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With the rise of digitization, a seismic quake ran through society’s multifarious themes and areas of work. Today, the “fourth industrial revolution”—others speak of the “second machine age” (Brynjolfsson and McAfee)—is moving our lives increasingly from PC and Internet towards the Internet of things and services. Analogue thinking becomes smart thinking 4.0. In this development, culture takes on a special role. For although the rise of the then New Media entered art and culture a lot earlier—film, video, computer-based interaction—the “institution” of culture remained in abeyance for a long time, and allowed numerous modernization tendencies to pass it by. In the meantime digitization is firmly a part of art’s DNA, and now cultural institutions are starting to venture down disruptive paths to support innovative processes.
The smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture conference focuses on the necessities and scope of digital renewal within culture. It is not the digitization of a museum’s holdings that is the issue, but today’s “routes” to culture that stand in the foreground.
Here the concept of the “smart place” is understood as an ecosystem that centers on the expectations and needs of the visitor. The individualized approach, a focus of the “user experience," in tandem with a customer journey that leaves no desires unfulfilled with a dialogue to match pose new challenges for technology and marketing, but also for the cultural offerings themselves.
As the first in a series of three smARTplaces conferences, smARTplaces | INNOVATION in Culture encompasses all the areas of audience development that are currently the most important.
The section on Digital Marketing in Culture deals with the current target audiences and the appropriate segmentation of potential and established museum visitors. How does one address potential visitors more precisely, and how should the raised data be handled? Can culture afford to handle data in the way the commercial world does, and at the same time maintain its corrective function toward developments in society? Technologies open up numerous possibilities—and not only in the background: “culture goes tech” (“new technologies—new scope”) demonstrates from a variety of perspectives how with games and the idea of gamification, with AR and VR, elements of entertainment enter cultural institutions enabling them to develop in new and exciting ways. It is only a matter of time until AI programs start to play a role in cultural institutions. “ARTs and the Digital” leaves the area of application and looks at the arts and their treatment of digital aspects and technology. How have the arts utilized the emerging digital possibilities to their advantage, formed them, and at the same time worked on and through them? What might this development of the arts mean for the audience and how might it possibly assist the institutions themselves to deliver culture in the broadest sense to society? Amongst others the question arises whether in the future the cultural institutions will take the form of digital platforms.
Changes to processes within institutions are an indispensable element of development in the course of digital transformation and disruption. In workshops and seminars basics of “design thinking” and “experience design” for everyday practice in the running of cultural institutions, as well as the overarching area of “change management,” occupy an important place at the conference. The conference addresses cultural institutions and their decision-makers in the areas of communication and marketing, events and exhibitions.
smARTplaces is a visionary, long-term European Audience Development Project that aims to revolutionize the way culture and art can be perceived and consumed using digital technology and new forms of cultural mediation. SmARTplaces will be delivered by a partnership of eight museums and creative centers from six European countries (supported by two research partners) in order to achieve a new approach to audience development, audience engagement, co-creation, capacity building within the institutions, gaining international exposure for art exhibitions, and new creative works.
The smARTplaces project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Information about the project smARTplaces, plus the conference program (to be published shortly) can be found here: smartplaces.eu and under zkm.de/projekt/smartplaces.
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