Do we still need objects?

In November 2017 the Museu Etnològic de Barcelona/Museu de Cultures del Món de Barcelona hosted the workshop "Do we still need objects"? The participants discussed the relevance of objects in contemporary museums, where storytelling, discourse, digital media and to new pedagogical services become increasingly important.

Date: 6th-7th November 2017
City: Barcelona
Museu Etnològic de Barcelona/Museu de Cultures del Món de Barcelona

Detailed Documentation on website of Museu Etnològic de Barcelona

Blog articles on the topic, website of Museu Etnològic de Barcelona

Questions of how to collect in the present and in the future are always concerns for European Ethnographic and World Culture Museums.

Nowadays museums are part of a society where digitisation has reached almost all areas. Digital objects are becoming more and more relevant in society; in fact, in documentation and in heritage, much of the memory is already digital.

This "digiscape" increases the proliferation of services and facilities that museums had already developed before the digitisation, and that had already shown the loss of importance of the objects.

Museums have been using digital media for long in diffusion, communication and documentation, should they do the same in collecting? Is this “digiscape” replacing material collecting and its way of documenting? Does it open the possibility of "materializing" the intangible? This workshop with experts in new media technology discussed the impact of the new digiscape on future collecting, to generate shared aims and visionary collecting strategies.

pdf of Programme

Programme of Workshop

Monday, 6th November

13h Welcome (presentation and objectives of the workshop)
13’30h Keynote Do we need objects in the ethnological museums of the 21st century?
Xavier Roigé, Doctor in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. He has conducted research on ethnological museums, local museums, intangible heritage and musealization of historical memory.

Panel Do we still need objects?
_ Mireille Jacotin (Marseille): Looking for George: traces, scattering and travels
_ Annette Kraemer and Uta Werlich (Stuttgart): Objects need museums. Reflections from the Linden-Museum
_ Mark Elliott (Cambridge): The Reluctant Collector: Reflections from field, workbench and gallery
_ Nadja Haumberger and Bianca Figl (Vienna): Objects in Demand? 3D models, collections network and collected stories
_ Jocelyn Dudding (Cambridge): To hold what you held precious
_ Oriol Pascual (Barcelona): Barcelona’s Faces

17h visit to the exhibition Barcelona’s Faces and the permanent exhibition of the MEB (Museum of Ethnology of Barcelona).

Tuesday 7th November

9’30h Keynote Intensive Collections Roger Canals, Doctor in Anthropology and specialist in visual and religious anthropology. Currently working at the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of Barcelona. He has conducted several ethnographic documentaries about the cult of María Lionza (Venezuela) and other topics.

11h Panel Digiscape
_ Nicolas Doduic (Marseille): Diving into Mucem: digital mediation of material objects
_ Manel Barcons (Museu de la Música): The Music Museum of Barcelona and MIMO
_ Carme Miró (Museu d’Història de Barcelona): The archaeological letter. Technology in the dissemination, management and search of heritage
_ Albert Sierra (Generalitat de Catalunya): The digital project "Photography in Catalonia" a transversal approach to photography
_ Alfons Civit (Territori + Arquitectura): Dynamic representations in architecture
_ David Puig (Sagrada Família): Scanning and classification of the original fragments of models made during Gaudí's time

14’30h Keynote Elisenda Ardèvol, Doctor of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, coordinator of the interdisciplinary research group Mediacciones about digital culture. His lines of research are focused on media anthropology. Vanina Hofman, Image and Sound designer from the University of Buenos Aires, she works on a thesis on the conservation, documentation and archive of the arts based on electronic and digital technologies.

15’30h Panel Intangible Cultural Heritage
_ Rémy Jadinon and Jacky Maniacky (Tervuren): Exhibiting Orality : Language, Music and Performance in the new permanent exhibition of the RMCA
_ Adela Pukl (Ljubljana): Intangible cultural heritage and the Slovene Ethnographic Museum
_ Rosa Anna Di Lella (Roma): What intangible heritage for ethnographic museums? Perspectives and Practices of the Museo delle Civiltà
_ Lluís Ramoneda (Barcelona): Ongoing adaptation of the current platform of oral sources of the MEB for intangible heritage