Behind the Scenes, Vermittlung,
In spring 2020, when educational and cultural institutions had to restrict their operations due to the coronavirus crisis, apprentice carpenters of the non-profit association “Jugend am Werk” [“Youth at Work”] and cultural mediators of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Museum of Science and Technology) joined up digitally as part of the educational project entitled “Me at the virtual museum”.
In spring 2020, when educational and cultural institutions had to restrict their operations due to the coronavirus crisis, apprentice carpenters of the non-profit association “Jugend am Werk” [“Youth at Work”] and cultural mediators of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Museum of Science and Technology) joined up digitally as part of the educational project entitled “Me at the virtual museum”.
 
In this (more than) challenging situation, their aim was, and still is, to find ways to connect: the closed educational and the closed cultural institution, the apprentices, the cultural mediators, the virtual objects and the real difficulties of everyday life during the pandemic. They sought out tools for collective action, offered opportunities for contemplation and exchange and organised the virtual educational work.
For both partners, this project represented a first-time opportunity to test an online communication format that goes beyond frontal contributions, seeks an interactive and discursive approach and requires mutual willingness to “learn together” and “tolerate failure”.
 
What do adhesive tapes, tangled cables and carvings have in common and what do they have to do with the coronavirus crisis? 

In this historical time (which will become a future teaching subject at schools), the museum communicated its mission of “collecting and preserving” (collecting today for tomorrow) and identified parallels to previous similar phenomena with recourse to the past.
The project used both (private) physical space and virtual tools: In several online meetings, the participants introduced objects that accompanied them in their personal daily lives during the pandemic, filled empty toolboxes with (improvised) devices they considered useful or were missing and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of media as “long-distance tools” and their development.
 
To collectively finish the virtual collaboration, a personalised deck of quartets cards was ultimately developed, depicting subjects and texts that were created by the apprentice group in the course of the online meetings. As the team found out in the course of this project, quartets had originally been an educational game and was only reinterpreted as a “collecting and trick-taking game” by the players. Some of these quartets cards found their way into the “Coronavirus Impact” exhibition, which was shown at the TMW in July and August 2020 – and was also visited by the apprentice group. 
Ultimately, the project shifted from a private to a public setting: Young people got in touch with the TMW virtually – their ideas materialised into physical objects that were also displayed in the exhibition, where, in turn, they encouraged other visitors to leave a comment on sticky notes in a “speaker’s corner”.
 
The educator of the apprentice group documented her point of view and story of the joint project and submitted it to the “23malWien” challenge. This joint “chronicle” was chosen by the judges as one of the best about Vienna’s 14th district! https://www.story.one/de/wettbewerbe/1140wien 
We are delighted about the joint online project and its success!