Sustainable space for meeting, discussion and collaboration - REACH
The upcoming three-year REACH project will establish a Social Platform as a sustainable space for meeting, discussion and collaboration
by a wide-ranging network of development bodies, tourism, education, creative industries, policy-makers, cultural heritage professionals, academic experts, arts practitioners, professionals in archives and galleries, and associations, local societies and interest groups representative of non-professionals– all those with a stake in research and practice in the field of culture and cultural heritage (CH).
The REACH Social Platform’s activities will have a twofold scope:
Support: to map and provide analysis of research results achieved in previous programmes, to identify current and emerging research trends, and to offer authoritative new knowledge of the CH field to the European Commission and policy-makers
Coordination: to offer benefits to its participants, expanding knowledge of complementary research and practice domains, and of new methodologies, generating opportunities for cooperation, offering pathways to wider user-engagement with research and practitioner outputs
In the context of radical social changes taking place at all levels – from the local to the global - , Europe faces a serious challenge: the need for its citizens to live together in peace and mutual respect and to value and enjoy the diversity of cultures across society. The REACH project is based on the proposition that CH plays an important role in contributing to social integration in Europe, and that a fuller and more detailed picture of the range, type and impact of research and participatory research methodologies, current and future, associated with these subjects will further enhance their potential for social good.
The act of reflection – on who we are, on what we do, on our values, our roots and our histories – is a crucial part of establishing our identities, of managing the conduct of our daily lives as social beings and hence of building a society which is peaceful, inclusive and integrated. CH is a vital element in the reflective process: it is an instrument both for exploring questions of identity and for overcoming barriers to mutual understanding and tolerance. However, such a role for CH is often a contested one with, for example, arguments for economic value opposing those for intrinsic value or arguments for localism challenging those for pan-national ‘Europeanisation’.
The REACH Social Platform will create tools and instruments to trigger the debate on how participatory approaches can contribute to develop a common horizon of understanding and trigger social innovation processes.
Digital Echoes Symposium 2018 - Reflections Off the Future
As an acoustic phenomenon, an echo is a reflection of sound off a surface. The time it takes to reach this surface and return is proportional to the distance between the sound source and the surface. Digital Echoes began in 2011 engaging with reflections off the surfaces of the past, in the form of artistic responses to two digital dance archives. For Digital Echoes 2018, we invited contributions that reflect off the surfaces of the future. As the question “Where are we now?” was the starting point for the Dance Fields symposium at Roehampton in April 2017, we propose for Digital Echoes 2018 to ask, “Where are we going?”
Therefore, for Digital Echoes 2018 we asked people to let their imaginations run free, to dream up how this future echo might appear. We made this proposal in the wake of the publicity surrounding Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2015) and inspired by the concept of Future Studies, an interdisciplinary field not without its controversies (is it or is it not a field?). What interests us is the possibility of a certain rigor: the study and analysis of patterns of the past and present to explore “sustainable futures”. In 2018, we are also going against the historical digital grain of the symposium and encouraging contributions from a broader range of perspectives whether they consider themselves to be analogue, beyond- or Post-digital.
The upcoming three-year REACH project will establish a Social Platform as a sustainable space for meeting, discussion and collaboration by a wide-ranging network of development bodies, tourism, education, creative industries, policy-makers, cultural heritage professionals, academic experts, arts practitioners, professionals in archives and galleries, and associations, local societies and interest groups representative of non-professionals– all those with a stake in research and practice in the field of culture and cultural heritage (CH).
Research with a Twist
Since ethnography’s somatic or affective turn, a researcher’s physical sensations are understood to contribute to insights into people and cultures. However, there are no adequate courses that teach students how to be in their bodies and utilise their body as research instrument. This project translates insights from somatics to scholarly research, and explores the contribution and benefits that can come from such integration.
Sensing the City: an Embodied Documentation and Mapping of the Changing Uses and Tempers of Urban Place
The overall purpose of the research is to model a usable practice-based template for sensing the city, drawing on the city of Coventry (UK) as a case-study in the first instance. The template will offer a range of methodologies towards, first, engaging constructively and productively with urban sites using the sensate presence of the human body as the primary means of gathering data and, second, processing and presenting that data in innovative ways within a critical framework that assesses the city's habitability and sustainability.