What did we learn in Europe? (Recap)

Review and discuss the key ideas that came out of the day with co-leads and presenters. More about how this session will be structured soon. Track:Europe


Museum Computer Network 05:02
Good, good. Well welcome everyone on, Let me see who's here. Hey Marissa. Where are you and with Chad and Ellice in a converse key Jack. The new job. Don is here, Shawn, Max, Jeff. Good. And obviously, N O n CP as well. Great. And obviously I'm here with internet, so I was only able to, obviously, I followed the two sessions to two successive sessions on the hybrid museum that Torill Haugen had put together, and I believe, Enter now you followed the other sessions. But, you know, the purpose, as, as you know by now, the purpose of those kind of recaps is to kind of decamped and see like, you know, it was a lot of the issues, I believe, I think as a preface that. I think at the level of digital maturity we're seeing this in Europe, it historically has always been kind of on par with North America, right, and especially we've seen that as we've looked at other regions in the world. So far, so it's not, it's probably not as, you know, there's not as much a contrast to what we did the tools and the issues that we typically, you know, discuss, I think, but I'm curious to know if from what you've heard from your perspective you've, you, you think there are some things in there that are not solely purely European but that, you know, there's that you see differences, and that could hear, especially around the hybrid museum method I was an interesting conversation and, You know, it could be all symposium, obviously, but any any thoughts and ideas and let's try to, to, to extract some, you know, a few takeaways together,

Unknown Speaker 07:06
if I can I, I would like to start. If you agree on what what I heard about the need to develop digital skills, and the need to support certain digital skills within the museum area. And as you were mentioning this is not actually from, from what we heard also in the discussion during, during the session is not something you know, mainly European. In fact, the the survey that was presented is related to different countries in the world and, and the US and UK in particular, but it is an issue that is that is deeply felt in Europe. In fact I have been involved in a European project in a European funded project related to the need to develop digital skills in the creative sector. And so the idea of supporting certain skills, is, is very much felt and needed. So this is a topic that, that was, was touched by, by, by the conference and that I, in my view, need to be investigated. More and more, So it's important that was part of this discussion,

Museum Computer Network 09:03
and engineering like can I ask, is this digital skills are we talking about digital literacy. What kind of, what kind of skills, exactly.

Unknown Speaker 09:13
Yeah, exactly, it. As far as I can tell related both to the to the to the survey that was described today. But I think that that Maria Bala is there so she can support this discussion. And

Museum Computer Network 09:41
did anyone go to Mario province session

Unknown Speaker 09:45
at DAM if the need was to and this first of all to understand which kind of skills were needed, which kinds of skills were to be supported and digital literacy is absolutely by voter. And then we worked on the development of different kinds of, of courses of MOOCs to support certain skills within the creative industry area within, of course, the countries that were participating in the project. So the data from which the project started, and that motivated in a way they, the funding of the project were related to the fact that, in, in the field. May and I think this is consistent also from for from what Maria Paula Arias, told us MANY professionals working in me in the museum field in particular, are not so much aware of what digital skills are needed and how they could could use those digital skills. So there's, there's, there's a lack because they are very much educated let's say so, coming from university courses, mainly in history of art, or, or archaeology. That's as also Maria Bala was mentioning, academics, think that this kind of digital skills are integrated in their courses but it's not so, so true. Actually, or is not so. People are not so aware of what digital skills are and how that could be supported. And this is something that was understood also through our, our project

Museum Computer Network 12:09
here probably do you want to say a couple of words is that was your, your session. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 12:14
Oh sure, yeah, thank you. It was a brilliant session from, from my perspective I really appreciated how MANY people came on give us their perspectives, and I think my key takeaway from it is that even though we're talking about digital literacy skills, and how to use different technologies creating content and all these things. The concepts of the ethics of using digital technologies, the ethics of using social platforms, being mindful critical thinking. Protecting yourselves and your well being protecting your, your mindfulness, as well as practicing different skills of empathy and being really empathetic goes hand in hand with digital literacy, and I think that's something that is so pivotal that we really need to reassess how we are teaching this in universities, but also how this is expected in museums and cultural institutions as new practitioners join these institutions. So that for me was the biggest takeaway is that we need to integrate those soft skills, much, much more with the digital literacy, than we have been

Unknown Speaker 13:29
In fact, you're right and within the, the project and if you're interested I can share the link to our website. One month. One course is actually devoted to critical thinking skills development. Yeah,

Museum Computer Network 13:53
that's that's your is your museum. That's your university, sorry.

Unknown Speaker 13:57
No, that that is a European project activity that was shared among five different countries five different institutions from from five different European countries. I was mentioning, Ireland, Romania, Lithuania Denmark and Italy. And so, but if, if you're interested I can put the link here in the chat, and, you know, you all can have a look at that, because it's absolutely consistent and it supports Maria Paula Arias work.

Museum Computer Network 14:39
Thank you for that. Anything else that you've heard in any of the sessions I did, did anyone go to the session with Cogapp and Denmark. Natural History Museum about their open access

Unknown Speaker 14:56
link. No. I went there by accident. So I, I wanted to join the the other, so I switched mid presentation, but it, it had a limited group of attendees, much more limited than the presentation by Emerita and Co. But it was interesting. So, it was much, it was a little bit more technical than that and know for all of you.

Museum Computer Network 15:32
It serves the purpose of which was also discussed in the first of the hybrid museum session. You know the open access and basically making, you know, opening, opening up your, your collections for, which obviously you know that you were to pioneer at the rights. But, but it's, it's something that is becoming more and more prevalent. So, and it's very technical, but the larger goal is, is, I've been talked now for quite a few years among practitioners.

Unknown Speaker 16:15
One of the things that in both sessions was being noted that the whole digital pivot in during Corona, because at least in the Rights Museum, a whole new focus on, and discussion about the sustainability and scalability of the digital infrastructure that we as museums have and in the race museum we have an infrastructure that's close to 1015 years old. At certain points, and that needs to be revised and the whole past year, helped support the importance of that decision to speed it up so that was quite welcome.

Museum Computer Network 17:15
Any other things and did, did anyone go to the hybrid museum.

Unknown Speaker 17:20
I did and there was a really interesting conversation happening in that first one, then, in terms of like, you know we have a theme for this conference of what is digital now, and Sophie and I were talking about how that the current moment with COVID has kind of put in stark relief the fact that like that the digital thing is not just some throwaway thing or not some side hustle but that it's like it's an essential part of this, and I you know I recall in past experience working on exhibitions in you know in a museum and always trying to tell people like okay, now you have the goals you have the audience, how do you want to do this because you can accomplish this in the physical space but you can do it in a virtual one too, and there was never really much thought or people couldn't think about like how they'd want to do that, or what they'd want to do. Whereas, that maybe as they're saying now, because of what has happened with the pandemic that now people have to think very critically about making things that aren't just scale morphs of the building, right, that, that they have to think about something that's different, right. And so, I mean I don't know if that's necessarily the way things are going to be but I mean I think that's a really interesting answer to that to this question of our theme, right.

Museum Computer Network 18:42
Yeah, it is definitely. I mean, if, if ever the the boundaries, the physical boundaries between, you know, building, and, and the virtual online world, where before the pandemic and, you know, it kind of like, made them even more porous now so and it's and. I mean, on a personal level I think it's, we're still navigating this, it's, you know, we're just the way, you know, it's really interesting for me just to shop around my Amazon app, for example, you're not in a store but you're completely virtual, but it's as close as experience of the store, and you know I often wonder, you know, for that probably, for lack of of proper funding and investment, you know, museums have a lot of catching up to do, like you were the SSP you were talking about infrastructure, you know, how can you have you support a 21st century digital operation, if, if your infrastructure and access points and so forth is, is, you know 15 to 20 years old, and it is theirs, and it's not sexy stuff, but it's, it's the stuff on which, you know, our systems run, and they're very, they're critical and also, you know, around security, privacy, you know the world is changing around these issues as well so

Unknown Speaker 20:15
my standards pitch the last few months has been a quote by Diane Zurich, Smithsonian innovation meets infrastructure, which, which I'm considering to put on a t shirt and just wear at every meeting, but, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 20:31
yeah, yeah.

Museum Computer Network 20:35
Um, any reactions on that hour or

Unknown Speaker 20:43
so I also attended to hybrid sessions, and I think, to build on to what's already been talked about too, I think I agree with their sort of a consensus that quite often. Digital is better when it, it does its own thing or not that station it's not a facsimile it's not a recreation like you have to do that in pieces, but it's usually best to sort of rethink things, and I totally agree with that too. I think that the thing about that though is if you're working with colleagues who very much, this coming from an art museum perspective, if they're very much used to Gallery layout label placement that, again, they think they have the medium is fixed, and they've got that locked in. That is the hard part is how do you go, you do have to sort of create the conceptions and sort of present them should you almost have to show people right so if you do that but has to be different. You're going to have to most likely do a lot of upfront work that you wouldn't do maybe other sort of traditional work where people understand that they quickly can sort of seed in their mind, I do think that's a, that's a huge challenge which I'm guessing everybody has. That's what I think of when we have to create unique digital experiences as what does that mean for you know working with others in the music field.

Museum Computer Network 21:59
Yeah, it's a design challenge, almost, primarily, right, and one that we've kind of, we, I mean, loved museums have been taking a crack at for for a long time, but it's always there, and you see it also with those virtual events, you know, where last year, we kind of retrofitted an analog event for virtual on the badge. This year we tried something new, it's still not perfect, you know, it's, we're still navigating those spaces. One of the questions I had for it that I was, I don't think I had the chance to ask was, when the, you know, the founders were talking about the hybrid New Museum. I would have been curious to know if your, the public has an idea or concept about what hyper New Museum is, you know, what are, what is there, what from the, from a public perspective museum goers perspective. What do you know what kind of digital experiences are they even interested in engaging with museums.

Unknown Speaker 23:12
I sometimes tend to think that the public has a much more unproblematic awareness of hybrids, that's already there, and that they're living, instead of museums, who are thinking of dividing or conceptualizing the whole concept. If I see teenagers. That's the obvious target group but if I see teenagers engaging and walking around the museum. There doesn't seem to be a real division between the space that they're engaging the digital space that they're engaging in and, and the museum space sometimes. So it's, sometimes I have the impression that they're already there in museums, not necessarily so.

Museum Computer Network 24:13
And also, with the tools that we have today which, you know, for all intents and purposes are. You know smartphones which have been around since what

Unknown Speaker 24:24
12 years

Museum Computer Network 24:25
2007 It'd be interesting to see like if you know I mean, you know, Google Glasses was never came through, there's rumors that is an apple or maybe Microsoft they're working on something, you know, there is, what for 12 years, what we've had with the main, you know, tool, that, that carries our technology around give us access to this world is, is incremental changes to to a phone, basically or a supercomputer we have in our pocket, and the entire digital ecosystem is built on the capabilities of those phones. Right, it will, you know, that's what we that's what we use. So, why could transform technology from a hardware perspective, and completely hear like talking about the systemic or transformational kind of event like the iPhone was in 2007. Then we all have to go back to the drawing board, you know, it's it's it's it's really interesting, but it doesn't take away in my opinion I think the, the challenge of for museums to continue to stay relevant. And in a world where, where, you know, we just get lost in our phones and and create, you know this, I think the word engagement is overused and there's a reason for it but, you know, basically you. So, in the second session, I mentioned Miele Wolf. Some of you may be familiar with this organization in Finnair Arizona or New Mexico, and very, very successful. And, you know, they, they pause, a real life threat to museums, I think. I've never been so I really can't talk to it I don't know if any, any one of you visited my wolf ever. I don't feel that bad. But um, you know they have lines and and tickets are Qatar remember how I might surprise but they obviously have a huge audience and and museums have, you know it, we're, you know, we always come back to the same problems is that institutionally where, where our governing structures are, you know, slow to react and adverse to to risk and in change, how do you adapt to, to a fast technology landscape is, is always a challenge for museums. But alright anyone else's thoughts around this love to hear.

Unknown Speaker 27:26
I can, I can add some, I think. I think there's a shift in thinking that needs to happen, and what in what and sort of shift, a shift in thinking needs to happen, like as as institutions we, we tend to think of our physical locations first and the things that happen, happen in these physical locations, so it's good if I use my own institution as an example, we, we tend to build things around what is happening in the matter. And I think what needs to shift is things that are happening by the natural, and when I say that that means that that opens us up to doing digital experiences that whereas, we're almost branded by the natural it's not necessarily about coming to a physical location and then this, this opens the door to us getting into the whole Metaverse VR experiences where you're not, you're not having people come to a location but they can remotely access I think you're a digital you entry point, and, and still have a Nasher Sculpture center experience. So I think there's this shift that that's that's happening and just to kind of echo what I put it in the comments earlier is I think some of that was one I think it is a capacity issue especially for some of us who are at smaller institutions. And we, you know the past couple years we've been able to kind of explore what visual is able to do for us because that was almost like our only option really to communicate with audiences. And so prior to that, it wasn't that, that we maybe didn't have, I think part of, part of it was, there wasn't a full awareness of what was possible with digital and it wasn't until we were kind of forced into it that we, we had to think about it, but I think it's, it's now become something where it will be a capacity issue of us continue to move forward, but I think it's also priority, the last couple of years, there wasn't a real understanding of what was possible. Maybe in. Maybe it's a lack of vision is kind of what I was high preference it but it's a lack of understanding of, you know, if we're going to do things by denature in these virtual spaces. This is what could come about, that's I think paying close attention to what meow Wolf is doing, what's the other one is a 10 blue or something, the one that's out there out Australia that they're doing a lot of the ones like these bad go experiences. These are all kind of feeding this narrative of what's happening in this kind of entertainment edutainment kind of space, how do we get involved. I think those are creating awareness for, for, for, for senior management for sure. So those are just some my takeaways that make them things that I've kind of mulling over and thinking about

Museum Computer Network 30:30
anything else that any of you have taken away from any of the sessions today.

Unknown Speaker 30:42
I didn't attend too much sessions because I came back from work, but I put in the link, maybe an interesting discussion that is happening in the Netherlands as well about decentralized collections. I know that there was some talking. During the sessions I heard someone talk about distributed museums, which may be relates to some of the topics, or the discussions that are happening in the Netherlands, which, from a technical point of view, are interesting, as well. It was presented that the semantics conference in Amsterdam this summer. But, the Royal Library in the Netherlands and also the digital Heritage Institute in the Netherlands are working on a pilot with

Unknown Speaker 31:41
solid, which is a project by Tim Berners Lee on how to build an open decentralized web. And interestingly enough in the Netherlands and in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, there's some pilots running with some of the museums here.

Unknown Speaker 32:09
Which sounds interesting and which uses a completely different paradigm of or builds on to some of the years of the open data collections and the open access paradigm. So that's, that's, that's interesting. That's maybe worthwhile mentioning. Thank you. Anyone else,

Museum Computer Network 32:36
CPR, did you, did you have a chance to listen to anything or.

Unknown Speaker 32:45
Hi, thank you.

Museum Computer Network 32:47
I didn't mean to put you on the spot, but you know, I did.

Unknown Speaker 32:54
It was, it was great contribution and definitely a topic which is so much aligned with the work of liberty, were a way of doing on open data content, and one one example I would like to share with you is the process we use in order to, to import and select, and the 4000 Plus institutions providing, in some ways, open data content, and to and how to bring in a normal language normalized representation by providing also 10 plus languages, you know, automatic translation text to speech, and, and creates a, I would say a knowledge graph from 4000 Plus collections. It was a great, great, great work. Our team was doing on that space and I would love to share. Whenever a questions on that space. I have a lot of insights on how the automated processes. On May, definitely bring. Yeah, New Horizons, on, on that space on the data import data normalization and data augmentation. Yeah, it was my, my contribution. Thank you for thank you for, for my time.

Unknown Speaker 34:32

Museum Computer Network 34:36
yeah, that's, that's kind of, you know, it's I as I said earlier, I think, in terms of digital maturity Europe is is on par with North America and the issues are pretty much the same. You know the funding model is obviously different. So I think, you know what one of the concerns I have in the US is a lot of mini museum digital workers leaving the museums and going to work for, you know, the private sector, which we can't really blame them because they, you know, double triple their salaries, but if it stopped if it's if it's it you know if it's not stopped. Museums couldn't find themselves very quickly at a deficit, because, you know, highly skill. Digital workers would be leaving. And then, you know museums need all the skills in digital that, that, but the, the museums are going to have to, you know, pay competitive salaries, and that's, that's a reality, and to me that's a very, very grave problem, to be honest with you. I don't know what's the situation in Europe because, you know, labor relationships and labor laws are different in salaries also, in compensation packages are different, but you know it's some, it's it's something that I think us museums are going to have to contend with, within the next couple of years.

Unknown Speaker 36:23
I couldn't agree more. And that's also the reason why it's so important to raise awareness and to address the issue on conferences like this and that's incredibly helpful. To make the problem more tangible and easier to address within institutions themselves,

Museum Computer Network 36:48
do, do you see that in Holland on a smaller scale.

Unknown Speaker 36:54
I'm it's I'm badly placed working in the biggest museum in the Netherlands, where I actually took, I managed, and so it's a bad example but I've managed it took me a year and a half but I managed to.

Unknown Speaker 37:21
I'm trying to translate and I'm tired but to God. A new compensation or a better compensation for my IT stuff, comparable to it on the regular market. So there. Yeah, so that's that's very atypical. Yeah, it's very very easy, but it took me a long time but I managed to do that because in the past we had the same problem that people couldn't be be kept and, yeah, so that that's the whole idea of sustainability. Once again it is something easier to address. When, when, during Corona that became so dire and such

Museum Computer Network 38:19
a topic. Yeah, very strong. Yeah, it's not just about technology, but you know technology as we all know is, you know, is like the teams that know those tools that can innovate around those tools that know some, you know computing languages and, but if you don't have them, you can do anything. It's like you, you, you have a kitchen but no cooks. And it's a it's, it's gonna be a very, very, very

Unknown Speaker 38:50
long run, got people moving away from museums to companies that that's the kind of ecosystem, then very often they return with those companies to the museums and do custom museums more than if museums wouldn't be able to retain them. Because, to begin with. So in the end, it's just the more expensive. Yeah, construction. Sometimes they don't even leave the field, they just return in another capacity.

Museum Computer Network 39:28
Right, of course. Yeah, but I've noticed that in the past, you know, a year. You know some budget people have just gone to the other side and, yeah, as I said, I mean who can blame them. Right. But usings are, are the ones that are really losing out on this, and I don't think that leadership has any conception, whatsoever, that this is happening and, you know, they're just like well hire somebody else. Yeah, the same salary, you're not going to find somebody had the same salary, and that's a problem because if you're highly if you're highly skilled tech worker, you know, and even if I'm just not talking about programmers, but like, data analysts mean that you know that these are like they do. You know, that's the bulk of understanding data and and trends and deriving Insights is, is how you derive, how you inform business strategy and. And if you don't have that, especially in a virtual kind of environment where you know your audience is, is outside your doors, if you don't have your, your, your, your finger on the pulse of what's happening i You're, you just don't read, you have no intelligence, basically, and, you know, so. Anyway, I think we've gotten a little bit off topic here but, but it these are, these are just, you know, these are like another I think to me, this is a very important kind of, you know what is digital now I think it needs to be part of the integral, it needs to make its way in the global recap on the 10th. Because it's, I don't hear it enough, I mean, people know oh you're leaving. Yeah, are you going to Facebook or somebody something else and great. Okay, and, and, yeah, what would go, what does that mean. And I think we will be unpleasantly surprised over you, you know, soon.

Unknown Speaker 41:38
All right, well,

Museum Computer Network 41:39
four minutes, towards the end, if you don't have anyone has any last word.

Unknown Speaker 41:45

Museum Computer Network 41:47
answer no, thank you for CO, hosting the European tracks with me today. And the last of our global tour it would be next Wednesday, the 27th, and it would be on Latin America. Then we have 433 or four, three sessions, great sessions for Latin America. So, be back next week. Okay. Thanks, everyone. Lovely to see us as camp DEAI.

Unknown Speaker 42:19
same time, bye bye.