Evaluating the impact of ‘Second Moon’: the questionnaire

Second Moon

Did you experience Katie Paterson’s artwork ‘Second Moon’ – in an exhibition, at an event, or through using the ‘Second Moon’ App? Are you willing to reflect on your experience through a short online questionnaire?

The questionnaire has been designed by researchers here at ICCHS as part of a wider study, developed in collaboration with Locus+ and Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives, exploring the impact of ‘Second Moon’ on UK and international audiences. The feedback captured in the questionnaire will be used for academic purposes and will be shared with the project partners, their funders and the public. Personal information captured as part of the study will remain anonymous.

Happy to share your experiences with us? Please click here to go to the online questionnaire.

‘Second Moon’ is an artwork by award winning artist Katie Paterson. It tracked the journey of a small moon fragment as it circled the Earth on a year long man-made orbit via commercial airfreight, from September 2013-September 2014. ‘Second Moon’ was commissioned by Locus+ in partnership with Newcastle University and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. ‘Second Moon’ made its final landing at Newcastle’s Great North Museum on Saturday 20th September.

For more information about this study please contact Rebecca Farley, r.farley@newcastle.ac.uk, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University.



Seminar: ‘Generous Interfaces for Cultural Collections’ – 29th September

A seminar by Mitchell Whitelaw organised by Newcastle University Institute for Creative Arts Practice (NICAP)

Monday Sept 29th 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Doctoral Training Suite (Room 5.65)

5th Floor Daysh Building

After a decade or more of digitisation, the collections of galleries, archives, libraries and museums are increasingly available in digital form. In this seminar Australian academic Mitchell Whitelaw will argue that our interfaces have not kept up; the standard search-and-list approach demands a query, shows too little, and discourages exploration. In this talk Whitelaw will introduce and demonstrate what he calls “generous interfaces”: rich, explorable, browsable representations of cultural collections.

Mitchell Whitelaw is an academic, writer and practitioner with interests in new media art and culture, especially generative systems and data-aesthetics. His work has appeared in journals including Leonardo, Digital Creativity, Fibreculture, and Senses and Society. In 2004 his work on a-life art was published in the book Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life (MIT Press, 2004). His current work spans generative art and design, digital materiality, and data visualisation. Mitchell is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, where he leads the Digital Treasures program in the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research.

All Welcome – please feel free to bring your lunch with you.

For more information about the seminar and NICAP activities contact mel.whewell@ncl.ac.uk

Second Moon Evaluation – Call for research participants

Second Moon

Are you interested in digital art?

Are you interested in science and the movement of the planets?

Researchers in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University are looking for 12 people to take part in a diary study recording personal experiences of using the Second Moon App, designed by award winning artist Katie Paterson.

As a thank you for helping us with our evaluation each participant will be offered a free family ticket to visit the amazing Great North Museum Planetarium.

What is the ‘Second Moon’ App?

In September 2013 Second Moon launched on a year-long airfreight journey moving in an anti clockwise direction across the UK, China, Australia and the USA. Orbiting at approximately twice the speed of our moon, Second Moon will orbit Earth 30 times over the year. On 26th August it will start out on its final orbit. The Second Moon App tracks this orbit in real time and visualizes it in relation to your current location, the Moon’s location and the orbits’ of the other planets in our solar system. 
Second Moon was commissioned by Locus+ in partnership with Newcastle University and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. www.secondmoon.org.uk

What do we want you to do?

We need people who can commit to recording their experiences of using the App over a two to three week period between 25 August-20 September 2014. To take part in the project you need to have access to a smartphone or tablet.

Interested in taking part?

Download the Participant Information Sheet Second Moon App Evaluation

Deadline to register as a participant: Monday 8 September.

ICCHS researchers co-author a chapter for ‘The Versatile Image’

The Versatile ImageICCHS PhD researcher Bronwen Colquhoun and her supervisor, Dr. Areti Galani have contributed a chapter to a new book entitled ‘The Versatile Image: Photography, Digital Technologies and the Internet,’ published by Leuven University Press. The publication was officially launched earlier this month at the Mining Institute in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a seminar that focused on the opportunities and challenges for photographers, curators and audiences of photography in the digital age. Organised by the North East Photography Network, the seminar included contributions from: visual storyteller and photography writer David Campbell; photographic historian, writer and curator Alexandra Moschovi; and a keynote talk from Netherlands-based photographic artist Willem Popelier.

Bronwen and Areti’s book chapter, ‘Flickr The Commons: Historic Photographic Collections through the Eyes of an Online Community of Interest’ is based on Bronwen’s PhD research that looks at how cultural institutions are placing photographic collections on the image-sharing website, Flickr The Commons, in order to engage with different communities of interest. The publication features a range of contributors including photographers, curators, artists and academics:

‘With the advent of digital technologies and the Internet, photography can, at last, fulfill its promise and forgotten potential as both a versatile medium and an adaptable creative practice. This multidisciplinary volume provides new insights into the shifting cultures affecting the production, collection, usage, and circulation of photographic images on interactive World Wide Web platforms.

International contributors from across the arts and humanities consider fundamental concepts that are associated with the practical applications of convergent technologies and media, focusing on the role of digital and mobile cultures and image-making in the everyday life of citizens and their experience of today’s ‘hypervisual’ digital universe, while exploring how contemporary artists creatively interact with such new photographic contexts. Accompanied by a specially commissioned photo-essay, the volume is an important new resource for photographers, artists, and curators as well as academics.’

(Leuven University Press, 2014)



ICCHS PGR Conference 2014

wordleLast week nine of our current PhD students presented their research at the annual ICCHS PGR Conference. In this blog post conference co-organiser and participant Bethany Rex presents her personal report from the day:

The ICCHS PGR conference look place last week, and despite the lack of coffee until late in the afternoon due to the disruption caused by a ‘suspicious substances’ alert at the University, it was a real success.  It was great to get together as a department to discuss and share ideas on our research and, for me, one of the key things that came out of the conference was an appreciation for just how ‘alive’ the research emerging from the PhD community here is. We are all pursuing diverse projects, working away at answering our own research questions, but we are also collectively contributing to a discussion on the big questions relating to the role of museums and heritage in contemporary society. If there is one thing that PhD students are good at, it is asking questions!

We started the day with my own presentation, in which I spoke about the increasing involvement of community organisations in the local authority museums sector and the role of the policy environment in influencing this.

In Session 2, Niki Black presented her work on the impact of differing interpretations of heritage on small-scale cultural festivals. Next, Bronwen Colquhoun shared the key findings of her research project that investigates how the image-sharing website, Flickr The Commons, functions as a community of interest, and the extent to which the application generates knowledge and meaning around historic photographic collections. Finally, Carolyn Gibbeson explored the varied and different interpretations of the mental asylum from the viewpoint of those who built them, former patients, urban explorers, property developers and the heritage sector.

After lunch, and kicking off Session 3, Rebecca Farley explored the significance of Keith Grant’s Gateshead Metro mosaics and the response of Metro passengers’ to their everyday encounters with the artwork. Next, Gabriella Arrigoni, a practice based researcher from Culture Lab, talked about the concept of the prototype as aesthetic paradigm of current artistic production, and the related notion of the lab as a site for testing. Following this, Muhammad Ilmam bin Tharazi, presented his overall research on the representation of Islamic art since 9/11 and the recent transformations of the Islamic galleries at major national institutions such as the V&A.

In the final session of the day, the focus turned to China. To begin, Katharina Massing presented some of the key results of her PhD project, which critically examines the current ecomuseum development in Hainan Province, China. To close, Yong Zhao presented the results of her quantitative and qualitative data analysis of visitors to the Historic City of Xi’an, China, to argue for the importance of good interpretative strategies to enhance visitor satisfaction.

After a full day of excellent presentations and discussion, we headed to the pub for a much needed drink.

Well-earned post-conference celebration.

Well-earned post-conference celebration.

Thank you to all of the presenters for talking the time to prepare their papers and to the staff in the department for supporting the conference – especially Aron and Areti for capturing our best concentration faces (available on ICCHS Facebook page!) and Susannah (and PGR alumni Tori Park) for sharing their experiences of post-PhD life and opportunities!

You can download the full conference programme including all the presentation abstracts here.


ICCHS PhD researcher working on a project with Tate Britain


Over the next few months ICCHS PhD researcher Rebecca Farley will be working with Tate Research on a live project to develop a social media engagement strategy for the forthcoming exhibition ‘Basic Design’ at Tate Britain.

This project is part of the ‘Hidden Collections – From Archive to Asset’ programme, funded through the AHRC’s Digital Transformations theme. Launched in October last year, the Hidden Collections programme has developed through a series of six interdisciplinary workshops investigating issues within archival digitisation and exploring the potential of digital platforms as routes for public engagement with these ‘hidden collections’.

“Looking at digital opportunity in the specific context of archaeological artifacts, theatre performance and visual images, the workshops I’ve attended have been a great opportunity to meet with and hear from arts and humanities scholars from a wide range of disciplines and specialisms. Together we’ve considered the philosophy of the archive, and looked at and discussed a whole range of digital approaches and tools, from 3D scanning, to interactive touchscreens, online databases, crowdsourcing projects and social media.”

Rebecca is part of a small collaborative team of Doctoral researchers from Leicester, Birmingham and Cambridge universities who will be working with the Tate on this project.

“Interestingly, in relation to my own research on public art in NewcastleGateshead, the ‘Basic Design’ exhibition that we will be focusing on has a specific link to Newcastle University, through the influence of Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton’s teaching in the Fine Art department here.”

The Image group will be visiting Tate Britain in April to visit the exhibition and to finalise their project plan with the Tate team.

For updates on the development of the Hidden Collections Tate project visit Rebecca’s research blog at rebeccafarley.wordpress.com

Slides from yesterday’s seminar with Dagny Stuedahl

Thank you to all who attended yesterday’s seminar with Dagny. Scroll down for the slides from her presentation. Any further questions or comments, please get in touch.

Dagny speaking at ICCHS 20.3.13

Dagny speaking at ICCHS 20.3.13

Dagny speaking at ICCHS 20.3.13

Dagny speaking at ICCHS 20.3.13