This was a fascinating session looking at issues surrounding the authenticity of objects and, in particular, the consideration of whether reproductions can really be an adequate substitute for the 'real thing.' I left this session with the impression that reproductions are perhaps an inadequate substitute, although in a world where we have access to more information than previous generations through the Internet etc we are more than ever able to have access to the 'real thing' even if it is not in the actual context. This perhaps sounds more complicated than I intend it! But it raises really important issues for me as I am interested in looking at 'living history' and whether this can be an adequate substitute for the history that it is re-creating. However in living history we cannot go back to the 'real' event to check the authenticity unlike we can compare a digital object to the real object as some of the experiments talked about in this session were endeavouring to do e.g. comparing the experience of a real painting to the same painting in different formats. It was interesting to see some examples of scientific research in this area which focuses on controlling what seems to me to be a very complex and rich experience and although I am interested in the results of these experiments it does raise lots of issues for me as to how this could be applied in practice - do we want visitors to museums to look at paintings in certain ways, should it be something that could be taught in schools for instance or would this impact on the immediacy of the visit?
Thank you to Klare Scarborough, Bradley Taylor, Helen Saunderson and Chris Dorsett for an interesting discussion!