Posted: July 5th, 2012 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Thoughts about museums | Tags: appreciation, art, audience, education, Munch, Van Gogh | No Comments »
Photo by Harald Groven on Flickr.
I’m not an art historian. I didn’t even study art. In fact, what we called ‘art’ in school was actually a weekly exercise in defacing paper and wasting paint. Performing arts were limited to having to sit through Shakespeare every two years and one year of ‘musical education’ (read: lip-synching Michael Jackson).
Nevertheless, I like art. Visual arts, performing arts, even conceptual arts and art oddities such as great food. I like art because of the process. Because of the quest for some kind of universal truth (beauty) that is behind all great art. I find art highly entertaining.
Before I started working in cultural institutions I would hardly ever go to see art. Like most of my friends, I liked art as I like marathons on Facebook.
Because I work in cultural institutions over the past years a great number of people have individually invested in my knowledge about and appreciation of art. I remember for instance walking through the National Gallery of Art in DC where Erik van Tuijn took the trouble to explain the magic of Rothko to me. I remember a great private tour through the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid where I finally could knit together the different periods. I remember (and still enjoy) all the hours in which my girlfriend carefully explains theatre and classical music to me. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Buildings, Inspiration | Tags: architecture, art, cologne, expositions, germany, kolumba, review, simple | 1 Comment »
Photo by 010Lab on Flickr.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.” – Woodrow Wilson
Kolumba is probably the most beautiful and thoughtful museum experience in the world. At least, the world I have seen. The museum is built on top of, and integrated with, the remains of the former St. Columba church, in Cologne. The intensely minimalistic interior with concrete floors, walls and ceilings and an occasional wooden detail goes well with perhaps the most austere exhibition design imaginable. Everything, absolutely everything is in perfect balance, and nothing can be taken away. Sometimes it feels even the visitor is part of the design.
Photo by Fabian K. on Flickr.
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Posted: August 31st, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Expositions, Technology, Thoughts about museums | Tags: art, exhibition, ideas, immersive technology, installations, london, roundhouse, thoughts, tool, unusual | No Comments »
Photo by Esther Simpson on Flickr.
One of the most important lessons I learned about the use of technology in galleries is that when using it, there’s hardly a middle road. (Hardly… there is maybe one.) Either the technology should be immersive and unobtrusive. Or, it should be overwhelming, in your face, undeniable.
Either technology (and media, etc.) should be used as a tool, or be art in itself.
The moment people notice tech (because of an unintuitive touchscreen, a distracting beamer, flickering lights) it should be part of the artistic experience, or be unplugged. In the V&A I stumbled upon a plague that said it quite nicely, “Only when the technology is invisible is it of any use” (Jonathan Barnbrook, 1990). Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 19th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Expositions, Inspiration | Tags: art, audience, crowdsourcing, design, engagement, Interaction, participation, public | 2 Comments »
Photo by Amy Halverson on Flickr.
TED Global was way more than stunning talks. In fact, maybe the best thing was the unique blend of inspirational people I met. One of them, artist Candy Chang, makes public installations I’m sure many of you will appreciate.
Her business card says Candy likes to make cities more comfortable for people. Many of her projects close the gap between the public and the often almost intangible stuff that surrounds them. Her work connects people and asks for their contribution.
Candy’s a TED Senior Fellow which means there’s hundreds of thousands of people out there who think she rocks. And one: me. Here’re just three of her projects:
What to do with abandoned buildings? There’re hundreds of them in every city (especially once you start looking for them). For one specific building, the Polaris Building in Fairbanks, people were asked just that question. Plus, they were asked to tell their stories about the building. There’s also a website attached that asks for contributions in a refreshingly simple way. The number of contributions is overwhelming and I’m sure this will influence the future of the building.
Photo by Candy Chang. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 9th, 2010 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Expositions, Technology | Tags: art, augmented reality, checklist, experience, Layar, Lego-factor, participation, project, QR codes, review, users | 1 Comment »
I have been planning to review the ARtours of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam ever since I first devised the Lego-factor. In short, the Stedelijk AR tours allows you to borrow art of the Stedelijk Museum and put it up wherever you like. As the Stedelijk is mostly closed due to a redesign of their building, it’s a great way to have people interact with their art.
The project uses innovative technology such as QR codes and Layar. Furthermore, they’ve presented the project not only around the museum, but also at the Lowlands festival and the Picnic conference. I missed it on both occasions, but at the Dutch Museum Congress I was finally able to borrow some art and use the ARtours.
The Lego-factor is a completely subjective checklist I made myself to understand why I like certain projects and dislike others. And, to add to the subjectivity, I think the nice people behind the Stedelijk ARtours are amazing. So, whatever you do with this evaluation is entirely up to you;-)
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