by Ann Gow, Research Development Officer (HATII)
Fair exchange is no robbery, as the old adage goes. This was particularly evident at the Digital Innovations Day held by Arts Knowledge Exchange, Glasgow Digital Humanities (GDH) Network and Glasgow Life, and supported by Arts Lab. On a crisp December day in a packed lecture theatre, delegates engaged with a range of presentations from across the two organisations on the experiential transformations and innovations that the digital approaches have brought to their work.
Knowledge Exchange may seem a very straightforward concept but it is often the case that simple concepts can be made more complex in the swirling mists of academic debate. We take a very simple view and saw an opportunity for a concrete exchange of knowledge by bringing together researchers from University of Glasgow and Glasgow Life to present on the experiential transformations and innovations that the digital has brought to them.
Colleagues from Glasgow University’s College of Arts are currently engaged in research relating to key Themes announced by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). These themes support develomental activities across a wide range of disciplines and place a special emphasis on the societal impact of arts based research. GDH is particularly active around the theme of Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities where we are tackling crucial issues such as intellectual property, cultural memory and identity, and communication and creativity in the digital age.
The exchange of knowledge with colleagues from Glasgow Life opened up ideas, started discussions and created a real buzz of excitement. We exchanged knowledge across a wide range of concepts such as museum, gallery and archive user studies, collections management, digital interactives, capital projects, sports activities and social media strategy. Ideas sprang from the wider group on these and specialist areas – how does smart technology work in the fabric of the cultural heritage buildings? And Colleagues interested in the Big Data agenda saw great potential in Glasgow Life’s user and visitor data, thinking of how the research expertise in GDH can help use these data not only to help Glasgow Life but also speak to our own research agendas.
Our final presentation, the Carnegie-funded Seeing Speech project using ultrasound tongue imaging was a super way to end the day, showing how technology can truly transform research thinking within the Humanities. It was also a very entertaining and intriguing presentation with which to end our day of knowledge exchange with.
So: what next? Arts KE, Arts Lab and GDH will be working to build on these ideas and connexions made at our Digital Innovations Day with further events, targeted at developing interdisciplinary research and opening spaces for further collaborations.