[ISEA2011] Paper: Ferhat Sen & Reha Discioglu – Historical Orchestra: A Research for a More Engaging Museum Experience

Abstract

In this paper we describe the design and research phases of an interdisciplinary project which can be defined as a digital cultural heritage experience combining art, computing and digital technology. The use of digital and electronic media implies a change in the conception and affordance of museums and the relationships between the artifacts and the visitors of the museum. Within this change, the major problem of traditional conception of museum is its lack of interactivity and thus lack of visitor engagement. Therefore, there is a certain need for an interaction-based experience in the way the artifacts are exhibited.  In this paper we propose an interactive participatory experience for a cultural artifact. Historical Orchestra is an interactive media installation based on a 16th century Turkish illustrated manuscript in an attempt to create a more engaging museum exhibiton experience. The installation utilizes three tangible musical interfaces and gives real-time visual narrative feedback. The musical interfaces are augmented instruments that enable three users to play three instruments simultaneously without any prior musical knowledge. The visuals are based on a story and its illustration as a miniature painting in the manuscript. The selected two-page miniature painting is interactively animated according to the actions of the user with the instruments. The method used in designing the system is of a collaborative nature where musicians and art historians contributed to the design along with the designers. In result, we have observed that the system enabled the visitors to have a more engaging cultural heritage experience through its interactive and participatory quality. We are also proposing to exhibit the resulting installation in ISEA2011 as an artwork.

  • Ferhat Şen (b.1984, Turkey) is an artist, designer, researcher and writer residing in Helsinki. He has curated exhibitions, produced and collaborated on projects ranging from interactive and immersive environments to digital and traditional photography and video. Ferhat Sen is currently teaching and pursuing a doctoral degree in New Media at Media Lab Helsinki, Finland. His research interests are interaction design and digital cultural heritage. ferhatsen.com   Video: Historical Orchestra
  • Reha Dişçioğlu is an artist, designer and researcher. She was born in Turkey and currently living in Helsinki. She is holding a computer science degree and doing MA in Sound in New Media at Media Lab Helsinki. Her artistic and research interests are interaction design, sound design, intelligent playgrounds, traditional musical instruments.

Full text (PDF) p. 2200-2205 [slightly different title]