Prediction: museums will be filled with transparent technology in the future…and not just technology for technology sake…but technology that makes the museum responsive to you.
Early example: Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle. Walk into a room at EMP, and your handheld computer senses where you are. Choose to listen to detailed information on the artist, music or genre…or just soak in the era by listening to the mp3 of your choice.
My favorite moments at EMP
- Wandering through the Jimi Hendrix display while listening to “Purple Haze”, “All Along the Watchtower” and “Fire”, I was transported to the 60’s. I never had the chance to hear Hendrix live…but for a moment…as I stood inches away from his guitar and his stage clothes with his music blasting in my ears…I was there.
When I realized that the amazing “Roots & Branches” sculptureof over 500 musical instruments was actually playing live music robotically. The sculpture was art, music and math transformed into a jaw dropping collage of instruments and musical styles.
- Playing a little bass to “Louie Louie” in the Sound Lab….where instruments are programmed to help the novice (that’s me) or allow the experts to strut their stuff.
EMP, you rock! You don’t just showcase your collection, you put the music in my hands and the spotlight on me. This is what I want all museums to be like…hands-on, interactive and personal.