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Some background
- Carl Hogsden, research associate at the University of Cambridge, and curator at Museum of Archeology and Anthropology
- Also works for CARET
- Sits beside Antranig
- Rebuilt the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology (MAA) using open source technologies (just finished implementing a few days ago!)
- Responsible for curating exhibitions at the museum
    - Tries to squeeze in technology wherever possible into the space
    - When he first joined, all the MAA had was an iMac in the gallery space
    - Now they have loads of screen, some (all?) of them touch screens
- He's interested in using web technology to have work in the museum connect with source communities (source communities are "the communities from which museum collections originate")
- Interested in using web inside the physical space to have things interact with each other
- Want to bring "local knowledge" into the museum
"Assembling Bodies" exhibition
- One of their current exhibitions is on the human body
- 12 or 13 different departments at Cambridge University contributed to this; all those departments were somehow related to the theme of the body
- Each department gave their own interpretation, representation, visualization of the body (e.g., ultrasound, DNA, art, etc.)
- Also about how machines become extensions of the body
- Miniature exhibits within the exhibition, each with its own theme, corresponding to the different departments
- Would like for visitors to take objects out of the gallery (virtually), combine and interpret the exhibition in their own way
- Would like for visitors to build relationships among the objects on the website, and then bring that into the museum space when t hey visit
- Exhibition went live in March 2009, will be up for two years
- By autumn 2009, as a second stage, they want to somehow inject the web into the physical space
- Users creating their own themes, and relatedness of objects, and sharing that
- Exhibition space is ~70 metres in length, ~6 metres wide
- 12 or 13 different areas (each corresponding to the miniature exhibits/themes/departments)
- Every object in the physical space is on their website
Some ideas
- Visitors could prepare what objects they want to see in the physical space before coming in
- Visitors create mini, personal collections of objects [seems to be a reoccurring theme in our museum conversations!]
- Visitors sharing their own interpretations of objects
- In the near future, the collections management system could collect information from invited researchers, etc. outside the museum, and visitors in the further future
- Carl would find it interesting to see what objects visitors find interesting
- (and evidence for finding what visitors find interesting in the gallery)
- Museums collect stuff together; would be interesting to see how visitors would form their own collections, and engage with the physical space with that
- Still rare to see integration between the web and physical space in museums [another reoccurring theme in our conversations with museums]
- Functionality/experience of the website often ends there, and doesn't make it into the physical space
- The web is 2D, the physical space is 3D, and integrating the two isn't always easy
- They run a post-grad course in the museum
- Collecting in and of itself is nice, but even better would be a reason for collecting
- Encourage visitors to collect "because" of something, instead simply collecting a bunch of objects they arbitrarily like

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