As museums and cultural institutions face the prospect of a 1.5mt-apart life and economy, how to offer meaningful visitors’ experiences whilst keeping afloat of financial needs has become a most pressing question.
Research & Ideation @ Hybrid Space Lab, Berlin, 2020
The current pandemic accelerates the digitization of cultural life, reinforcing a development that cultural and heritage institutions have been witnessing for the past decade. Since a long time, cultural practices and spaces have become hybrid, with the physical merging with the virtual, as programs taking place in physical locations heavily rely on virtual, nonlocal, distributed audiences in front of screens. Moreover, the long due digitalization of heritage is a demanding, time-consuming, and budget-intensive task.
With the increasing hybridity between the digital and the physical, new scenarios can unfold to rethink venues, formats and reach. This enables attracting larger audiences and the implementation of new ways of experiencing and participating in cultural life.
Akin to the co-creative processes characterizing other fields, digital networks can help to actively interact with and involve audiences. Fostering the public’s participation, interaction and engagement supports the community-building around cultural institutions. This opens possibilities for the re-considering of business models and for the development of new concepts for revenue diversification.
As digitalization radically redefines how people around the world communicate and connect, the exploration of what the future of museums holds requires considering physical spaces together with digital media networks, focusing on the hybrid qualities of spaces and formats. Although a most challenging time, the current crisis can be an occasion to rethink and reconsider choices as well as priorities and to develop sustainable perspectives by exploring new models for revenues and venues.
(Re)Venue: Digital Heritage and Hybrid Museums is a professional exchange and ideation program involving a broad range of professionals from museums and heritage institutions and from the creative industry. As a Dutch-German international collaboration, the program is conceived in the form of a “Joint Field Lab”, a co-creation workshop environment for generating hands-on ideas and solutions and for fostering a transnational interdisciplinary professional network around the challenges described above.
(Re)Venue: Digital Heritage and Hybrid Museums develops trans-disciplinary perspectives, tapping into the possibility of mutual enrichment and bringing together professionals from the audiovisual sector, creatives with expertise in media, digital technologies, game, sound, production-staging and communication, start-ups and experts in alternative economy and innovative business models as well as in production-staging and communication alongside with museums, cultural and heritage institutions and artists.
Drawing on Hybrid Space Lab’s engagement in the rethinking and strengthening of public space and culture in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, (Re)Venue is launched by Hybrid Space Lab as part of a threefold of projects: With the project Hybrid Staging, exploring the artistic, social, and sustainable potential of hybrid (combined onsite and online) cultural staging, and the project Reboot Culture, addressing the need for a modular mobile infrastructure to support hybrid public cultural events, the project (Re)Venue investigates how museums and cultural institutions can rethink their venues and revenue models anew.
* How to re-envision museums’ venues and revenue models in the times of the Digital?