Some of us bloggers here on Museum Unbound regularly daydream about how we can take a curated museum-like experience outdoors, guerrilla-style, or on the road, have it be mobile, easily deploy-able, at night, under a bridge…or how to combine art with history or any number of things that challenge the notions of what a museum is and what a “museum” experience entails.
One challenge to translating the expected or unexpected museum experience to new venues and surroundings is the desire for visuals to go with ideas. Can new, affordable digital technology win the day? With a desire to turn our talk into action, I spied an open box PICO Pocket Projector. I’d been meaning to look into purchasing one of these miniature projectors for an upcoming exhibit at my museum! Out of its zippered carrying case, it looks like this:
It’s smaller than most paperback books and can take its source material from USB, HDMI, an micro-SD card, or various others. The exhibit doesn’t get installed for two months so I ask you, dear readers,
what kind of trouble can we get into museum experience can we create in the next 60 days that unravels the idea of a museum and knits it into a new shape?
It’s been a few days now, and my legs (and my sleep pattern) have finally recovered from the second annual Northern Spark festival. Northern Spark is a Twin Cities arts festival based on the idea of Nuit Blanche. This year in Minneapolis, the event involved more than 200 artists.My friends and I were out all night and only made it to about 15 events. It was hard to decide where to go!
We started the night at Father Hennepin Park, playing at the projects that were there. We roasted marshmallows on the back of a bike, ate delicious 10,000 Licks popsicles and explored quite a few smaller projects. After that we headed to the Ten Second Film Festival, The Soap Factory and a street dance party.
At midnight, my friends and I took part in the Kuramoto Model firefly ride, where 1000 people had synchronized bike lights and rode across the Stone Arch Bridge. It was more of a bike scoot rather than a bike ride, but it was pretty magical to watch all of the lights blinking together.
After the bike scoot, we rode with a wild pack of cyclists to The Foshay Tower. Despite living in Minneapolis my entire life, I had never been to the top of the Foshay. The project there was interesting, but the view alone was worth the wait.
After a brief break for refreshments, we biked to Loring Park. At Lunalux Press we had a great time during their participatory hourly poster project “Letterpress Lock-In”, where every hour a limited edition poster was sourced from community ideas. Ours say “Minneapolis: Art Bike Love Laugh”. Pretty adorable.
Outside Lunalux was a cool car with a projection inside of it that made it look like it was traveling down a country road. It was pretty mesmerizing. From there, we headed to Walker Art Center, where there were tons of things happening. There were campfires in the Open Field. The galleries were also open, and as we were hitting the three a.m. wall we got sucked into a 25 minute long film of a flooding McDonald’s. It’s amazing how things get a little weird when you are sleep deprived (and maybe a little intoxicated.)
There were so many projects that I only caught a glimpse of that I wish I could have participated in. One of these was a cool restaurant hosting meals via Skype.
Throughout the whole night I was of course thinking how cool it would be to do a nighttime history event. The Minnesota History Center would be a little scary at night I imagine. Show those art people that they aren’t the only ones cool enough to stay up all night.
I’ve been lucky in my life to have access to a lot of weird and awesome art. As a teenager I served on Walker Art Center’s Teen Arts Council, aka WACTAC. My WACTAC experience was really an unmatchable experience. In just a few short years I got to meet, work with and create with some pretty amazing contemporary artists. I was exposed to so many creative ways of starting conversation.
But now I work in a history museum. It’s pretty different than the art world, but many of those lessons I learned at the Walker are inspirational when thinking about what “museum unbound” means.
This is pretty awesome. But I think even simple projections could be used to create some radical street museums. We are working on an idea in this direction that we will discuss more in the coming weeks.
What do you think? How would you use projection?