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Archive for August, 2015

Listening to artist Marina Abramovic share her thoughts about performance and interactions with audiences, triggered the memory of a presentation I saw recently by Cooper Hewitt’s Sebastian Chan on the museums of the future.

“We are so interested in new gadgets and are so interested to sit in the front of the computer, Twitter, or be busy with Facebook, that we don’t realize that maybe sitting at the volcano, or in the front of waterfall, or just in the ocean, or just sitting in the chair quietly and looking out through the window sometimes is more important, more reflective and more vivid to the conscience of your own existence”.-Marina Abramovic 

In keeping with the Abramovic Method, visitors to Marina Abramovic: In Residence at Kaldor Public Art Projects were asked to give up their watches, smartphones and other personal gadgetry, to engage in the simple and mundane task of counting grains of rice. Abramovic says; “technology really f—ed us up so bad…we don’t understand what it means to have three hours without phone and not looking at silly messages”.

Like Abramovic, Chan places emphasis on museum practices which enhance rather than detract from the museum experience. For Chan, this means putting away the gadgets and concentrating on the user experience. Giving visitors permission to play, making  interactive experiences social, and facilitating a memorable, ubiquitous, ‘look up experience’.

Chan introduces the ‘interactive pen’ which put simply ‘bookmarks the web while you walk around’. The aim is ‘getting you away from your phone and bringing you closer to design’, and the original purpose of the collection as an interactive and immersive experience.

“If you want really to connect with the public, you have to show your true self.”–Marina Abramovic

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