Dates: 15-17 July, 2024
A conference track led by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya at the Cultural Pasts Conference, Barcelona.
Place: Barcelona & Virtual
Abstracts: 10 Dec, 2023 (Round 1) | 25 April, 2024 (Round 2)
Today’s understanding of what we define as heritage is increasingly complex. If we take cities as an example, the notion that its historic importance is primarily related to the age of its structures, the quality of its buildings and the authenticity of its ancient architecture is increasingly questioned. On the one hand, the notion of intangible heritage draws our attention to the cultural myths, traditions and rituals that emerged from any given place, as well as the idea that we have to conserve phenomena such a language, storytelling or festivals unique to any given place – whether that be a towns, a village or a city.
Simultaneously, increasing digitization in the heritage sector lends itself to very different definitions of the importance of place, materiality and presence. In an age in which we can digitally reconstruct artifacts, buildings, neighborhoods and entire cities, questions such as the ‘stylistic authenticity’ of a historic building becomes moot. In a context in which tourists visit cultural sites through online experiences, the ‘spirit of a place’ becomes a secondary question. In a scenario in which visiting a building involves augmented reality experiences, the physicality of the historic object can take on a supporting role to our digitized immersion in the past.
Seen through these lenses when we think about heritage (whether related to the city, an art object, a designed artefact or a cultural product) we are obliged to consider issues that are, often at the same time, tangible, intangible and increasingly digital. This strand of the conference seeks to explore these expanded definitions of the past as they relate to the design, cultural and artistic life typical of cities, towns and regions. The case study of Barcelona as a host city is useful. A city renowned for its built urban form, the work of Antonio Gaudi and the variety of its cultural buildings and modernist architecture, it is also a city of creative art practice, deep-rooted cultural traditions, regional folklore and a strong sense of historical identity captured, amongst other ways, by the preservation of the Catalan language.
Picking up on the implications and potentialities of such themes, this strand welcomes contributions from a range of disciplinary fields: art and architectural history; conservation practice; preservation studies; cultural studies; tourism; design; art practice; the humanities and the social sciences.
UCL Press | Cambridge Scholars Publishing
AMPS, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Part of the Urban Futures – Cultural Pasts conference.