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Art Museums as Spaces of Digital Play 9

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Over the past decade, museums across the globe have experimented with integrating new forms of technology into premier exhibitions. 

This interview was inspired by a SXSW panel titled “Art Museums as Spaces of Digital Play.” Art&Seek will post audio of the entire panel as soon as it becomes available.

The hope is that the technology allows audiences to experience the artwork in new and different ways. Museum leaders also want the technology to draw nontraditional audiences into their spaces. And sometimes it works!

Chad Coerver is the Chief Education and Community Engagement Officer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). He’s been working with techies, artists, and curators for decades to change the way we think about visiting the museum.

Chad Coerver (SFMOMA) Photo: Don Ross

Chad Coerver (SFMOMA)
Photo: Don Ross

He says the old model – where people come into white spaces with white walls – isn’t working anymore. He thinks that we need to acknowledge the fact that most people who will visit a museum or art gallery don’t know very much about art, so museum facilitators need to make the experience fun and educational if they want to keep and grow their audience.

Art&Seek caught up with Coerver at SXSW. And we discussed what’s working at the SFMOMA, what museums should consider before integrating digital interaction and other ways cultural institutions should engage patrons.