Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

New Media

Source: Museums and the Web 2014 Photo: Volker Kuckelmeister (2014)

Chloe Wolifson, New Media: where to from here? ArtsHub, 30 September, 2014

From online dating sites to the challenges of archiving, new media is delivering changes for creation, curator and consumption.

New media presents limitless possibilities for art practitioners and institutions alike. At Monday’s SAMAG Seminar, New Media – Where to from here?, four quite different protagonists in the New Media landscape discussed the benefits and pitfalls of working at the forefront of technological development. Artists and arts managers agreed on the capacity of new media to enable fruitful crossovers between the arts and other industries …

Professor Sarah Kenderdine is working at the cutting edge of digital. Kenderdine works across projects at the National Institute of Experimental Arts at UNSW, Museum Victoria, and City University Hong Kong, creating immersive environments that combine sometimes ancient cultural heritage with state-of-the-art technology.

Kenderdine took the audience on a journey through some of the interactive installations she and her teams have created. In addressing conservation issues brought about by excessive tourism at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, elaborately painted Buddhist caves in the Gobi Desert have not only been documented but brought to life through elements such as animated instruments and dancers.

As Kenderdine pointed out, social interaction is at the core of the museum experience, and her installations designed for museums employ a single-user multi-spectator model, where visitors take turns using a device as a window into another world, while others peer over their shoulder and go along for the ride.

Projects such as these also help to overcome the problem of the archive … that the vast majority of a collection is unable to be displayed at any given time. Kenderdine’s projects overcome such issues by employing radical formats within relatively conservative institutions, slowly introducing such organisations to the potentials of new media.

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