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Reframing objects, objectifying photos? Digital collections in Inventing Europe

Talk for SAE/VSC symposium "De gevoelige plaat" 29 October 2012

Alexander Badenoch

on 24 June 2014

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Transcript of Reframing objects, objectifying photos? Digital collections in Inventing Europe

Reframing objects, objectifying photos?
Digital collections in
(Tampere museums) http://siiri.tampere.fi/public.do
language: fi
date: 1929
description: Singer-ompelukoneen esittelijä Ruovedellä Muroleen nuorisoseurantalolla.
publisher: Museum Centre Vapriikki
rights: Museum Centre Vapriikki
identifier: 413:6245
creator: Matti Luhtala
subject: sewing machines, advertising, youth, youth associations
type: image
source: View this object in Siiri: the object, image and culture database
A seller of Singer sewing machines in front of the Youth Association House in Murole, Finland.
Re-framing objects
(narrative oriented)
(database oriented)
('exhibitions' = 'collections'? bear with me.....)
Guest curator

Related objects
frames of curation
themed groups of stories
narrative linking
of 5-6 objects
plus academically referenced text
tours written by
transnational narrative
from their own collections
from the home site of partner
linked via rss feed
framing voice
Europe in the Global World
By Maria Paula Diogo and Dirk van Laak

From Nature to Networks: Europe’s infrastructure transition and its consequences
By Per Högselius, Arne Kaijser and Erik van der Vleuten

European Technological Dramas: Stories of Usage and Consumption
By Mikael Hård and Ruth Oldenziel

Eventing Europe: Electronic Information and Communication Spaces in Europe
By Andreas Fickers and Pascal Griset

Knowledge Societies, Expert Networks and Innovation Cultures in Europe
By Helmuth Trischler and Martin Kohlrausch

Governing Europe: Technology, Experts and Networks
By Wolfram Kaiser, Johan Schot and Dagmara Jajesniak-Quast
"Learn how, where, and why technologies were fundamental to shaping modern Europe. Discover how experts, innovators, and technological institutions helped generate 150 years of European advances and disasters, divisions and re-unions. " www.makingeurope.eu
10 heritage collections
collection themes
collection sizes
metadata systems
sizes of institution
degrees of digitization
types of web presence
orientation toward Europe
A new history of Europe
Technology as transnational history
objectifying photos?
6 books, 14 authors
objects vs. photos?
V2 Rocket, Deutsches Museum (my photo, June 2012)
V2 rocket on launch pad, Operation Backfire, Cuxhaven, Germany, 1945.
Who is this mystery man?
"Frozen time"
capture experience
show use, scale
Status as physical artefact becomes transparent
digital avatars
"material avatar"
highlight form, design
loss of scale, context
questions of framing turn transparent
Distinction between object metadata and image metadata
Metadata for one or the other often missing
Photographer and context of photography often lost
Digital collections remediate different forms of museum media: inventories, catalogues, museum displays, (etc.)
VE 301-dyn, 1938
Deutsches Museum, Objektsammlung
Udine II, 1956
Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR
Amy Johnson's de Havilland Moth "Jason I" http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/images/I004/10216060.aspx
Marga von Etzdorf, lying on her plane, cleaning the motor, 1930 (Deutsches Museum)
The flattening of the Spitfire's 12 exhaust pipes increased the speed of the escaping gas. This provided a small but significant increase in thrust, adding almost 5 miles per hour.
Image Number: WEB10808-2008
Credit: Photo by Carolyn Russo, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
De Rijcke and Beaulieu, 2011
multiplying visual vernaculars make multiple frames visible
opens toward multiple voices and dialogue between forms of expertise
toward new interactions with (and questions of) heritage

Framing (Bal 2002): reflexive act (framing frames the framer); (multiple) framing puts objects 'under pressure'
online at Inventing Europe http://www.inventingeurope.eu/exhibit1tour2item3/
Framing in Inventing Europe
Book series, due 2012:
Sony cube radio in online catalogue
as photographed for Inventing Europe
interfaces in dialogue:
Framing details (from display and catalogue photos)
Three ways of viewing an airplane
compare with the Smithsonian's photographic engagement with their collection (Photographer Carolyn Russo)
archive vs. display photos: which tells you more?
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