|Title:||Memory and Territory: New Forms of Virtuality for the Museum|
|Publication:||MW2004: Museums and the Web 2004|
The use of the term virtual is commonly associated with the idea of an extension of reality. Similarly, the expression virtual museum is usually adopted to mean a process of duplication of a physical museum and its objects, enabled by information technologies. Therefore, virtual museum has become a useful synonym for multimedia products or Web sites capable of providing new and fresh experiences of a specific museum and its heritage. However, in order to understand and explore further opportunities, profound reflection is necessary. We need to question and investigate the contemporary role of the museum, and then challenge this by producing innovative visions, solutions, and technological experimentation. In what ways do new technologies enhance the collective and relational nature of the museum? What cultural role and significance can physical artifacts assume in the digital age? Can a virtual museum promote the social dimension of a new, digital creativity linked to actual cultural artifacts? This paper aims to respond to these questions and to identify new forms of virtuality for the museum, focusing on the ideas of territory, local community, and collective memory. The presentation of some exemplary projects will contribute both to the evolution of the idea of virtual museum and to the use of information technologies.