Notes from Meeting with Brian Porter at ROM
erin.yu at utoronto.ca
Mon May 25 04:22:19 UTC 2009
Last Wednesday James and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum to meet
with Brian Porter, Associate VP of New Media. This meeting was to be a
starting point of our interaction with the ROM, rather than an
information gathering session.
Current State of Cultural Institutions
Overcoming current economic situations. A lot of museums are at risk.
Many institutions are trying to reinvent themselves with
reconstruction: ROM's building on Bloor existed since 1914, and it has
added on the H wing.
Past: Museums have focused on "taking care of stuff". Conservation -
and displaying a little fraction of it. Wasn't about communication or
Present: But they are realizing that it isn't just about putting
things behind glasses anymore. Visitor engagement and understanding is
becoming more important. Sharing. Programming. Making things available
Future: Social engagement, exchange of information fueled by
technology, creating more context
Opinion on Visitor Experience
People look at objects from their own perspective e.g. fashion tour,
bug tour, etc.
Whole slew of paths you can take outside of what curator has decided,
and it is important to cater to that when designing exhibition. much
like choosing experience from an "app store"
ROM acquired funding for a digitization project. Acquired 10,000
digital images (ROM has 6,000,000 objects), but project stopped when
money ran out.
Online has no connection with what's going to be in the exhibition
There is a disconnect between science and art departments: use
different databases that don't talk to each other. Need single
database that marry science and art.
Use of Media in Exhibitions
The museum's business plan is largely based on A-show
Current A-show: Dead Sea Scrolls
Traveling show coming from Jerusalem
Controversial 16 scrolls, 8 scrolls in the first phase, 8 in second
Museum is spending major $ on A-shows, it doesn't have $ for its own
Cannot create virtual experience out of these traveling shows due to
political reasons. Various authorities are involved. The objects
cannot be photographed locally. The photographs videos have to be
ROM creates its own traveling shows, which tend to be very small. e.g.
Fakes and Forgeries - meant to travel to small towns, malls, community
centers. Limited by budget.
Limited in the context of one new media gallery with flat screens
Youtube trailer video: http://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalOntarioMuseum
Museum is part of Orion network (research and innovation network,
where UofT, hospitals, and public schools are members). It allows
sharing of resources and makes video teleconferencing public schools
ROM maintains Twitter feed called GreenROM: http://twitter.com/GreenROM
Positioning ourselves with education - elementary and secondary school
students. Can reach about 1 million students
A pilot project to deliver content through Orion online network.
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