Heritage Conservation and the Digital

The consequences of still quite young technologies are not yet really foreseeable for heritage studies. Inexpensive and precise building surveys, interactive visualization of lost circumstances, monitoring of endangered sites and artefacts or the complex linking of heterogeneous knowledge — to name but a few — open up new possibilities. Meanwhile, limits and yet unsolved problems within the use of digital technologies, such as the sustainable management and storage of the generated data volumes or the increasing dependence on commercial providers, are also becoming clearer. 

Above all, the question arises as to how the view of monuments and cultural heritage changes as a result of digital technologies. The extremely vivid visualizations and reconstructions of existing and lost objects and circumstances enable innovative mediation and promotion possibilities. The cultural and medial consequences of the digital turn are largely unexplored. Does a previously unknown reproducibility weaken or strengthen the aura of the original? Does the distinction between an original and simulation or (digital) print lose relevance? Does the prospect of a digital "rescue" of monuments destroyed by wars lead to a second devaluation of the monument? Where does the border between a democratization of knowledge and a narrowing to commercial or even political interests lie?

Initial results published in:

Franz, Birgit / Vinken, Gerhard (eds.): Das Digitale und die Denkmalpflege. Bestandserfassung – Denkmalvermittlung – Datenarchivierung – Rekonstruktion verlorener Objekte (= Veröffentlichung des Arbeitskreises Theorie und Lehre der Denkmalpflege e.V., vol. 26), Holzminden 2017 (available online under: http://books.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/arthistoricum/catalog/book/263).

The volume includes the following contributions from the Center for Heritage Conservation Studies and Technologies (KDWT) and the Chair of Heritage Sciences at Bamberg University:

  • Arera-Rütenik, Tobias (KDWT): Digitale Technologien in der Bauforschung und in der Praktischen Baudenkmalpflege – Entwicklung, Aufgaben, Perspektiven, pp. 60-67.
  • Blokker, Johanna (Chair of Heritage Sciences): Die Denkmalpflege und das Digitale, pp. 24-31.
  • Rahrig, Max (KDWT): Wohin mit all den Scans? Über die dauerhafte Archivierung von 3D-Daten bedeutender Kulturgüter am Beispiel des Bamberger Kaisergrabs, pp. 130-139.
  • Vinken, Gerhard (Chair of Heritage Sciences): Das Digitale und die Denkmalpflege. Einführung in eine komplexe Beziehung, pp. 12-19.