Friday, 29 August 2014

Preserving and Sharing Cultural Heritage

Sampo Viiri from the Finnish Institute blogs about the Institute’s new report on digital humanities and digital culture heritage preservation.

The evolution of digital technology and online networks is shaping our lives and societies. At some point in the recent past, digital stopped being something separate from the "real" world for many of us. Now we are constantly in the network and using digital tools without even noticing it ourselves.  Digital information is increasingly everywhere and largely available for everyone.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Visibility and Impact of Contemporary Art in Contemporary Society

Dr Johanna Vakkari, the Finnish Institute’s Head of Arts & Culture Programme, blogs about Institute’s new project.

The Institute launches a new project

Helsingin Sanomat, the leading newspaper in Finland, published an article 26 June 2014  about  the Finnish small and medium large companies’ sponsorship. (Heiskanen 2014). Only 2% of the interviewed directors or proprietors of these companies would support art and culture, while 42% would support sport, 18% health and 15% children’s activities. Does this tell something about the lack of visibility of contemporary art, or art in general, in Finland? Or is it that companies don’t believe that sponsoring art would improve their own visibility while sport is always seen as a solid investment?  Is contemporary art seen as something difficult to approach or something only catering to a specific group? We do have museum collections, galleries, works of art exposed permanently or temporarily in public spaces, environmental art and different kinds of art events, but perhaps all this should be opened even more to the public and to decision-makers.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Wikimania 2014 Highlights

Sampo Viiri from the Finnish Institute blogs about Wikimania, the annual event of the Wikimedia movement, which was held in London this year.

Wikimania, the official annual event of the Wikimedia movement, took place in London 8–10 August 2014. The event was an interesting mix between a conference and a festival, including over 200 speakers in 8 simultaneous spaces inside the Barbican Centre, with fringe events and hackathons running during the event and preceding it. Most participants seemed to be active Wikipedia editors, as Wikipedia is obviously the most well known Wikimedia product. The British have been active Wikipedians, the UK producing about 20% of all English language Wikipedia articles.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Placemaking, Community Projects and Citizen Participation

Maija Bergström blogs about redevelopment of the King's Cross area. This is the second part of a series of posts about King’s Cross, the new home base of the Finnish Institute in London.

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the role of history and culture in the development of places, drawing examples from King’s Cross. This post will look into a more communal way of developing places, especially the so-called placemaking approach I referred to earlier.