A really great week, things are really coming together as we get towards the half way point. We had a really great board meeting with Richard Brawn this week, discussing the learning activities we had planned and how best to suit them to the constrictive objectives and time limits on exercises imposed by the National Curriculum. Nic came up with the term ‘Virtual Field Trip’ as a way of being able to use the model in a more expansive way inside school but with a bit more scope with which to explore the environment. As usual, loads of exciting ideas about where to go in the long term – but as ever, we need to remind ourselves that we have to deliver our JISC objectives, at least, by the end of the academic year.

‘The virtual field trip’ term is a tag we’re working with now because it has so many resonances. Nic and I have realised how building this model and exploring the collection through it has helped us realise why we started in the first place. We thought we were interested primarily in reconstruction and mapping differences between Victorian and modern techniques, but actually our interest is much more ontological: its about ways of inhabiting the past. This has helped us refocus our ieas for new projects we hope to launch through the model. The bots (scripted avatars) we have been thinking of placing in the model as orientation devices and information givers have assumed a new importance. Within the scope of this project, we can only make very limited use of them but it’s definitely something we’ll be exploring further.

And then on Friday I was back on site (lovely day to take a photo of the bit of grass near the bus station where the Pompeian Court once was) but the fair was in town – appropriately enough some ghost ride type thing was on the spot…. I was there to meet Melvyn Harrison from the Crystal Palace Foundation, and had a great morning chatting about the Palace and possible links for future projects. Then in the library all afternoon – have tracked about 2/3 of the panel paintings in the CP through the illustrations in the Real Museo Borbonico (1824-57): we’ll be using these as a basis for our own tracings for the walls. It’s a neat idea – keeps the 19thc dissemination technology and authenticity.


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