As museums continue to embrace digital tools to enhance their exhibits and visitor experiences, we’re grateful to take part in the never-ending dialogue and sharing of best practices around technology in the museum. How do we use technology effectively? How do we make sure that it complements the exhibit? And, sometimes most critically, can we afford it? We headed over to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum to take part in the Greater Boston Museum Educators Roundtable conversation on the topic.
The event kicked off with an introduction to Art in the Age of the Internet, a collaboration among arts organizations throughout Greater Boston, each of which will explore the topic in their own way, through exhibitions, performances, and lectures. Participating organizations include ICA Boston, MFA Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Berklee College of Music, Tufts University Art Gallery, and many more!
Attendees heard presentations from Ann Bible, Museum Educator and Lead Interpreter and Karina Mitchell, Manager of Adult Tours and Programs at Currier Museum of Art about their experiences incorporating iPads in an exhibit, while Max Metz, Manager of Durant-Kenrick House & Grounds of Historic Newton spoke about the many unique ways small museums can leverage technology! The key for small museums is to be able to implement technology cheaply, efficiently, and effectively.
In line with the conversation on Museum Education in the Age of the Internet, The deCordova is currently featuring Screens: Virtual Materials, an exploration of the use of technology throughout our daily lives. While you may expect an exhibit like this to be filled with, well, screens and videos, the first part, showcasing works like Cube 48 Orange by Marta Chilindron and Out of Order: Bad Display by Penelope Umbrico, is an entirely analog experience that explores the physicality of screens in everyday life.
“From glittering metal fences to deconstructed television monitors, the various types of screens shown here are unexpected and interactive, and invite new ways of considering this crucial boundary between our virtual and material worlds.”
“Out of Order: Bad Display,” Penelope Umbrico
Technology will unquestionably keep evolving, and as we dive deeper into its function and place in our lives and societies, it’s important that we also keep passionately discussing the integral role it will continue to play in the overlapping spheres of art and education. Museums have always been places of learning, and the deCordova set the scene for an enlightening conversation about these timely topics!