Elastic Museum


This article was written on 15 May 2012, and is filled under interactive art exhibits, Museum projects.

Interactives With Art?

Testing an interactive prototype

I’m working on developing some hands-on and “body-on” as they say interactives with contemporary artworks. Art is of course subjective, so the visitor goals, informal learning experiences and take-aways are as unique and initially ambiguous as the works themselves. Which is wonderful.

In delving into this realm there is a sweet spot to aim for- that is to do justice to the work of art while not trivializing it. This means getting into the mindset of the artist and attempting to express, reveal, or otherwise uncover that which the visitor may not be able get through the installation itself.

Making physical some of the phenomena in a painting can be exciting. It may not seem to make sense because it’s 2D, but of course paintings are about all sorts of subject matter and painting itself is a physical process. Immersive sculpture is another challenge I’m working out: how to distill or evoke a quality from the work that enhances a visitors understanding or experience of the work.

Personalizing the artists and their work is always a hook that fosters resonance, and yet, artists are rigorously invested in ideas and frameworks which may not be apparent upon a casual museum visit. I’d like to create resonance with the ideas. Unleashing their intellectual architecture into the museum space and making it clearly apparent to the visitor is becoming a challenging goal as I dig into the worlds of the artists, the visitors, and the institutions.

There are lots of questions that float around in my head as I do this, some of which I’ll explore in future posts or illustrations. They run the gamut from the ethical (is this Ok?) to the cloudy (is artwork supposed to do that on its own, no wait, that’s design). I think conversations with artists, curators, educators, and designers would be the best place to play with thoseĀ  queries. In the meantime, I’m moving forward on trying to hit the sweet spot and add updates here. I’d love to hear your insights, so feel free to let me know.

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