Kajsa Hartig

A blog about Cultural Heritage and Digital Communication


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Surprise me #Blogg100

Watching the Eurovision Song Contest is a tradition in many Swedish families. And of course, I’ve written about it before. Yesterday was the final contest in Sweden, the time to nominate the song that will be represent our country in the ESC in Austria in May .

The winner was Måns Zelmerlöw. Perhaps not the most amazing song in my opinion, but an excellent performance. The singer was interacting with an animated character. Also not the most innovative idea perhaps, but it was executed in a perfect way, that was totally different from every other competing song. A surprise, and an entertaining moment. Obviously he won.

Take away: Show something that the audience have never seen before, and do it with emotions, with humor and passion and do it in a flawless manner. There you go, the recipe for the successful museum.

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Blog post 13/100 #Blogg100-challenge


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How to encourage visitor photography #Blogg100 #museweb


Visitor photography matters. This museums goes all in.

The trend to acknowledge and embrace visitor photography is vital for all museums. To what extent it can be encouraged varies of course depending on the museum. The issues with selfie sticks have to be resolved. But the benefits are undoubtedly many, and I would urge all museums to further explore the possibilities of visitor photography.

The Art in Island museum in the Philippines creates environments for the visitor to enter, and a possibility to create personal narratives that includes the museum. The settings encourage visitors to act in a playful way. It’s humour and it’s fun!

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Blog post 10/100 #Blogg100-challenge


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I have to admit – I get seasick by Oculus Rift #Blogg100

I get seasick by Oculus Rift. I’ve only tried it once, for two minutes, then I almost panicked (which is a bit embarrasing to admit).

The problem is I also get seasick when my son shows me new things he built on Minecraft, he moves around very fast. Or when he flies an air plane in other games. Getting on a real roller coaster would never occur to me.

That’s why today I was happy to read To Bring Virtual Reality to Market, Furious Efforts to Solve Nausea. So it’s not just me. In fact it’s a problem for the entire industry. Apparently some games causing nausea will still be allowed, but ”labelled as such” (!). I any case I am looking forward to the day when these issues are solved.

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Blog post 7/100 #Blogg100 challenge


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Immersive theatre, cinema dell’arte and museums #MW2013 #Blogg100

A short video of Punchdrunk Enrichment’s flagship Primary school project ‘Under The Eiderdown’.

The closing plenary that yesterday ended the Museums and the Web 2013 conference in Portland, Oregon, efficiently summed up the exciting future ahead for museums. A future that literally requires removing boundaries between not only digital and physical, but between museums and other cultural and non cultural sectors. Also most likely redefining what a museum is, or should be.

The title of the presentation was What can museums learn from immersive theatre? and adressed the need to rethink and renew the core of the museum experience, exhibitions, by looking at immersive theatre for new ideas. Participating online was Diane Borger. Diane Borger is the producer who brought the theatre company Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More to the US in 2009 (http://www.americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/sleep-no-more). Sleep no more continues to play in New York today (http://sleepnomorenyc.com).

So what is Sleep no more all about?

Sleep No More is a theatrical experience (not a play, per se) that combines elements of Macbeth, film noir, and uses an abandoned hotel as the setting. The audience are all given white masks and instructed to remain completely silent throughotut the performance. Actors move about the hotel, up and down stairs, and scenes take place throughout the builidng over the course of a night. The performances build to a climax, but aside from that, you don’t really get any guidance on how to experience the night. Some people follow actors, some camp out in a space, all of which are extensively decorated and full of objects that reflect something about the plot. You can rummage around in desk drawers, open doors and wander as the events play out around you. Parties are encouraged to split up, and while I was there, I saw a couple actively separated by ushers and deposited on different floors as we rode the elevator up. Definitely not your typical night at the theatre.
Ed Rodley, Thinking about Museums

Sleep no more is an experience that puts the visitor out of his/her comfort zone, removes him/her of naturally safe surroundings such as other participants, includes more than two senses into the experience – the participants are encouraged to touch and interact with the settings. There are one on one encounters with the actors and there is a large portion of participation.

The idea of, by actually placing the participant in an environment that triggers emotions, fear, joy, surprise etc, is something that museums definitely should take a closer look at. To achieve this experience participation is central. For the visitor to be exposed and to loose control, but at the same time to be able to change the experience by reacting and in fact perhaps also acting.

Another very interesting project, similar in many ways to Sleep no more, is Cinema dell’arte in Denmark. It merges theatre with cinema and gaming! Take a look at this video and imagine the possibilities of merging digital with the physical experience and to put participation in focus: In museums.

Presentation video – Cinema dell’Arte from Cinema dell'Arte on Vimeo.

Cinema dell’Arte – Presentation for indiegogo from Cinema dell’Arte on Vimeo.

More reading on immersion and museums

Worlds within worlds: Immersion and museums, by Suse Cairns (2013-03-07)

On Sleep No More, magic and immersive storytelling,  by Seb Chan (2012-03-23)

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Blog post 032/100 #Blogg100 challenge