In March this year, we launched the muco community, our participatory learning community for digital skills. It is an exciting and pioneering two-year project in cooperation with various Viennese schools and funded by Digifonds – Digitalisierungsfonds Arbeit 4.0 of the Vienna Chamber of Labour. It focuses on creative learning and digital education to empower children and young people for the future.
What exactly is behind this project? Colleagues from the creative learning team visit several classes to conduct on-site mumok Scratch Labs with the pupils. We combine programming, our collection works, knowledge from cultural history, new technologies and the acquisition of media skills into a unique learning experience. Using Scratch, a visual programming language, the young participants can create their own digital projects, interactive stories, music and games.
Before the school visits started, we invited pupils and their parents, as well as interested educators to the museum for a kick-off event. In addition to detailed information about the project, our creative learning focus was also presented.
Then the school visits started immediately and the first experiences in the classes were extremely positive. The Scratch programming interface was introduced, basic programming principles were explained and the first projects were implemented. The children worked on their ideas together with the colleagues from the creative learning team and the teachers. This interactive and practical approach enthused not only the pupils but also their teachers.
And here is a concrete look at two of our projects:
Based on the works of Marcel Duchamp and Toni Costa, who both explored kinetics in their work, these two scratch projects were created.
The classes were first introduced to the Italian artist Toni Costa and explicitly to his work Visual Dynamics, which is characterised by the fact that the image appears to change when you move past it and look at it meanwhile: it appears three-dimensional. The aim was to visualise this effect in Scratch by moving the mouse pointer over the screen.
To the project
Another project was related to Marcel Duchamp's Roto Reliefs. He experimented with optical effects and movements and at the same time he wanted to create an art experience for the home. He had his reliefs printed on cardboard discs, which could then be placed on a record player and achieve the desired effect. At that time, most households had a record player and the reliefs were sold at the production price, making them as accessible as possible to a large audience. Nowadays there are many artists working with computers and new technologies, but in Duchamp's time the inclusion of technical devices in art in such a way was a rarity. In our project, we showed the students all the variations of the Roto-Relief on a record player. Afterwards, we created our own digital versions together in Scratch.
To the project
The muco community strives to make children active users of digital technologies, including using the computer as a means of creative expression. Digital empowerment is the keyword here.
But that is not all! In addition to the workshops at the schools, the muco community also offers exciting coding clubs at the museum twice a week. In the coding clubs, our free afternoon support courses, the participants are individually supported by the creative learning team so that they can continue to develop their programming skills in their free time.
Another important feature of the muco community is the intensive engagement with our collection works. Through this and the combination of art movements, immersion in cultural history and digital empowerment, children and young people are enabled to engage creatively with new technologies and their own artistic expression. This interweaving opens up new perspectives and promotes the creativity of the young participants.
Another aim of the project is to create an open source digital participation system for the acquisition of practical programming skills. Together with the students and educators, a repeatable hybrid training framework for children, youths, educators and adults as well as corresponding teaching materials will be developed. A free hybrid mumok publication will be published to serve as information and training reading for schools and other educational institutions, and to provide supporting best practice examples for the subject of digital literacy.
We are excited about this groundbreaking project that creatively connects programming with the essence of art. Like mumok Scratch Lab, the muco community is another innovative example to show how important it is to empower young people for the digital world at an early age and to unleash their creative potential. Together we can open up education in an inspiring way and educate a generation that has mastered the use of new technology and also uses it as active creative designers.
Want to know more about the muco community? Find out about the project here.
Let's shape the digital future together and foster the creative potential of today's children!
Duration of the project: March 2023 to October 2024
Lena Arends & Annika Friedrich