At Conecta, the second smARTplaces confrence in Zaragoza. In this photo: Abhay Adhikari with members of the Cultural Manifesto Editorial Board — Sharna Jackson and Cleo Schoeps. Photo credit: Jennifer

Can we talk about digital practices in the cultural sector, at a human scale?

This is a transcription of the talk introducing the cultural engagement manifesto at Conecta, the second smARTplaces conference on Audience and Mediation on the 14th and 15th of March 2019 at Etopia Centre for Art & Technology in Zaragoza.

How did the manifesto begin?
With an interesting conversation

What is the smARTplaces Cultural Engagement Manifesto? It’s our attempt to start a meaningful conversation

  1. The first conversation we’re having, is about the future. The are lots of hopeful scenarios of what our institutions could look like in this digitally-enabled future — open and accessible — where the public interface, whether it is online, through an app or a physical exhibition space, is seamless, interactive and playful.
  2. The second conversation we’re having about digital is to do with the present moment. Right now, everything that is digitally-enabled is complex and unpredictable. It takes up too much time and too much money.

We want to define the space between hope and fear

A conversation on digital practices, at a human scale

  • It is the enterprising community officer from a local library who uses the Google translate app on their smartphone to engage newly arrived migrants in their city so they don’t end up becoming socially isolated.
  • It is the Director of Digital of a National Gallery, who has made sure at least some of the multi-million dollar budget for the gallery refit has been allocated to usability research so that any new technology that will be used, will be is accessible to every visitor.
  • It is the curator, who is waiting nervously with the communications intern, moments before she answers questions about her work, in real-time from people on a social media platform like Twitter.
  • Or it could be the Head of Marketing, who has just been asked to commission an augmented reality app for their Cultural Centre, and is doing a lot of research to make sure the money is not wasted on creating something that nobody wants or uses.

The first step, questionnaire launch

The smARTplaces Cultural Manifesto Editorial Board. Click here to find out more.

The editorial board

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I am interested in the context & values of our Digital Identities.

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Abhay Adhikari

I am interested in the context & values of our Digital Identities.