Eps 16: Museums of the future, viewed from the past
— The too lazy to register an account podcast
There's a revolution afoot inside museums as technology sparks experiments in exhibit design.
Museums are flirting with change that may be more revolutionary than at any other point in their history.
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Last year, few museums offered online access to their galleries, such as the Worcester Art Museum, where a Google search now brings up dozens of them. By establishing their initial relationship with an institution online through the Flickr Commons Project, online visitors expect openness, transparency, and even innovation when they visit the project.
The positive aspect is the online growth of the programme, as museums increase their presence on social networks. Seemingly overnight, entire museum communities have become more active in adult-themed activities such as live music, art shows and events for children.
Photographs, commentaries and live streaming programs have been added, making collections of images available to the public for mashups. Many young directors see museums as places where members of the community can gather, perhaps attracted by art or by conversation and music.
Yocos and museum culture move from the outside to the inside, thus establishing identity and meaning.
In Future Media Determining the Future of Museums, the author asks how museums have been forced to submit to technology and how they will continue to do so in the future. He warns that museum visitors will lose art in the future if museums fail to maintain the technology platforms that support them. In contrast, he considers the positive role that technology can play in museums.
Technology can have a supportive effect in achieving the museum's vision, exhibition and mission. The Museum of Humanity can be accessible to all, but only to a limited number of people and at a very limited time.
Museums are also a way of thinking about the present and expressing the moment in an innovative language, not only in relation to the past, but also in the future.
The technology of the future will certainly offer museum visitors completely new experiences, and there will be no art museums of the 2040s. Future technologies are brought to life by drawing inspiration from the collections and ideas of the artists and then connecting with a new audience. Lasting Impression underscores the ongoing commitment of artists to breathe new life into art and painting, to propose new ways of seeing and depicting the world.
A retrospective exhibition of Monet's long career is on the walls of the MFA, and although Boston was the center of the collection and appreciation for his work during his lifetime, this exhibition draws on the museum's extensive global collection, bringing Monet's early works into early European painting, admiring him as a specimen, and enabling a deeper understanding of the art and artists that shaped his own vision. Cy Twombly (1928-2011) has created a collection of more than 1,000 works of art, mostly inspired by art, literature, and the classical world he encountered while traveling and reading.
All these objects enter the museum through active collecting, which is determined by institutional politics and focuses on the history of the collection and art in general.
In 25 years, the museum will be much more than it is today, but it has limited what can be exhibited, stored, preserved and exhibited. Curators collect past and present for the edification and education of future generations. They make decisions about what should be a priority for the current generation of curators and what must necessarily be excluded.
The vast majority of institutions will adopt an instrumental, experiential approach in which art, time and place are understood as tools to create a kind of impact and impression on visitors. Rare will be a museum that sees itself illuminated primarily by historical epochs and the achievements of individual artists. The white cube approach will disappear, with the exception of a few cases that try to present art from the past, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the National Gallery in London.
As the world's population continues to grow, we may need to find new ways to travel from one physical place to another to share historical collections, artifacts, and works of art. Online museums can allow content to be shared online while being maintained in perfect condition and out of the public eye. This, combined with the limited light from physical visitors, means that it can be preserved for future generations and can still be enjoyed by visitors today. What impact could this have on other museum activities and how will it affect the future of museums?