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Today, digitalisation is seen as essential to the activities and survival of any cultural organisation. It is also presented as a key lever for the urgent ecological transition. But how can cultural organisations deal with digital tools, platforms and infrastructure that do not reflect their values and mission?
In 2020, the ENCC started a project to renew its communications, website and everyday digital tools in order to move away from Big Tech and switch to more ethical and dignified digital practices and environments. We designed it as an open-ended experiment, to be shared and reshaped with network members and other cultural organisations interested in the "switch".
The conversation on digital ethics continues in our working group on ethical digitalisation: find out more and join us here
It will be a long and, we hope, exciting process. The first step was to educate ourselves as an organisation and define some orientations for our project.
We started by listing the digital tools that we use everyday in the network coordination office. We wrote about the experiences that made us want to move towards a new relationship with digital, and the many questions that this desire brought up among the office members.
Starting from there, we partnered with Spec uloos, a graphic design studio that has been working on digital culture and its limits for many years, to co-write a document gathering reflections, readings, practical research, examples and stories about digital technologies from the perspective of cultural centres and other organisations.
Find more resources on digital ethics from our Joining the Dots annual event here
We are happy to share this document as a starting point for our work-in-progress and a source of information and inspiration for others. Here is an overview of the contents:
- An attempt to define "Digital", "Ethics", "Culture" and "Cultural Centres"
- Questions in progress
- Different digital fields: a museum as case study
- Confiscated culture: a short history
- Open source and the web
- Why react through culture
- Cultural centres as actors of the necessary ethical digital transition
- Inspiration and fresh air
- The switch
- On tools that can be replaced
- On developing a website
- On accessibility standards
- A few expanded effects of digital communication