Conferences

2020- 2021

Conference: REFLECT Festival 2021 (Limassol, Cyprus)

Authors: Antigone Heraclidou, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert & Kleanthis Neokleous

Date: 14-16 October 2021

Abstract:

Almost three years ago, the Museum Lab at CYENS Centre of Excellence, in Cyprus, embarked on the Ledra Palace project, aiming to investigate how and to what extent, the Ledra Palace Hotel can be used, with the help of technology, as a vehicle to discuss issues of difficult history in a non-authoritative way and inclusive way. The Ledra Palace Hotel is an emblematic building situated on Nicosia’s buffer zone which due to its infrastructure and location was the backdrop for many key events in Cyprus’s modern history and can be seen as quintessentially representative of Cyprus’s difficult heritage. This project culminated with the Ledra Palace: Dancing on the Line exhibition, which is currently on display at the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia. This presentation aims to talk about the technologies used in this exhibition and in which ways such technologies can facilitate participatory and collaborative approaches, actively engage different groups and communities, and help bring out contested histories. 

Conference: Using digital collections of museums to deliver and enhance the curriculum in VET (Nicosia/virtual)

Authors: Antigone Heraclidou, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert & Kleanthis Neokleous

Date: 22-24 June 2021

Abstract:

Almost three years ago, the Museum Lab at CYENS Centre of Excellence, in Cyprus, embarked on the Ledra Palace project, aiming to investigate how and to what extent, the Ledra Palace Hotel can be used, with the help of technology, as a vehicle to discuss issues of difficult history in a non-authoritative way and inclusive way. The Ledra Palace Hotel is an emblematic building situated on Nicosia’s buffer zone which due to its infrastructure and location was the backdrop for many key events in Cyprus’s modern history and can be seen as quintessentially representative of Cyprus’s difficult heritage. This project culminated with the Ledra Palace: Dancing on the Line exhibition, which is currently on display at the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia. This presentation aims to talk about the technologies used in this exhibition and in which ways such technologies can facilitate participatory and collaborative approaches, actively engage different groups and communities, and help bring out contested histories. 

Conference: Art, Museums & Digital Cultures, Lisbon (virtual)

Authors: Myrto Aristidou & Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: 22 -23 April 2021

Abstract: The technological leaps of our time have brought virtuality in the foreground, with technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) becoming easily accessible creative tools for artists.  However, technology itself renders VR/AR artworks a challenging category of objects for collecting institutions. Since 2019 we have been researching the current practices of acquiring, exhibiting and preserving VR/AR artworks in collecting institutions via the MuseumArtTech project. Eight professionals working in institutions that engage with VR/AR artworks and five artists who use VR/AR technologies as a main art medium were interviewed, aiming at understanding the processes, challenges and 

Conference: 5th Association of Critical Heritage Studies Biennial Conference

Authors: Shehade Maria, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: August 2020

Abstract: The past few years have seen a big increase in the use of Virtual Reality in museum environments in an attempt for museums to embrace technological innovations and adapt to the challenges of the digital era. A considerable corpus of literature is available exploring the advantages of VR in museums in terms of alternative content delivery, the customisation of museum experiences and visitor participation, amongst others. However, most of these studies tend to overemphasise the advantages of these technologies and overlook the challenges or limitations created by the adoption of VR in the museum environment. Moreover, most of these studies, focus on the visitors’ experience and perceptions and don’t examine the needs or opinions of museum professionals who are responsible for the objects and narratives of a museum. Thus, the aim of this presentation is to explore the opinions and experiences of museum professionals on the use of VR technology in museums, their visions for the future of technology in museums and the possible advantages or limitations of such technologies. The presentation will provide an in-depth analysis of interviews with museum professionals from a number of countries around the world who shared their experiences with particular VR projects. The ultimate aim is to offer a more critical and holistic examination and assessment of the use of VR in museums, to explore how the identified challenges can be overcome and to investigate whether VR can challenge traditional museological values and affect the very nature of the museum experience offered to visitors.

Conference: 5th Association of Critical Heritage Studies Biennial Conference

Authors: Antigone Heraclidou, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: August 2020

Abstract: The past few years have seen a big increase in the use of Virtual Reality in museum environments in an attempt for museums to embrace technological innovations and adapt to the challenges of the digital era. A considerable corpus of literature is available exploring the advantages of VR in museums in terms of alternative content delivery, the customisation of museum experiences and visitor participation, amongst others. However, most of these studies tend to overemphasise the advantages of these technologies and overlook the challenges or limitations created by the adoption of VR in the museum environment. Moreover, most of these studies, focus on the visitors’ experience and perceptions and don’t examine the needs or opinions of museum professionals who are responsible for the objects and narratives of a museum. Thus, the aim of this presentation is to explore the opinions and experiences of museum professionals on the use of VR technology in museums, their visions for the future of technology in museums and the possible advantages or limitations of such technologies. The presentation will provide an in-depth analysis of interviews with museum professionals from a number of countries around the world who shared their experiences with particular VR projects. The ultimate aim is to offer a more critical and holistic examination and assessment of the use of VR in museums, to explore how the identified challenges can be overcome and to investigate whether VR can challenge traditional museological values and affect the very nature of the museum experience offered to visitors.

Conference: International History on Colonial Cyprus, University of Nicosia

Authors: Antigone Heraclidou, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: February 2020

Abstract: The Museum Lab at RISE Centre of Excellence, in Cyprus, has embarked on a project that aspires, through the creation of a re-invented museum, to negotiate issues of ‘difficult history’ in a non-authoritative way. More precisely, the ‘Ledra Palace Museum’ project deals with the representation of difficult history in museums and investigates ways in which technology can facilitate participatory and collaborative approaches, actively engage different groups and communities (especially excluded or silenced ones) and help bring out contested histories. The starting point of this project is the Ledra Palace Hotel, a site that can be seen quintessentially representative of Cyprus’s difficult heritage. The aim of the project is to ‘deep map’ this site and ‘revive’ it, not via the conventional method of building a traditional museum, but with emerging technologies. In the context of this project, we are doing an in-depth and multi-layered historical research in order to bring forward the history of this iconic place and shed light on untold stories.  Once praised as the jewel of Cypriot modernity in the heart of the capital, the Ledra Palace hotel it is now a crumbling dwelling located in the buffer zone between the southern and northern parts of the island and partly used by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force. The 70-year old hotel has fallen into despair and reminds nothing of its glorious past. Inspired and founded in 1949 by three wealthy men and designed by the German-Jewish architect Benjamin Gunsberg, the Ledra Palace Hotel soon became the pride of Nicosia, the first choice for esteemed visitors, journalists, official meetings, general assemblies, balls and social events, art exhibitions, concerts, etc. Through its short-lived history as a hotel, the Ledra Palace witnessed and inevitably became part and parcel of the island’s turbulent history – from the beginning of the 1950s until the tragic events of 1974.  In line with this conference’s aims, this presentation is focused on the history of the Ledra Palace hotel from its opening in 1949 until the end of the colonial period in 1960. During this period, several notions are explored which come to underline the importance of the hotel as a unique cultural and historical site. While Cyprus was visually presented as a predominantly agricultural society routed in the past (see for example the National Geographic feature in 1952, the paintings of Diamathis or the photographs of local photographers such as Reno Wideson and George Lanitis), the photographs that emerge from the Ledra Palace Hotel tell a different story: that of a modern society in search of culture, fashion and entertainment. The presentation will attempt to showcase why and how the Ledra Palace hotel witnessed the island’s turbulent history, became the heart of the island’s social and cosmopolitan life – as opposed to the island’s agricultural character agricultural society –, and dubbed as a place of both peace and conflict.

Conference:Postgraduate Colloquium, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus

Authors: Antigone Heraclidou, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: December 2020

Abstract: The Museum Lab at RISE Centre of Excellence, in Cyprus, has embarked on a project that aspires, through the creation of a re-invented museum, to negotiate issues of ‘difficult history’ in a non-authoritative way. More precisely, the ‘Ledra Palace Museum’ project deals with the representation of difficult history in museums and investigates ways in which technology can facilitate participatory and collaborative approaches, actively engage different groups and communities (especially excluded or silenced ones) and help bring out contested histories. The starting point of this project is the Ledra Palace Hotel, a site that can be seen quintessentially representative of Cyprus’s difficult heritage. The aim of the project is to ‘deep map’ this site and ‘revive’ it, not via the conventional method of building a traditional museum, but with emerging technologies. In the context of this project, we are doing an in-depth and multi-layered historical research in order to bring forward the history of this iconic place and shed light on untold stories.  Once praised as the jewel of Cypriot modernity in the heart of the capital, the Ledra Palace hotel it is now a crumbling dwelling located in the buffer zone between the southern and northern parts of the island and partly used by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force. The 70-year old hotel has fallen into despair and reminds nothing of its glorious past. Inspired and founded in 1949 by three wealthy men and designed by the German-Jewish architect Benjamin Gunsberg, the Ledra Palace Hotel soon became the pride of Nicosia, the first choice for esteemed visitors, journalists, official meetings, general assemblies, balls and social events, art exhibitions, concerts, etc. Through its short-lived history as a hotel, the Ledra Palace witnessed and inevitably became part and parcel of the island’s turbulent history – from the beginning of the 1950s until the tragic events of 1974.  In line with this conference’s aims, this presentation is focused on the history of the Ledra Palace hotel from its opening in 1949 until the end of the colonial period in 1960. During this period, several notions are explored which come to underline the importance of the hotel as a unique cultural and historical site. While Cyprus was visually presented as a predominantly agricultural society routed in the past (see for example the National Geographic feature in 1952, the paintings of Diamathis or the photographs of local photographers such as Reno Wideson and George Lanitis), the photographs that emerge from the Ledra Palace Hotel tell a different story: that of a modern society in search of culture, fashion and entertainment. The presentation will attempt to showcase why and how the Ledra Palace hotel witnessed the island’s turbulent history, became the heart of the island’s social and cosmopolitan life – as opposed to the island’s agricultural character agricultural society –, and dubbed as a place of both peace and conflict.

2019

Conference: ICOM Europe Conference ‘Embracing the virtual: European museums respond to the digital challenge

Authors: Shehade Maria, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: November 2019

Abstract: In light of the digital transformation of our everyday life, museums all over the world are currently trying to adjust and embrace technological innovations so as to keep up with the new developments on interactive and emerging technologies. However, it appears that incorporating and cultivating such a technological dimension in aspects of the museum operation is not always as smooth as in other areas of everyday life in which these technologies are used. Apart from practical or other challenges it appears that in many cases the attempts towards a digital transformation of museums may also challenge traditional museological values and affect the very nature of the museum experience offered to visitors. The aim of this presentation is to critically examine and assess these challenges focusing on technologies that are currently used inside the museum space such as interactive kiosks, touch screens and virtual or augmented reality applications. The presentation will also explore how these challenges can be addressed in order to provide transformative and immersive museum experiences and will highlight particular future directions that could guide the digital transformation of museums so that new technologies can be used in more effective and creative ways.

Conference: 25th ICOM General Conference Kyoto, Japan

Authors: Shehade Maria, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: September 2019

Conference: 6th International Conference of the International Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism

Authors: Shehade Maria, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: June 2019

Conference: Free/Libre Technologies, Arts and the Commons: An Unconference about Art, Design, Technology, Making, Cities and their Communities

Authors: Shehade Maria, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: May 2019

Conference: Free/Libre Technologies, Arts and the Commons: An Unconference about Art, Design, Technology, Making, Cities and their Communities, University of Nicosia

Authors: Shehade Maria, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Date: May 2019