March 14th at 14:30-15.30
The VIII Ethnology Days end with a debate “Ethnology Meets Technology”. The purpose of the debate is to awaken and to inspire discussions concerning the relationship between ethnology and technology. The debate can be followed online and it can be commented via Twitter: #ethnologydays2014.
The discussants represent both museum sector and academic research. Carina Jaatinen is acting as the development manager at Finland’s National Board of Antiquities. She is a trained ethnologist and carpenter, and she has been working for two decades in the museum sector, in particular in relation to exhibitions. At the moment Jaatinen is also the chair of the International Committee for Exhibitions and Exchange. Jaatinen wants to ask, whose voice can we hear in a museum, and whose stories does the museum store and tell? Do museums even have a future, if they do not make interpretations and distribute them in a closer collaboration with their audience and society? And what kinds of challenges and possibilities does the ever-changing technological working environment bring to this? Does the museum whimper if technology takes the lead?
Jukka Jouhki is an ethnologist at the University of Jyväskylä. His research focus is on the social and cultural meaning of technology. Jouhki has studied, amongst others, the new media and vision for a knowledge society of South Korea, mobile phone culture in India and online gambling. According to Jouhki, social relationships, the everyday life and entertainment have always been linked to technology. We have always been cyborgs, he argues. If ethnology wants to put emphasize on the study of people’s everyday life, they should significantly increase the study of technology, too.
The chair of the debate will be Anna Haverinen, who is a PhD student of digital culture at the University of Turku and about to finish her dissertation dealing with the ways sorrow and death-rituals are becoming digital in an online environment.