Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Drawing from the Well of LanguageDroughts, floods, and flows of meaningPeter SamisAssociate Curator, Interpretive MediaSan...
Museums.   Even if they look like this on the outside...
...they look like this on the inside.
…and this...
Offering chamber. Withholding chamber.
JustinCozart, Drought
Modern art—like all the objects we exhibit—exists in a framework of meanings.• Physical aspects• Process of its making• Re...
Of these, art museums typically strip awayall but one or two.• Method(s) of approach and understanding• Physical aspects
Experts………………Novices   Somewhere along the line  that leaves us to restore the            context.
Olafur Eliasson states the problem.
“The very basic belief that is behind mywork is that objecthood, or objects assuch, doesn‟t have a place in the worldif th...
So what‟s our toolkit for hooking visitorson the objects we share?                   urbanmkr, ...in our borrowed tackle box
ONLY CONNECT: A research project onvisitor-centered museum interpretationwith Mimi Michaelson, Ph.D.                    sp...
So, some lessons on a continuum from   Analog to Digital:       1. Gallery texts and object labels.
All too often, we do it like this.
An indigestible inundation of text & audio.
Compare this...                  Detroit Institute of Arts, USA
“Much of the art in this suite was    made before the French    Revolution for European    aristocrats who lived grandly, ...
Or this...             Detroit Institute of Arts, USA
Or this:           [Black lung]
Atemlos =       Out of       breath       [Along with a       paragraph on the       side telling the       story of the m...
How about this?33 words.         Kelvingrove Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
Minimum words. Maximum impact.BELLAMY: “With visitor research, most people… readthe first couple sentences and then you mo...
Consider the longer wall text…                                           rewritten with                                   ...
Consider the wall text…Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
“Their art can hurt, can be ugly.”            Passion.            Hatred.            Emotions validated.    And with them,...
2. Audio (& Multimedia) Tours
With audio/multimedia tours, the issueis the same—but different.
It‟s just as easy to run on at the mouthand try to cram too many points in,ignoring people‟s tired feet.                  ...
So what can you say in a minute that  keeps people looking at—and engaged  with—the object?[Micro-doses ofcontent.Touch th...
One museum director told us:“I don‟t like the idea of everything gravitating towarda predictable, or best-practices model…...
Dosing = Scaffolding                       Photo: RocPX
The same applies to video and multimedia,on-site and online.[Touch each thumbnail to reveal a paragraph of content, a face...
Knowledge on demand, just in time.     Points of Departure: Connecting with Contemporary Art, SFMOMA, 2001
Updated.           Art Institute of Chicago, Decorative Arts galleries, 2012
Words, effectively written and dosed, canturn seemingly neutral objects intopassionate subjects.   [How many ways are ther...
Unfamilar objects need stories—andpeople who are passionately involved.[Segments from Dorothea Lange‟s oral history.]
The spoken word is powerful medicine.     Especially combined with images & text.http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/...
http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/215
So hopefullythis…               Yogendra Joshi, Flow
Can turn intothis:                Yogendra Joshi, Flow
Thank you.Yogendra Joshi, Flow
Drawing from the Well of Language: Droughts, Floods, and Flows of Meaning
Drawing from the Well of Language: Droughts, Floods, and Flows of Meaning
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Drawing from the Well of Language: Droughts, Floods, and Flows of Meaning

1,549 views

Published on

An attempt to distill some rules of thumb for museum interpretation, covering the spectrum from analog to digital. Delivered to an international audience of museum professionals in Yerevan, Armenia on October 21, 2012.

  • Здравейте
    Моето име е Мис полза, За мен е удоволствие да ти пиша today.actually,
    търсят истинското приятелство и партньор, така че аз се свържем с вас,
    тя може да бъде голяма чест за мен да знаете повече за вас,
    ако желаете too.I ще бъдат щастливи да видят вашата поща на моята пощенска кутия
    favsocari@hotmail.com е имейл, за да се свържете с мен
    Надявам се да чуя от теб,
    ///////////////
    My name is Miss favour,it's my pleasure to write you today.actually,
    i seek for true friendship and partner so i contact you,
    it could be a great honor for me to know more about you,
    if you wish too.I will be happy to see your mail on my mail box
    favsocari@hotmail.com is email to get in touch with me
    Hope to hear from you,
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

Drawing from the Well of Language: Droughts, Floods, and Flows of Meaning

  1. 1. Drawing from the Well of LanguageDroughts, floods, and flows of meaningPeter SamisAssociate Curator, Interpretive MediaSan Francisco Museum of Modern ArtMUSEUMS AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION. Tradition and InnovationICOM-CECA 2012 Yerevan, Armenia 21 October 2012
  2. 2. Museums. Even if they look like this on the outside...
  3. 3. ...they look like this on the inside.
  4. 4. …and this...
  5. 5. Offering chamber. Withholding chamber.
  6. 6. JustinCozart, Drought
  7. 7. Modern art—like all the objects we exhibit—exists in a framework of meanings.• Physical aspects• Process of its making• Relationships (to its maker, to ideas, to other works)• Documents (journals, letters, sketches)• Media• Methods of approach and understanding
  8. 8. Of these, art museums typically strip awayall but one or two.• Method(s) of approach and understanding• Physical aspects
  9. 9. Experts………………Novices Somewhere along the line that leaves us to restore the context.
  10. 10. Olafur Eliasson states the problem.
  11. 11. “The very basic belief that is behind mywork is that objecthood, or objects assuch, doesn‟t have a place in the worldif there‟s not an individual personmaking some use of that object…”
  12. 12. So what‟s our toolkit for hooking visitorson the objects we share? urbanmkr, ...in our borrowed tackle box
  13. 13. ONLY CONNECT: A research project onvisitor-centered museum interpretationwith Mimi Michaelson, Ph.D. sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  14. 14. So, some lessons on a continuum from Analog to Digital: 1. Gallery texts and object labels.
  15. 15. All too often, we do it like this.
  16. 16. An indigestible inundation of text & audio.
  17. 17. Compare this... Detroit Institute of Arts, USA
  18. 18. “Much of the art in this suite was made before the French Revolution for European aristocrats who lived grandly, luxuriously, and fashionably. “The works of art help reveal how the privileged few wiled away their days and how they perceived others in the world.”In two sentences, the entrance panel sets you up for a highly charged experience.
  19. 19. Or this... Detroit Institute of Arts, USA
  20. 20. Or this: [Black lung]
  21. 21. Atemlos = Out of breath [Along with a paragraph on the side telling the story of the miner whose lung this was.]Ruhr Museum, Essen, Germany
  22. 22. How about this?33 words. Kelvingrove Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
  23. 23. Minimum words. Maximum impact.BELLAMY: “With visitor research, most people… readthe first couple sentences and then you move on. Sowe thought, „Okay, we‟ll just give them the firstcouple sentences. We‟ll put everything that we needto in those first couple sentences.‟” PERRY: Our word count on labels is thirty words. And within that thirty words, you have to say why that object is good. —Interview with Martin Bellamy and Anne Perry of the Glasgow Museums
  24. 24. Consider the longer wall text… rewritten with personality!Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
  25. 25. Consider the wall text…Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
  26. 26. “Their art can hurt, can be ugly.” Passion. Hatred. Emotions validated. And with them, the visitors’ potential discomfort.
  27. 27. 2. Audio (& Multimedia) Tours
  28. 28. With audio/multimedia tours, the issueis the same—but different.
  29. 29. It‟s just as easy to run on at the mouthand try to cram too many points in,ignoring people‟s tired feet. Photo: FreakingNews.com
  30. 30. So what can you say in a minute that keeps people looking at—and engaged with—the object?[Micro-doses ofcontent.Touch the screento access eachone.] Add great video as a sub-level, but keep it short!
  31. 31. One museum director told us:“I don‟t like the idea of everything gravitating towarda predictable, or best-practices model… You know, it‟ssort of a phantom idea, and it could spell mediocrity.And so I think, you know, there‟s the best practice forthe project…But I‟m always interested in seeing what people think„best practices‟ means, and I‟m always ready for adebate on that, with anybody who cares to talk aboutit.” —Dan Spock, Director, Minnesota History Center
  32. 32. Dosing = Scaffolding Photo: RocPX
  33. 33. The same applies to video and multimedia,on-site and online.[Touch each thumbnail to reveal a paragraph of content, a facet of the topic.]
  34. 34. Knowledge on demand, just in time. Points of Departure: Connecting with Contemporary Art, SFMOMA, 2001
  35. 35. Updated. Art Institute of Chicago, Decorative Arts galleries, 2012
  36. 36. Words, effectively written and dosed, canturn seemingly neutral objects intopassionate subjects. [How many ways are there to make a black painting—and what are some of the reasons one might want to do so?]
  37. 37. Unfamilar objects need stories—andpeople who are passionately involved.[Segments from Dorothea Lange‟s oral history.]
  38. 38. The spoken word is powerful medicine. Especially combined with images & text.http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/interactive_features/68
  39. 39. http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/215
  40. 40. So hopefullythis… Yogendra Joshi, Flow
  41. 41. Can turn intothis: Yogendra Joshi, Flow
  42. 42. Thank you.Yogendra Joshi, Flow

×