Artcasting, mobilities, and inventiveness

TitleArtcasting, mobilities, and inventiveness
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsRoss J, Sowton C, Knox J, Speed C
Abstract

Museum and gallery learning has been greatly affected by digital practices and technologies, and there is an extended history in the sector of explorations of mobility and engagement. Where museums and galleries use and work with them as powerful objects in their own right, the impact of digital artefacts and their mobilities can be striking. The Artcasting research project explored how a mobilities perspective can provide new insights into, and strategies for, museum and gallery evaluation. The project developed, tested and assessed a new digital and mobile form of evaluation of arts-based engagement in the context of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour in the UK. This chapter explores the challenges and opportunities of approaching evaluation in an exploratory and inventive way, through a lens of mobilities. Contemporary arts evaluation practice is an often unspoken aspect of community engagement with cultural heritage that requires more, and more creative, attention. The Artcasting project focused on this issue by creating a digital platform through which some assumptions about evaluation could be challenged: that engagement and evaluation are inherently separate; that digital methods can best by deployed by simply making existing practices more efficient; and that there is little room for imaginative or inventive interventions in the evaluation space. Artcasting exposed tensions and issues which were beyond the scope of the project to ‘solve’, but which generated rich dialogue about intersections of place, movement, engagement, technology, and evaluation. Artcasting is framed here not only as an innovative digital intervention, but as a conceptual object to think and learn with, offering ways of going beyond instrumental uses of technology to solve a specific problem, towards ‘inventive problem-making’ (Michael 2012).Museum and gallery learning has been greatly affected by digital practices and technologies, and there is an extended history in the sector of explorations of mobility and engagement. Where museums and galleries use and work with them as powerful objects in their own right, the impact of digital artefacts and their mobilities can be striking. The Artcasting research project explored how a mobilities perspective can provide new insights into, and strategies for, museum and gallery evaluation. The project developed, tested and assessed a new digital and mobile form of evaluation of arts-based engagement in the context of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour in the UK. This chapter explores the challenges and opportunities of approaching evaluation in an exploratory and inventive way, through a lens of mobilities. Contemporary arts evaluation practice is an often unspoken aspect of community engagement with cultural heritage that requires more, and more creative, attention. The Artcasting project focused on this issue by creating a digital platform through which some assumptions about evaluation could be challenged: that engagement and evaluation are inherently separate; that digital methods can best by deployed by simply making existing practices more efficient; and that there is little room for imaginative or inventive interventions in the evaluation space. Artcasting exposed tensions and issues which were beyond the scope of the project to ‘solve’, but which generated rich dialogue about intersections of place, movement, engagement, technology, and evaluation. Artcasting is framed here not only as an innovative digital intervention, but as a conceptual object to think and learn with, offering ways of going beyond instrumental uses of technology to solve a specific problem, towards ‘inventive problem-making’ (Michael 2012).