Museum is dead. Long live the museum


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Museum is dead. Long live the museum

  1. 1. Giovanni- Service Design Senior Researcher Innella The Museum is dead. Long live the Museum When preparing this presentation I thought I could give you an overview of what a museum is or what it can be, so that we can have a discussion afterward
  2. 2. Museum as the white cube So to start we can look at how the museum is defined conventionally, which is simply a place or institution where artifacts with an artistic, historic or cultural value are collected and displayed. So the museum as O’Doherty defined is a white cube stuffed with objects and tags
  3. 3. When we look at this cube, the box, we can’t avoid noticing that for some reason a good portion of the budget goes often into the design of those boxes. Sometimes they are very beautiful indeed, this is the new design museum in Tel Aviv by Ron Arad by the way
  4. 4. How much does the box matter? So the first question I ask myself when thinking of a museum is how much the box matters and why. Is it part of the content? Is it because of identity? Is it just for marketing? I still don’t have an answer to that, but I know that the usual 10 millions budget goes into the box for some reason
  5. 5. If we forget about the box and we look at the function of the museum, this is quite simple.
  6. 6. The museum works like a time capsule, recording information and releasing it with a delay which in some cases it’s long, in some cases almost instantaneously
  7. 7. About 20% of artworks displayed by museums is fake(The Independent) Surprisingly also the information released might contain some contradictions, as for example in art, a percentage of the artworks displayed is fake.
  8. 8. Which is something surprising for somebody, although it’s not surprising that for example the holy shroud which has been proved to be fake is visited by thousands of visitors. But let’s not bother Jesus Christ, especially now that Italy is playing (presentation given during soccer match Italy vs. Slovakia)
  9. 9. The only theory I could stick to is the one of professor John Malkovich which in the movie being John Malkovich states that “The truth is for suckers”
  10. 10. “There’s a sucker born every minute.” (David Hannum on Phineas Taylor Barnum) Statement that goes together with the one of Hannum about Barnum’s activity “there is a sucker born every minute”
  11. 11. This is the ORIGINAL FIJI MERMAID as Exhibited by P.T. Barnum. It is reported that there are currently 7 Fiji So what was Barnum doing is Mermaids currently on display in the US. organizing in the 19th century exhibition with mostly fake artefacts or people. He had for example the Fiji Mermaid which is just half body of monkey stuck together with half body of a fish. He had many of these amenities in his museums which were very successful
  12. 12. But also without going that far with scam, we just need Cristopher Colombus has 2 graves one in San Salvador, one in to think that Christopher Sevilla Columbus has many birth- places and 2 graves and they are both visited by tourists. One of the two obviously has to be fake
  13. 13. How important is to communicate true information? So this raises another question: how much information has to be authentic?
  14. 14. There are also a number of museum that release information that have Museo Guatelli apparently no relevance. The museum Guatelli is a good example
  15. 15. It is also know as the Museum of the obvious museum of the obvious or of the everyday, where common objects are displayed
  16. 16. Or the museum of broken relationships, where object serve as medium for telling stories of past relationships. And they are quite successful. Especially this one.
  17. 17. How much information has to be “relevant” and to whom? So my doubt is how much information has to be relevant and to whom?
  18. 18. Some museums shifted from information to experience (and they are not called museums anymore) I wonder if it’s still information that we are talking about, or if it’s the experience that matters. There is a number of museums that managed to make this shift
  19. 19. This is the museum of blind Museum of blind people people in Rome. Basically you being blind
  20. 20. Museum of blind It works in a simple fashion: you are blind folded and one blind person takes you around the city experiencing people transportation or food. Information is very little
  21. 21. Here it’s a clear example of information vs experience: Museo Automobile Car Museum in Torino is just like a huge garage, where you go see the cars, gets excited if you are a male Torino most likely, get bored if you are a girl... read information
  22. 22. It’s a place for fetishists It is a place for fetishists
  23. 23. This instead is the Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi, where I’m sure there are cars, but there is also a series of activities that tries to replicate the sensation of Ferrari theme park what driving a car is. So the rollercoaster simulates the performances of the car... there is quite of a difference in reading how fast a car can go and actually trying it Abu Dhabi
  24. 24. So I wonder if the same principle could be adopted in other cases. In Madeira they Museu da Baleia are working on the Museum of the whale. Which by the way is not finished yet and it won’t open until october for Madeira some reason. It is another box filled with information
  25. 25. At the same time it’s plenty of small enterprises that offer whale watching service, although it’s not guaranteed you’ll see the whale the experience is engaging... sailing the same route of the whale hunters, being in the same place, on a boat... I wonder if that should instead be the starting point for conceiving the museum
  26. 26. Information or experience? So my amletic doubt is information or experience?
  27. 27. while in Ivrea e1 was asked to make the Castiglioni museum. Castiglioni was this famous italian designer, one of the maestros or of the dynasours, it depends by the points of view... So the museum had to be in his studio and our idea was to make 3 interactive installations... very very basic... Our work was in interpreting the way information had to be released
  28. 28. Second encounter with the museum happened when I was in Design Academy exploring the realm of representation of design. Let me explain a bit what I was doing otherwise I seem to be really a psychopatic here. So I was experimenting a lot with silicone as a tool for generating objective represeantation. I’m not going to go too much into details for your and my mental hygene
  29. 29. But as a synthesis I used to spread objects with silicon creating these representations, the skins as I used to call them
  30. 30. Of known design objects
  31. 31. Then I realized that museums were also exhibiting design objects transferring a series of values and meanings to the object itself. So with my technique I was able to create physical representations of the situation
  32. 32. I was looking at the museum as a factory where physical representation could have been produced
  33. 33. exhibition at Droog gallery - Amsterdam making process ) is ir ject a 008 Skin of Studio Job’s piece exhibited at Designhuis Eindhoven And displayed elsewhere in different ways Skin of Hella Jongerius’ vase exhibited at Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven
  34. 34. On the other hand museums often forbid people to take pictures, denying their role of representation factory. What most people don’t know is that this sing doesn’t have any legal value. It’s also often displayed after you pay and enter.
  35. 35. So I started working with a lawyer, expert in copyrights and intellectual property. And she tried to inform me on all the requirements to really legally prevent people from taking pictures. All that information was becoming like a design brief almost,
  36. 36. We could create a space that legally generates only verbal representations
  37. 37. and finally an architecture was designed only by the legal requirements
  38. 38. A come Ambiente More recently I designed with Id-Lab this installation on the facade of a museum in Italy. It’s a museum about environment and sustainability Torino
  39. 39. So my approach was to open up the white cube and let the information flow outside and reach people and the environment. So these pipes serve as a medium for reaching the content
  40. 40. through audio
  41. 41. or through a periscopic system, so visual.
  42. 42. During my experience in Burkina faso also the theme of museum came back. I was introducing some local to google maps, and how to make your own map... they were very triggered by that. One guy started making a touristic map of the area. And as he was placing placemark he would include an unexpected information. One telephone number! So I asked him what he was doing and he told me: “well i make his map, but I can’t include all the information and this Call-a-guide information about places are not contained anywhere. Only few people, the chiefs of the local tribes know about the stories of the place. So I’m Burkina Faso including their numbers”
  43. 43. He was imagining a system in which improbable white tourists would explore the region with his map and when they were getting to a marked place they could reach the local chief that could give him Call-a-guide a tour through the phone a sort of low-tech augmented reality or site human aware application. Although it’s not clear how it would have Burkina Faso worked I find it interesting.
  44. 44. That’s it