Monday 6 June 2016

Heads up, heads down

Yesterday a friend sent me a link to AllofUs helps British Museum create new interactive experiences, an article on the DesignWeek website that describes a consultancy's insertion of a touchscreen station in the British Museum's recently redeveloped Renaissance and Enlightenment galleries which "unlocks content and points users towards artefacts".

It's hard to tell from the brief article and the images how compelling this experience might be, but the insertion of stations into a gallery space goes against the current American "heads-up" trend for technology in galleries, like the Cooper-Hewitt's Pen and the Brooklyn Museum's Ask app, or SFMOMA's new app, which combines "mind-blowing audio content with cutting-edge indoor positioning technology". I've written a lot about this approach, which seeks to get visitors looking more closely at actual art and less at their own or the galleries' screens, as I draft my acquittal from my research trip around American art museums last year.

I'm also curious about whether the terminals are using any of the work done by Good, Form & Spectacle about a year ago on their 'spelunker' for the Waddesdon Bequest, an exploration website for the works displayed in these galleries, as detailed by George Oates.

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