Commentary on A. Rozan - Museums at 2040

I was interested in the “Digital Push” that Rozan commented on in “Museums at 2040.” I believe that one of the main draws of a museum (at least for me personally) is seeing original copies of a work. Anyone can see the Mona Lisa on Google Images, but there is something special about seeing the real thing in person. You can carefully observe the brush strokes and the finer details of the work that just really can’t be replicated by a photo. You feel a deeper sense of connection with the artist by physically seeing the original work. I also believe that the uniqueness of art gives it some of its inherent value. This presents a complex issue - how to balance preserving the unique feeling of seeing an original work in person, while also working expand the accessibility of art and museums to everyone.

Recently, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience came to Boston. While I did not personally go myself, I had friends go who were quite disappointed by it. It seemed like it was just simply projections of Van Gogh art on the walls for a steep ticket price. I think for a successful “digital push,” there needs to be a uniqueness factor. Technology needs to provide something that has a similar special feeling to seeing the work in person, while also making it more accessible. Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience did the opposite of this: making it more expensive and less unique.

I do not personally agree with the “Digital Push” idea. In this article, I was much more interested in the concept of museums becoming hyper-local and allowing visitors to learn more about the places they are visiting. I think it is more likely that in the future technology augments, rather than replaces, the original objects that exist in museums.