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Not included in the list is the option to become a new art media centre like the ZKM,
Germany (see the case study in this report) or Ars Electronica Center, Austria. Because such
institutions have been set up from the start with heavy investment in technology and
workforce, to be the experimental vanguards at the junction of high-tech, media research,
and cultural creativity.The probability that established museums will develop into such
centres, i.e. have media research and production units side by side with the traditional
museal activities is very low. As Jeffrey Shaw, Head of the Institute for Visual Media, ZKM,
summarises his experiences:"You do not just do it on the side. It involves an enormous
investment, it involves enormous know-how, you have to employ a whole bunch of new
people and you introduce almost new philosophy or a new sort of culture to an institution
when you bring these components in.You cannot just do it on the side.You have to do it
completely, or you do not do it at all." (DigiCULT Interview, June 29, 2001)
Developing media creativity within institutions
The strategy to develop media creativity in-house seems only applicable for major
institutions (e.g. national museum) or co-operations of cultural heritage institutions. An
example for this approach is the multimedia department of the Réunion des Musées
Nationaux (RMN, France).The RMN unites 33 national museums of France and has in
the year 2000 welcomed over 9 million paying visitors.The multimedia department was set
up in 1993 and has since developed products available widely, in attractive form, scientific
and artistic material related to the museums' collections and the exhibitions organised by
the RMN (CD-ROM, DVD, but also cultural heritage games for game consoles).What's
more, since 1997 it has developed the institutions web site into an attractive site with many
features (<>).
Buying in creativity from media companies
The purchasing of creative solutions can be performed at various levels, from the
support, set-up and maintenance of an attractive web site to a complete solution for a
digital environment that offers interactive options in-house as well as online use. An
illustrative example for this is the Rafael Roth Learning Center in the newly established
Jewish Museum Berlin (<>). Starting in 1999, this centre was
conceived and implemented by the company Pandora Neue Medien, involving up to 50
people (including 10-15 persons from the museum, designers, programmers, editors) The
learning centre contextualises digitised artefacts of Jewish history and culture in narratives
and offers in-depth information. It is "interlinked" with the permanent exhibition of the
museum in that artefacts that are present there are key elements in the virtual stories of the
centre.The learning centre is not a place where objects are presented, but a place for
interaction and communication.The next step planned will be to offer the visitor a ticket
with a code through which objects and contexts he or she is particularly interested in will
be captured, assembled, summarised, and stored centrally. Later on the visitor can access this
personalised record online.
The interviews with representatives of Pandora Neue Medien and the Jewish Museum
(DigiCULT Interviews, July, 6 and 12, 2001) exposed essential elements of such a project.
Experts involved in the project observed that such a learning centre could only be the
product of a team involving many specialists. Its development and implementation is to an
essential part a communication and learning process in which all persons that are more or
less closely related to the project must be involved (in the course of this project the staff of
the newly built museum increased form 9 to 120 persons). In practice this means for