Some closing (opening) thoughts: Learning in Museums 2008 Peter Samis Associate Curator, Interpretation San Francisco Museum of Modern Art AAM-LiM Minneapolis 21 June 2008
1. The Importance of Interpretation Tate Modern’s Principles
Interpretation is at the heart of the gallery's mission.
2. Works of art do not have self-evident meanings.
3. We believe that works of art have a capacity for multiple readings and that interpretation should make visitors aware of the subjectivity of any interpretive text.
4. Interpretation embraces a willingness to experiment with new ideas.
5. We recognise the validity of diverse audience responses to works of art.
6. Interpretation should incorporate a wide spectrum of voices and opinions from inside and outside the institution.
7. Visitors are encouraged to link unfamiliar artworks with their everyday experience.
– Gillian Wilson, “Multimedia Tour Programme at Tate Modern,” in Bearman, David and Jennifer Trant (Eds.), Papers, Museums and the Web 2004 . Online at http://www. archimuse .com/mw2004/papers/ wilson / wilson .html
The fact that museums never have time to interpret their own collections is one of the best-kept secrets of the profession. “ Content is not content.” -Sarah Schulz
And yet, do interpretive resources make a difference? (Statistics courtesy Randi Korn & Associates)
“ Many iterations to take us to where we want to go.” —Mike Mouw, MHS
… (It’s a wheel)
Build this capacity into the plan.
3. Web 2.0 and visitor engagement Olafur Eliasson
“ Objecthood doesn’t have a place in the world if there’s not an individual person making use of that object.” A Radical Stance: i.e., The Museum’s reality does not trump the visitor’s perspective.
How we represent How visitors take ourselves officially us into their own lives