P011
The effects of digitisation: art, object, knowledge, responsibility

Convenors:
James Leach (CNRS)
Lissant Bolton (British Museum)
Format:
Panels
Location:
British Museum - BP Lecture Theatre
Start time:
1 June, 2018 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

What are the effects of transforming art/knowledge/artefact into digital formats? We seek to interrogate the effects of access and transmission in altered formats, and how these transformations can best be approached to meet various and varying interests and agendas.

Long abstract:

What are the effects of transforming art/knowledge/artefact into digital formats? The digitisation of art, knowledge, and artefacts brings to the fore key questions of responsibility, trust, and connection. Ranging from indigenous artefacts and knowledge of technique, design, and use, to the presentation of art forms in new ways, and to issues around collected artefacts and repatriation, new media means new relations of access, of control, and of format. But objects and art are already replete with the conditions and terms of their own production. Is digitising artefacts and knowledge just another way of documenting them? We suggest that it can make them anew, and that this implies a new politics, and a new and altered resource. While we might point to distinctions in both kinds of content, and kinds of media format that shape the possibilities and outcomes of digitisation, there are also relationships and expectations in which these things are already embedded. How do, or should, developments around the digital (often carried on a wave of optimism) meet? We seek to interrogate who and what knowledge/artefact/art is for, the effects of access and transmission in altered formats, and how these transformations can best be approached to meet various and varying interests and agendas. We are interested in contributions with a view to modeling or understanding appropriate responses that could shape future digitisation projects. What could ethnographic material, or artists' practices (for example), offer in the way of different models for thinking about ownership and responsibility in this domain?