A few weeks ago I was in Tampere, Finland, participating in something called European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA). It is a conference arranged by European Museum Forum, where the climax is to deliver the prize for this Year´s museum in Europe. This year the prize, the 32nd since the start, went to Ozeanum in Stralsund, Germany.
A conference as this one presents an opportunity to follow a general discourse regarding European museums and the development of their practice, if there is one. It also presents a great opportunity to network since some 150 people from the European museums are gathered in the same place for three days.
One exciting meeting I had, out of severel, was with Michael John Gorman, head of Science Gallery in Dublin. Science Gallery is an interdisciplinary meeting place for art and science. Exhibitions, events, happenings, workshops and projects are thrown into a mix with speed-dating between artists and scientists and Open calls on different themes. The last theme was "Music and the body".
What made it extra exciting this year was that Science Gallery received a Commendation, together with two other museums, during the ceremony. Is it a museum? That was frequently discussed during the dinner.
The definition of a museum is usually that it holds a collection. Has Science Gallery a collection? Yes, but it is to a great extent made up of ideas and experiences, rather than artefacts. Thus they are a great example of a discourse under debate. I know from my conversations with Michael John Gorman that Science Gallery is thinking about how to make their collection accessible. Is it possible to create systems where ideas can be presented in an attractive way? It is going to be exciting to see the result.
Here is a link to Science Gallery and if you are in Dublin, make a visit. That´s what I aim to do!