April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Sessions: Abstract

After the heroism, collaboration: Developing an inter-departmental interpretive goals process at SFMOMA   go to paper

Peter Samis, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA
Stephanie Pau, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA

At SFMOMA, an interpretive goals process has been instituted to bring together curators, educators, educational technologists and other concerned parties to design the interpretive “menu” for exhibitions once they are put on the schedule. The result is a transition from the old model of “technology as remediation” – in which kiosks were placed at the end of an exhibition (or on another floor altogether) while visitors were often left clueless before the art itself – to a mix of analog and digital resources, designed and dosed to meet visitor needs as they arise. The result may be a net decrease in technological interventions, but arguably a more effective use of technology when it is deployed. Three case studies illustrate the range of responses to this process, and the development of technology solutions at a variety of scales and budgets, with varying degrees of success. Results of recent evaluations of mobile tours, both cell phone and multimedia-based, are included, as well as indications for future directions stemming from this action research.

Session: Changing Organizations [Institutional]

Keywords: interpretation, exhibition planning, curators, education, cell phone tour, mobile multimedia, handhelds, evaluation, universal access