What I expect digitally from a museum is more interactive expereinces that were not before possible. Unlike traditional objects in a museum, digital objects don’t degrade the more they are used. I expect digitally from a museum some kind of digital show or exhibit and also digital tools that help curate the museum experience should a patron want it. I think that digital tools and experiences should be available to patrons but not imposed on them if they want a more “authentic” or traditional museum experience.
An example of digital storytelling that I found interesting comes in the form of Lizzie Bennet’s diary which was originally published online as a youtube series. Interestingly enough, this piece of digital story telling was then published in print as a book. I find this interesting because we often see movie adaptations of books but with digital storytelling becoming a tool for self publishing, a book is no longer the only way to tell a story with low financial risk. Digital story telling is changing how we tell the stories and how they become popular or available.
This week I looked at an article that centered around augmented reality as a technology that solves a problem that digital humanists have been challenged with in the museum space. The question of how technology is changing the way we interact with objects in a museum brings further questions such as it impedes or enhances our experiences. I think that this is subjective based on what the person wants to take away from an art exhibit. That being said, augmented reality is a solution in that is an option for people to have digital information/curation if they want it without disturbing the more traditional technology free movie goers. This is part of what De angeli means by “effortless engagement” where digital experience is not hindered by other forms of technology dependent on things like GPS or even internet in the article.
Augmented reality has distinct uses and different from virtual reality. Where virtual reality puts you in a completely virtual world for one to explore, augmented reality just adds some digital environment features to the real word you are in. What this paper brilliantly describes is a headset that uses Plexiglas make your headset, which uses cellphones as its display and processing source, unobtrusive when not in use.
Dark colors won’t reflect on Plexiglas and hence your phone will know (using nfc) when to show you something. The benefits to this technology in the museum is that an nfc chip is small and nearly unnoticeable meaning that if a person choses to not use this tool, they do not have to but it makes it available for anyone with a smartphone in a museum.
What this means is that people will have the option to have digital curation available to them if they so choose it. Whether technology impedes or enhances the way we interact with does not have to have a definitive answer. Instead, I think that technologies like this that provide an augemented reality option showcases the role of technology in relation to the humanities. Technology offers flexibility and the opportunity to make more of our experiences with humanities based objects and works.
This paper continues to talk about some of the realistic difficulties with logistics of implementing the technology in museums such as the costs. While the discussion of implementation is not particularly relevant to the question of whether we should or should not integrate more technology in museums, it does show that if we are to embrace more kinds of cutting edge and seamless technology, it requires ease of use and support from the audience. From an economic approach, I believe that if there is a greater demand for technologies like these to be implemented in museums, that they will change the way we interact with museums. One day, augmented reality headsets might be part of the process of buying an entrance ticket just like 3D glasses at the movie theatre. For scholars and others worried about the authenticity of a museum, technologies like augmented reality will satisfy both those who do not want the museums changed and those who want more technological tools to change their museum experience.
All of the articles that we read for this week center around a very important theme which is how does one make museum exhibits more accessible without running into the problem of diminishing its value. I feel that sometimes technology can be a sort of spoiler in that one can’t see something online and then get a first impression of it in person which arguably would be a more meaningful experience. That being said I was delighted to read the New York Times piece on how there needs to be a balance between what pieces of art are made available online. The issue that this article deals with is that with such a high level of content available online, adding the art to stand next to the mass amount of media diminishes the value of the museum pieces or “watering down” to quote the article. The article on Rhizome makes an excellent comparison with Youtube with an incredible amount of video available that not a single person could watch every video posted on youtube.
This reminded me of several articles that I have read that tell of the “tech bubble”. Essentially, the “tech bubble” is the high evaluations of technology companies and startup companies that are being overvalued because of how excited the market is. There is speculation that the bubble will burst, just like the real estate bubble in the early 2000s.
Vanity Fair Tech Bubble is Full of Hot Air
There is a danger in over saturating the market with so much content. I am not saying that technology should not be displayed online and distributed that way, however there needs to be a balance. I feel that as a digital humanities student, many people over look that like many humanities disciplines, there is no right answer but rather gray areas and debates. I don’t believe that there is a yes or no answer to wether art should be published online because it will diminish its value as a physical object but rather there needs to be a balance. Art online should inspire people to visit museums without spoiling all of the art and the experience of being in the museum in person.
I found fitting that this week’s readings had to with cataloging since I recently did a museum report of Diane Thater: The Sympathy Imagination exhibit in which I state how the experience of the art is in itself the art that Thater is creating, in other words she is creating an experience. When we discuss about how we are to catalog cultural pieces of art, a major question can sometimes be “what is art?”. In the reading, I was very pleased that under what is an object, the term is broad enough to accept essentially anything a human creates is deems as art.
What I like about this document is that it almost begins to sound like a guideline of not only what we consider art, but what data is used in the creation of cataloging records. The sections of cataloging pieces or architecture are fascinating to me because they feel as if they needed to be added because they did not fit into the umbrella terms of what are is and what are its characteristics. For example, paintings and sculptures are similar in that they have in formation like what material was used to make them, artist, and city but with things like architecture, there are different data points that are relevant. There in lies the beauty of this document, it seems like it is possible to simply update the document when new items or forms of objects become art. Just like the exhibit that I observed at LACMA, there are new forms and modes of art and cataloging items with different physical properties will need to be made when we begin to archive and gain data on some of the most innovated forms of art that begin to arise. This document really leads the way for how we should catalog certain objects and what cataloging consists of, from core values to relationships with other work. I think that agreeing a set system of catalog helps set up a standard which helps fight some of the problems digital humanists face with so many different ontology sets that we work with.
The articles that we read about today talked about all of the kinds of projects we can make using open data sources. Mia Ridge describes open data as data made usable outside of the institution that collected the data. As a result, projects like the digital visualization projects of the Museum of Modern Art are made possible. This made me think about what other kinds of analysis with open cultural data.
This weekend I was watching the democratic debate. Throughout the debate there would small showing of Twitter trends in response to the debate. There was also a Google Trends report after the debate (below)that showed that after the debate, Bernie Sanders was the more searched for candidate in every state.
Going back to the article by Mia Ridge, she says that she believes that the future of data is that it will become more and more open which will allow for better analysis and understanding of what the data means. This is what made the Cooper-Hewitt project possible. With the archives of thousands of photos, he was able to create a visualizations for what colors were most popular in art throughout the 1900s decades. As more and more data becomes readily available, we will start to see more analysis and understanding of the data that has been privately examined and represented.
Mia also makes a fair point that in order to maximize the usefulness of the open data, it must have a standard ontology. A standard is going to be needed in order to represent the most honest data possible. It also is needed when working with algorithms in order to avoid duplicates or some categories being left out or null. The Bellander script was able to run because he had a common ontology for the single of data that he was working with. Once we start to collaborate with other data sets and begin to take larger samples of data, we are going to need a standard that unify the data so that we can then make sense of it. How this standard will come about is left question.
A piece of media that I encountered in the past week was an advertisement for a YouTube video. What was special about this advertisement is that I did not skip it even though I could, the reason being that I found this advertisement a work of art. While I can’t link the actual ad, this link shows a similar experience here. What I found artistic about this advertisement is that it was different from any ad I had seen before and it drew me in, it made me wonder. The ad was an interactive 360 (though I would instead call it spherical video since you can see more than just a panorama but up and down as well) ride in an audi car. You could see the cockpit of the car as well as gaze out of any window, including the rear window. These ad was in a sense an experience that made me want to resonate, or find meaning in it.Greenblatt describes wonder as the ability to draw in a viewer, and while it was only an advertisement, this one drew me in because if the experience it offered me.
Also, Benette describes the soft definition to what art is, an object that describes rather than the method by which it was created. I think this ad was art in that it shows what our culture appreciates. The ad features a long clear highway and a city skyline in the background thus showing our appreciation for industry as symbolized by the road. Some may argue that the point of advertisements are to reach the consumers by any means possible. While this may be true, I think that advertisement in their own right can be art in that they resonate with their audience and can hence help us as researches understand what a culture was like based on advertisements. As an example, we study WWII propaganda which were evocative of the time. I believe that a characteristic of art is that is engaging and evocative.