Now showing at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, “Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan” includes a “digital cave”:
Weaving together archival photographs and current imaging technology, the Digital Cave serves as a virtual reconstruction of the South Cave at Northern Xiangtangshan. This immersive installation allows viewers to experience the site and see sculptures that have been removed from the cave restored within their original setting. The configuration and scale of the three screens are based on the architecture of the South Cave, the latest of the three cave temples of the northern group and one that contains inscriptions dated to 568–572. The South Cave features an open cubical chamber, about ten feet wide by nine feet deep, with curving recesses on the back and side walls that house symmetrical groupings of deities.
Fan of graphic design? Fan of exhibit design? Have I got the blog for you. Reading Forms, a tumblr of images of graphic design exhibitions by Yotam Hadar, continues its year-long gorgeous obsession. Here’s to another year, Yotam.
A while back I created an exhibit design bookshelf on Shelfari (with the help of then-intern-now-designer Jess Griscti). For years I have collected books on exhibit design, museum planning and interactive space. I have the actual physical bookshelf, with all the actual books, in my office, so I don’t look at the virtual one that often. It’s worth a look. It still needs some categorizing and blurbs, but I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else.
There is debate about Google Art Project, and I’m sure there will be more for Google World Wonders. But there is something to be said for bringing far-flung, spectacular cultural places into your living room. Not to mention the carbon footprint advantages.
(And as a colleague of mine said recently, “Yes, but can I have that glass-window-wall-world-view thingy in my house?”)
Retired fashion great Valentino has launched a new “virtual museum” of couture with “10,000 square meters” of fashion galleries that you can download (Mac/PC) for free. After a few days of seeing promising screen grabs everywhere, I dutifully downloaded. If you’re a fan, it seems encyclopedic enough, and there is a lot of content to get into here. As a digital visitor experience, the “Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum” has some room for improvement, particularly the execution of the first-person 3D navigation. That alone got me wondering about the whole idea of a “virtual” (i.e. faux-spatial) museum in digital form. More on that later.
After years of quietly enjoying my ever-growing collection of books on exhibit design, museum planning and interactive spaces, I have finally come up with a way to share my bookshelf with everyone. I hereby announce the Exhibit Designer’s Bookshelf (beta), courtesy of Shelfari.
Click the link at the very top of this page, or here, and enjoy. More fancy features to come, this is just a start.
Many thanks to Jessica Griscti, bibliographer extraordinaire, for helping to make this happen.
Suggestions? Missing books? Useful? Not useful? Comments open below.
In case you missed it, Robin Pogrebin’s Brooklyn Museum article in the New York Times yesterday (“Brooklyn Museum’s Populism Hasn’t Lured Crowds”), has created quite a stir. The article itself is very much worth reading, if you are someone interested in successful visitor experiences of whatever kind. Just don’t expect pat answers, the jury is still out. Perhaps indefinitely.
One of the better responses I’ve seen thus far has been from the most mysterious, anonymous, hardworking museum twitterer around, @museumnerd, who posted this reply.
Why do I like the “obscure Brooklyn depot” or “fascinating gallery of extraordinary objects and materials” called The Index Ltd so much? First, I can’t explain what it is very well, which usually portends great things. Second, the online version has a Swiss domain extension for reasons initially mysterious.
But don’t just take my word for it. From Cool Hunting:
Tucked away on an anonymous street in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, the storefront and gallery The Index Ltd is almost as rare a find as the objects it harbors. The space—home to the work of Jonathan Roquemaure—represents the culmination of his healthy obsession with sourcing and documenting materials and objects that have singularly fascinating purposes, characters and origins.
Created by design group Lust, the wall falls towards the end of the exhibit “100 Years of Dutch Graphic Design”. It is a large-scale, digital media display of overlapping minimal posters. But none of these posters were designed by a human. They are designed automatically, one every five minutes, by software drawing on “various internet sources”.
You’ll find footage of it starting at the 3:30 mark of the video above (but watch the whole video while you’re at it, you’ll be glad you did). See the online version of the wall here, and see more images from the exhibit at the Graphic Design Museum here.
Must-see: an enlightening and (very) information-packed discussion of social media and web strategy. By Sebastian Chan – charismatic director of apparently everything technological at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia – speaking at the Smithsonian (archived at the Smithsonian 2.0 video collection)
I promise you my best 140 characters on accessibility, architecture, education, exhibit design, graphic design, installation art, interaction design, museums, online exhibits, philanthropy, technology, video, and wayfinding. www.twitter.com/jonathanalger
The remarkable site Artbabble won “Best Overall” honors in the Best of the Web competition last week at the Museums and the Web conference in Denver. Originally launched in April of last year by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and six partners, the site is has become “one of the premier destinations for art video online”. It’s eminently worth seeing, not only for its implications about how the web changes what museums do, but also for the innovative video-navigation core features.
From the Best of the Web writeup:
Broadening the interactive experience even further, a section for comments allows visitors to share observations and suggest links of their own. Comments can also be embedded directly into the video timeline as well, letting users comment on elements at a particular point in time. Full text transcriptions of videos drive closed captioning features for video playback and because they are rendered to the video page, search engines can index the spoken text for video content. Users can easily skip deep into a long format video picking and choosing only the content that interests them.