Web 2.0 and Idiosyncrasy of Cultural Heritage: A Perspective from Indonesia

Web 2.0 and Idiosyncrasy of Cultural Heritage: A Perspective from Indonesia

Ruly Darmawan (Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-044-0.ch024


Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a significant role in making cultural heritage preservation activities find acceptance and appreciation from society. By using Web 2.0 developments, preservationists may strengthen the idiosyncrasy of cultural heritage. For Indonesia, highlighting a unique cultural heritage is important since Indonesia has cultural similarities with other countries. An intensive dialogue among historians, anthropologists, artists, activists, and other participants can facilitate the meta-reflection which is needed in formulating cultural heritage. Such a dialogue space can conveniently be constructed using Web 2.0 technologies. Instead of presenting a technically-focused applications of Web 2.0 technology for cultural heritage, this paper highlights the inquiry, dialogue, and collaboration behind culture and cultural heritage activities. It also discusses technocultural issues, including Web 2.0, globalization 3.0, and the rise of a new technocultural class, in order to create a framework for culture and cultural heritage approaches before implementing technological solutions to cultural heritage problems.
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The existence of cultural heritage artifact, either material or immaterial artifact, has become a major concern for several countries. It is because the cultural heritage stores the fundamental world-view of a particular society or, in a larger scale, a particular nation. The importance of cultural heritage also attracts particular attention from some major multinational organizations such as UNESCO and ASEAN. These two organizations are then drawn up some strategic plans of actions for cultural heritage preservation, including the consideration to incorporating the support from technological means such as ICT. The implementation of ICT on cultural heritage information management has been of particular concerns in several years now. Read-only digital collection on the website, digital library, and online interactive virtual heritage are some examples of the projects that are dedicated to the cultural heritage information management and dissemination. For developing country, such effort might be an invaluable contribution, especially in promoting the local identities within a global world. For Indonesia, for instance, implementing ICT in cultural heritage information management and dissemination can be a solution to promote the various kinds of cultural potentials and, at the same time, to determine the position of Indonesian culture among the other cultures in the world. However, such attempt in cultural heritage online promotion is not quite enough. Some occurrences have shown that the physical manifestations of Indonesian cultural heritage are still in danger. Natural disaster, artifacts stealing, and claims are some of many threats that produce a terrible loss for material culture inventory and could make the dissemination of cultural heritage information become irrelevant and lose its context. The remaining chance to remedy such situation is by preserving the immaterial manifestation of cultural heritage as keen as possible. Furthermore, such preservation of immaterial manifestation should also be supported by the attempt in pursuing an in-depth inquiry on the ideas behind immaterial manifestation or, in other words, seeking “the immateriality beyond immaterial manifestation”.

Of seeking deeper layers of such immateriality issue, it is important to consider the tacit knowledge that is located in people’s mind. In this sense, the understanding about immateriality is gathered from experience and knowledge as well. To bring out this tacit knowledge, a dialogue which allows people to tell everything they know and understand might be the suitable alternative. The only remaining problem now is on the availability of space where the exchange of ideas can be facilitated in.

The rapid development of digital technology leads the contemporary people into a paradigm shift which ramifies the worldview and the way of living. Further, New technology must be developed with an understanding of the needs and concerns of our target user population (Heilpern, Reid, Boardmen, & Annam, 2009, p. 821). This notion seems already obtain an answer by the development of Web 2.0 which offers the possibility for user to participate in the creation of online content, including the possibility in the way in conditioning the information. Nowadays, users are not in position as the consumer of information anymore, yet it allows them to produce information based on what they know or on what they intended the other people to know. Such situation makes the Web 2.0 becomes suitable for a construction an alternative dialogue space within which people can do some reflections in order to produce a comprehensive understanding about some issues. In the issue of cultural heritage, such dialogue space may facilitate the needs in searching the aforementioned immateriality beyond manifestations. Due to the critical situation of Indonesian cultural heritage assets, this dialogue space is relevant with the intention in finding and preserving the fundamental conception of cultural heritage. Having such perspective, the availability of a framework that maps the roles and activities concerning the meta-reflection in a dialogue space is needed. It will help in determining the roles and activities that would be necessary in achieving the expected results. The primary objective of this paper is to draw up a framework that is suitable for pursuing a meta-reflection activity that is inline with the behavior of Web 2.0 and the worldview of contemporary people, and can be considered as an adequate reference before implementing a technology for cultural heritage preservation and dissemination. In supporting this objective, this paper elaborates the issues on culture and cultural heritage as well as the ideas behind technocultural society, especially in its relevance with paradigm shift driven by the digital technology.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Culture: The everyday system, mechanism, or pattern, which is established or constructed by people in the term of the existence of the self in the world.

Meta-Reflection: A reflection beyond reflection. A deeper journey of thought in order to obtain comprehensive and in-depth understanding about certain issues.

Cultural Heritage: Manifestation of thought and wisdom in the past that can be found and be learnt in the present time. ’

Negotiation: A process towards a compromise deeds in everyday practice.

Immateriality: A fundamental thought and concept beyond the existence of artifacts, either in material or immaterial form.

Artificiality: Unnatural sense of objects which can potentially distract the people from the very essential meaning.

Dialogue Space: The space where the occupants can conveniently share ideas and do some reflections about themit therein.

Technoculture: A dimension of culture as well as cultural discourse which focus on the experience, consciousness, and meaning that is derived from mutual interaction between people and tools and/or technology.

Conversation: The attempt in sharing and exchanging thought in order to obtain an acceptable conceptual understanding.

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