For this week’s reading I chose to read Timothy Berg’s (et al) “The Infinite Museum: An innovative Digital Platform to Transform the Museum Visit”. The Infinite Museum is a web application that prompts users with unusual questions in an attempt to push viewers to rethink their museum experience. On the site there are about 1,500 short prompts that are used to help engage viewers in new and innovative ways for their usual museum visit. The prompts range in mood from reflective to silly and to strange — each asking the user to try and reimagine and rethink the normal way they would interact with an art piece. To encourage a social effect, users are encouraged to respond to prompts that have already been posted, by allowing a stream of posts to follow the art piece shown above – this part kind of reminded me of reddit.
I thought this website and platform was really interesting because it touches on what we have discussed a lot in class which is how viewer’s interact with art pieces. However I do not know how effective or useful it is in creating a dialogue for museums and artwork. I only say this because I think that the prompts are somewhat distracting and too random at times, and I feel that this almost detracts from the goal of creating a conversation about the piece and more so attracts attention to the question alone by itself.
However, I thought the concept was really great and that this platform could be effective if some of the prompts and questions were dulled down a bit – I am not sure if having so many prompts and a catalogue of items would be overwhelming for the user.
This week’s reading discussed two different museums’ implementations of new technology as a way to enhance their artwork and whether it has become a positive or negative trend. The idea of seeing artwork in person versus seeing it online is discussed, and I thought this was an important point to bring up especially given at this time where a lot of things are becoming digitized. While making an online log of different collections allows easier access to the art, new interactions with the pieces, and new experiences, does it detract from the piece itself and take part of the artist’s meaning away from it?
Most art pieces I feel are intended to be seen in person instead of online. With the digitization of these pieces, I feel that the idea of resonance and wonder can be lost. I thought a good example of this was Yayoi Kasuma’s “Infinity Room”. The room itself is a platform of wonder – walking into a room that warps one’s sense of reality, making the viewer feel as if they are in a room with thousands of lights. However with the digitization of this art piece, as well as the overposting of it on social media such as instagram – does it detract people from going to see the piece itself or enhance it?
I feel like this is an important question to ask with the age of technology amongst us, because it could play a role in the future of whether people are allowed to take pictures of art pieces such as these or not. I feel that with the overposting of this exhibit, it could ward people away from seeing it because they feel as if they already know what they are going to see. However, also it could attract people towards the art piece because they want to know what all the hype is about. I feel like the use of technology and art work has such a fine line of whether it helps or takes away from the art piece.
Week 2 Blog Post (wasn’t enrolled in the class yet)
This week we read Stephen’s Greenblatt’s “Resonance and Wonder” which discusses the way museums choose to display their art and how that effects the viewers’ perception and understanding of the art pieces themselves. He describes “resonance” to be the power within an art piece to “evoke in the viewer the complex, dynamic culture forces from which it has emerged”, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer. Meanwhile, “wonder” is described as a different power, the ability of the art piece to stop the viewer in their tracks, “[conveying] an arresting sense of uniqueness, [and evoking] an exalted attention”. He describes how a successful exhibition has both these qualities of resonance and wonder, and explains how wonder could be seen as more important than resonance. He explains that wonder is more important in an art piece because it is what initially draws in the viewer. If there is wonder and the object can have the power to stop someone in their tracks, they are more likely to then investigate its background and history of the object (or its resonance)…so in a way wonder can lead to resonance.
I thought this concept was really interesting – even though I have frequented museums and examined art pieces – I have never really thought about the concepts behind the actual exhibition. I noticed in myself that if I experience “wonder” in an art piece, I usually will take the time to learn more about it as well and it usually leaves me with a longer lasting impression, than those art pieces that I do not find “wonder” in.
What I thought would be interesting questions to explore then is what creates “wonder” – the placement, the size, the surroundings, the geographical location of the museum itself? For this concept I decided to explore an exhibit in Hong Kong for Valentine’s Day. For this Valentine’s Day, a company called Pancom decided to create an exhibit that included 25,000 LED lit up roses.
I thought this concept was really interesting because they chose to put this exhibit into a public space, and also the amount of roses really creates a sense of “wonder”. After seeing a video of this exhibit, I read up on it learning about its “resonance”, and I felt that common citizens too would investigate why there is such an exhibit in the middle of Hong Kong. I thought this was a good example of how wonder could lead to resonance.
I found the videos LACMA presented on their site to be really interesting, I like being able to see the intent behind artist’s work. I thought this added another layer to the art pieces that wouldn’t have previously been there – and found it to be really effective. When it comes to presenting museums digitally, I feel that it would present itself from a more educational stand point. Like what was presented in the LACMA videos, for example the artist’s intent, or an analysis of the work.
As for a digital storytelling example, I thought I would use the KONY 2012 craze. I thought it was really interesting how many people it greatly effected and moved enough to either donate or share their idea. Because of this, I thought it would be interesting to examine it and see what exactly in this digital storytelling caused it to be so powerful during that time.
As for educational online videos, I have always loved TedX talks. I think they are effective because it is usually for a 20 minute period and is a crash course on a very specified topic. I think that the 20 minute shot of information is effective because a lot of the time if something goes on for longer than that my attention would sway. Also the content being presented is usually an interesting take on a topic. Not just educational but delving more into the topic and how it relates to humans or the body.
When beginning this week’s reading about “Cataloging culture objects: a guide to describe cultural works and their images”, I expected the reading to be somewhat of a basic formula describing how to catalogue art pieces. However, as I read through the different parts, I found that Baca presented the concept to be more abstract and layered – which I did not expect. When cataloging art, certain aspects must be focused on. For example, the person cataloging has to decide whether there is a difference between a photo of the art work versus the piece itself. After that, the ownership must be decided – is it actually then the artist who created the piece the owner of image, or is the person who took the photograph. I had never really thought of cataloging as being so specific and layered. I just assumed it was a way to archive pieces of work. Because Baca kept bringing up examples of different specificities in cataloging, it really made me wonder when is it a reasonable place to stop layering.
One part of the readings that resonated with me was the relationship between different objects such as the difference between a work and an image. I kind of struggled finding a good example for this, I am not sure if this is the best…
From what I understood, there are layers within pieces of art. For example take Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. When cataloging pieces that relate to The Last Supper, there could be a work that related to another work – for example another art piece that is based of that original one. In this case Andy Warhol’s The Last Supper (first image). Then there is another layer where there is an image of an art piece, where someone has taken a photo of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper (second image).
I thought it was interesting that even an image of the art piece is considered not the work – which completely makes sense, but had just never thought of it that way when cataloging. Baca’s reading opened my eyes to just how layered cataloging can be.
This week’s readings were focused on the open cultural data museums present and how they are being used for visualization studies and analysis. In particular, Mia Ridge’s “Where Next for Open Cultural Data in Museums” highlighted how the community can interact with projects and art pieces better because they are given access to the open cultural data and linked data. Open cultural data refers to any data that cultural institutions make public and accessible, for example museum images and captions. Meanwhile, linked data is another way of sharing information however, if requires other sources that relate to the data being described as well – for example the “Cooper-Hewitt’s Collection Color History”.
I thought it was intriguing how the idea of open cultural data could not only be applied to museums but also to any type of information source whether it be science, epidemiology, sports, food, or wines. In the past for my job, we have had to learn a lot about different alcohols – especially beers and wines. As a waitress, we would have to be able to explain why certain wines were priced differently than others and what the significance was behind that. When learning about different wines – I found a open data website for them.
This “Open Wine Data” website has been compiled from public data released from the French government about the statistics of domestically produced wine. The data includes the quantities of wine being produced, the annual figures of wine, and where it is being stored in each country. This data helps explain for example why a 1984 Bordeaux is so sought after. During that year, the sales were really high – and the way the wine was made in particular makes it really special.
I thought open data in this situation was really interesting, because I never really expected it to be used to explain the reasoning why some wines are better than others.