Back to UMAC-Universeum 2021

UMAC-Universeum 2021 has fantastic workshops (A to G). Although attendance is free, the number of participants is limited and pre-registration is required.

Deadline: 25 August.

Only registered participants will have access to the workshop rooms.

Register here.

Workshop A: ‘Living with viruses’: Informing and educating the public against all conspiracy odds

Dominick Verschelde, GUM Ghent University Museum, Belgium

Hanne Windels, Kathy Messens, Mieke Uyttendaele, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium

Date & Hour: 1 September, 14-15.30 h (Lisbon/London time)

Max. Number Participants: 40 (first come, first served)

Short Description

There is hope to get the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) under control, but it will maintain to leave its  marks on the global society. Adapting to a new way of working and communicating has influenced everyone, including the (university) museum community.

Wanting to address the public’s call for information, and its fear resulting out of the stream of disinformation from the internet, media, and rising conspiracy theories, we engaged ourselves to inform teachers and students on ‘living with viruses’, and organize debate sessions in the university museum.

In a cooperation between the UGent Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, and the Ghent University Museum an educational master’s thesis was written out to find a way to educate the public on the biology of viruses, and their impact on society, in order to arm the public against misinformation, and wrongly induced fear due to the present infodemic  and conflicting reports related to these coronaviruses providing fuel to conspiracy theories. This information is aided by emphasizing on the scientific method and critical thinking. As a result a teachers package was produced enabling teachers to address the subject with secondary school student, and a follow-up debate in the Ghent University Museum.

Register here.

Workshop B: Teaching and Learning with Digitized Collections in Higher Education Contexts

Neil Curtis, University of Aberdeen, Museum and Special Collections, UK

Catherine Eagleton, Libraries and Museums, University of St Andrews, UK

Maria Economou, University of Glasgow, Hunterian Museum, UK

Kamila Oles, Libraries and Museums, University of St Andrews, UK

Susannah Waters, Glasgow School of Art, Archives and Collections, UK

Date & Hour: 1 September, 14-15.30 h (Lisbon/London time)

Max. Number of Participants: 40 (first come, first served)

Short Description:

Covid-19 has led  to a rush by museums to digitise and to create digital content, in parallel with a dramatic shift to online and hybrid teaching and learning by universities.  This rapidly accelerates and expands activity that was already in progress, building on existing and long-standing work, but with many new features.

 Members of the University Museums in Scotland (UMIS) group have initiated a joint research project, supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through its Covid-19 urgency funding.

 As neither museums nor universities were prepared for this sudden change, this project is undertaking high-quality research at speed. It is exploring the opportunities, capacity and barriers for digital engagement with collections, interoperability between institutions, and evaluating the impact of collections-based university teaching that has been pushed to online and digital delivery.

This workshop will present the research project’s initial findings, before hosting a broader two-way discussion (with break-out groups if numbers are sufficient). This will enable us to learn about best practise and possible case studies from university museums across Europe, and ensure that the project responds to the questions, concerns, and needs of the sector at that point in this changing and changeable year.

Register here.

Workshop C: Theorising Access in Museum Practice

Nicky Reeves, Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery/University of Glasgow, UK

Ana Baeza Ruiz, Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture/Middlesex University, UK

Annelies Van de Ven, Musée L/Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Date & Hour: 1 September, 15.30-17 h (Lisbon/London time)

Max. Number of Participants: 30 (first come, first served)

Short Description:

Facilitating or expanding access are fundamental goals of museum work in higher education, yet the term itself can be ill-defined and under-theorised.

What is being accessed, by whom, and why, and what, most of all, does access consist of?

We would like to facilitate an interactive workshop in which we reflect on the complexity of access in university museums.

We will consider experiences of access in a university museum context: Why has touching been framed as unmediated, basic, authentic, particularly accessible? Why, at the same time, is visibility framed as a synonym for accessibility? How does this impact learning with collections? Can access mean physical and temporal proximity, and what might it mean to put access on display? Can access literally be on display?

Our workshop will also engage with the history and politics of access, accessibility and assistive technologies: What normative assumptions about people, their bodies, and their interactions with things and the world are queried, queered, overcome, or reinforced, in the recent history of access? Can we find a generative history of access through reading museum collections themselves, and can university museums be a place to give a critical account of the history, politics and phenomenology of access?

Register here.

Workshop D & E: Live From… Working Group Universeum Digital Initiatives I & II

Delphine Issenmann, Université de Strasbourg, France

Frank Meijer, Dutch Foundation for Academic Heritage, The Netherlands

Martin Stricker, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Date & Hour: 2 September, 8-9.30 h (I) and 15.30-17.00 h (II) (Lisbon/London time)

Max. Number of Participants: no limit

Short Description:

This April, the Working Group Digital Initiatives organised an experimental live online visit in the Observatory of Astronomy of the University of Strasbourg via Zoom. With only the use of an iPad and an iPhone, Delphine Issenmann and Sébastien Soubiran (as camera operator) guided us through the building and its collections.

The experiment was a great success. The live element and impromptu aspects of the guided tour made it feel like a real shared experience. This was the closest we could get to an actual ‘conference visit’, we all have had to miss this year.

Therefore, the working group digital initiatives is going to repeat this experiment for the upcoming Universeum / UMAC conference with working group workshop sessions: Live from….!

Register here.

Workshop F: Artistic Research at the Interface of Object Cultures from University Teaching Collections, Science and Contemporary Art

Anton Ginzburg, Schaufler Residency TU Dresden, Germany

Ralf Weber, Head of the Color Research and Teaching Collection, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

Kirsten Vincenz, Director Office for Academic Heritage, Scientific and Art Collections, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

Date & Hour: 2 September, 17-18.30 h (Lisbon/London time)

Max. Number of Participants: no limit

Short Description:

How does the cooperation between art, science and university teaching collections present itself in times of Corona? Which challenges are evident, which potentials can be generated? To what extent does the pandemic influence and change the cooperation between artists and scientists when it takes place primarily in the digital space and with what consequences? How to activate and engage the archives and exhibition spaces? What is the value of such cooperation for university collections and for artists?

Anton Ginzburg’s artistic research project at Technical University Dresden, focuses on exploring concepts of creativity, public art and cultural labor. Drawing on early modernist methods of artistic practice and the legacy of the modernist artistic vocabulary of the 20thcentury, he reflects on contemporary strategies of technological mechanization of labor, such as machine learning, and their influence on contemporary artistic practices. To this end, Ginzburg examines teaching objects from the university’s Collection of Mathematical Models and Color Research and Theory Collection, which can stand as a starting point for algorithmically supported visualizations of form and color in GDR art and architecture. Ginzburg understands the university teaching collections as an “archive” in the sense of an extension of his artistic practice.

Register here.

Workshop G: Intangible Cultural Heritage at the University: Let’s Explore!

Lieselot Cornelis, ETWIE – Centre of Expertise in the field of technical, scientific and industrial heritage in Flanders & Brussels, Belgium

Date & Hour: 3 September, 8-9.30 h (Lisbon/London time)

Max. Number of Participants: no limit

Short Description:

In this workshop we want to explore new opportunities of intangible cultural heritage: which ICH there is to be found in a university, what can we do with it, how can we contribute to safeguarding ICH, which tools and projects can we use as best practices? Not only traditions such as the culture of student associations or ritual processions at the start of the academic year, but of a technical nature, like taxidermy, scientific glassblowing, preparing microscopic slides…

Intangible cultural heritage is everywhere: the fair, avalanche risk management, alpinism, falconry, processions, dry stone walling, lace making, sign language, woodturning etc. ICH means the practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities, groups and sometimes individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. These practices and know-how are transmitted from generation to generation within communities, are created and transformed continuously by them, depending on the environment and their interaction with nature and history.

The UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage is a treaty adopted in 2003, enforced in 2006 and is currently ratified, approved or accepted by 180 (of 193) states. The Convention wants to raise awareness at local, national and international levels of the importance of ICH.

Register here.