Project: DiVersions

Heritage collection data: Are ’facts’ static?

Debate organised by VIAA/PACKED in the context of DiVersions.

Metadata of museal collections are generally thought of as static, but in reality they often include a degree of uncertainty or are subject to change. Therefore throughout time, new versions of datasets come into being, which may or may not be stored or documented. When a museum describes their collections, they make certain choices. To what degree are these conscious choices? How actively are metadata being changed and by which logic/strategy? Which role does scientific research, geopolitical changes or changes in personal play?

The Diversions project gathers artists intrigued by the versions of collections data and who engaged with them artistically. During this debate we bring artistic perspectives in conversation with the practices of people who work with data at institutions on a day to day basis.

DiVersions is an artistic project initiated by Constant. It explores the potential of digital archives as sites for decolonial and intersectional practice and speculates on how cultural institutions and cultural heritage can work with and through difference. The debate provides an opportunity for the wider public and for people working in heritage institutions to engage with the work of the artists.

With amongst others:

  • Nacha Van Steen (Collection analist, Museum for Art & History, Brussels)
  • Anais Berck (artist, Wikified Colonial Botany)
  • Marie Lecrivain (artist, Collection of uncertainties)

Moderated by Sam Donvil + Bart Magnus (VIAA/PACKED)

Image: Marie Lecrivain, Colm o’Neill, Collection des incertitudes

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