Imagine the digital future of museums. A future where we can view art and objects in an immersive 3D environment, view and create exhibitions online and share visual playlists, like we share Spotify playlists today. The 3D “Avatar” of today could be the 3D MoMA of tomorrow.
In 2007, the Jeu de Paume, a contemporary art space in Paris presented, “L’Événement: les images comme acteurs de l’histoire” (The Event – images as actors of history). Using five major events, chronologically: the Crimean war, the invention of the aircraft, the advent of paid holidays, the fall of the Berlin wall and the attacks of September 11, the show questioned how images construct our perception of events and how history takes shape in the collective consciousness.
The section on 9/11 contrasted the “official” representation of the events with a more personal narrative in an installation of front pages of the world press the day after - all showing the same image - and a reconstruction of “Here is New York, a Democracy of Photographs”, a collection of photographs taken by civilians at the time of the attack and exhibited in 2002. The disconnect between the front page news and the personal photos was startling, the former illustrating the global impact of the attacks, the latter showing the immediate effects of the disaster, personal reactions and bereavements.
Three years on and new advances in technology are still changing the way events are reported and perceived, and challenging curators and museum directors to think about history in a more interactive way. The Jeu de Paume showcased collective visual manifestations of historical events with “L’Événement” in 2007. But how are collective visions going to be cemented in the twenty-tens, now everyone has a camera on their phone, a mobile internet device in their pocket and the freedom to upload and comment on everything all over the world wide web all the time? Far from making curators and editors of information redundant, the ever growing tide of user-generated content makes the curatorial role even more important. more.....