Open and closed systems: new media art in museums and galleries

Graham, Beryl (2015) Open and closed systems: new media art in museums and galleries. In: Museum Media. The International Handbooks of Museum Studies, 4 Volume Set, V3 . Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken and Oxford, pp. 499-472. ISBN 9781118829059

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Museums might be familiar with the idea of their audiences using new media technology as part of an officially authored marketing device, gallery guide, or a collections interface, but when the technology is used for art rather than interpretation, then boundaries can be pushed in interesting and productive ways. The particular behaviors of new media, including Steve Dietz's characteristics of connectivity, computability, and interactivity, fundamentally change the ways in which curators need to deal with time and space, such as the online and offline practices of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Arnolfini, the Guggenheim Museum's YouTube Play project, and Yukiko Shikata's MobLab. It is this rethinking of the role of the visitor, the artist, and the curator which is perhaps the most significant recent development associated with media in the museum, and new media in particular, leading to a consideration of whether museum systems are “open” or “closed.” Examples from artists and curators dealing with audience participation are discussed, including The People Speak, Robert Morris, Osman and Omar Khan, and Rafael Lozano‐Hemmer. Further examples, where audiences act as co‐creators, documenters, or curators of art, also challenge ideas of openness, including The Art of Participation and Shredder. If openness exists beyond merely fashionable rhetoric, then there are critical delineations to be drawn between openness to artists or visitors, and also between differing levels of interaction, participation, or perhaps even control of decision‐making. This chapter offers understandings from new media, including Paul Baran's network models, and open source methods of production.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Fine Art > Curating
Fine Art > Art History
Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Fine Art > New Media
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Art and Design
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Depositing User: Beryl Graham
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 09:35
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 11:30

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