Source: Global Times
Without paying a huge amount, you can have Van Gogh’s Sunflower tacked to your home wall and Qi Baishi’s Chinese paintings on your dishes, demonstrating to friends your impeccable taste. Art reproductions and reprints make this possible. Combining art and practical needs, art reprints are entering the Chinese market.
China’s Ministry of Culture published an annual report of the art market in June, which shows that the total trade volume of licensed and emulated art has reached 15 billion yuan in 2011, an increase from 2010’s 6 billion yuan.
But compared to the West, where this art form is mature, reproductions in China are facing a series of challenges, despite its huge potential.
Art reproductions, products of art licensing, started in the West almost 30 years ago. These commodities, designed for mass consumption, are based on the original work and require obtaining a license. There are two main categories: duplicated paintings, which are limited and for collectors, and daily objects such as clothes or products with reprints of famous art.
Aspiring collectors who like a particular piece of art might find the price daunting, ranging from millions to billions of yuan. Relatively cheap reprints are more affordable for ordinary consumers. Pieces exhibited in art galleries are often not for sale, but if these works are licensed for reproduction, people can satisfy their tastes.
Art reproductions allow people to appreciate the piece in a different way, which also publicizes the artists, Guo Wei, a contemporary artist, told 99ys.com, a website for contemporary art. He said that it is common for foreign museums and art galleries to reprint famous art.
Some Chinese artists are trying to join this movement. At markets and exhibitions, people can see the reproduced works from artists like Yue Minjun, Zhou Chunya, Liu Ye and more. Their work enters the public, through duplications. But many artists don’t want to gain popularity this way. While they yearn for public acceptance, they are self-conscious of being seen as derivative. “An artist’s attitude to some extent affects the development of art reproductions,” Guo Yicheng, president of Artkey, a leading company in art licensing in China, told the Global Times.
Art reproductions have become a new venture in China’s art market, as desire for art grows. Many art institutions, such as Artkey, artron.net and the Ullens Center, eyeing potential profits, have tapped into the industry. Artkey, established in 1997 in Taiwan, has the legal licensing of over 1,000 artists and 100,000 pieces of works. Names include Qi Baishi, Wu Zuoren, Claude Monet and Van Gogh.
As experts note, the domestic market for art reproductions is still in its early stages. In the West, major museums and galleries participate, and copyrights, licensing and promotion guidelines are all already implemented. In China, fine art was considered to be at opposite ends with mass produced goods, as the latter is deemed vulgar. Understanding the art of reproducing art is yet to develop.
There is also a lack of innovation. Images are commonly just plastered on various objects, like T-shirts and cups, and sold as souvenirs. After repeated exposure, consumers might find these reproductions unworthy and have a lack of interest in them. There is also a detachment from practical use, as some reproductions choose art over function.
The biggest problem is a lack of relevant laws and regulations to protect copyrights, the core of the industry. “The priority is intellectual protection, which decides how far the market will go in China,” Guo of Artkey told the Global Times.
At present, pirated copies without legal licensing are rampant, making people hesitant about their purchases. Besides, the low price of pirated work is favored by some consumers.
Though there are many problems, experts are optimistic about the market potential and the development of licensing. Guo has witnessed the development of art licensing in the past 15 years. ”When it entered the mainland market in 2000, the concept was still strange. From 2010 on, the licensing market developed.“ He attributed it to the national policy, which encourages the cultural industry. Meanwhile, the environment for intellectual property protection is improving. ”Though piracy is rampant, the demand for legal copies is increasing in the market.“
“It’s inevitable that art will enter [the mass market], and art reproductions with art licensing are an effective commercial mode for art,” said Guo. He added that in countries and regions with a developed art market, the scale of licensing surpasses auction houses.
It just started domestically, but there are huge demands for both art reprints and household articles, he said. Guo said that some local governments have issued tax policies to encourage the development of art reproductions, as museums and art galleries in China are free for visitors. “We will soon see a booming art licensing market in places like museums and galleries, because it will be an optimal way for them to make revenue in the future,” he said.
Xi Mu, deputy director of Chinese Institute of Art Market, told China Culture Daily observing Western art institution would be beneficial for growth, particularly those that have successfully localized in China. Cooperation between different institutions is integral.
Unanimously, they believe the public’s understanding of art reprints will mature, and the market will develop.
By Kev Geoghegan | Source: BBC
Over the summer, a group of some 30 Brazilian artists will be putting their mark on London in their own distinctive way as part of the UK-wide Festival 2012 arts programme, which runs alongside the Olympics.
In the case of Breno Pineschi, that means sticking up 10,000 brightly coloured paper bananas around the capital. Pineschi is one of 30 artists invited to the capital to take part in Rio Occupation London, part of the London 2012 Festival. His installation, the aptly-titled Tropical Cluster No. 1 is, he says, “my way to bring a real feeling of colour and happiness from my city Rio and my country”.
The project has been commissioned by Rio de Janeiro’s State Culture Secretariat and co-produced by the Battersea Arts Centre. The artists will work and stay in some of London’s most revered galleries and museums including the Southbank Centre, Somerset House, Tate Modern and, in Pineschi’s case, the V&A.
“It’s incredible for a graphic designer, the best place in the world I’m very happy,” he says.
Its aim is not only to show off the best in new Brazilian art but also to create a cultural link between London and Rio - which is due to host the Olympics in 2016. It has also been inspired, in part, by events in 1986 when 100 Brazilian artists launched a cultural invasion of the football World Cup in Mexico.
Some of the highlights of Occupation Rio include the Brazil Kitchen, a band made of chefs who will jam and cook for their audience.
Pedro Rivera treads a slightly more controversial line with his work which will see him showing London street vendors how to use 60 specially designed, collapsible tables to evade the police.
Artist and film-maker Christiane Jatahy is a co-director of Rio Occupation. Her own contribution is to approach Londoners and ask them if they would like to invite a Brazilian artist into their home to create a piece of art.
Paul Heritage, executive director of People’s Palace Projects - the UK arts charity which is producing the event - says: “We’ve had some incredible letters, like, ‘I’ve just moved into this street and I don’t know anyone and this would be a great chance to invite my neighbours’.
“A couple found a stash of tequila under their stairs and thought this would be a good excuse to open it, and there was a beautiful one from a woman who said her 92-year-old great aunt has dementia ‘and the warmth and rhythms of Brazilians, I think she would really get something from’.”
Joao Sanchez’s El Boxer Amateur is a series of paintings on rice paper hanging above the foyer of the BAC, showing tattooed fighters between bouts.
Laura Lima is one of the more established artists invited to participate. Her work has been exhibited at the Manchester International Festival - alongside Marina Abramovic - and is displayed at the Modern Museum of Sao Paulo in Brazil. At Sunday’s launch, she showed a version of her work, Man = flesh / woman = flesh - sweet. Described as a man sucking a sweet “with open mouth using a special device”, he is revealed to be wearing an uncomfortable looking headbrace. She says her new work will “combine cinema and visual art”.
“I’m going to have a film set and will stream live to the Shortwave cinema in Bermondsey over three different dates. People don’t have to stay for the whole thing. They can just come and go. I’m not telling a story.”
Christiane Jatahy says the project presents the artists “who represent a much bigger group of artists in Rio” with a serious opportunity.
“What will I bring, what can I create and what can I take away with me afterwards? The occupation is not just a platform showing what we have done, but to create something new,” she adds.
Ahead of the Olympics in 2016, Rio de Janeiro will also play host to the football World Cup in 2014. The expected celebrations will almost certainly reinforce popular perceptions of the city and its culture of beach football, Samba and caipirinhas.
“Those things are part of Brazilian culture,” says Jatahy. “We’re not denying them but perhaps we can look at them more critically; our artists reference them but with a new way of looking at them”.
The logistics of moving 30 artists and their equipment halfway around the world has brought its own difficulties.
“Usually for something like this we meet the artists beforehand and we spend weeks planning it, whereas we had just a day to set up the 30 shows,” says BAC’s Sarah O’Connor.
“Flexibility and compromise were the two words in order.”
Last year, fears were raised in the cultural sector that the Olympics would impact negatively on audiences for shows and exhibitions in the capital. However, a recent Onepoll survey suggested more than two million ticket holders had already bought tickets to a concert, musical, exhibition or play.
O’Connor agrees people are starting to engage with that most ephemeral of concepts, the Cultural Olympiad.
“Theatres were scared that it would be quiet but it’s not quiet now,” she says. “I think people are beginning to get an idea of what that very fancy phrase means, and it means samba drums with speakers built in and Brazilians singing in corridors and showing films in council chambers.
“It’s about the mixing of cultures.”
In the spirit of exchange, plans are already under way for a group of British artists to make the journey over to Rio next year.
by Javier Pes and Emily Sharpe | Source: The Art Newspaper
When we began our annual survey of the best attended exhibitions in 1996, to make the top 10 a show needed to attract around 3,000 visitors a day. In our survey of 2011 shows, to make the top ten required almost 7,000 visitors a day. Among them was Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a posthumous tribute by the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. On average, more than 8,000 people a day went.
The increase in the number of people going to see the exhibitions in our surveys over the years has been remarkable. In 1996, around four million people went to the top ten shows. Last year almost six million people went to see the ten best-attended shows.
Rather than a US, European or Japanese institution, a Brazilian one, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil’s (CCBB) Rio de Janeiro space, comes top. The building in the city’s centre hosted no less than 3 exhibitions that have made the top 10. All were free, with The Magical World of Escher being the most popular (9,700 visitors a day).
Brazil’s appetite for contemporary art is remarkable. The Brazilian mining billionaire Bernardo Paz’s massive art park, Inhotim, in a remote part of southeast Brazil, attracted around 770,000 visitors in total. Laurie Anderson at the CCBB in Rio attracted 6,930 visitors a day, and slightly more enjoyed work by the New York-based artist Mariko Mori (6,990 a day) at the same venue.
Impressionist, modern or Old Master shows used to dominate our annual survey. But, increasingly, contemporary artists figure highly. In 2011, Monet at the Grand Palais, Paris, attracted 913,000 visitors in total, or 7,600 a day. Anish Kapoor’s huge work Leviathan shown in the same space attracted almost that number, with 6,960 visitors a day. Back in 1997, Jasper Johns at the MoMA, New York, was the best-attended contemporary art show, attracting 2,700 visitors a day. Ten years ago, Richard Serra, again at MoMA, reached 8,600 visitors a day. In 2011, the best-attended solo artist show was Ai Weiwei’s installation of millions of ceramic seeds in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall; the Tate calculates that around 1.2 million visited.
But how did M.C. Escher become the world’s most popular artist? And how did Brazil surge to the top of the listings? Reasons include, among other things, the spectacular appeal of Escher mind-bending illusions; the popular appeal of a show that was devoted to as much to groovy interactive installations as art; the surging of social media among technology savvy Brazilians, which made the show go viral; and the unique position of the free-admission CCBB as a hub of Rio’s cultural life.
According to Pieter Tjabbes, curator and professor at the University of São Paulo, “the exhibition attracted a new audience for being interactive, fun, enchanting, and affordable. People who visited sent messages and photos to friends and family, which created great word-of-mouth. Social networks were instrumental in publicising the exhibition. The CCBB has been a big innovator in this respect, and has gained well-deserved prominence as a successful developer of new audiences. Other Brazilian cultural institutions also stand to benefit from this because this new public is more curious and will attend other high-quality exhibitions.”
Marcos Mantoan, former director of Rio’s CCBB [at the time of The Magical World of Escher], and now the director of Sao Paulo’s CCBB, added “this show made me appreciate a word to which I hadn’t paid much attention before: interactivity. The exhibition’s success comes from daring to mix concepts from art and entertainment. The visitor will remember much more of an exhibition in which he/she could play with the works, or enter into simulations that explain the concept of the artwork. The mixture worked and we learned much about it.”
Source: Art Media Agency (AMA)
The Gagosian Gallery shows no intention of leaving the headlines. Having announced the opening of a new space in Bourget in autumn 2012, it is currently discovering Brazil. Rumour has it that the gallery may open a new location there.
Following the success of the exhibition Brazil: Reinvention of the Modern, displayed in 2011 at its Paris-based gallery, the Gagosian Gallery has announced its participation in the 2012 edition of the ArtRio fair, which will take place in Brazil from 12 to 16 September 2012. According to The New York Times on 19 July, Gagosian will display a large sculpture exhibition in a warehouse in Rio de Janeiro during the ArtRio event. Moreover, its stand will be designed by Brazilian designer Claudia Moreira Salles, who also designed the exhibition.
The sudden apparition of Gagosian in Rio de Janeiro recalls a similar event that took place in Russia in 2008. Following a collective exhibition at the Red October Chocolate Factory in Moscow, speculations about the opening of a gallery in the Russian capital began to spread. Gagosian currently owns eleven galleries around the world. However, it has yet to open a location in Russia. The art market in Brazil has experienced strong growth in recent years. It is indeed plausible that Gagosian would open a gallery in Brazil.
by Julia Halperin | Source: ArtInfo
The new profile of New Holland Island, the former St. Petersburg military base that art-loving billionaire Roman Abramovich plan to transform into a mini-art metropolis, is beginning to take shape. The island has moved forward with a full roster of summer programming: having opened to the public last June for the first time in 300 years, it has already seen over 75,000 visitors.
The development began last year, when Abramovich’s Millhouse LLC investment company won a tender to invest at least US$400 million in the revitalisation of the triangle-shaped island. Since then, New Holland has reintroduced itself with a list of attractions - art exhibitions, concerts, yoga, organic food, flea markets - that sound a lot more Brooklyn than Russia. But what will the Russian hipster island look like once Work AC gets a hold of it?
The firm’s winning proposal includes a hotel, education, exhibition centers, and plenty of outdoor space. The island’s old warehouses will be renovated and a few new spaces will be built, including a triangular tent to house exhibitions in the winter and a sculpture garden in the summer. All warehouses will be linked together by high line-esque elevated promenades.
Abramovich has also brought in Iris Foundation as a contractor for the project. A branch of the foundation established for the island, Iris New Holland, will be closely linked to Zhukova’s Moscow exhibition space, the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture. The multi-tasking art doyenne is planning to construct an outpost of the Garage on New Holland.
Named after its resemblance to Amsterdam, New Holland Island is an artificial 18-acre island built by Peter the Great in the early 18th century for timber storage, shipbuilding, and later, a military prison. A previous project funded by an unnamed investor was scuttled when British architect Norman Foster’s design was deemed too modern for the historic constructions on the island. All in all, the fast-growing project sounds a bit like a privatised version of Governors Island in New York, the former military base that also fell into disrepair before the city converted it into a public park. New Holland’s summer programs included an inflatable rat installation by the New York-based Bruce High Quality Foundation as well as a surprisingly controversial public vegetable garden.
“If everything works out, St. Petersburg will suddenly become a centre of contemporary culture and contemporary art, and will go along the path of Venice,” Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage Museum, said at a meeting of Russian government cultural advisors in July. “This is a good path.”
Source: The Economist
The starkly beautiful Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha, Qatar, is a fine setting for a dinner. Last month 200 dealers, collectors and curators gathered there for the opening of the first showing in the Middle East of work by Takashi Murakami. The hostess of the evening sat laughing with the pony-tailed Japanese artist on her right. On her left was Dakis Joannou, a Greek-Cypriot industrialist and avid collector of the work of Jeff Koons. Larry Gagosian, whom many regard as the most powerful art dealer in the world, was placed at a table nearby, with the other art dealers.
Few people could get away with asking Mr. Gagosian to dinner halfway around the globe, only to sit him with the rest of the class. Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani is one. The emir of Qatar’s daughter has become one of the most talked-about figures of the international art world: collector, patron, cultural advocate. Mr. Gagosian is not the only one who would like to catch her eye.
Until the 1980s Qatar was little more than a sandy backwater. Even its native pearl industry was on its last legs. The discovery of oil and, later, of the third-largest gas reserves in the world have made the pear-shaped peninsula unusually rich. In 2010 its tiny population had the third highest per capita GDP in the world and its economy grew by 16.6%, faster than any other. But even Qatar’s oil and gas will one day run out. Transforming the country from a hydrocarbon economy to a knowledge economy in time for the post-oil afterlife is the local mantra.
The emir’s blueprint, Qatar National Vision 2030, is leading to new schools and universities (in an area of the capital known as Education City), as well as a post-production centre to service the international film industry, and even a paperless hospital. New museums to showcase Qatar’s collections of Islamic art, modernist Arab painting, photography, armour and natural history are all part of the plan.
For the past 50 years the Qatari royal family has been avidly buying art. Well-advised, knowledgeable and said to possess an excellent eye, Sheikh Saud, a cousin of Sheikha Mayassa, sought the very best illuminated manuscripts, carpets, scientific instruments and Mughal jewellery that came on to the market. The extent of his acquisitions finally became clear when the Islamic museum opened in 2008. Designed by I.M. Pei, the MIA is now considered by many to be one of the half-dozen best museums in the world.
At the same time Sheikh Saud’s older brother, Sheikh Hassan, was buying 20th-century Arabic painting. Many of the artists were trained in Europe and the 6,000-piece collection at Mathaf, a modern-art museum in Education City, has a derivative feel. For a fledgling nation the paintings are important as an historical record.
Now the call to culture has fallen to a new generation. Sheikha Mayassa was a tomboyish, competitive child, the result, she says, of having two older brothers. Encouraged by her mother, a middle-class Qatari educated in a mixed school in Cairo (who is now a force for education reform), she learned French, English and her native Arabic, and went on to study political science and literature at Duke University in North Carolina.
Two years ago she and her husband, who had both been doing postgraduate work at Columbia University, returned home. Sheikha Mayassa’s job, as the head of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), was to turn Qatar into a cultural powerhouse — a wellspring for exploring what art is and what it means for human beings to create it. “Above all, we want the QMA to be a ‘cultural instigator’, a catalyst of arts projects worldwide,” a trustee says.
Sheikha Mayassa works in a spacious office on the top floor of the MIA. Its walls are lined in pale beech wood, and behind her long desk stretches an array of framed family photographs. Dressed in a black abaya, her hair covered, she wears hardly any jewellery other than a childlike bracelet made of coloured thread with a single gold charm, a tiny Arabic coffeepot or dallah. It retails for US$82 in the museum shop.
The QMA is a government body, but it remains wholly a family affair. In her first major interview, Sheikha Mayassa explains: “The QMA is very much my father’s baby. He wanted to create something, to connect with the community, to create a culture dialogue within society. We report directly to him. The nice thing about my father is that he doesn’t interfere in the day-to-day business. We present the strategy, and once he agrees with the strategy and the vision we are given the authority and freedom to go ahead and execute them in the way we think fit.”
The QMA is not part of the Culture Ministry, though they do co-operate. The museum agency works with local franchises of foreign universities, such as University College London, on arts administration and museum management. It recruits heavily from abroad, especially at a senior level. The director of the public-arts programme is a Dutchman, Jean-Paul Engelen, who came from Christie’s. Edward Dolman, Christie’s one-time British chief executive, runs Sheikha Mayassa’s office. The director of the MIA is 32-year-old Aisha Al Khater, the first Qatari woman to gain a degree in music. But the four specialist curators below her are all foreign. Two more are about to join them, an expert on manuscripts and another on coins.
The QMA budget is not made public. Decisions on funding and acquisitions are taken by a small group at the top of the organisation. Although she did not say so in her interview, Sheikha Mayassa insists these remain secret for fear their ideas might be stolen by such states as Sharjah or Saudi Arabia. For those outside this inner circle decisions can seem arbitrary and confusing. Two MIA directors left after a relatively short time and earlier this month Wassan al-Khudairi announced that, after just a year as the head of Mathaf, she too was returning to academic life.
Attracting local audiences is a priority, the Sheikha says. The MIA, with its grand, forbidding approach, is not welcoming to the tens of thousands of migrant workers who flock to Qatar from Pakistan and other parts of South Asia. To help counter that, the QMA aims to open up its museums more to schoolchildren. It also wants to encourage local artists and to commission sculpture and photography by both Qatari and international artists for the new airport that opens in December and the vast new Sidra medical centre that will be finished probably next year.
In addition to the Islamic and modern Arabic art museums, which now fall under the QMA, a new interactive museum of sport and the Olympics is slowly taking shape to coincide with Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The biggest project, though, is the construction of a national museum for Qatar, which will open in 2016. Its French architect, Jean Nouvel, has used the local desert rose as a motif for the exterior walls. Twelve interior galleries will tell the 300,000 Qataris their national story, from prehistoric times through to the development of their pearl industry and the discovery of oil and gas, exploring local traditions about the desert, food, fishing, falconry and folklore.
The QMA is very good at borrowing from other museums. The MIA version of the Gifts of the Sultan show that started last year in Los Angeles includes objects from Russia’s Hermitage Museum that the American exhibition did not have. A Qatari version of the British Museum’s new Haj show will very likely have objects from the Topkapi Palace museum that were blocked by the Turkish authorities. In response to a British block on taking home two major art works that the QMA bought at auction in London, the Qataris have skilfully negotiated long-term loan agreements with two British museums that will also provide help in training Qatari staff.
Whereas nearby Abu Dhabi is franchising outlets of the Louvre and the Guggenheim, Qatar is growing its own museums. Sheikha Mayassa’s use of its Islamic and Orientalist collections to explain the region’s history makes sense. Less clear is why she has been buying Western art. Over the past 7 years the Al Thani family is estimated to have spent at least US$1 billion on Western painting, sculpture and installations, including the last privately held version of Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players for over US$250 million – a record price for a work of art. That acquisition, which took place in early 2011 is just the latest in a series of purchases that includes some of the very best works made by Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, a number of them bought for record prices. Speculation about the Al Thanis’ art buying has been fuelled by the family’s blank refusal to confirm or deny any of the rumours and its reluctance to clarify whether its acquisitions are private or on behalf of the state – or even to explain how they might benefit Qatar’s citizens.
Sheikha Mayassa is keen to bring some big names to Doha. A Murakami show at the Palace of Versailles in 2010 led to the Japanese artist’s Doha retrospective. Damien Hirst’s show at Tate Modern in London, which opened on April 4th and which is costing the QMA more than £2 million to sponsor, will give rise next year to a Hirst show in Qatar, another first for the region.
In order for the QMA to be more than a rich girl’s plaything, Sheikha Mayassa will have to do better than put expensive foreign baubles on display in her homeland. She needs to be far more innovative and focused in choosing between the hundreds of exhibitions the QMA gets offered. Last year’s showing at the MIA of German Baroque from Dresden made no sense. Cai Guo-Qiang’s evocative exploration, now at Mathaf, of the ancient links between China and the Gulf is new and original.
An absolute monarchy like Qatar is a hard place in which to encourage the daring, irreverence and subversiveness that is the hallmark of a truly artistic nature. Not everyone in Qatar is persuaded of art’s importance. The local blogosphere is full of suggestions that the country would do better with a Formula One racetrack or another football stadium. And the recent sudden announcement that Qatar University would switch to teaching in Arabic instead of English is a sign that conservative nationalists have real power here. In her introduction to the Tate’s Hirst catalogue, Sheikha Mayassa writes that “Art - even controversial art - can unlock communication between diverse nations, peoples and histories.” The years ahead will test her resolve - Qatar’s too.
by Mark Brown | Source: Wired UK
Google has launched a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London where you can interact with physical installations through your web browser.
With Sketchbots, for example, you can snap a picture of your face using your webcam, and an artistic robot at the Science Museum will doodle your mug in the sand. You’ll see the result over a video feed. Universal Orchestra, another meatspace-meets-cyberspace installation, is an eight-piece robotic band situated in London, which you can control over the web. You can also collaborate with other musicians.
They’re part of the Chrome Web Lab, which is about showing off how “incredible” the internet is, Google says. Another part of the site, Data Tracer, is a 3D visualisation that lets you track down individual photos on the web, to see where in the world images are stored. Teleporter lets you look through live webcams stationed throughout the world. I took a brief panoramic tour of Amelie’s Bakery in North Carolina and the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town.
Steve Vranakis, creative director of Web Lab at Google, says the internet “powers our lives everyday, allows us to explore the globe and lets us communicate with friends the world over. Until now, all this magic has remained locked behind our screens. Web Lab changes all that. We’ve worked with the Science Museum to create unique experiments that will demonstrate the power of the Internet to everyone who visits,” he adds.
Web Lab opened on 19 July, and runs until Summer 2013. Entry to the lab is free, and the exhibitions should still work - even when the Science Lab closes for the night at 6PM.
Enter Web Lab, a series of interactive Chrome Experiments made by Google that bring the extraordinary workings of the internet to life. Join online visitors to create music together, watch your portrait being drawn by a robot and discover much more at this first-of-its-kind web-based exhibition.
Experience 1 | Universal Orchestra: make music with people across the world. See how the web enables people to collaborate.
Experience 2 | Teleporter: travel instantly to far away places. See how the web can give you the experience of being somewhere else.
Experience 3 | Sketchbots: watch your portrait being processed and drawn by a robot. See how the web connects to physical objects.
Experience 4 | Data tracer: trace routes across the internet’s vast network and see where images live. See how data travels across the web.
Experience 5 | Lab tag explorer: explore Web Lab’s global community and browse visitors’ creations. See how information on the web is easily accessible.
Or maybe you’re planning to visit the exhibition itself?
Location: Science Museum, London
Suggested duration: 45 mins
Opening dates: from July 19th 2012 to June 20th 2013
by Jim Richardson | Source: MuseumNext
When I was a child growing up in England we had four television channels, and if I wanted to watch my favourite programme I had to wait for it to appear on my parents television set at the time which it was broadcast.
My children live in a different world, a place where broadcasting has evolved to meet and often exceed to expectations of the public. In the UK, our public broadcaster the BBC has in recent years led this evolution, with iPlayer, an on demand service which allows me to view there programmes online, on mobile or on television with the click of a button.
The service is incredibly popular, with 1 in 4 people in the UK saying they view more television via iPlayer and similar services than regular TV. In an age when the public increasingly expect services on demand at a time and place that suites them, this public service is delivering an excellent service.
The traditional model of a museum is similar to that of television. The museum opens its doors at set times and ‘broadcasts’ through a set channel. The public are expected to be there if they wish to participate in the experience.
What we are now seeing (or need to see) is a shift towards an iPlayer model. The museum needs to move beyond expecting people to come to them, and see the value in taking their knowledge to their audiences in a format which fits in to peoples lives.
This does not only mean investing in technology (though I believe that is key), but rethinking opening hours and taking collections beyond the walls of the institution. Many institutions are doing this, yet I still find myself standing frustrated at the doors of a closed museum on a Sunday afternoon.
How would you create an on demand experience for museums?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take over an empty shop in a shopping center and take the museum to people who might never visit spend time.
2. Open later (even if it means you open later) so people can visit after work.
3. Invest in digital capacity (technology and staff) and use the web and apps to be open 24/7.
4. Open up your collection data through API’s to allow others to find ways to share your collection.
5. Use free channels like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Pinterest etc to take your museum beyond its walls.
How about you? How would you create an on demand experience for museums? Have your say!