Minutes of the AVICOM Board Meeting and Annual Assembly 2022

Minutes of the AVICOM Board Meeting and Annual Assembly, 2 December 2022

 1) Announcement of the election result for the new AVICOM Board 2022-2025 and installation of the new Board

Bob Haroutunian, our election officer, confirmed the properly course of the election. The elected board members are presented in the website.

2) Short self-introduction of the new board members and their wishes for the AVICOM activity 2022-2025

Not published in the minutes.

3) Financial report by the treasurer

Not published in the minutes.

4) Report on AVICOM’s participation in this year’s ICOM General Assembly in Prague

Our participation in the ICOM General Conference in Prague was very successful from my point of view. For the first time we had joint sessions. One of them together with CECA, the Committee for Museum Education, the other together with MPR, the Committee for Marketing and Public Relations, and the German ICOM National Committee. In addition, we had our own session and also, at the National Technical Museum, the award ceremony of our FAIMP media festival.

In total, I estimate the number of participants at around 200 people on-site; in addition, there was a number of people who participated off-site, i.e. online, which unfortunately cannot be determined. This is a very high number compared to previous sessions.

I have asked all speakers to submit their papers so that we can publish them on our website. Unfortunately, very few papers have been submitted so far, so I will have to remind them again.

There was then also a very nice excursion which, among other things, had taken us to Udherski Brod to the Amos Comenius Museum, where Ales Kapsa and his director gave us a wonderful reception. There was an excellent guided tour of the completely redesigned and media-rich museum, and then a wonderful folklore performance outside.

5) Report on the FAIMP Festival 2021-2022 in Prague

As already mentioned, the presentation of the winning entries, the presentation of the prizes followed by a reception took place at the National Museum of Technology, with about 50 participants.

Due to Corona and thus the cancellation of the previous festival, we had combined the 2020 and 2021 festivals. The lively participation, especially from Latin American countries, was remarkable. My thanks go to Karina Durand from Mexico who, as our ambassador for the Latin American countries and the Caribbean, had done a lot to promote participation in the festival.

 6) Report on the joint Solidarity Project of AVICOM, MPR and ICOM Germany

With the COVID 19 pandemic, a new era dawned – overnight, so to speak – in the museum sector as well.

The topic of the digital or media presence of museums received an unexpected boost as a result. It quickly became clear that the mere digitisation of analogue data or the digitisation of collection holdings was not enough. Rather, the museums were faced with the challenge of developing formats and concepts that could be played out across the various media channels. It became clear just as quickly that the design of digital formats requires the same care as is necessary for analogue concepts. It is therefore a matter of developing an authentic digital scenography.

What new formats are being developed to ensure the visibility of art and culture in public (digital) space in the short term?

What new communication channels (media) and strategies will be used to continue to reach existing target groups and, if possible, at the same time use the situation to address new target groups? And will these communication channels only be used during the shutdown, or will they also be strategically used during regular opening hours?

Investigating this is the task of the Solidarity project launched last year together with the MPR Committee and with the support of ICOM Germany entitled: The COVID19 Challenge: Museums and their digital engagement in times of crises.

The fact that we are able to carry out this project is thanks to a competition announced by ICOM at the time among all committees for solidarity projects. MPR, ICOM Germany and MPR applied together with the above-mentioned topic and were finally awarded the contract and promised funding. We were then able to find a young scientist to carry out the research in close cooperation with the presidents of the three committees.

In the meantime, Michael Eulenstein, as he is called, has almost completed the investigation. He has evaluated the websites of more than 150 museums worldwide according to countless criteria, as well as their communication via social media, and compiled all this into a gigantic matrix. He has also defined evaluation criteria in order to be able to present best practice examples. We expect the study to be completed this December. Of course, we will publish the results of the survey in English, French and probably also Spanish, i.e. in the three ICOM languages – for example on the MPR and ICOM websites, possibly also in a print version.

7) Presence of AVICOM in the social media

Marta Peinador, our social media officer, reported about the activities in social media. Our presence: facebook, Instagram, Twitter

8) Short reports from our members about their activities for AVICOM

 Karina Durand, our Ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean, announces a joint conference (of-site) of AVICOM with ICOM LAC in 2023. The preparations will start in spring 2023.

9) Preparation of the FAIMP Festival and the General Assembly (as a symposium) of AVICOM 2023

We are now starting to prepare for the next Faimp Festival:  The new name: „Festival of Audiovisual and Innovative Museum Media Productions“

The plan is to hold the award ceremony in mid-September, and we have already approached a few locations for this. Traditionally, the host is an institution that won an award at the last festival. In the meantime, the Mauritshuis in The Hague has cancelled, we have not yet received an answer from an institution in Italy, but there are two interested parties, Mohamed Ismail, who could well imagine holding the festival in Cairo, and the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

The festival is to be combined with the annual AVICOM conference. I would like to propose the theme: The Virtual Museum.

There has been a lot of development in this field, especially during the phase of museum closures caused by the pandemic. Certainly, the virtual museum cannot replace the analogue museum, which lives from the exposure of originals. But virtual museums are necessary wherever an analogue museum is not possible at all. For example, because exhibition rooms are lacking or too small, or because it is not possible for many visitors to physically visit the museum.

Kamila Oles and Alan Miller from St Andrews presented us with such a case. They have developed a gigantic online presentation that invites visitors to virtually explore the natural and cultural attractions of the Orkney Islands.

10) Objectives for the term of office 2022-2025

 And that brings me to AVICOM’s tasks for the 2022-2025 term of office. I could imagine that the Virtual Museum could be one of the focal points of research and discussion. Other focal points could be: Accessibility in the museum network, for example on the websites. I would like to offer an online seminar here.

Another topic that we have neglected so far are legal issues in connection with media productions.

11) Miscellaneous

Board member Janos Tari recalls the digitized AVICOM archive in the Bilbiothèque Nationale in Paris and suggests clarifying with the BN how the digital copies can be made publicly accessible (for ICOM members).

Dr. Michael H. Faber