A two-years collaboration between /ecm study program and Expanded Museum Studies at die Angewandte  - University of Applied Arts Vienna.

First event:
May 2nd, 2024
Museums As Commons:
Digital Strategies to Reappropriate the Public Sphere

The digitization of museums and its promise of accessibility comes with many contradictions. While we are experiencing a comprehensive digitization of knowledge, this very knowledge is also at risk if privatized and financialized, for example. What does digital museum knowledge mean for the commons? How does museum knowledge function when belonging to everyone with the possibility of everyone expanding on it? In this context, /ecm and Expanded Museum Studies have invited the artist Ofri Cnaani to give a public lecture, that will be followed by a panel discussion.

Welcome note by Petra Schaper Rinkel

From Practice To Commons
Lecture by Ofri Cnaani

Large-scale heritage digitization projects are frequently motivated by economic interests rooted in techno-colonial ambitions. This process involves institutions or corporations claiming ownership of data produced through digitization of public collections or generated by their users, effectively privatizing cultural heritage. The talk will map several pressing dilemmas related to the digitization process and data ownership. By examining various case studies dealing with the loss of physical collections under catastrophic conditions, the discussion will question traditional concepts of value based on market-driven ideas of originality, authorship, and ownership. Reflecting on cases where physical cultural objects no longer exist, the talk will explore creative practices that shape the afterlife of cultural data and propose alternative ways of sharing objects and narratives. This includes reevaluating traditional methods of preserving knowledge, considering the right to refuse to be used for AI training, and rethinking models of collective ownership.

Petra Schaper Rinkel, Ofri Cnaani, Julienne Lorz and Nora Sternfeld

Moderated by Martina Griesser-Stermscheg