ASEF’s Presence at SAAA 2023 Conference – Enhancing Art and Innovation
On Friday, November 17, The Slovenian Australian Academic Association (SAAA) in cooperation with the Association of Slovenians Educated Abroad (VTIS) and the Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce (SloAusCham) hosted the 7th annual conference SAAA 2023: Tradition and Innovation.
Members of the ASEF community were also part of the conference, including ASEF Junior Fellows Luka Kropivnik, Nuša Dijak, Tjaša Šavorič, and ASEF mentors – Prof. Boštjan Kobe and Dr. Jurij Karlovšek.
Tjaša Šavorič presented new ideas for presenting art historical research that go beyond the traditional methodology of providing content. Museums and galleries play a crucial role in preserving our cultural heritage, and new technologies have the potential to significantly improve the public’s absorption of cultural knowledge by engaging them in the process. The concept of a ‘cultural heritage site’ has evolved over time. Once considered static spaces for acquiring, preserving, conserving, and studying artifacts, these sites have undergone a transformation. They are now viewed as dynamic learning environments, where the importance of information challenges the significance of objects. In addition to my primary research, which analyzes Yugoslavia’s global connections during the 1950s and examines how this era, influenced by the Second World War and the early Cold War, shaped cultural and art historical identities, I am intrigued by the application of digital tools to enhance the presentation of significant art historical research. This pursuit also aims to improve the user experience and extend beyond conventional institutionalized tools, fostering interactive connections with visitors.
Nuša Dijak participated in a research visit at Deakin University in Australia under the mentorship of Dr. Kaja Antlej. She led a series of ceramic workshops with Slovenian clubs and associations, involving individuals with Slovenian roots or individuals who moved from Slovenia to Australia. Using photogrammetry, she created 3D scans of the artworks produced during workshops in Yarraville, Melbourne, Brisbane and Feelong. She is preparing a virtual exhibition showcasing all the created artistic pieces. Throughout her visit, she gained insights into Australian ceramic practices, exhibited her work, and connected with fellow potters. As she aspires to become a professor of Fine Arts, she systematically explores various approaches in pottery, methods, styles, and sources of inspiration among Australian potters, comparing them with her artistic expression.
Luka Koprivnik focused on the current Slovenian Community in Australia. Many authors point out that the Slovenian community around the world is facing a so-called generational transition, when vital parts of the social life of the diaspora are being taken over by the younger generations (see Vižintin, Repič, Mikola, Lukšič-Hacin et al.). Australia is a special case of a non-European destination for Slovenian migrants. In addition to the established Slovenian community, which was formed mainly as a result of migration in the second half of the 20th century, the number of new immigrants from Slovenia has been increasing significantly in recent decades. As the number of modern migrants increases, however, different relations between ‘new’ and ‘old’ migrants are being established in the diaspora, as the new migrants do not, as a rule, take over functions in the previously established structures of everyday and social life. The current migration out of Slovenia makes the research focus on association activities alone no longer sufficient, as many informal groups, completely separate from the national associations, are forming alongside the groups linked to the associations. Questions are thus legitimately raised about the role of the ethno-national criterion in the formation of the social circle of new immigrants abroad, and researchers thus need to be more methodologically flexible.