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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.38/November 2002 - contents - imprint - archive

Veering Between Confidence and Crisis - Cultural Institutions at a Cusp

by Charles Landry

Beyond the world of cultural institutions the world is changing so dramatically that it feels like a paradigm shift. And strangely, many people for many reasons feel that cultural institutions and especially museums have something to offer them. Let us explore this argument with a focus on museums. For some, the museum replaces the sacred space left behind with the decline of religion, for others, there is the wish to learn and understand, and a third group expects excitement and distraction. And a few even want all of these things at the same time. Museums shift uncertainly between providing scholarship and offering entertainment, whilst funders demand they provide a reinvigorated rationale of their aims and goals. It feels as if museums are out of kilter with the temper of the age, which forces upon them an economic way of thinking. Indeed, is it even possible to imagine beyond the economic calculus?

Museums and other cultural organizations that have purposes beyond the bottom line, although seen as beneficial, cannot assume that society will invest in them out of some sense of their inherent 'goodness'. This instinctive commitment is fraying as well, because we do not truly know what happens educationally in theatres, galleries or museums as they cannot deliver easily quantifiable and precise indicators and measures of success. In the past, it was a given that the 'high' cultural experience led to self-improvement.

And new agendas are rising to the fore. The notion of social inclusion is one which seeks to broaden the participation and audience base. Acknowledging multi-cultural goals is another, which, whilst highlighting the diversity of cultures, can break down the accepted canon of a unified culture. There are those who rejoice in this fractured base for culture and commercialization, and there are those who resist the incorporation of many new voices and traditions in deciding what museums should do, preferring to fall back on past justifications.

This leads to disquiet, not only about resourcing and competition but a profound change of terms and redefinition of what cultural institutions are for. My contention is that, in a time of extraordinary upheaval, the cultural community has not stood back and asked where it was going, in the same way that economics and politics had done. For most of history, cultural institutions have been aligned to the purpose and goals of their society. There is reason to believe, that today the situation is different. In the era of the mass-based marketplace economy, ruled by commercial patterns of consumption, many cultural institutions have an uneasy relationship with the underlying conditions of the era.

Apparent success

Superficially, the world of museums seems buoyant; their growth continues world-wide, and they are usually built by an architectural star. The October 2001 issue of ARTnews in its global survey alone listed £2.8 billion worth of new museums, refurbishments and extensions (with the large majority of many European novelties omitted). Why is there this curious burst of new festivals, museums and performing arts centres? In urban regeneration the use of culture is now a central part of the toolkit, whether through the building of cultural centres or in the form of activity programmes. Yet this rush of activity masks a deep sense of disquiet on the cultural front. What does this growth say about the situation of culture? What values are being asserted? Is it all a matter of image transformation and tourist attraction? What do we make of museums like the Guggenheim group, which embrace the role of urban regeneration and also invite the commercial world of fashion and product design in the sacred precincts of high art? What of the Eden Project in Cornwall, a series of impressive glass domes built in an old quarry which combines natural landscapes with artistic programmes. What is the cultural argument for this increase in popularity; what is their content and what are these museums for, what are they trying to achieve? The last fifteen years has revealed perhaps an excessive degree of urban showmanship as people came to accept a connection between cultural buildings and regeneration. The question was never asked: Are there too many museums and are the curating and other skills available to generate the more profound experiences what people seek?

The situation is exacerbated because of increased competition for museums. From their beginnings they have negotiated the worlds of the academy and of amusement. But now the competition for leisure time is more complex and today there is greater hunger for spectacle and diversion. But commercial entities also increasingly seek to provide the values of reflection and education associated with museums, in order to make themselves seem more relevant. One thinks of Borders bookshop story telling sessions or of John Pawson's minimalist Calvin Klein store in New York, that induces a sense of being in a monastery. What happens when culture and commerce, education and entertainment converge? What is the balance of positives and negatives?

Let us explore three areas that highlight these dilemmas: making judgements about quality, whether the fake has as much value as the real, and what cultural authority is.

The qualities of quality

Judging quality in terms of culture is out of fashion yet, strangely, when we buy a commercial product or service we focus on their characteristics of quality as a matter of course. If someone goes into a shop to buy sausages, they feel perfectly comfortable about grading them according to price, perceived taste, ingredients, look and quality. The same is true when buying a piece of furniture like a bed or a chair - we assess then the design, the appropriateness for purpose and the skill with which they have been put together. Equally, we have no fear in recommending someone to read a good book.

Yet the quality debate has nearly been eradicated in terms of what happens in cultural institutions such as museums or art galleries. Judgement for the last two decades has centred around the context within which works of art were produced. For example, in art history since the 1970's, the radical contextual agenda has diminished the idea that one work of art could be better than another. There was a protest against the notion of a trained eye. There has been more concern about looking at the conditions under which an artwork was made, in relation to its time or communal origins, rather than looking at what happens between the viewer and the work of art. Ours has been an era of extreme relativism, where anything goes, buttressed by the democratic idea that everyone can do things equally well. This is not to argue that making art, at whatever level, does not provide an enriching experience or does not have a variety of positive impacts for the maker or participant, but people do send their children to a drawing class to get better. Furthermore even when judging works of art or performance in terms of context, one can still be better executed than another. There must be a middle position between absolute relativism and establishing rigid quality standards, whether this be a pop song, a piece of modern classical music or a theme park ride. There is a spectrum within which processes of judgement occur.

Every type of object or performance has a set of qualities for which people used to assessing will try to develop a common language. This will not be the same for all works of art, from a theatre performance to a community arts project or a crafted basket, although some criteria may be common. For example, its utility and use value, materials used, how it is made or performed, the meaning generated, craftsmanship, symbolic value or visual forms that inhabit a culture. It is the discussion of these attributes that makes and develops a culture.

The real and live versus the virtual and the fake

One would expect the original object or place to have a greater aura as they play on the historical imagination. Seeing the original generates a different level of frisson, it is argued. The original can have a sense of survival and the patina of ages inscribed in it. The same is true for live performances which engage - their experiential quality is often heightened through the tension and fragility exuded as artists perform and through their impermanence, as one has to catch them when they happen and they cannot be played back. A CD can reproduce 'perfect' sound, yet live theatre or music adds a qualitatively different experience, part of which has to do with the occasion of going out as well as with the public dimension. The best of the original or live is probably better than the virtual or reproduced. The argument between the two can, however, be overdone. We do not have a problem with buying a CD or looking at images in books. But looked at in a museum or gallery, such replicas as a postcard or a poster of a picture or even a virtual reality representation of objects does not resonate sufficiently. The judgement lies in the range of registers an object or performance generates, and in the expectations we bring to the place we encounter or experience them.

'Fake' or 'inauthentic' sounds derogatory, yet, if fakes or powerful copies are created purposively, they can move us more than the original. Indeed, an element of theatricality may be required to trigger imagination. It may be that greater authenticity lies in the quality of the experience constructed and transmitted than in the presentation of the surviving remnant, which can not transmit original meaning as well.

A contrast

If we contrast the experience of the holocaust in the 'real' Auschwitz with the Holocaust Museum in Washington, some of these issues are highlighted. Auschwitz is now part of Oswiecim, with local apartment blocks abutting the site. Two iconic moments are particularly powerful as their image has been etched into world imagination. The first is the sign 'Arbeit macht frei' ('work makes you free') above the entrance to the more self-contained and complete original site where Jews, Gypsies and political detainees were led to their ultimate death. The mounds of old shoes, spectacles, hair and day-to-day objects easily elicit a tearful response. The ordinariness of the buildings, the empty small rooms where inmates were tortured to death in unspeakable ways, combined with the banality of bureaucratic notices cannot fail to affect the visitor. The imagination needs little to trigger its sense of despair and terror. Equally powerful are the gates and watchtower at the entrance to site two nearby, in Birkenau, where trains arrived - an immediately recognizable symbol. For the rest of it, the Polish government has left the site largely as it found it in 1945, and here the visitor struggles somewhat to reconstruct and get the sense of horror that inmates experienced.

As a contrast, the Holocaust Museum in Washington is an instance of a museum envisaged from the beginning as a means of constructing an experience for the visitor, rather than focusing primarily on objects or on the original. The museum depends for its narrative story on its architecture and its use of light and sound to create an all-encompassing experience. As you enter, you are given a pass which identifies you with a concentration camp inmate, and thus the strategy presented is principally theatrical rather than a didactic presentation of a collection. A powerful sense of historical symbolism is used to re-create a collective memory. It seeks to envelop people in an unusual atmosphere, trying to engender feelings of loneliness, helplessness, a visceral involvement and a hint of panic as a means of being 'a resonator of memory'. It does so by leading people down a prescribed path, deepening people's involvement along the way as they become immersed in the constructed experience of being a Jew under Nazism. One high point is the three-storeyed Tower of Faces with photographs of the over 3000 Jews slaughtered in Eishishok in Lithuania - a community that had lived there for over 900 years. The tension finally may be released in the Hall of Remembrance.

Whilst you do not get the powerful sense of the original, this careful reconstruction allows Washington to develop a richer, more inclusive, chronological narrative, tying different components of the holocaust experience together, which Auschwitz, as the original, does not. They are equally 'good' or even authentic in their own way.

Cultural leadership and authority

As society recasts its priorities, we have come to mistrust traditional sources of cultural authority. Indeed, formerly a person who understood the cultural side was seen as a leader, and education emphasized cultural knowledge. Yet, the focus on instrumental reasoning, as distinct from aesthetic or the instinctive, has shifted leadership from cultural authority to economic, administrative and management authority and the corresponding kinds of judgement - attributes that can be applied to any domain. As a consequence, a museum or a festival is nowadays less likely to be run by someone steeped in culture on society's behalf and more likely by a manager with an instrumental mindset.

Unless culture creates a confident argument for itself based on its own judgements, criteria and indicators about what it thinks is good or bad, its institutions will be run by people whose authority comes from outside the cultural domain. The best of them will share the cultural values of the institution they have come to manage and will have to participate in the search for clear cultural purpose.

Every era needs its own specific form of leadership to match prevailing conditions. In moments of crisis or dramatic change, though transformational leadership is required, and less so the skills of a co-ordinator or manager. Cultural institutions today face such a moment. Cultural leadership needs to come from within the cultural community itself.

Cultural leaders will need to move from being merely strategists to being visionaries. Whilst strategists command and demand, visionaries excite and entice. They will need to move from being commanders of institutions to being able to tell a story about the bigger picture and where their institution fits into it, moving from being institutional engineers to being change agents. Thus, cultural leaders should provide answers concerning personal, social and moral choices - and through their programming gain legitimacy. Their story should interweave the ideas of what their institutions could be and how to get there, in constant renewal through the interplay between their audiences and wider circumstances. The cultural leader will anticipate trends, appreciating feedback, and will encourage debate about problems and possibilities. Their communication needs to be compelling, as they will compete for attention with existing stories, such as those provided by shopping malls, leisure centres, theme parks or television.

What are the qualities of leadership required from cultural leaders today? As Howard Gardner notes, there are ordinary, innovative and visionary leaders. The first simply reflect the desires or needs of the group they lead, the second question circumstances to draw out the latent needs, bringing fresh insight to new areas, while the third, by contrast, harness the power of completely new ideas, getting beyond the ding-dong of day-to-day debate. One task of cultural leaders is to build cultural leadership elsewhere - in public, business and voluntary bodies of all kinds, thus contributing to the pursuit of widespread change rather than sectional or personal interests. The combination of the skills required to build confidence is a mix of moral and emotional leadership and managerial leadership.

Why is it that we fear cultural leaders whilst we accept political and economic leaders? When a politician or business person leads, we do not call them elitist, perhaps because the former are accountable to democratic assemblies and the latter, although not accountable, have generated wealth. If cultural leaders generate inspiration and meaning, can they not be part of the leadership circle?

This article draws on Culture at the Crossroads: Culture and Cultural Institutions at the Beginning of the 21st Century by Charles Landry and Marc Pachter.

Available from: Eco-distribution, Crosswell, Eglywswrw, Pembrokeshire, SA41 3TE, United Kingdom; tel.: 0123 989 1431; e-mail: jill.chandler@virgin.net

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National Policy on Culture of the Republic of Botswana

Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Department of Culture and Youth, Gaborone, 2001, 41 pp.

Culturelink would like to announce the on-line publication of the final version of the Cultural Policy of the Republic of Botswana at the OCPA site www.culturelink.hr/ocpa.

In his introduction to this document, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Thebe D. Mogami, stresses the importance of the publication of the National Policy on Culture, which sets some basic principles, and goals of the Government to preserve and promote their culture in the 21st century. While he recognizes that the Policy itself cannot be a solution to all problems relating to culture it stands as a facilitatory strategy for building their nation and their identity as distinct from other nations.

This document defines culture in its broader sense: 'The culture in the context of this Policy is understood here to be the whole complex of distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or social group. It includes not only arts and letters, but also modes of life, the fundamental rights of human beings, value systems, traditions and beliefs.'

The Culturelink team is committed to further support the work of the Observatory for Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA) and we hope that we will be able to announce other country profiles on this site.

For more information, please visit: http://www.culturelink.hr/ocpa

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DisORIENTation Project

Contemporary Arab Art Production from the Middle East

The DisORIENTation project at the House of World Cultures concentrates on the countries of Egypt, Palestine, the Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. The region has attracted public interest across the globe as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is effecting and destabilising the entire Middle East. At the same time, the region is under the sway of different regional interests - Arab nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and the socialist interests of political parties are being used by regimes as well as by ethnic and religious minorities that have emerged during civil wars. The fact that the Middle East, with its early urban civilisations, is the region from which cosmopolitanism and the concept of practised diversity originated is often forgotten.

The focus of DisORIENTation will be on the approaches adopted by artists who refuse to be assimilated by the many 'isms'. They represent a cultural and social complexity scarcely perceptible by outsiders through the media alone.The DisORIENTation project is based on a concept of culture defined not only by genres but by issues, too. The central issue here is: How can the topical contemporary Arab art production, which has gone more or less unnoticed in the Western world, and its social and political conditions be presented in a way that stimulates a serious and profound exchange with the Arab world?

The combined programme will be held in Berlin between 20 March and 11 May 2003, presenting the broad public with a concentrated programme of contemporary Arab art from a variety of fields, including video installations, photography, films and works of concept art, as well as architectural projects, theatre performances, contemporary Arab concerts, readings, panel discussions and intercultural youth projects. The central emphasis lies on the installation of an interdisciplinary laboratory involving selected artists from the region who will produce original works for the Berlin project and engage in an exchange with artists and partners in Berlin.

For more information, please contact: Sieglinde Tuschy, House of World Cultures, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, Germany, tel.: +49 30 397 87181; fax: +49 30 394 8679; e-mail: tuschy@hkw.de; http://www.hkw.de

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European Diploma in Cultural Project Management 2003/2004

The European Diploma in Cultural Project Management 2003/2004 is the 13th edition of this pan-European training programme. The 2003/2004 year sessions will take place in Hungary, Italy and Greece. The main objective of the programme is to enable cultural managers to better integrate their regional action, by linking identity, culture and economy, into a European perspective; and to insert European projects into regional cultural development policies.

Since the establishment of the European Diploma in 1989, as a follow-up pilot project to the Council of Europe's Culture and Regions Project, 300 professionals from 39 European (and world) countries active in the field of cultural project management have participated in this training programme which is characterised by its innovative methodological approach and European open-mindedness.

The European Diploma in Cultural Project Management is a training and learning experience focusing on cultural diversity and interregional exchanges as a way of giving culture a stronger place within Europe. Through its content and methodology, this pan-European programme aims to improve the skills of cultural administrators in the field of cultural management and administration, as well as help participants develop on understanding of these fields in a changing Europe. The goals are to make participants aware of challenges within their fields and aid in developing approaches and tools needed for a co-operative and creative cultural workforce in Europe.

The training includes three elements - theory, practice and evaluation - which are organised in five stages: two residential phases that last two weeks in the partner countries of the Diploma (in 2003/2004 in Hungary and Italy), interspersed by a phase of field work in the participant's home country and a one to two-week period spent in another European region, plus one week evaluation phase at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (Greece).

The programme is designed for young, but already experienced and project-oriented, European cultural managers from public and private organisations. Applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in either contributing to the cultural development of a territory (region, city) or developing and spreading artistic/cultural projects. Participants must already have a working knowledge of European, national and regional cultural institutions and policies and have developed skills in the administration and management of cultural projects. The selection is based on existing qualifications and relevant professional experience, as well as on the quality and feasibility of the submitted project.

The training is conducted in English and French and simultaneous translation is only provided during the plenary sessions. Applicants must therefore be fluent in one of the working languages of the European Diploma and have fairly good knowledge of the other.

The deadline for sending the application is 15 January 2003. The application form can be downloaded from the web site www.fondation-hicter.org

For more information, please contact: Fondation Marcel Hicter, 78 rue Gachard, B- 1050 Brussels - Belgium, tel.: +32 2 641 89 80; fax: +32 2 641 89 81 e-mail: contact@fondation-hicter.org; http://www.fondation-hicter.org

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Caja de Citas

La General Teatro, company of Buenos Aires, Argentina, presents its new project, Caja de Citas, a project which will consist of an international cast and be co-produced by Argentina and one or several European countries. Targeting theatres and international festivals, Caja de Citas will be viewed sometime in 2003. La General Teatro has created a page on the Internet, to facilitate discussion of the proposed material.

For more information, please contact: Luis Gonz lez Bruno, Director, lgbruno@camaranegra.com, lgb@camaranegra.com, luis2759@ciudad.com.ar

Please use this link to visit the page of Caja de Citas: http://www.camaranegra.com/box/index.htm

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Educating Creative Professionals for Careers in Media and Communication

Natal University (Durban) has announced a new degree programme, Culture, Communication and Media Studies (CCMS), which, from 2003, will allow students to mix and match courses to suit their own career and academic interests at both under- and post-graduate levels.

New media now drive many sectors of all kinds of industry, and require technical skills, theoretical knowledge and intercultural expertise far beyond what was needed only a decade ago.

The CCMS programme recognizes that South Africa's diverse society requires media professionals with not only strategic and technological skills, but also long-term conceptual goals who can transform modern theories into practice. Creativity, strategic analysis and problem-solving skills are taught in the framework of three integrated fields - cultural, communication and media studies. CCMS graduates will be better equipped to help integrate South Africa into the global information economy.

CCMS graduates will be capable of balancing the fundamental needs of the populus with society's democratic needs. The CCMS Programme aims to produce informed researchers, creative business strategists and strategic thinkers rather than media technicians.

The CCMS Programme is a new set of multi-dimensional undergraduate and post-graduate courses designed to prepare incumbent and prospective professionals for a media incused world.

The undergraduate programme comprises an array of timely courses from which students may select according to their own specific interests.

First level students learn general concepts regarding culture, communication and media and learn how these ideas impact their identity and experience in a media-saturated world.

In their second year, students may choose four courses from a varied selection of topics, which include interpersonal, multi-cultural and mass communication, the social significance of soap operas, who and how people watch the news, and the implications for democracy of Big Brother.

By their third year, students may choose courses which serve their career interests. These include public relations, corporate communication, advertising, journalism, film studies and development communication.

The CCMS Postgraduate Programme builds on its rich legacy of providing an international crossroads of students and professors, researchers and professionals since 1985.

For further information on the CCMS programme, please contact: Professor Keyan Tomaselli (CCMS Programme Chair and Graduate Programme Director), tel.: +27 (31) 260 2505/2298/2635; fax: +27 (31) 260 1519, e-mail: Tomasell@nu.ac.za

Marc Caldwell (CCMS Undergraduate Programme Director), tel.: +27 (31) 260 2370; fax: +27 (31) 260 2066; e-mail: Caldwellm@nu.ac.za

Susan Govender (CCMS Graduate Programme Administrator), tel.: +27 (31) 260 2505/2298; fax: +27 (31) 260 1519; e-mail: Govends@nu.ac.za

Glenda Robson (CCMS Undergraduate Administrator), tel.: +27 (31) 260 3051; fax: +27 (31) 260 1243; e-mail: Robson@nu.ac.za


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The Banff Centre: Big Rock Candy Mountain

Media & Visual Arts Thematic Residency

Big Rock Candy Mountain is a creative residency, using the notion of 'sweet consumption' as the underlying theme of the workshop. It will take place in Banff, Canada, 21 April - 6 June 2003 and will be organised by the Banff Centre. Sweet consumption is the term and idea through which a plethora of art forms, practices and ideas circulate, connect and develop. Using candy as metaphor for creativity, the residency looks at the qualities of a piece of sugar, its pliability and malleability in an effort to stimulate an artist's creative process.

Big Rock Candy Mountain is an opportunity for up to 35 artists, curators, or other cultural producers whose work relates to the sweet consumption theme in its broadest sense. The purpose of the residency is to gather artists to meet, discuss, research and produce contemporary art, theory or other related activities. Programmes, including lectures, discussion groups, performances and screenings will expound on notions of the creative process in an intense yet reflective environment.

The residency themes are the following:

  • Material practice
  • Ornament, Decoration, Elaboration
  • Eye Candy and Consumer Culture
  • Utopia and Imagination
  • The Body, Subjectivity and Waste
  • History, Culture, Labour.

For more information, please contact: The Banff Centre, Office of the Registrar, Box 1020, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1H5; tel.: +1 403 762 6180; fax: +1 403 762 6345; e-mail: arts_info@banffcentre.ca; http:// www.banffcentre.ca

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International Activity:
A Strategic Plan for Action 2002-2006

Resource, The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, London

Resource is a strategic body working with and for museums, archives and libraries, tapping the potential for collaboration between them. It is committed to producing a series of documents that will define the priorities and actions for Resource and the sector. International Activity: A Strategic Plan for Action 2002-2006 sets out the ways in which Resource intends to lay the foundations for working with partners in the UK and other countries for the long term. The strategy is a result of discussions with a wide variety of people within the museum, archive and library sector and with organisations related to international work. The top priorities to be addressed by 2006 and highlighted in the International Activity: A Strategic Plan for Action are:

  • map international activity in English museums, archives and libraries to best highlight practice, identify gaps and find ways of filling them;
  • establish advisory boards in three areas: international funding, export and cultural property to equip each sector to seize opportunities and make more effective use of existing information;
  • develop an international exchange programme for the sector;
  • develop an internet-based service which unites the fragmented international information currently available to museums, archives and libraries that will enable the sector to improve its knowledge of, and ability to respond to, international opportunities;
  • communicate achievements on important Resource initiatives to an international audience.

International relationships provide opportunities for sharing resources, experience and knowledge. Sources of funding for international work can also be found within the international scene (EU, foundations, corporate sponsorship). Debate on the issues facing the sector often takes place on an international level and Resource wants to contribute to the international debate as well as share new knowledge from the international sector.

For further information, please contact: Resource - The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, 16 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AA, United Kingdom; tel.: +44 (0)20 7273 1444; e-mail: info@resource.gov.uk; http://www.resource.gov.uk

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Media and Visual Arts New Works Residency 2003

The New Works residency at the Banff Centre, Canada in Media & Visual Arts is a unique residency opportunity, providing both time and space for artists to create new works for exhibition, commission, catalogues, or publications. The programme is looking for proposals that demonstrate imaginative approaches to content, form, and technical ability within sculpture, installation, photography, print, ceramics, artist books, paper, painting, textiles, performance, and mixed media. A proposal can be for one or more stages of a project, which should include research, development, and production.

The Residency programme dates from 6 January to 21 February 2002. Participants may engage in collaborative projects, work independently or bring together a group of artists. Proposed new works offer an opportunity for curators and critics to develop exhibition projects using Banff as the development site. Proposed projects must have a confirmed exhibition, commission, or distribution possibility. Co-productions with other institutions are also encouraged.

Scholarships by the Banff Centre are also available.

Other media and visual arts programs

Banff New Media Institute (BNMI)
Banff Media Co-Productions. Program dates: Ongoing. Application deadline: 28 February 2003, 30 June 2003, 31 October 2003, 27 February 2004.

Big Rock Candy Mountain - Spring Thematic
21 April - 6 June 2003 (See also p. 25 in this issue.)

Communion and Other Conversations: A Thematic Residency for Indigenous Artists on Christianity and Colonialism
20 October - 5 December 2003
An opportunity for 35 indigenous artists, critics and curators. Application deadline: all materials received by 15February 2003. Notification date: March/April 2003.

Self-Directed Creative Residencies
Media & Visual Arts. Programme dates: Ongoing.

For more information, please contact: Anthony Kiendl, Director, Visual Arts & Walter Phillips Gallery; tel.: +1 403 762 6114; e-mail: anthony_kiendl@banffcentre.ca or
Sara Diamond; tel.: 1 403 762 6696; fax: +1 403 762 6665; e-mail: sara_diamond@banffcentre.ca; http://www.banffcentre.ca/mva/

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Integrated Territorial and Urban Conservation Programme

International ITUC course

ICCROM, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, in collaboration with ITUC partners such as CECI (Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil), the Academy of Cultural Heritage in Lithuania, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the ICOMOS Historic Towns Committee, will be holding a training course in Rome on Integrated Territorial and Urban Conservation, April 21 - June 13, 2003. This course builds on the earlier courses held by ICCROM in its ITUC (Integrated Territorial and Urban Conservation) programme in spring 1997, spring 1999 and autumn 2002.

The course will assist managers, administrators and professionals involved in the restoration of historic cities and their landscapes to raise awareness for cultural heritage through sustainable planning, management and development practices. The course offers participants the ability to analyse their own situations in a variety of economic, social and cultural frameworks, to explore ways to place heritage at the core of decision-making processes and to acquire some negotiation, communication and conflict management skills useful in public decision-making arenas. Participants will also have access to examples of best practice and to opportunities for long-term professional and scientific exchange.

For more information, please contact: ICCROM, 13, Via di San Michele, I-00153 Rome, Italy; tel.: ++39 0658 553 1; fax: ++39 0658 553 349; e-mail: training@iccrom.org; http://www.iccrom.org

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Architectural Records, Inventories, Information Systems and Conservation

Advanced international course in architectural conservation
Rome, 22 September - 17 October, 2003

ICCROM's constitutional functions include the promotion and development of educational activities relating to the conservation and restoration of cultural property and raising the standards and practice of conservation and restoration work. This advanced architectural conservation course will be based on cases and experience, drawing upon the vast wealth of cultural material that the city of Rome and other cases offer and will be based on the experience developed by leading experts in this field.

Architectural heritage recording and information management

The first conservation levels are associated with knowledge. Knowledge entails documentation as a fundamental aspect for preserving cultural heritage. Architectural records aim at conserving cultural heritage, as one of the major challenges of our times.

Architectural records and recording and information management in the field of conservation are continuously being developed and must be considered in the context of a system and as a fundamental part of a large body of knowledge and numerous disciplines converging to preserve heritage.

In that context, and prior to any conservation measures, architecture must be documented, analysed and viewed as the result of its evolution and history. The conservation of architectural heritage entails a consideration of the material as well as the immaterial aspects of the heritage. The physical aspects of architectural heritage, and its symbolic meanings in historic, cultural and social contexts make up the cultural memory and legacy left to future generations. It is therefore necessary to consider documentation as a moral, social and educational issue, and to approach architectural recording, documentation and information management from a wider standpoint than the merely architectural aspect.

As a result of the evolution of concepts and advances in technologies, the current cultural and scientific debate focuses on the analysis of the most adequate documentation when considering each case associated with specific approaches for analysis, methods and techniques to record conditions and characteristics.

Conservation professionals with responsibility for heritage recording must also be able to manage records and transmit documentation methods and practice to others.


  • To approach architectural records and information management from the point of view of planning, practice, access and diffusion;
  • To review the theory of documentation and recording and its relation to specific situations;
  • To address recording practice based on specific case studies;
  • To promote discussion among specialists in these fields;
  • To enable participants to transmit documentation knowledge, aptitudes and skills.


This advanced course will stress the notion of 'inventory' as the core element of information systems to allow the establishment of links between the various aspects and fields relating to architectural documentation processes. The notion of 'information management systems' will include:

  • Principles, design and management of records of data base systems, and
  • Methods to process architectural records and related information.

During four weeks of study, this advanced course will be structured around three blocks of knowledge relating to:

  • Documentation: principles, theory, guidelines;
  • Information management: planning, practice, access and diffusion, and
  • Recording practice: practical workshop about generating records (direct, topographic, photogrammetric, 3D scanning), research (historic, bibliographic, archaeological, constructive, structural, ornamental, pathological), diffusion (info graphics, multimedia, GIS).

Topics include:

  • Architectural recording, where in addition to the general definition, the notion of the relationship between representation and content is introduced;
  • Architectural recording, as a discipline, supported by all the sciences and techniques which are able to contribute to the understanding, measurement and analysis of architecture from a morphological, material and structural standpoint;
  • Architectural recording as a research activity combined with the bibliographic and documentation investigation;
  • Architectural recording as an open knowledge system, aiming at obtaining the most comprehensive understanding of the structure under investigation and the collection, over time, of critical records of all relevant elements;
  • Architecture and context;
  • Demonstrations and presentations of technical developments in recording.

The advanced course is foreseen for architects, planners, engineers, archaeologists, historians, topographers, photogrammetrists, surveyors, cartographers, restorers, documentalists, and other professionals involved in the field of recording, documentation and inventories through information management systems.


Applications should include a completed ICCROM application form available from http://www.iccrom.org/eng/training/forms.htm or from the ICCROM contact address bellow.

Deadline for Applications: 31 January 2003

All correspondence relating to the advanced course - including requests for application forms - should be addressed to:
Training Information and Fellowships - OCI, ICCROM (ARC Advanced Courses - Architectural records), Via di San Michele 13, I - 00153 Rome, Italy; tel.: + 39 0658 553 1; fax: + 39 0658 553 349; e-mail: training@iccrom.org