turned into a museum in 1924, had been used as the primary royal residence for 400 years (1465-1856) during the Ottoman Empire.
Figure 1: Agalar Mosque -Topkapı Palace. The mosque has held the Manuscript Library since 1928. (Photographed by G. Tankuş)
The most valuable manuscripts were collected in Palace for centuries; many were either gifts to or bought by the Sultans. The valuable manuscripts had been brought to the Palace and the important artists, writers, scientists, poets, and scholars of that period had been made residents of the Palace. The Palace had a Naqqash-hane (palace painters’ working area) and some of the manuscripts, illustrations and miniatures were created here. The Agalar Mosque in the third courtyard of the Palace became a library in 1928, and all the collections that had been stored in various parts of the palace were gathered in this new library area. There are 13 collections that have an internal classification; all the books are classified into their subject and content as in the Ottoman Librarian system. Topkapı Palace Museum Library (New Library) has 21,438 items; 18,622 of them are manuscripts and 600 of them have miniature illustrations. The earliest ones, which are dated to the 8th-9th century, are the Mushaf (Qur’an pages) parchments that have been written in the Kufic style. Most of the manuscripts in the Palace Library are unique; not only in terms of the historical and contextual importance but also in terms of the Islamic Book Arts.
İstanbul Archaeology Museums Library Collection
The library of İstanbul Archaeological Museums (Figure 2) has up to 60 000 books and 1958 of them are historical manuscripts. Most of the manuscripts are written in Ottoman Turkish while the others are in Arabic and Persian. The library collection has been enriched by the donations of various important scholars and their families, and institutions, libraries, and governmental organizations from all over the world. Archaeological books, journals, and magazines have been collected since the library’s foundation. The Osman Hamdi Bey Collection is a major part of the library. Osman Hamdi Bey, who lived at the end of the imperial age (1842-1910), is one of the famous painters, archaeologists, and art experts of his age, and founder of the İstanbul Archaeology Museum.
Figure 2: İstanbul Archeology Museum Library (Photographed by L. Ağluç)
Other Museum Libraries
Also intended to be included in the project are the collections of the libraries of the Museum of Turkish and Islamıc Art, Haghia Sophia Museum, and Museum of the Tombs. The project began in the Topkapı Palace Library Museum on the 2nd March 2015 and in the İstanbul Archaeology Museums Library on the 13th April 2015, where there are two line scanners for each library and 5 digitization operators. Planning The planning stage is essential for digitisation projects. There are some important points that were considered;
Evaluation of the suitability of manuscripts for digitization
Every piece of the collection is investigated by the conservation specialists in terms of physical, chemical and biological degradations. If the deteriorations are too severe, these books are not digitized until the application of active conservation treatments. The books that cannot be handled because of the acidity, iron-gall ink corrosion, insect damages, and fragile book-bindings are noted, and these books are digitized after restoration. At this stage, the collaboration with the library authorities and the digitization department is very important. In this project, the assessment of the condition of the manuscripts is under the responsibility of the individual libraries, as they have the necessary knowledge about the specific condition of the books under their care.
Choosing the convenient digitization instrument High-quality digitisation equipment (scanners) are essential, ideally those which have up to 600 ppi resolution. Considering the specific needs of the collection is vital at this stage. For instance, 300-400 ppi resolution is sufficient for the printed rare books and manuscripts. The digitisation of manuscripts that have miniatures, illuminations, and other book arts in 400-600 ppi provides a better result. Moreover, choosing the appropriate scanner size is important. For example, if a map collection is digitized, A1 type scanners should be chosen. However, for ordinary sized books, A2 or A3 type scanners are sufficient.
Training the Staff It is important to make staff aware of the value of manuscripts and rare books and explain why digitization is important for preserving society’s knowledge. The training undertaken included explanations of the technical details of the scanners, preventative conservation and handling issues.
Data collection Hard-disks with 2TB storage capacity were temporarily provided for storing images. A database, which included entries such as the number of digitized books and number of images, has been prepared for recording daily working outputs.
Method In this project, the text blocks of the manuscripts are digitized at 400 ppi resolution except the ones which include miniatures, illuminations, and special book arts which are digitized in 600 ppi, as are bookbindings, covers, maps, and painted pages. For this project A2 type line scanners which have a maximum resolution of 600 ppi, color scanning at a speed of 3.5 seconds / 300 ppi, 4.0 seconds / 400 ppi, and 6.0 seconds / 600 ppi are used. The images are recorded and stored in TIFF, JPEG, and PDF formats. PDF is optional for requests of museum library authorities. Images are shared with readers in JPEG formats. All the images are stored as two copies. One of these copies is in TIFF format, another is JPEG, at the relevant libraries and Şifahane. This means, for one image; two formats are provided, and all formats have two copies. Best practice is vital, and there are strict guidelines on the conservation and handling of the manuscripts adhered to during the project:
Hands are washed and dried before starting work. Using gloves is not recommended because the tissue of gloves is not smooth like hand tissue and causes damage to the edge of the pages. However, if there is suspicion about microorganisms or molds infestation on the pages, cotton gloves are used to avoid possible infections. The book is adjusted and placed into cradles in an appropriate way (Figure 3). The valuable books, in particular, are not opened at a 180ᵒ angle. Book supports are used and the pages are scanned one by one. The room in which the scanners operate is protected from day-light with dark blinds. This is important both to avoid the reflection onto pages and to adjust the white-beam configuration of scanners. Black cardboard is placed under the scanned book to prevent reflections. Snake weights are used to hold the book with minimal stress.
Figure 3: Scanning of a rare manuscript (Photographed by Leyla Ağluç)
Results and Discussions In a 6 month period, about 600 manuscripts were digitized, controlled, copied and stored in the Topkapı Palace Library, whilst, about 400 manuscripts were digitized, controlled, copied and stored in the Archaeology Museum Library over a 4.5 months period. The Archaeology Library part of the project was started one month later than the Palace Library as a result of the creation of space for the scanners. As illustrated in Graph 1, the rate of digitisation increased with time. The main reason for this is the increasing experience of staff in the process of the digitization.
700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
15/04/ 30/04/ 15/05/ 31/05/ 15/06/ 30/06/ 15/07/ 31/07/ 15/08/ 31/08/ 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 2015 İstanbul Archeology Museum Library 14 36 61 93 135 190 257 306 334 396 Topkapı Palace Library
Graph 1: number of the digitized books against time
Figure 4: a photograph of the digitization work in the Archaeology Museum Library (Photographed by L. Ağluç)
Two digitization operators have been working in each library, with coordinator has been assessing each image from the four line scanners. The images are stored on external 2 TB hard disks in the first stage. One copy of the disk is stored on Şifahane servers for sharing with the Süleymaniye Library Reading Rooms. Another copy is been given to the library. All stages of the project are followed by an evaluation from one of the manuscript specialists of Şifahane. Given the multiple partners involved, good communication between the organizations is very important for collaboration, processing and evaluation of the project. Conclusion Digitisation of library documents is an important issue for libraries. In Turkey, the history of reformatting the library materials began with microfilm and photography. With modern improvements to imaging technology and the increasing the importance of digital accessibility, digitisation with line scanners has become an important part of reformatting. Turkish libraries have many important manuscript collections, and there are many scholars and researchers who want to access digital copies of these documents instead of working with the real pages in library reading rooms. The digitisation of manuscripts is crucial for providing access to the collections. This project has contributed to the preservation by decreasing the direct use of those valuable manuscripts. This is the start of a new chapter for Turkey’s museums and libraries and it will be a long process given that the digitisation of manuscripts is a delicate job, and there are thousands of manuscripts waiting to be digitized. Following evaluation after the first five months, the project is likely to last at least 15 years. We plan to decrease this by increasing the number of line scanners and operators. Furthermore, it aims to microfilm all the images that are digitized in the future. In this article, we have shared our experience of the preparation and ongoing delivery stage and the first outcomes of this project. It is hoped that the article and our experience was informative and instructive for the professionals working on librarianship, museology, and showcases the importance of the digitisation of historical documents, rare books, and manuscripts for user access and institutional strategies. Acknowledgement I would like to thank the governmental organizations and authorities who were pioneers of this project and all the staff who have been working on it. Nurgül Akcebe graduated from the Chemistry Department of the Middle East Technical University and holds an M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry from the İstanbul Technical University. She is working in the Department of Manuscript Conservation and Archives, as Assistant Manuscript Specialist. Nil Baydar holds BA degrees from the Art History and Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Assets departments of İstanbul University. She worked in the Gelsenkirchen Restoration Institute on paper and leather conservation and restoration. She is the Deputy Head of Department of Manuscript Conservation and Archives.
Bibliography Alpay, A. 2007. Bir Osmanlı Mirası: Müze-i Hümayun Osmanlıca Arkeolojik Belgeler Arşivi (istanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri ve Kütüphanesi)-İstanbul Kütüphaneleri Üzerine Söyleşiler. Bilim ve Sanat Vakfı Türkiye Araştırmaları Merkezi Notlar, 6, 49-56. Atbaş, Z. 2012. Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi. Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi, 41, 263-64. IFLA. 2002. Guidelines for Digitization Projects for Collections and Holdings in the Public Domain, Particularly Those Held by Libraries, and Archives [online]. Available at: http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/preservation-and-conservation/publications/digitization-projectsguidelines.pdf İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 2010. Topkapı Palace Museum Library [online]. Available at: http://www.ibb.gov.tr/sites/ks/en-US/1-Places-To-Go/libraries/Pages/topkapi-palace-museumlibrary.aspx İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 2010. The Museum Of Turkish and Islamic Works And Arts [online]. Available at: http://www.ibb.gov.tr/sites/ks/en-US/1-Places-To-Go/museum/Pages/museum-turkishislamic-works-arts.aspx Koç, H. 1991. Arkeoloji Kütüphanesi. Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi, 3,381. Kültür Varlıkları ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü (The General Directorate for Cultural Assets and Museum). 2013. Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi [online]. Available at: http://www.kulturvarliklari.gov.tr/TR,55560/topkapi-sarayi-muzesi-yazma-eser-kutuphanesi.html
3D #DigitalInvasions: a crowdsourcing project for mobile user generated content Elisa Bonacini, Laura Inzerillo, Marianna Marcucci, Cettina Santagati, Fabrizio Todisco Abstract This paper introduces the #InvasioniDigitali project which is an online crowdsourcing initiative started in Italy in 2013 with the aim to promote the value of and engagement with local heritage. The paper focuses on two case studies of pilot ‘invasions’ using 3D data capture by students at museums and heritage sites in Sicily.
Keywords: Crowdsourcing, 3D, user generated content, digital technology, cultural heritage
Introduction #InvasioniDigitali: birth and results of a bottom-up digital project Inspired by the increasingly widespread use of smartphones, tablets and social networks, #InvasioniDigitali (#DigitalInvasions) is an Italian bottom up project started in 2013 (Bonacini, 2014; Bonacini, Marcucci and Todisco, 2014). The #InvasioniDigitali initiative was a reaction to the cancellation, for economic reasons, of the “Culture Week” event, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Culture since 1998. Culture week aimed to increase visits to museums through free entry. The first Invasion (April 20-28 2013), Was a bottom-up initiative across Italy through networks of people and partners leading to 330 “digital planned invasions” were organized (fig. 1). Each ‘invasion’ was a minisociodigital event in itself with its own poster, Facebook event and hashtag. Groups of people organized independent events all around the country during the given time frame. Social and digital communication were the key to the invasions: ‘invaders’ were bloggers, amateur archaeologists artists, photographers, Instagrammers, communication experts, but also common people with a wide range of backgrounds, all with the same desire to promote their cultural heritage through social media. By joining the Manifesto (www.invasionidigitali.it), people decided to support Italy’s cultural institutions by “invading” them with cameras, smartphones and tablets and share their cultural experiences through the web and social media. During the second Invasion (April 24 - May 4, 2014), 407 invasions were organized in other European countries and overseas. The most recent invasion (April 24 - May 3, 2015) had 474 invasions, some organized in other European countries (fig. 2). To date, over 1,200 invasions has been organized and about 40,000 people were involved across the
countries; nearly 39,000 pictures on Instagram and 85,000 tweets with the tag #invasionidigitali and thousands others with the hashtags of every invasion.
Fig. 1: #InvasioniDigitali 2013 edition
Fig. 2: #InvasioniDigitali 2015 edition in Italy and Europe #InvasioniDigitali is a project unique in its kind for its scale, interactivity, novelty and effect on cultural digital communication: becoming both a sort of “national-territorial lab” for new social and digital communication products and models, and a tool to enhance visitor’s experience and museum/cultural
site performance, it has been recognized as best practice (Symbola and Unioncamere 2013: 201), in that it fits the participatory museum model (Simon 2010). #InvasioniDigitali has become a popular and strong example of usersâ€™ involvement and proactive participation in co-creation, sharing and dissemination of cultural values and contents, creating new forms of conversation about arts and culture and helping to transform Italian cultural heritage into something open, welcoming and innovative. Thanks to #InvasioniDigitali, hundreds of Italian museums and cultural institutions have overcome their reluctance to allow visitors freedom to take photographs and use social media. It has also forced a profound change: after the second Invasion, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism introduced a law (L.106, 29th July 2014, called Culture Decree) to regulate Italian cultural heritage items reproduction rights. Taking pictures and sharing them on the web - considered now by the Ministry both as a private and non-profit use of cultural heritage digital reproduction and as a way of dissemination of knowledge - has been partially liberalized. Since the first Invasion, many cultural institutions have become organizers of digital invasions; for example, during the last Invasion, the Superintendence that locally manages and protects the cultural heritage of Agrigento organized 11 invasions in archaeological and cultural sites normally closed to the public (fig. 3).
Fig. 3: The advertising flyer for local invasions organized by Agrigento Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. #InvasioniDigitali is a great example of digital cultural inclusion: leading to increase pride, awareness, interest and curiosity about cultural sites, and contributing to create new forms of living and promoting heritage through participatory co-creation of cultural values. Jenkinsâ€™ (2009: xi) definition of participatory culture corresponds with the InvasioniDigitali vision of the future of participatory culture within cultural heritage.
3D #DigitalInvasions: engaging young generations in the co-creation of cultural heritage 3D #DigitalInvasions was a pilot experiment that took place in Sicily. Since the first edition, #InvasioniDigitali has been endorsed by the Sicilian Department of Cultural Heritage and Identity, ensuring access to cultural sites and liberalizing cultural heritage photographic documentation (well in advance of the Culture Decree). 126 invasions were planned in Sicily: 33 in 2013, 45 in 2014, 48 in 2015. #InvasioniDigitali in Sicily has become a major event for cultural institutions: with the most important regional museums and archaeological parks in Sicily joining the project. For the third Invasion, we proposed an innovative educational experiment by involving engineering students from Palermo and Catania Universities during planned invasions in the “Antonino Salinas” Archaeological Museum (Palermo) and the Archaeological and Naturalistic Park of Santa Venera al Pozzo in Acicatena (near Catania). Two introductory workshops took place before each invasion, to ensure students understood the project’s significance and social impact. A huge number of students captured 3D models of high-cultural value archaeological objects. We wanted to analyze the response in terms of creativity, sense of identity and affiliation to the 3D cultural heritage they wanted to achieve. The creation of virtual replicas has become an important emerging area within cultural heritage: each 3D model has become a bridge between the original artwork and its knowledge. Students created 3D digital replicas of several archaeological works by using image-based techniques, allowing them to obtain 3D textured models of an object sourced from an appropriate photo dataset taken from cameras, smartphones and tablets (Inzerillo and Santagati, 2013; Santagati, Inzerillo and Di Paola, 2013; Galizia, Inzerillo and Santagati 2015). In order to analyze the impact of these experiences, students filled in a final questionnaire. The questionnaire aimed to understand their relationship with cultural heritage and digital reproduction of artwork (whether or not they had the habit of going to museums and taking photos); to understand perceptions of #InvasioniDigitali project; to understand their relationship and degree of involvement with 3D models of artworks; to understand whether or not they were aware of the utility of a 3D model in encouraging users to physically go to a museum; to understand their relationship with art images and social media and if they considered social media useful for cultural heritage knowledge and enhancement. This experimental approach has been designed to create new experiences for cultural visits allowing visitors to be personally involved in a specific process to create user generated content and increasing an artwork’s cultural value in its own context. These 3D models have been given to the involved public administrations so that, according to the open access paradigm, they will share them on websites and through social media. The 3D#DigitalInvasions will be illustrated through two examples.
3D #DigitalInvasions at the “Antonino Salinas” Archaeological museum in Palermo The first location was the “Antonino Salinas” Archaeological museum in Palermo, one of the most important archaeological museums and the oldest public museum in Sicily. The invasion focused on the exhibition “Like - Restoration and shots. Salinas’ unreleased face” (fig. 4), a selection of newly restored archaeological objects from the museum’s collections.
Fig 4: event leaflet and engineering class students at the museum. About forty students from the Environmental Engineering School, University of Palermo, as part of the Geometrical Drawing Course, enthusiastically participated, to create the data set and carry out the 3D models of the artworks inside the Salinas Museum. The entire collection of the Salinas museum consists of archaeological artworks no more than one metre high with the exception of a statue of Zeus from Solunto, which is more than 2 metres high. The data was created from both reflex and cell cameras over a two hour period. The 3D models obtained were satisfying, and the resolution was acceptable. In the figures below (figures 5-6), you can observe the 3D models created. Variations in the wireframe and 3D model scans can be observed depending on which camera was used.
Fig 5: 3D models obtained by data set made with reflex camera.
Fig. 6: 3D models obtained by data set made with cell camera.
The results of the questionnaire show that the students had a significant interest in the reconstruction of the artwork and all of them thought that making the 3D models freely available is fundamental to stimulate people to visit the museum. Many of the students affirm that the 3D model will never substitute the reality, nevertheless they recognize that 3D models are very useful to promote cultural heritage on the web and to investigate the artwork closer than in the museum.
3D #DigitalInvasions at Santa Venera al Pozzo park in Acicatena. The second location was the 9 hectares state-owned archaeological and nature park of Santa Venera al Pozzo (fig.7) in Acicatena. This area was a Greek and Roman rural cult-centre, on which the remains of a Roman bath overlies a Greek sacred area, and a factory with kilns that produced brick, tiles and pottery (Amari, 2007, 2008). The area was used well into the late 19th century, is still a wonderful natural reserve with water springs, and plants, trees and flowers of Mediterranean scrub. A modern church, which is in use, is located a few metres east of the well where St. Venera was martyred.
Fig.7: the event leaflet and engineering class students at the end of the 3D digital invasion. About thirty students from the Building Engineering-Architecture degree course, University of Catania, were involved. The event was planned among the activities of the Digital Drawing course as a practice exercise on Structure from Motion Techniques for 3D documentation of cultural heritage. After a brief presentation of the archaeological area by the scholars and the architects that are currently work on this site, the students started to acquire their photo datasets of the Antiquarium artefacts and the monuments (thermal baths, cisterns, Santa Veneraâ€™s church). Large scale buildings (fig. 8) were recorded with the difficulty given that many were obscured by a rich vegetation.
Fig. 8: view of the two buildings in the archaeological area. The students carefully worked for about three hours in order to obtain at least one small object and one monument dataset. They used reflex, bridge and compact cameras with various images resolutions. Several problems linked to the specific features of the objects (too small, too big) arose during the acquisition. However, the 3D models obtained were of high quality except for the parts that were impossible to shoot from the ground. In the figures below you can observe the buildings (fig. 9) and the artefact 3D models (fig. 10).
Fig. 9: 3D models of the thermal baths exterior and the second cistern both in textured and in wireframe mode.
Fig. 10: 3D models of the artefacts both in textured and in wireframe mode. Most of the students had an immersive and holistic experience in shooting and creating a 3D model of the chosen artwork, many of them critically approached the possibility given by 3D technologies for visits to the cultural site. For all of them this experience was particularly engaging and productive because for the first time in their lives they created cultural content during the visit to a museum. Conclusions. With this bottom-up and didactic experiment of 3D acquisition, the #DigitalInvasions project in Sicily opens a new phase of the whole project which, according to the results produced, will be repeated on a larger scale. In the light of the achieved results, we can confirm recent academic conclusions: “3D digital replicas of artifacts as more effective means to digitally preserve tangible cultural heritage, since 3D multivisualization augments the perception of physical characteristics of the artifacts allowing a more embodied experience with these objects. Our experiments also suggest that multi-visualization (i.e., point cloud, mesh, and color information) helps the viewers to overcome their personal conceptualization of specific objects” (Galeazzi et al., 2015). This bottom up experiment is the first step to demonstrate how a new technology is easy to access and to use, not only for professionals; to demonstrate how experiencing a cultural site is no longer passive but active, how knowledge is not only transmitted but also built, how the visitor is involved and able to produce their forms of art. That is why the regulations concerning the access and the reuse of the Cultural Heritage’s data should be simplified in order to encourage digitization and participation of people to the valorization of a nation’s cultural heritage.
How to get involved in #InvasioniDigitali Becoming a Digital Invader is easy, and fun. Go to invasionidigitali.it and subscribe to have access to your personal page on the site, here you can “build” the page of your invasion. We communicate the dates of the Invasioni Digitali event months before the beginning, so you have time to organize yours. When you are ready; spot a museum, an art venue, an archaeological site, a historic center, a square or any other place that you love and that you think has it has got a story to tell. Plan your invasion and be creative. Promote the invasion among friends: bloggers, people active on social media but also enthusiasts of art, travel and culture. Try to involve not only local people but also those who do not know you directly, social media is perfect for that. Spread the initiative through blogs, social media, press releases, but also contacting radio journalists and TV. As long as an invasion is planned we start promoting it through all our online and offline channels. Now go and invade! During the invasion, you have the chance to tell your personal story, or feeling, about that place, in your unique way. Always use the tag #digitalinvasions, or #InvasioniDigitali for content in Italian, together with the specific hashtag of your invasion so as to enable those who follow you online not to miss a tweet/post/pin. As we say in our Manifesto, we believe that the application of the new forms of communication and shared multimedia to the cultural heritage is a fundamental opportunity to boost the transformation of the cultural institutions into open platforms for the circulation, exchange and production of value, capable of ensuring an active communication with the public, and the fruition of cultural heritage free of geographic boundaries wherein the sharing and the model of open access will be the best formulas. The Authors Elisa Bonacini, Sicilian Coordinator for Digital Invasions’ project; Department of Humanities, University of Catania; Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology of Palermo (IEMEST). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Laura Inzerillo, Department of Architecture, University of Palermo; Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology of Palermo (IEMEST). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Marianna Marcucci, Vice-President of Digital Invasions Association. E-mail: email@example.com Cettina Santagati, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania; EuroMediterranean Institute of Science and Technology of Palermo (IEMEST). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fabrizio Todisco, Designer of Digital Invasions’ project and President of Digital Invasions Association. Email: email@example.com.
All the images are author’s own.
References Amari, S. 2007. A late Roman pottery and brick factory in Sicily (Santa Venera al Pozzo). In S.Y. Waksman (ed.). Archaeometric and Archaeological Approaches to Ceramics, EMAC ’05, 8th European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics, Lyon 2005. Oxford: BAR 1691. 121-128. Amari, S. 2008. A Late Roman Amphorae Production in Eastern Sicily. In O. Menozzi, M.L. Di Marzio & D. Fossataro (eds). SOMA 2005, Proceedings of the IX Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology, Chieti (Italy), 24-26 February 2005. Oxford: BAR 1739. 473-479. Bonacini, E. 2014. Dal Web alla App. Fruizione e valorizzazione digitale attraverso le nuove tecnologie e i social media. Catania: Maimone. Bonacini, E., Marcucci, M. and Todisco, F. 2014. #DIGITALINVASIONS. A bottom-up crowd example of cultural value co-creation. In S. Orlandi, R. Santucci, V. Casarosa & P.M. Liuzzo (eds). Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital CH, Proceedings of the First EAGLE International Conference 2014, September 29-30-October 1 2014, Paris. Sapienza Università Editrice: Roma. 265-284. Jenkins, H. 2009. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Media Education for the 21st Century. Cambridge-London: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Galeazzi F., Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco P., Matthews J.L. 2015. Comparing 2D pictures with 3D replicas for the digital preservation and analysis of tangible heritage. Museum Management and Curatorship. Galizia M., Inzerillo L., Santagati C. 2015. Heritage and technology: novel approaches to 3D documentation and communication of architectural heritage. In C. Gambardella C. (ed). HERITAGE and TECHNOLOGY Mind Knowledge Experience Le vie dei Mercanti XIII Forum Internazionale di Studi. Napoli: La Scuola di Pitagora. 686-695. Inzerillo L., Santagati C. 2013. Il progetto del rilievo nell’utilizzo di tecniche di modellazione dense stereo matching. Disegnare Idee Immagini. 47. 82-91. Santagati C., Inzerillo L., Di Paola F. 2013. Image-based modeling techniques for architectural heritage 3d digitalization: limits and potentialities. International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial and Information Sciences, XL-5/W2. 550-560. Symbola and Unioncamere. 2013. Io sono cultura. L’Italia della qualità e della bellezza sfida la crisi. Roma.
Performing the Museum in an Age of Digital Reproduction Susan Hazan
Abstract This paper introduces the concept of the Musesphere through a discussion about the role of digital exhibitions by museums. The paper considers digital exhibitions within the concept of Walter Benjaminâ€™s theory of mechanical reproduction and aura, as well that of museological narratives and authority.
Keywords: Musesphere, digital exhibitions, digital reproduction, museums, mechanical reproduction
Introduction This paper draws on the traditional museum visit to consider whether, in an age of digital reproduction, (where art and artefacts are reproduced for the screen), end-users view digital exhibitions, and online collections, are in any way comparable to how they encounter them during a visit to a physical museum. Miniature objects, and re-scaled exhibitions moving through the web; over apps or smartphones, and social media all act to represent the museum – albeit reduced to a diminutive performance over a tiny screen. End-users consume this content and in doing so, intuitively acknowledge their provenance as museological narratives; assured that their physical presence is waiting for them somewhere in a museum – in a real location. In this way, I would argue those very same notions of trust in the authenticity of the physical object are transposed onto the digital object that, in fact, never really leave the boundary of the Museum but act in tandem with their mother institution in a space that I have called the Musesphere. The term ‘Musesphere’ signifies not only the Greek term that described a space dedicated to the Muses – an intellectual space where one could escape from every day matters to an alternate ethereal realm – but also reflects the spherical nature of contemporary museological activity. The term Musesphere therefore, can be applied to describe the tangible and intangible content made available to visitors through digital networks; now harnessed to describe both the physical and digital footprint of the museum. This paper will revisit notions of the museum in the Musesphere that shunts endlessly-cloned digital objects from gallery to screen, and, in doing so, inevitably forfeits all claims to originality and singularity; assets greatly valued in the physical object in the museum, but irrelevant in the digital. Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay describing the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction (1937) clearly resonates with their digital descendants. Where Benjamin was referring to print, film and photography, today’s digital objects are just as easily reproducible as their mechanical predecessors were – and far easier to clone and disseminate. As Benjamin was responding to the role of art in society and the idea of the modification of art through mechanical reproduction, his essay has ramifications not only for artists, but also for curators as well as today’s museum public. According to Benjamin: In principle, the work of art has always been reproducible. Objects made by humans could always be copied by humans. Replicas were made by pupils in practicing for their craft, by masters in disseminating their works, and, finally, by third parties in pursuit of profit. But the technological reproduction of artworks is something new ( Benjamin 1937, p. 217-251.) Benjamin embraced the severing of the quasi-mystical “aura” from the original as a potentially liberating phenomenon, both for the reproduction of works of art and for the art of film, thereby making art widely available and introducing new forms of perception in film and photography. Most critically, it released art from the private to the public domain, from the elite to the masses. While the mechanically reproduced image that Benjamin discussed represented new possibilities, what was forfeited in this process was the “aura” reflecting the authority of the object, and encapsulating within it the values of cultural heritage and tradition. The quality of the aura, I would argue is one of the great attractions of a museum; for where else can you get up close to wonder at the genius of Rembrandt’s paint strokes or the lifelike carvings of a Michelangelo sculpture? For Alain Seban, president of the Pompidou in Paris: "Museums are places where things are considered in the long term. They serve as beacons, distilling a sense of authenticity and truth – and they are also, quite simply, places of beauty and meditation.” (Independent 2014). In this same article Christopher Beanland, author of the article (Independent 2014) also quotes Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain.
"Looking at art slows us down and takes us in unexpected directions: this is increasingly unusual – and something people cherish” (Independent 2014). Digital exhibitions, therefore, must be considered not only with respect to their scale and screenaesthetic but most importantly in terms of their auratic quality. According to the University of Chicago, there term 'aura' refers to the authority held by the unique, original work, which under modernity is liquidated by the techniques of mass reproduction (2015). Only then can we ascertain whether the traditional museum qualities still resonate in their digital footprint. Otherwise, the loss of aura in a digital exhibition becomes so critical that it causes an irretrievable loss of its potency, depleting the art so that it no longer acts as a beacon distilling a sense of authenticity and truth (Independent 2014).
The Musesphere The objects and experiences that move through discursive space of the Musesphere no longer need to depend on the physicality of the museum, but, at the same time, neither can they be described as being totally liberated from the museum or freely articulated over the mass media. I argue that once they are identified as museum-affiliated activities, and bear the stamp of the institution they emerge from, they are actually performing in a dedicated space that represents the museum – yet lies beyond the museum. This is comparable to watching a TV program, or news item that is presented by, or for a museum that frames the content according to professional attributes and processes that are identified as museum culture. The term Musesphere draws on Jürgen Habermas' concept of social life that was open to private people, and where public opinion could be articulated to serve the interest of civic society. Habermas described this space as the Public Sphere (Hambermas 1973), reflecting the developments in Britain, France, and Germany in the late 18th, and 19th century where individuals came together in formal debating societies, and informal meeting places, such as coffee houses, where they formed interest groups, to engage in critical debate, often opposing government action. Habermas argues ‘a portion of the public sphere is constituted in every conversation in which private persons come together to form a public (1999 p.92). However, critics of Habermas’s idealisation of the Public Sphere, such as Nicholas Garnham argue that it was far from democratic, or even public, noting ‘it was public only in the sense that a British public school is public (i.e. excluding all but white bourgeois males)’ (1992, quoted in Lister et al, 2003 p. 178) and that Habermas's example of a Public Sphere, that is limited to those that may be able to afford to spend time in the coffee house, and therefore, in effect, fairly limited in its scope.
Other critics reflect on the qualities and the role of public debate in post-modernity. The Public Sphere, John Hartley argues, has been in decline from the once pure and rational public sphere and has consequently evolved into a post-modern public sphere, which he argues, has become:
Suffused with images and issues which connect popular readerships and popular meanings together, and there too the focus has moved from masculine command to feminized juvenation and domestic privacy; the mainstream of contemporary journalism, fashion, gossip, lifestyle, consumerism and celebrity, and ‘news’ is private, visual, narrativized and personalized. (Hartley 1996 p.17)
Associating the museum, and the activities that takes place under its patronage, with the arena suggested by Hartley’s post-modern Public Sphere, would align the museum with a popularistic
discourse. An association with discourse that is concerned with fashion, gossip, lifestyle, consumerism and celebrity, rather than with rigorous intellectual debate is an alignment that some museum professionals would prefer to avoid. These debates, however, have been taking place in the museum long before the introduction of digital activities. Hartley’s textual system draws journalism into the hub of what he calls a Mediasphere where, he explains, accordingly modernity's twin energies, the pursuit of freedom and comfort, could be played out globally. Hartley visualises the Mediasphere as containing within it the Public Sphere drawing into it another over-arching system, Lotman’s Semiosphere (Hartley 1996 p. 79). As Hartley’s Mediasphere draws journalism into its centre, so the Musesphere draws the generic notion of the museum into its hub. I would argue, therefore that a museum that was once considered through the legacy of an institution identified with modernity, must now be considered in its newly modified as it has evolved over the decades to now become an institution that is grappling with post-modernity and distributed identity.
Fig. 1 The Musesphere as a discursive space. © S. Hazan
The Musesphere - In the palm of your hand Digital exhibitions – in their non-physical or intangible forms may appear on your screen from a museum website, as social network, a vast cultural portal, or in a tiny application held in the palm of the hand. These objects have clearly lost all sense of scale, appearing as a tiny resonance of their original selves on your screen. Yet they still command a presence that demands that we look at them look into them, and beyond, straight through to where we imagine they are located. This is because we are confident that we sense that somewhere, beyond the screen we know, there is a physical presence of the objects, and, even if we are not experiencing them in their immediate materiality, we discern that they do exist – somewhere. This is the nature of telepresence that we are so familiar with, whether from cinema, the TV, or the Internet. The screen, whether small or not so small, extends – with little resistance – straight into our comfort zone to mediate the world in which we choose to travel in; probably in high dynamic range (HDRI), yet at the same time as an oh-so-tiny-image (OSTI). Let’s consider what is happening in contemporary artistic practice. It is interesting to read in the Reuters report on last year’s Turner prize that “…artists who work with film, video, recorded sound and photographs took all four slots on the shortlist announced on Wednesday for the 2014 Turner Prize, one of the annual high points of the British art calendar” (Reuters, 2014). All works – it is worth
observing – were processed digitally and presented to the audiences on screens of varying dimensions. Digital exhibitions are very much a part of our daily lives, and whether we sense them as real or virtual, we are very much at home with them. Pierre Lévy takes exception to the ideas of the real and virtual as dialectical counterparts and argues that “virtualization, or the transition to a problematic, in no way implies a disappearance in illusion or dematerialization. Rather it should be understood as a form of ‘desubstantiation’ [...] the body as flame, the text as flux” (Lévy 1998 p. 169). To avoid locating the real and virtual in such a dichotomy, he likens this desubstantiation to the Moebius effect, “which organizes the endless loop of the interior and exterior – the sharing of private elements, and the subjective integration of public items” (Lévy 1998 p. 169 I will argue that the presentation of heritage objects in a digital form causes new forms of museum hybridism that are continuously modifying museum practice. When bringing practices that have traditionally revolved around the tangible object together with the emerging methods of collecting and displaying artefacts in a digital form accessible outside the physical museum, it becomes clear that the museum essentially functions in an endless [Moebius] loop of interior and exterior presence, the Musesphere. Digital exhibitions reside both within and beyond the gallery, yet are connected to, and located in, the global networks of museums and galleries, and cultural centres that have the same professional credibility as traditional museums.
The diagram below describes this seamless integration of digital and physical Museum activity. One of perhaps the most vexing questions of the work of art in the age of digital reproduction, at least for a museum, is clearly the notion that a physical museum is highly amplified by its digital presence – but how does a stand-alone digital museum fare in a mediated world without a physical counterpart?
Fig. 2 Moebius effect: the physical and virtual. © S. Hazan
One of the reasons why museums retain their authority in the digital realm is the taxonomic ordering and documentation of knowledge. Museums excel at the taxonomic structuring of their physical objects into comprehensive knowledge systems, and, similar to the practice in sister institutions, such as digital libraries, archives, and exhibitions are structured in the same way as they are in the museum, invigorated by a rich and informed body of scholastic materials – texts, documentations, images and histories. Collating these materials into orderly taxonomic structures – and replicating the breadth and width of traditional museum practices within the digital footprint – demands exactly the same dedicated, scholarly research approach that takes place in the physical museum. Let us take a closer look at museum practice, as laid out in the definition of the International Council
of Museums (ICOM). The museum as defined by ICOM describes first and foremost an institution in the service of society: A museum is a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment (ICOM 2015). A virtual museum, therefore, is based on this definition by association, and can be described as a digital entity that draws on the characteristics of the traditional museum and it aims to complement, enhance or augment the museum experience through personalization, interactivity, and richness of content. Virtual museums can either perform as the digital footprint of a physical museum or can act independently while maintaining the authoritative status as bestowed by ICOM in its definition of a museum. In tandem with the ICOM mission of a physical museum, the virtual museum is also committed to public access to the knowledge systems embedded in the collections and the systematic and coherent organisation of their display, as well as to their long-term preservation (Wikimedia, 2015). Aligning the digital exhibition to the core agenda of the physical museum therefore provides us with a firm foundation for discussing the digital exhibition, now appreciated as an entity that essentially acts as the footprint of the physical museum. Digital exhibitions that reside in physical museums can then augment or extend the institution in its responsibilities to collect, conserve and display collections, which will then resonate with those very same qualities of authority, trust and integrity, in their narratives, staff directives, and interaction with the public.
Fig. 3. Trust her, she is a curator. ÂŠ S. Hazan
Conclusion I propose that the Musesphere represents the overall space where technological innovations are consciously adopted, not as a goal in themselves but in order to enhance museum activities in a continuous hybridization of old and new media, which together serve the museum's own mandate, and extend the institution's goals. There are many ways in which museums flow through bespoke networks and harness a whole range of digital solutions to advance their institutional mission. Museums have adapted evolving technologies to their own agendas, other sectors and sister institutions, such as libraries and archives, have also evolved their own kind of hybridisation of the old with the new. I argue that as libraries and archives integrate similar technologies and strategies available to them, their institutional identity will resemble the system that they have evolved from, rather than an entirely new technologically driven entity. In the same way that museums move into electronic networks while preserving their
institutional integrity, they move into spaces that resemble their own provenance – steadfastly nestled in the arms of the Musesphere. The Musesphere, therefore, derives its potency from the museum legacy; a legacy that was constructed on, and sustained by the museum collections, sometimes acquired over hundreds of years that have built the bedrock of the museum system and continue to conserve and maintain this tradition for future generations.
Susan Hazan In her role of Curator of New Media and Head of the Internet Office at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Dr. Hazan’s responsibilities include: identifying, and implementing digital solutions for the gallery, online and mobile platforms and outreach programs. Her Masters and PhD at Goldsmiths College, (2004) University of London in Media and Communications focused on electronic architectures in the contemporary museum. Hazan serves as a Theme Chair Digital Heritage 2015 conference, Granada.
Bibliography Beanland, C. 2004. Is there a future for the traditional museum? The Independent, [Online] 15 November. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/is-there-a-futurefor-the-traditional-museum-9855822.html. [Accessed 31 August, 2015]. Benjamin, W. 1936. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In: Arendt Hannah, ed. Illustrations: Walter Benjamin – Essays and Reflections. New York: Schocken Books, 1985, pp. 217251. Habermas, J. 1973. Originally published in Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit (1962, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere) in J. Habermas, Kultur und Kritik (Frankfurt am Main: Duhrkamp Varlag, 1973). Lévy P. 1998. Becoming Virtual, Reality in the Digital Age, New York; London: Plenum Trade. ICOM. 2015. Development of the Museum Definition according to ICOM Statutes (2007-1946), [Online] http://archives.icom.museum/hist_def_eng.html [Accessed 31 August 2015]. Reuters. 2014. Video, film-inspired artists dominate Turner Prize shortlist, Michael Roddy, “Reuters”, 07.05.2014, [Online] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/07/us-art-britain-turner-idUSKBN0DN0J520140507 [Accessed 31 August 2015]. UNESCO Culture Portal. 2015. Protecting cultural diversity through the preservation of cultural heritage in all its forms and through normative action, [Online] Available from: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.phpURL_ID=12619&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html [Accessed 31 August 2015]. University Chicago. 2015. Keywords Glossary [Online] Available from: http://csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/aura.htm [Accessed 31 August 2015]. Wikipedia .2015. [Online], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_museum [Accessed 31 August 2015].
The International Council of Monuments and Sites: A New Digital Technology National Committee Richard Hughes
Introduction A new national committee of ICOMOS-UK has been set up addressing the use of ‘Big Data’ and ‘Digital Technologies’ in culture and cultural heritage. We hope this initiative appeals to you and that you will join us in this venture. The International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) was formed fifty years ago, the same year our national committee was set up (ICOMOS-UK) and has played major roles in preserving and celebrating cultural heritage worldwide. Today we have some 20 national scientific committees, most as noted below are also in the family of corresponding international committees (see Appendix 2). Looking forward to the next 50 years, now is the time for having one more committee, a highly important one that addresses the use of digital technologies in the cultural heritage agenda. The UK has seized the initiative here, and we anticipate other countries will follow our lead. The International Scientific Committees (ISCs) are the vehicles through which ICOMOS brings together, develops and serves its worldwide membership according to fields of specialized interest. ICOMOS expects the ISCs to be at the heart of scientific inquiry and exchange in their domains and to share knowledge amongst them to foster a multi-disciplinary approach to heritage protection and management. This fulfils the original goals of ICOMOS: ‘to collect, study and disseminate information concerning principles, techniques and policies related to heritage protection.’
The New ICOMOS-UK Digital Technology Committee So far three meetings have been held to push-start the new venture in London, York and Brighton. Membership is now more than 40 strong and healthily growing. We welcome new members and active participation. The digital technologies of today owe a debt to the development of computers in WWII, where Alan Turing played such an important role in code breaking driven by the application of logic in machine language. Such logic has an interesting role related to cultural heritage and museums. Logic relies on rules and reasoning by sorting; searching; rationalizing; information retrieval; forging connections; memorising; and, storing. Archaeological artefact and material culture research are all about such processes. The same applies now to museums where logic, via computers and robotics, has roles in
presenting information: reliably; with clarity; securely; innovatively; and, efficiently geared to management and visitor experience. This all has to be seen in the context of the annual doubling of computer power or data storage (Moore’s Law). Also, the possible number of idea groupings grows exponentially as new ideas come into the mix (Reed’s Law). Thus what one evidences is the innovative power of urbanism and networked globalism – where cities are: ‘an autocatalytic attractor and amplifier of innovation.’ As an example, Arup (London-based engineering and management consultancy firm) has been involved with the construction of a new superfast computer at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. The computer will have a performance of 7.787 petaflops (a petaflop is equal to a quadrillion calculations per second), the ‘Piz Daint’ is the sixth fastest supercomputer in the world. Per second, this performance is equivalent to every person on Earth using a pocket calculator for100,000 years. The Washington Post (BBC 6.12.13) notes that almost five billion mobile phone location records are logged by the ‘NSA’ every day. The data is said to help the NSA track individuals, and map who they know, to aid the agency's anti-terror work. Recently, some projects show how such ‘big data’ can be used for heritage studies – one here in London looked at where people take mobile phone pictures of St Paul’s Cathedral from and thus where are the best views and where there is a need to manage land use planning and visitors. Cloud source data from phones has also been used in the Haiti Earthquake for mapping the distribution of destruction and injury. The idea for a new ICOMOS national digital technology committee has came about as a result of a ‘foresight’ project undertaken by Arup in 2013, when research on ‘Museums in the Digital Age’ was run with students of the Central St Martins University of the Arts. This addressed what museums would be like in 40 years’ time. Some of the key findings were that we are already changing to a new age:
Becoming highly dynamic geared to a young audience that is highly digitally literate (matching their skills on smartphones!). Creating new types of real and virtual museums and with the ability to change and adapt; forging joint venture around the world which allow for exploring new ideas; creating different uses of space and new sorts of space (Virtual, Hidden, Remote); participating in new experiences/exploration of topics that are intellectually ‘stuck in the past’; widening the audience and creating new ones; better generating interactions and collaboration with audiences; allowing for remote access – basically from anywhere to anywhere; giving access to greater amounts of visual and written materials – extracted from various storage spaces in one or a number of museums/archives; stimulating digital collections – these being new sorts of future antiques, though with some issues regarding durability; continuing to improve on ‘wow’ 3D static and dynamic visualisations making 3D replication of artefacts and even whole buildings easily available to anyone; supporting the creation of ‘Brand’; supporting continuing professional development and altered roles for curators; linking image to real assets so they sort of merge into a single reality; gearing museum education to the individual; and, Supporting resource management/infrastructure efficiency (smart buildings - smart landscapes).
Some personal conclusions drawn from the project have been: there are exciting things starting to happen using the ability to collect and analyse ‘big data’; we are just starting to understand the potential of the new technologies and the world is getting smaller in an age off globalism via digital communications; we, the traditional conservation communities, are lagging behind, and progressively so, but we are not bad at taking the best at what the industry can offer; we will be forced into some changes, for example, as a response to global climatic changes when managing changing risks and when manipulating ‘big data’; we will need to learn new skills – for example, in the immediate the use of BIM with a strong GIS foundation; and, ICOMOS needs to capture the new technologies and in so doing gain new members/experts and new audiences. Predicting some illustrative practical uses of Digital Technologies, related ‘Cultural Heritage Sites’ In addition to the type of visionary aspects noted above, digital media is and will be routinely involved in:
Progressive linking of educational establishments and museums in real time for teaching and project work. Networking can be by venue type, asset type, information sharing type; supporting documentation and recovery of stolen assets; reconstructing ruins, archaeological remains and historic buildings with accurately applied virtual versions of the original technologies and craft skills; interrogating sites and landscapes before impacts and archaeological excavation; investigating artefacts as excavated – forensic investigations; forging links on archaeological sites where assets are fragmentary; assisting in asset conservation – forensic investigations; affording better protection and longevity to the physical attributes of the original assets; 3D mapping of building failure as a result of applied dynamic and live forces; participating in cutting-edge scientific research; transmitting scientific data and interpretations to visitors in real time; enhancing networking at personal, local, regional and national scale; forging linkages between inside and outside of sites and assets – support making boundaries more fuzzy and permeable; allowing for personal big data storage – in an un-cluttered ‘library/archive; placing artefacts (images/copies) back to the location of origin; driving cultural heritage tourism (with travel and agenda); participating in data risk management with the potential for storage in regional archive centres; supporting the demystification of topics by new forms of interpretation and availability; supporting access and interpretation to the disabled; targeting different recipient groups at the same time; more comprehensively involving people before, during, after visits; support wider distribution of visitors at venues (improved ‘Human Performance’) – for example, removing bottlenecks and clustering; increasing profits so supporting museum sustainability; linking to other digital media etc. – the Bitcoin industry/society; and,
Supporting people and organisations involved with cultural heritage in war situation (protection, theft and recovery) For example, there have recently been e-learning workshops with Syria-related to the protection of sites and artefacts.
Related to ‘Intangible Heritage.' Some likely trends will be in:
Continued improvement of documentation and archiving. creating new art forms; supporting new and better ways to interpret; generating new forms of identity and involvement; and, Supporting the design of new cultural venues.
Related to ‘Disasters.' Digital and remote data is starting to and will be increasingly important to disaster management and recovery:
real-time management; follow on remote mapping and estimating of damage – single assets or group asset/historic landscapes; Conducting baseline documentation, as part of preparedness and site/asset management. This may involve field recording and remote sensing of all types; collecting and interpreting public data (from Twitter and blog sites, etc.); supporting emergency actions; monitoring recovery and aid; providing logistical support; supporting media coverage; and Researching into disaster preparedness, training and management and using disasters for new opportunities.
More visionary roles related to ‘Societal Culture.' Related to a bigger picture, advanced technologies can aim to:
support in armed conflicts the avoidance of damage to cultural heritage sites support safe conflict resolution where culture and cultural heritage assets are at risk – in need of curation and protection; disaster management –from preparedness through to recovery; supporting culturally sensitive development in the Developing World; break down political and cultural boundaries - the interactive ‘virtual’ museum, ruin and artefact can be sent to the visitor; introduce electronically generated smells, tastes and sounds in the interactive environments; the development of biologically driven computers – with potential to take on human mind characteristics; and Replacing the need for control leadership for one of open-access wisdom spreading/sharing.
These are exciting times where we are certain that digital technologies and technologists are going significantly increase our knowledge and how we do things â€“ we are sort of already in our own cultural revolution â€“ perhaps in a new age.
For joining and attending our next meeting in London, in November 2015, please contact Natalie at the ICOMOS-UK office: (NatalieDavis@icomos-uk.org) or correspond with the office at: 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ.
Appendix 1 Mission Statement ICOMOS-UK National Committee for Digital, Electronic, Robotic Technologies and their Application to Cultural Heritage 21.07.15
ICOMOS, the International Council of Monuments and Sites, is a global non-governmental organisation associated with UNESCO. Its mission is to promote the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, historic building complexes and landscapes / sites and intangible cultural heritage. It participates in the development of doctrine, evolution and distribution of ideas and conducts advocacy. ICOMOS is a leading organisation in providing advice and skills in societal development. National Committees are organisations that are created at the national level in those member countries of UNESCO. A national committee provides a forum where individuals and representatives of institutions and societies concerned with the conservation, protection, research, rehabilitation, enhancement and celebration of culture and heritage can meet to exchange information and views on principles and practices in the field, also participating in research and project implementation. A national committee represents the interests of its members, nationally and internationally. National committees are charged with delivering their own agenda or those at the request of their own Governments. Each national committee has its own rules of procedure and programme according to agreed objectives with an agenda developed in conjunction with the National Executive Committee and linked to ICOMOS international scientific committees. National committees are also a channel through which membership takes part in ICOMOS’ international meetings, other activities and missions entrusted to ICOMOS by UNESCO. National committees can exert decisive influences on the programme priorities of ICOMOS and can volunteer to take responsibility, in co-operation with ICOMOS International Secretariat for some part of ICOMOS’ international agenda especially where relevant to their own country. The ICOMOS-UK National Committee for Digital, Electronic and Robotic Technologies (the ‘Committee’) has been established with the approval of the Executive Committee of ICOMOS-UK to address all aspects of digital technology mediums relevant to the culture and cultural heritage of the United Kingdom and with an international outreach. Digital Technology is of rapidly growing importance and is constantly evolving – for ICOMOS-UK providing fundamentally important new methods for the celebration, protection, analysis, and management of our heritage and of diverse cultures worldwide. For the Committee, key topics of interest include, but not limited to: World Heritage Sites; Monuments; Ruins; Buried Archaeological Remains; Museums; Historic Buildings; Historic Landscapes; Visitor Centres; Libraries; Asset Documentation, Visualisations and Analysis; Archives; Intangible Heritage; Living History; Survey / Instrumentation / Monitoring; Conservation Science; Project Management (especially through BIM
and GIS methods); 3D Computer Modelling; 3D Asset Printing; Special Events and Gaming; Disaster Preparedness and Management; and, Appropriate Societal Development.
The Committee brings together and forges linkages between all members who have a keen interest or professional involvement in digital technologies relevant to cultural and cultural heritage, tangible and intangible. Of key importance to the objectives of the Committee is: active participation with all other ICOMOS national scientific committees; connections with international ICOMOS scientific committees; and, with the various Government and non-Government bodies in the UK concerned with committee’s specialist interests and skills. The Committee is open to membership from all existing members of ICOMOS-UK, and others, these who are then required to join ICOMOS-UK. New membership and participation is specifically encouraged from students and schools, Further Education and Higher Education institutions. Digital technology commercial industries and external specialists are encouraged to support and collaborate with the Committee’s endeavours. The Committee thus gains strength from the breadth of its membership covering all aspects of digital technologies and cultural heritage, representing both the public and private sectors in the different countries and regions of the UK; and, all linked to matching membership and interests overseas. The Committee is administered by elected representatives of the membership, managed by a chairperson, secretary and special interest representatives, with terms of reference conforming to ICOMOS Statutes of association and governance. ICOMOS-UK Secretariat provides supporting services. In the first year the Committee has the general remit of:
general information and research intelligence sharing; catching up with the science, technology and arts of the advanced electronic world, as specifically we wish digital technologies to be applied to culture and cultural heritage objectives; creating new links with new industries/academia/professional practitioners, who are, and could in the future be highly relevant to the various planned objectives and working agenda of ICOMOSUK, especially in the next two decades; better relating ICOMOS-UK to academic institutions with advanced research capabilities; capturing a new membership and heritage audience; and, forging new links with the many other ICOMOS-UK national and international scientific committees; holding a national conference; gaining financial support for general and specific agendas; and, Increasing the awareness of ICOMOS-UK membership to the objectives and activities of the new National Committee;
A set of long-term core activities are to be progressed through regular committee meetings and interconnected special interest and research sub-groups and / or individuals within the Committee:
the production of best practice guides; giving advice to practitioners and the general public; sharing and exchanging of new technical skills; providing international outreach; supporting academic institution with presentations, teaching and aiding with internships / placements; with dedicated funding, the undertaking of cutting edge pure and applied research projects, supported with in-house placements and external joint ventures; and, focused exchange and collaboration with digital commercial companies and with media organisations.
Appendix 2 The International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS
1. ISCARSAH: International Committee on Analysis and Restoration of Structures of Architectural Heritage 2. ICAHM: International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management 3. ISCCL: International Committee on Cultural Landscapes ICOMOS-IFLA 4. CIIC: International Committee on Cultural Routes 5. ICTC: International Committee on Cultural Tourism 6. ISCEAH: International Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage 7. ISEC: International committee on Economics of Conservation 8. ISCES: International Committee on Energy and Sustainability 9. IcoFort: International Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage 10. CIPA: International Committee on Heritage Documentation 11. CIVVIH: International Committee on Historic Towns and Villages 12. ICIP: International Committee on Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites 13. ICICH: International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage 14. ICLAFI: International Committee on Legal, Administrative and Financial Issues 15. International Committee on Mural (Wall) Painting 16. IPHC: International Polar Heritage Committee 17. ICORP: International Committee on Risk Preparedness 18. CAR: International Committee on Rock Art 19. ISCSBH: International Committee on Shared Built Heritage
20. ISCV: International Committee on Stained Glass 21. ISCS: International Committee on Stone 22. Theophilos: International Committee on Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration 23. CIF: International Committee on Training. 24. ICUCH: International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage 25. CIAV: International Committee on Vernacular Architecture 26. IWC: International Committee on Wood 27. ISC20C: International Committee on 20th Century Heritage
HISTORIC URBAN LANDSCAPE: DREAMING, DRAWING, DESIGN Sophie Agisheva
Abstract This exhibition review provides illustrative examples of the interconnectedness between art and architecture in the context of cultural heritage. The general concept of the International Exhibition on “Historic Urban Landscape: Dreaming, Drawing, Design” (2014) lies in interpretation of visions for perceptional transformations on conservation and sustainable development processes within historic urban landscapes and its identical historic & contemporary elements through traditional and futuristic design, modern art, research approaches and digital technologies.
Keywords: exhibition, art, design, historic urban landscape, cultural heritage, conservation, urban development, survey, documentation
The International Exhibition on “HISTORIC URBAN LANDSCAPE: DREAMING, DRAWING, DESIGN” was held as an integral part of the International Workshop on “Historic Urban Landscape: New Vision” and organized at (KSUAE) Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering (Russia) on September 5-11, 2014 by curator Arch. Sophie Agisheva.
The exhibition collection focuses on the illustrative artefacts documenting the interconnectedness between art and architecture, cultural heritage and urban development. It is conceived as an anthology to showcase individually each artist’s influential contemporary attitude on understanding the historic urban landscapes. With the creation of a structural link from art to design, the general concept of the exhibition appears to be important in it’s interpretation of visions for perceptional transformations on conservation and development processes within historic urban landscapes. It shows a fundamental and constant relationship between a polyphony of various sceneries for
Figure 1. Official poster of the International Exhibition “Historic Urban Landscape: Dreaming, Drawing, Design” (on the left) and photographic series for “Dreaming” part of the exhibition (on the right side), (photos by S. Agisheva).
representing of dreaming, drawing and design metamorphoses in the context of an integrated approach on the historic urban landscape. In particular, the collection proposes that heritage, architecture and art are allied and interdependent arts, and this is the founding premise of the exhibition. Considering contemporary issues, the ten architects and artists from Italy, The Netherlands, The UK, Mexico, Hungary and Russia featured here contemplate their exhibited drawings & paintings, photographic series and architectural projects addressed to the major themes of each part of the exhibition as “dreaming”, “drawing” and “design” sections. Including 44 individual and collaborative works ranging from photography, drawing & painting to works on building survey and design, the collection considers all three sections as integral parts for of the creative process in architectural design in historic urban landscapes. There is no doubt whatsoever that each project generally starts from an initial idea and passing thoughts – “dreaming” – and then passes a phase of understanding the genius loci – “drawing” – till the final phase as a “design” process. Thus, each project demonstrates a subject that may be taken as independent and self-sufficient issue or concerned in complex for processes of cultural heritage conservation and sustainable urban development by using traditional and futuristic design, modern art, research approaches and digital technologies.
Starting with "DREAMING", the first exhibition section demonstrates the visual poetics of architectural photography and nature of photographic representations of historic urban landscapes and its identical historic & modern elements (see Figure 1). While it is invested in exploring the visual perception, urban environment is ranged from the cultural and historical significance of photographers to the personal associations of a new urban vision. As early as in 1970s, any sense of ideal or real image was explained by Susan Sontag in her collection of essays “On Photography” (19731977) as “preferential interpretation” which makes a deal with “truth” and “art”. The photographic collection provides an opportunity to observe artists’ personal reflections on the perceptive reality of nowadays, ideal or utopian visions for historic urban landscape’s existence, including cultural and modern heritage, or its further development. The image of the city Rotterdam (NL) – as an informal capital for modern architecture in Europe – is presented twice as a mix of natural & artificial landscapes with modern architecture and authentic structures by Peter Heavens (UK/NL) and by Arch. Sima Agisheva (RU/NL/MEX) with photographic materialization on nature of feelings and emotions for a newly arrived person to Holland, where historic urban landscapes meets citizens’ daily life and rapid urbanization. The theme of human perception in the city is also considered in photographic series on “Human Landscape” (2011/2013), where author Arch. Sophie Agisheva (RU) draws attention to the scales and relationships between the rapid modern life of the Florentine citizens and the almost static fundamental historic city centre under the protection of UNESCO. Other links to the city, nature, World Cultural Heritage and collective human memory are observed by Arch. Dante Borgo (NL/MEX), showing so-called “Artefacts” (2013/2014) on the integration of new architectural structures with historic environment in Plaza de las Tres Culturas (Mexico) as a monument of new cultural intervention into original environment and the post-colonial period. Also underlined is how modern Mexican architecture becomes a relevant & authentic part of the historic urban landscape as modern urban heritage, taking a colorful example – the private house of Luis Barragan. The main paradox is that the photography’s metaphysics resides in its non-interference in the domestic affairs of the historic urban landscapes. Thus, photography can be understood as an interpretation of objective reality as well as painting and drawing. Considering the drawing as a way of understanding reality, the "DRAWING" collection consists of paintings, freehand drawings, sketches and survey drawings on the documentation of the general and specific characteristics with fixation of the authors’ personal impressions on Historic Urban Landscapes including Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites (see Figure 2). In modern times, when our story takes place, drawing is becoming a way of communicating with other people through the use of semantics. Like a filmmaker you have to decide a story that you want to tell, making an idea and a way of representation without an empty mind. It is a way of thinking and essential element in the practice, culture and qualitative progress of architecture. Drawings describe expression and feelings that help to fix “genius loci” – perception, emotions, the image of the city and landscape – and put it on paper.
Figure 2. Hand drawings and paintings presented for “Drawing” collection of the exhibition in context of historic urban landscapes (photos by S. Agisheva).
Historic urban landscape interpreted through drawing, is a collection of individual perceptions through greater visual complexity, riddles and interpretations with different types of elements as land, human, air, greenery, architecture are included in space-time system. Thus, the graphic collection includes noteworthy examples of sketches, drawings and paintings. Watercolors work in combination with ink in a series of graphics entitled “This is also Italy” (2014) and “The importance of being small” (2014), produced by independent artist Margherita Cambi (IT), and tells us about her deep impressions of natural and artificial landscapes developed while traveling in her homeland – Italy. An alternative Italian perspective, with observations established while travelling outside Italy, are exhibited by researcher Arch. Francesca Piccio (IT) in painting series dedicated to understanding the image of a small village in Panama and relations between old historic constructions and new buildings. Another graphics series, presented by Arch. Sima Agisheva (RU/NL/MEX), opens a subject on the continuity of urban renewal processes and regular visible changes in architecture and historic urban landscapes everywhere in Europe from north to south without reference to number of heritage monuments and sites. Special attention to historic landscapes, visual integrity as well as the relationship between cultural heritage and contemporary architecture is considered in the last part of the exhibition called “DESIGN”. This collection is dedicated to everything from contemporary practice to urban, architectural and conceptual projects, and research in design, documentation, conservation, renovation, reconstruction and redevelopment of historic urban landscapes and cultural heritage sites under the protection of UNESCO or the local authorities. Remembering the inevitability of urban changes dealing with human perception and needs expressed by cultural, social and economic factors, the major issue lies in definition of acceptable actions within historic urban landscapes and World Heritage sites. Considering the “historic urban landscape” approach based on the 2005 Vienna Memorandum on World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture – Managing the Historic Urban Landscape and the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, international experts underline how cities accumulate a large amount of diversity in interactions generating new initiatives and activities with the purposes of conservation, heritage modernization and adaptation to urban development conditions including cultural heritage and urban management. Tadao Ando has called architects for a rethink on methods for design in historic urban context and advised to absorb what we see around us, what exists on the land, and then use that knowledge along with contemporary thinking to interpret what we see. The “DESIGN” collection shows a range of examples for understanding the heritage significance and representing how cultural heritage and historic urban landscapes can be well-preserved and
developed by teams of researchers and professional groups of architects with international experience (see Figure 3). Clear examples of urban and architectural projects are presented by two international design offices. A world famous Dutch practice (Designed by) Erick van Egeraat (NL) calls for recovery of “beauty” concepts in architecture that were damaged by the twentieth century’s modernists, and states that architecture has to meet the requirements and styles of the era. Erick van Egeraat believes that “all architecture of historic significance was modern at the time it was built, emerging from its time and culture”. Rephrasing a well-known manifesto on “Think Local, Act Global” into a philosophic statement on “Think Global, Act Local”, his ideology for a definition of sustainable urban development, married “beauty with quality” in architecture, opens to the full extent in twelve exhibited national and international design projects in Hungary, The Netherlands, Russia, Germany and Denmark on reconstructions of historic buildings and monuments; new development of public, administrative buildings and housing within historic urban landscapes in context of integrated urban fabric, designed since 1995: Popstage Mezz (Breda, NL), Oosterdokseiland (Amsterdam, NL), Offices ING & NNH, Budapest (Budapest, HU), Main Building & Auditorium University (Leipzig, DE), Krøyers Plads (Copenhagen, DK), Udarnik Contemporary Art Centre (Moscow, RU) and etc. At the same time, a Budapest-based studio LAB5 Architects (HU) demonstrates a vision on design strategy for projects on renovation of the old industrial areas “Revitalization of the sewing factory” (2010) and preservation with survey & documentation of the housing area “OTI Settlement” (2012) in Hungary.
Figure 3. Design and conceptual projects, researches and documentation on historic urban landscapes, including historic buildings and World Cultural Heritage sites (photos by S. Agisheva).
The research projects under the supervision by Prof. Stefano Bertocci, University of Florence (IT) and Prof. Sandro Parrinello, University of Pavia (IT), identify a methodology for critical survey of the urban landscape and cultural heritage in twenty-one exhibited international and national research and restoration projects on surveying historical urban landscapes, monuments and sites through different methods and technological equipments (3D laser scanning, measuring, databasing), representing a wide experience of research framework for the documentation and preservation of the cultural and archaeological heritage, UNESCO World Heritage sites and historic urban landscapes in Europe, the Near West and Latin America. Another approach to architectural design in the context of the historic city centre is reflected in the theoretical design project –“The Bureaucratic Arcadia” (2012) – designed by Arch. Dante Borgo (NL/MEX), dedicated to a conceptual vision on urban changing and new development in the context of utopian relations between “government” and “church”. A strong link between bureaucratic power practiced by the European Union and theological practice of the Roman Catholic Church is reflected in the utopian project of offices and symbolic archive in the governmental center of the EU in Brussels.
Thus, connecting with world trends and paradigms developed in art and design, theory and practice, the exhibition on “Historic Urban Landscape: Dreaming, Drawing, Design” covers the relationship between movements and contemporary issues on cultural heritage and historic urban landscapes. Like a “manifesto”, it shows the metamorphoses and interconnectedness in visual riddles and perceptions through photographs, hand drawings and paintings, based on architectural approaches to design, research and conceptual projects in the context of heritage protection and urban development. Notes: (1) Peter Heavens, a photographer, participant in photography exhibitions in the Netherlands, (UK/NL). (2) Sima Agisheva, an architect, founder of SAGHI architectural visualization office, (RU/NL/ MEX). (3) Dante Borgo, an architect, founder of design bureau MAIN OFFICE, participant in the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice (2014) as a team member for “Planta” project, (NL/MEX). (4) Sophie Agisheva, an architect & researcher, lecturer and participant in architectural exhibitions in Russia and photography exhibitions in Russia and Italy, (RU). (5) Francesca Piccio, an architect, resercher at University of Florence, (IT). (6) Margherita Cambi, an independent artist, (IT). (7) Stefano Bertocci, an architect, Full Professor at University of Florence, director of Lab. LS&D, researcher, author, (IT). (8) Sandro Parinello, an architect, Associate Professor at University of Pavia, researcher, author, (IT). (9) LAB5 Architects, an office in urban design, architecture and 3D visualization, (HU). (10) (Designed by) Erick van Egeraat, an innovative Dutch design practice in international architecture and urbanism, (NL).
Sophie Agisheva is a lecturer and PhD candidate in Theory and History of Architecture, Restoration and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage at (KSUAE) Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering, Russia.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A series of online debates led by students from the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham, in collaboration with archaeology and heritage students from Universities and early career professionals across the world. #OurUNESCO is designed to provide a forum to critically evaluate the state and role of UNESCO ahead of its 70th anniversary. Every third Monday of the month between 16:00-17:00 GMT. Follow the debate on Twitter and join in using #OurUNESCO. Past Debates: January 19th 2015- The World Heritage List First debate with contributors from Birmingham, UK, Durham, UK, Germany, Mexico and The Netherlands. Significantly raised the profile of furnace Journal. February 16th 2015- Intangible Heritage Second debate with contributors from Birmingham, UK, Durham, UK, York, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Spain and The Netherlands. March 16th 2015- UNESCO: The Institution Third debate with contributors from Birmingham, UK, Bristol/Glasgow, England, UK, Germany and Spain. April 20th 2015- World Heritage and Tourism May 18th 2015- World Heritage Education With contributors from Birmingham, Cornwall, Devon, South Wales, the Giantâ€™s Causeway and Panama!
CALL FOR PAPERS SPECIAL THEMED ISSUE Cultural Heritage in a Transatlantic Age This is a CFP for contributions to a new, open access, postgraduate/ graduate journal called furnace that is edited by young scholars in the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH) at the University of Birmingham. furnace hopes to be a facilitator for sparking debates and discussions surrounding the expanding and diversifying disciplinary field of cultural heritage. The journal’s title references the Institute’s close association with the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site while suggesting the exciting percolations of new ideas that come together in intellectual crucibles – in this case, cultural heritage centres. This third issue of the journal is edited in collaboration with our partners at CHAMP (Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Since the establishment of their collaboration in 2012 both IIICH and CHAMP have sought to generate a series of research questions which examine Old World and New World perspectives on cultural heritage. Each side of the Atlantic – North and South – has unique geography, culture and history that is expressed through their individual heritage. Every day, however, people, objects and ideas flow backward and forward across the Atlantic, each shaping the heritage of the other for better or worse and each shaping the meanings and values that heritage conveys. Where, and in what ways are these Trans-Atlantic heritages connected? Where, and in what ways are they not? What can we learn from reflecting on the different contexts and cultures as they produce, consume, absorb, resist, and experience the heritage of the other? This themed issue builds upon the joint conference sponsored by the two heritage centres: Transatlantic Dialogues on Cultural Heritage: Heritage, Tourism and Traditions, which was held in Liverpool between 13-16 July 2015. For conference information see: https://transatlanticdialogues.wordpress.com/ Abstracts of no more than 300 words are required by Monday, November 9th, 2015. The abstracts should be sent to email@example.com . Decisions will be made quickly by the editorial board. For the accepted abstracts, full papers are required by the 8th January 2016, for publication launch on Friday 1st April 2016.
Call for Book Reviewers Book review submissions can also be of any length, but the word count cannot be over 1,500 words. For more information on submissions see: https://furnacejournal.wordpress.com/information-forauthors/ Books to be reviewed: Barbiera, I. Choyke, A. M. Rasson, J. A. 2009. Materializing Memory. Archaeological material culture and the semantics of the past. Barbiera, I. Choyke, A. M. Rasson, J. A. (eds). BAR International Series 1977. Hurcombe, L.M. 2007. Archaeological Artefacts as Material Culture. Routledge. King, T. F. 2013. Cultural Resource Laws and Practice (4th edition) Lanham, AltaMira Press. Labadi, S. 2013. UNESCO, Cultural Heritage, and Outstanding Universal Value: Value-based Analyses of the World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage Conventions. Rowman and Littlefield. St. Clair, A. Taylor, K. Mitchell, N. J. 2014. Challenges and New Directions (Routledge Studies in Heritage). Taylor & Francis Group. Worrell, S. Egan, S. Naylor, J. Leahy, K. Lewis, M. 2007. A Decade of Discovery. Proceedings of the Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference. Archeopress.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy and reviewing these books, please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Sep 23, 2015