2/20/15 :: Connecting the Viewer & the Artist at Concrete to Data.
Concrete to Data is currently in full swing. The exhibition has been open for just under 3 weeks. As the curator I am really happy with the exhibition as a whole. In an up and coming post I will share an essay about how the show came together. I want to first explain a micro-test that the show is conducting between the viewer, the art works, the artists in the show and how museums can play a new role in this. Concrete to Data can be accessed physically and virtually. Physically meaning, the viewer can come to the museum space and view the exhibition in a traditional way by walking around and experiencing the works in person “face to face.” Virtually meaning, the viewer can access the Concrete to Data website and explore the artists bios and individual pages, the works of art in the show and the several other engaging features on the site from any internet connection and device connected to the internet. The viewer can also chose to do both simultaneously.
For the first half of the show’s duration when visitors arrived they were handed only a printed map of the exhibition. The same map (above) lets the viewer know four things. 1. Who the artists are. 2. Where their work is located on the floor plan. 3. The Instagram handle of the artists. 4. The website url for the exhibition.
In the exhibition space there aren’t labels on the walls that describe the work, the year it was created or the medium used. The viewer has to decide as to how they will obtain that information. To my surprise many of the show’s guests have done just that by snapping photos of the works that they like and posting them to their own Instagram feeds. They tagged back the artists as well. Some are asking specific questions about the works, and some are simply saying what they like about the work or the show as a whole. A lot of the artists are also responding back with statements of gratitude, a series of playful emoticons and replies to specific questions. This says a lot about how shows can be planned with this in mind. I kept this part of things to myself for the most part. The museum’ director Barbara Applegate was briefed and supported the idea. I am really grateful for that as I fully understand the risk involved for the museum staff who has to be on hand for the myriad of questions getting thrown at them each day.
(photo by Melissa Delprete)
I was able to speak more about this during two public lectures in the exhibition space this past week. Both graduate and undergraduate level students from the applies arts, art education and art therapy programs were in attendance, as well as those who were simply interested in the show.
By Monday 2/23/15 another aspect of the show will become accessible to the viewers both online and offline. Aside from the museum map with the artists names, location of the work and Instagram handles, the titles, dates of creation, and mediums used will also be present. The viewer can take a paper hand out to work from, or they can pull up http://concretetodata.com to download this feature from various locations on the site. On the site itself each artist has an individual page where you will also find the titles of the work in the show, the dates of creation and the mediums used.
Download the list of artist’s works with titles, dates, mediums below
The site also puts features on the collaborative works in the show, some of which have been made on internet platforms, 3D printed or placed in a remote location on the campus where the museum is located. The viewer will now have more choices to make, and access to knowing more information. How will this upgrade affect bringing back those who may have visited this past week? What is your take on this?
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