There and again. Mapping exhibition items and visitors’ memories

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Information about There and again. Mapping exhibition items and visitors’ memories
Education

Published on February 21, 2014

Author: lmelk

Source: slideshare.net

Description

"There and again. Souvenir de voyage” was an exhibition produced by the Mart, Musem of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto between June and Semptember 2013. It featured videos, installations, paintings and sculptures by contemporary artists, but also accounts of journeys through documents, photographs and archive material. “Photographing”, stated Susan Sontag, “means establishing a special relationship with the world”. This was one of the exhibition themes that resonated within our web team: a group of 9 colleagues from all departments of the museum that uses online resources to provide access to quality content produced by the museum.
We imagined the development of a map that, by exploiting the direct access to information made possible by social media, could make it easier to build the “special relationship with the world” advocated by Sontag. Such a map had to be beautiful. It had to be easy to populate with content: a selection of images from the exhibition and – clearly identified by a different visual identity – geo-tagged content uploaded by our web community.

For non-contributors, visualizing content on an online map could be a way to better make sense of a spatial dimension needed to fully appreciate the exhibition itself prior of after an actual visit to the museum.

Contributors were expected to become involved and hopefully advocate for the museum. We used the “reach-interest- involve-activate” engagement cycle (Visser and Richardson, 2013) as an overall strategy.

Finally, we thought the map could give us some answers to the pressing question “what do your current or new audiences want to do with your content?” (R. Cardiff, R. Sinker and K. Beaven, 2013)



Development

We hired an external team of programmers, storytellers and designers (Pleens, Accurat), and we asked them to code and design the map. For a period of two months users could enter tweets, foursquare check-ins, facebook statuses and instagram photos, even if they were not geo-tagged; the #andataericordo hashtag had to be there, though. Extra work was done in the background to match entries with map points. Not all content would go on the map: an editorial check was done in real-time.
The museum web team and the external developers worked together to find a community of influencers who would start to populate the map. The travel bloggers community responded with enthusiasm. They were our backup plan in case the map took too long to fill up with tweets.

Results
1526 tweets were launched by 430 persons, and read by 789.000 persons, with a potential exposure of 7,1 million users (source: Tweetreach). 251 tweets were selected to appear on the map. 26 entries were in fact blog posts.
After the conclusion we developed a plan to maintain the level of engagement of this new community with surprise present packages. We also used their feedback “We want to take photos inside the exhibitions” to partially change the museum photo policy.

There and Again Mapping exhibition items and visitors’ memories Mart Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto Italy www.mart.tn.it

“Photographing means establishing a special relationship with the world” Susan Sontag

Taking a photograph means trying to make sense of the world Placing it on a map means building and sharing knowledge

At the Mart Museum, in Rovereto, Italy, we thought these themes were particularly urgent for us It was early 2013, and we were planning an exhibition about travel, memories, the Grand Tour and “the gaze of the tourist”.

“There and again. Souvenir de voyage” was an exhibition produced by the Mart, Musem of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto between June and Semptember 2013. Curated by the museum’s internal curatorial staff, it featured videos, installations, paintings and sculptures by contemporary artists, but also accounts of journeys that lead the visitors to real, imagined and imaginary places.

At the Mart we have a web team: a group of 9 colleagues from all departments of the museum that uses online resources to provide access to quality content to various communities

In particular, we reflected on the idea that global mass tourism inundates us with images of places with a “tourist slant”

We imagined the development of a web map that, by exploiting the direct access to information made possible by social media, could make it easier to build the “special relationship with the world” advocated by Sontag.

We hired Pleens and Accurat, two teams of programmers, storytellers and designers We gave them just a few hints It was evident early on they were having fun

The map had to be beautiful

It had to be easy to populate with content

It had to be easy to populate with content

It had to be easy to populate with content

We uploaded a selection of images from the exhibition

And our web community contributed geo-tagged contents: tweets, photos, blog posts

We selected the best, and displayed them on the map alongside the works of art. Exhibition items and users' content were identified by different colours

“Our tweets in the wonderful map of #thereandagain” Contributors were expected to become involved and hopefully advocates for the museum

We expected to improve the exhibition experience extending the debate outside the museum spaces But we also wanted to find out what our current and new audiences really wanted to do with your contents

Where am I?

All content was expected to be geo-tagged. But we soon found out that while our community loved the project, most of them did not want or could not understand how to geo-tag their contents Therefore, extra work was done in the background to match entries with map points.

The museum web team and the external developers worked together to find a community of influencers who would start to populate the map. The travel bloggers community responded with enthusiasm. They were our backup plan in case the map took too long to fill up with tweets

And our own web team members contributed content with their own voices and skills

But we really had no problems with quantity and quality of users contents. 1526 tweets were launched by 430 persons, and read by 789.000 persons, with a potential exposure of 7,1 million users More important still, they were a great read

251 tweets were selected to appear on the map 26 entries were in fact blog posts, some of which of remarkable quality

Our “Map of memories” has been active for two months around september 2013. After that we developed a plan to maintain the level of engagement of this new community. We delivered surprise present packages to around 300 twitter users who had proved to be ready to engage.

Offering exhibition catalogues as a reward to people who have shown a high level of engagement is cost-effective, because we know that these books will be studied, shown, discussed and will grow coffee stains all over, as it should be

And what about “finding out the things they really wanted”

We read the tweets carefully and asked directly to some of the users that we realized were being more influential. They all said the same thing: they wanted to be able to take photos everywhere at the museum, including inside the exhibitions.

Photos were not allowed at the museum. So we revised our photo policy. Now photos are allowed in the collections, and we are working to grant permission whenever we can in the temporary exhibitions

Photos by Mafe de Baggis Laura Celi Duccio Dogheria Carlotta Fanti Fernando Guerra Jacopo Salvi The Mart Photographic Archive Gianluca Vassallo We can be found at www.mart.tn.it twitter.com/@mart_museum Corso Bettini 43, Rovereto, Italy Stats: Pleens/Tweetreach

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