"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." -George Orwell

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Museums of the future: updating the art-content interplay

Recently, I went to the de Young Museum in San Francisco to see the Yves Saint Laurent and Andy Warhol exhibits. I don't think it struck me until days afterward that the two shows were devoted to artists who mainly plied their best crafts through the 1950s through 1970s. It's interesting to think of the 20th century as "modern" in terms of an art museum, when the 21st century has already brought us more information and imagery than we know what to do with.

The actual costumes and posters were soothing to see in real life; their tangibility reinforcing the wall placard's descriptions alongside. But something about the placards themselves drove me nuts: static text? I don't know. I guess had we never been introduced to the Information Age, static text would suit me just fine.

I guess my point was that I couldn't believe how dated the content (or placards) seemed, in light of our culture of information instantaneousness. One cool thing to see if they would do it, would be touchscreen placards that you could flip though to see different critics' takes on the same piece of art or artist.

Part of me started to think about current artists and authors who reign supreme in real time. I'm not sure how this would work, but I began to think about how they could display actual art that is being created as we speak, perhaps on Screen #1, then have actual critics writing the biographies and summaries of the artists and their work, perhaps on Screen #2. It would almost be a wing of the museum where you'd never see the same thing twice, and curators would be responsible for going out in the field and "gathering" these artists and writers, and then assembling their feedback into a living, updating art-content interplay.

I would be highly inspired by this real-time art assembly.

de Young, holla if you hear me.

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