RE_ACTION: The Digital Archive Experience
This book investigates the ways in which new digital media may enhance the experience of the art-archive. Taken as a whole, the new media is a vital component of a "transdisciplinary" and transformative field, a cultural landscape that is rapidly changing the conditions and domains of the archive and the art museum. How, then, should the functions and strengths of both the archive and the museum be shaped to meet those cultural and technological changes? When the Internet and World Wide Web became "the place to be" commercially, museums followed suit and established their own sites. These can be coarsely divided into two categories. First, there are the purely utilitarian websites with information about admission, hours of operation, directions, and the current show. The other, a more ambitious type of website, tried to expand the exhibition area of the museum into virtual reality. The idea may sound great on paper, but seldom succeeds in reality. Such websites often ignore the physical and social experience of a museum visit. Curiously, when they are most successful, websites often compete with the actual museum, possibly reducing the number of visitors and diluting the effect of seeing art first hand. The book discusses the challenges of the archive and the art museum in the age of digital media. It is based upon documentation from a research project, MAP - Media Art Platform, that drew upon the talents and collaboration of many institutions, artists, programmers, art historians, designers, and others. The outcome of the project was presented at the exhibition "TOTAL_ACTION - Art in the New Media Landscape" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Denmark, in October and November 2008.
Publication Date: 8/20/2009