Biomedicine in museums

Touching The Tactile — workshop at Medical Museion, 10-11 April, 2014

Next month, Jan Eric Olsén is co-organizing a workshop titled “Touching The Tactile” here at Medical Museion.

The aim of the workshop is “to approach the sense of touch via a series of hands-on investigations and discussions that will take place within the context of art and museum practices”.

By focusing on touch, the workshop draws attention to features that are often overlooked in the fabric of art exhibits and museum displays. More particularly, the workshop will unfurl the experience and knowledge that comes with touch and the things that we touch. These are experiences that span from intimate relationships, over the skills of diverse crafts and the knowledge of specific materials to pedagogical methods and artistic positions that entail the actual touching of objects and works (e.g. museum exhibits for visually impaired people and artworks such as Gonzalez-Torres candy spills). The question is, among others, what kind of knowledge do we speak about with regard to touch? What kind of remembrance is invoked? Is it conceptual, can it be conceptualized or does it rather stand in opposition to concepts and visuality? Likewise, what difference does the actual touching of artworks and museum objects make?

Preliminary programme:

Medical Museion, Thursday 10 April

• 13.00 – 13.20
Welcome: Thomas Söderqvist, Director, Medical Museion
Introduction to the workshop theme: Jan Eric Olsén, Medical Museion

• 13.25 – 14.10
Roundtable presentation, 4 minutes each: background, interests, perspectives…

• 14.15 – 15.00
Teresa Nielsen (Vejen Art Museum): “Vejen Art Museum: a project for the blind – to the delight of many others”.

15.00 – 15.30
Jan Eric Olsén (Medical Museion): “Tactile extracts from the blind-historical collection”.

• 16.00 – 16.45
Lucy Lyons (London): “Touch but don’t touch: touching by proxy”.

• 16.45 – 17.30
Ane Pilegaard Sørensen (Medical Museion): “Between bodies: exhibiting medical materialities”.

• 17.30 – 18.00
Erik Hippe (Copenhagen): Demonstration of medical palpation.

Royal Academy of Arts, Friday 11 April

• 10.00 – 10.45
Zoe Laughlin (Institute of Making and the Materials Library Project, London): Title TBA

•11.15 – 12.00
Michael Renner (Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel): “Ceramics: intersection of the tactile and the visual”.

•13.00 – 13.45
Tony Hildebrandt (Instituto Svizzero, Rome): “Drawing blindfolded: on the relation of touching and memory”.

• 13.45 – 14.30
Jakob Bak, Jamie Allen, David Gauthier (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design): Title TBA

• 15.00 – 15.45
Anette Stenslund (Medical Museion): “Touching absence: the smell of nothing”.

15.45 – 16.30
Interlude on touching

• 16.30 – 17.15
Laura Liv Weikop (Danish Design Museum Copenhagen): “The Exhibition Lab : from glass cases to affect”

• 17.15 – 17.45
Final discussion

Contacts: Associate professor Jan Eric Olsén, Medical Museion,

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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