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Month: November 2022

week9 sprint4

‘…consider how the arts and contemporary theory structure “the commons” anew: how the commons becomes both a goal and a trope in post-millennial art and cultural theory.’ (Amy J. Elias)  

This blog mainly narrates from two aspects.The first aspect is my understanding of the cultural Commons, which is my contribution to the group assignment and the first part of the group speech. The second part is my outlook and expectation for the cultural Commons.

First and foremost, the scope of Commons is very broad, which is reflected in digital, economic, legal, political and other aspects. As De Angelis puts it, “Commons” can be expressed as a collection of natural and/or human resources, a community of people with reciprocal and sharing relationships and an act of common commitment to community reproduction. My group assignment is about cultural Commons. So what is the cultural Commons?“Cultural Commons refer to cultures located in time and space – either physical or virtual – and shared and expressed by a community. A Cultural Common is a system of intellectual resources available on a given geographical or virtual area. A Cultural Commons could be thought as the evolution of the more traditional concept of cultural district or cultural cluster.” (Enrico Bertacchini et al., 2012) In my opinion, cultural Commons is a space with real places or virtual scenes, where a certain culture or various cultural, art, music and other aspects gather together. At the same time, the cultural Commons has three dimensions, namely culture, space and community. So let me give you an example of what I think about the cultural Commons. instagram, for example, can be seen as a cultural Commons. With the rapid development of science and technology, Ins is a social sharing platform that uses the Internet to connect people. On this online platform, people from all over the world can share their thoughts on a certain subject, such as their views on contemporary art. Similarly, others can use the platform to see what other people think about contemporary art. This sharing of the same things also reflects that the cultural community is made up of information, which is not competitive in consumption. For example, a piece of music can be consumed and listened to without restriction. Thus, cultural Commons is a system of knowledge resources available within a specific geographic or virtual area and can be seen as an evolution of the concept of a traditional cultural district or cultural cluster.  It is worth noting that some problems arise in the Cultural Commons, but this is understandable. Hess (2008) definition of the Commons: “A Commons is a resource shared by a group that is susceptible to enclosure, overuse, and social distress. Unlike public goods, it needs management and protection to sustain itself.” Hence, people need to pay attention to the use and protection of this shared resource to avoid its depletion.

Secondly, there is no denying that there are many public lands that provide disabled people with many ways to get in touch with things around them. On the one hand, some on-the-ground cultural Commons are providing suitable spatial ways for the unwell to learn about paintings, using multi-sensory and new technologies for the disabled in the cultural Commons. “Haptic technology allows museums to expand their collections of artifacts and information,” Hemsley, Cappellini, and Stanke(2017) note. For example, there is an exhibition in Madrid that allows blind or visually impaired people to touch artwork. The video below is about the Touch exhibition at the Museum of Madrid. “The surface properties of an artefact can be modeled so that a person using a tactile device can feel that it is a solid three-dimensional object with different textures, hardness or softness.” (Hemsley, Cappellini and Stanke, 2017) Therefore, touching the artwork can make visually impaired people feel the material of the picture, thus increasing the feeling of the artwork. And promote the number of vulnerable minority groups participating in the Commons.

There’s also a museum in the Netherlands with a new exhibition for the visually impaired. It’s called “Blind Spot” in the city of Utrecht. It represents the artwork, but adds extra dimensions, including sounds and smells to feel the artwork. So, to some extent, these multi-sensory exhibitions provide people with limited vision with access to art. Art doesn’t have to be seen to be felt.


The virtual cultural Commons offers more ways for people with disabilities to use it than in the past. Social media, such as instagram, provides visually impaired people with audio descriptions of entire photos. The video below details how the visually impaired use instagram.

In my opinion, the cultural Commons is the cultural Commons of the masses. We can not ignore the needs of the disabled for arts and culture.Although, there are a lot of examples of Commons to show that some of these Commons have become very convenient for people with limited vision, who can touch the artwork and listen to what’s going on in a painting. But these exhibitions, or events, do not make up a large proportion of all the Commons. Perhaps in the future, the Commons can provide more convenient and beneficial services to more people with disabilities. In addition, while visiting the field museums and galleries in England, I discovered a problem. Most of the brochures are in a single language, which means that most of the visitors need to take the brochures in English.  The language of the official website is also a single language, which to some extent ignores the needs of international tourists. This may be one of the many limitations of the Commons.

The development of the Commons still needs people’s efforts to maintain. The tragedy of the Commons comes from human selfishness and is caused by the absence of long-term rules and compulsion. But there is no denying that more and more people are beginning to understand and maintain the Commons.



Reference list

Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Massimo Marrelli, Santagata, W. and Hess, C. (2012). Cultural Commons. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Lankford, B. (2013). Resource Efficiency Complexity and the Commons. Routledge.

Hemsley, J., Cappellini, V. and Stanke, G. (2017). Digital Applications for Cultural and Heritage Institutions. Routledge.


Week7 Sprint3

This week’s sprint, I mainly focus on two questions to answer. The first question is whether works that focus on the senses other than vision ignore vision altogether. The second problem is the multi-sensory and gallery problem. After answering the first two questions, I’m going to talk a little bit about group work at the end and how I understand colonization and decolonization voices.

First and foremost, does the focus on sensory artworks other than the visual negate art altogether or do they still have a visual aesthetic? In my opinion, vision is an inevitable sensory element in art, and to some extent it will interfere with your understanding of art. The example I would like to give is an interactive exhibition in Calton Hill called The Seeing Hands. In the exhibition, people can use their own senses to experience. When I entered this exhibition for the first time, my visual preconceptions made me feel many bright colors, such as red and green. As vision takes over my brain’s perception, I forget that this is an interactive exhibition that can be touched, and I just think about why these colors are assigned to the objects in the exhibition and what these colors represent.When I went into the exhibition a second time and looked closely at the preface, I realized that I should amplify my sense of touch and faint sense of hearing in my touch. On the wall of the exhibition, you can see a lot of square objects of different materials, and the kinds of these objects are different and also produce different  touch. When I touch the tile, I feel the cold and smooth touch. When I touch the cut surface of the tile, I need to pay attention to the sharp feeling of the tile, so as to prevent my hand from being cut by too much force. In the process of touch, I amplify my senses. Although each object brings me a different touch, I still can’t ignore the influence of vision. As you can see in the image below, these square objects have different colors and patterns. So, for me, artworks that focus on the other senses can’t completely ignore the visual, they still embody the visual aesthetics.

              Figure1: The picture taken in The Seeing Hand exhibition

And then, the answer to the question of whether galleries need to be multi-sensory is yes. Multi-sensory has positive influence.  “It makes museums more accessible to the visually impaired. It brings in visitors who may find the conventional formal visualism of museums disengaging or daunting.” (Classen, 2017) On the one hand, multi-sensory galleries can help visually impaired people to understand art and the world from different angles to some extent. Dodek (2012)  notices that according to research, multi-sensory experiences can benefit many non-visual learners who prefer to use other sensory ways to create meaning in the world. At the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, there is an exhibition called “Touch the Prado”, which allows people with visual impairment to feel the paintings in the exhibition through touch, and imagine the pictures through touch. This is a great way to help people who are good at using touch feel the artwork. The same, different senses bring different people into contact with art. So I think galleries need to be multi-sensory. Multi-sensory provides more people with access to and insight into artworks.

On the other hand, multiple senses can leave a deeper impression on people.  For example, Van Gogh’s interactive experience exhibition makes use of multi-sensory technology and multimedia technology to bring visitors a different audio-visual feast. The multi-sensory experience allows visitors to delve into the gallery. From just looking at the artworks in the gallery with the eyes to the combination of audiovisual touch and even smell, the interaction between the gallery, the artworks and the audience can be increased, and this interaction can increase the understanding of the gallery and the artworks by visitors. I agree with that “Exhibits should invite visitors to participate and become intellectually involved, let visitors touch objects, manipulate machines, smell an environment and hear sounds…. The interaction between museum and visitor should not be limited to exhibits but should extend to the gift shop, food service, and all areas of the museum. ” (John Howard Falk and Lynn Diane Dierking, 2016b) Therefore, I think galleries need a multi-sensory approach, and museums also need it. In addition, I would like to add a point of my opinion about he multi-sensory exhibition. I’m not sure if my idea is correct, I think maybe in some relatively new exhibitions, curators tend to use multi-sensory and multimedia technology to plan an exhibition. This kind of exhibition has become one of the more popular exhibitions, of course, this is just my guess.

Last but not least, about this week’s group work, our group carried out according to four parts.  The last part about reflection is completed by me. In the section of reflection, I want to discussed the topic of the voices of decolonization and decolonization and divided the topic into two positions. The first position is that the past human voice is colonial compared to the present human voice, and the second position is that the present human voice is still colonial compared to the natural voice. Both comparisons are made with the sound of people’s voices today. the final conclusion is that compared to the colonial sound of the past, the sound that people make today is non-colonial. But compared with the mountains, the land, the sea and so on, the voice of the people still seems to be a colonial presence. I looked at the link on decolonize listening in the handbook, but I’m not sure I fully understand what a decolonize listening is, what a colonizing sound is. It seems to me that human activity may be of a colonial nature. In the past, during periods of war or during periods of dispeace, such colonization may have been among human beings. But, but compared to nature and human society, nature was colonized to some extent. So, the decolonization listening maybe is the voice of nature, and the colonial listening is the voice of human.

Figure2: Our group’s powerpoint part4

⚠️As for the additional work, I’ve watched the readings, videos and audio for the first, second and third days. I really like artist Hanna Tuulikki’s artwork, especially her Deer dancer’s  electronic album. That’s all for this week’s sprint blog, thanks for reading.


Reference list

   Classen, C. (2017). The museum of the senses experiencing art and collections. London Oxford New York New Delhi Sydney Bloomsbury Academic, An Imprint Of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

   Dodek, W.L. (2012). Bringing Art to Life through Multi-Sensory Tours. Journal of Museum Education, 37(1), pp.115–124. doi:10.1080/10598650.2012.11510723.

   John Howard Falk and Lynn Diane Dierking (2016b). The museum experience revisited. London: Routledge.



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