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The Heritage Jam: Innovation in Heritage Visualisation

Posted on 1 June 2014

Join the international Heritage Jam showcase and competition, 11 July 2014 at the University of York

01-06-2014 Heritage Jam

Funded by the archaeology department, with support from the Centre for Digital Heritage, a new type of event has been launched: The Heritage Jam - a collaborative, global heritage visualisation summit taking place both online and in-person on the 11th of July 2014 at the University of York.

Drawing inspiration from jamming events commonly held in the games industry, where ad-hoc groups meet for short, intensive periods of time to produce prototypes, The Heritage Jam is a one day event in which interdisciplinary groups come together to collaborate in making new, experimental and pioneering visualisations of the past.

The aim is to bring together the minds and talents from across disciplines, to share technical expertise, creative skills and knowledge to push the boundaries of heritage interpretation, and inject new ideas into the field. In this way the Jam is a unique opportunity for artists, historians, animators, designers, programmers, archaeologists, conservators, museums professionals, heritage practitioners, students and other interested specialists and members of the public, to learn from each other, foster new partnerships, friendships and creative links.

The day itself will consist of a series of workshops and intensive making-sessions, with all submissions due on 11 July at 8pm (British Summer Time). The short time frame is intended to synergise small, achievable pieces, with the emphasis placed on ambition, forward-thinking, and experimentation with new materials, forms, techniques and ideas. The Heritage Jam is also distinct in so far as it is simultaneously an off- and online event – with submissions open to Jammers across the world who will also be taking part and submitting contributions remotely.

The Jam will end in an exhibition, showcasing the innovations online as well as at the Centre for Digital Heritage annual conference. Prizes will be awarded for the top three entries, best remote submission, and best on-the-ground submission. However the life of the Jam will continue beyond the event, with follow up articles and reflections published via our social media channels, where all work will be archived and kept open over the next year, so that participants may continue to build upon their projects, networks or new working relationships.

Dr Anthony Masinton, co-organiser of the Jam, explains the significance of its take on collaboration in that ‘Nothing like this has been attempted before. The Heritage Jam is an exciting way for anyone working in visualising and interpreting heritage to get to know others in the field - across disciplines. It’s a fantastic showcase of the truly imaginative and talented work done by many people in a very broad discipline.’

Dr Sara Perry, heading the planning behind the Jam, states that “ at the heart of The Heritage Jam is a grassroots mission to bring together specialists and different interested publics in the building of both models of good visual practice and networks of sharing and collective creativity. It is our vision that the Jam will facilitate ideas and connections which will continue into the long term – whether this is through the continued development of experimental prototypes crafted at the Jam, or through growth of new working partnerships. Ultimately, we seek to facilitate spaces in which we can build our various heritage communities, break down walls between how heritage values are integrated into decision making in the present, and promote shared enjoyment and care of our many and diverse histories.”

No doubt The Heritage Jam is set to be an exciting occasion in the active summer programme of events coming from the department.