Monday, August 10, 2015

Museums And Objects

I've been involved with a number of exciting exhibition projects recently that have involved using authentic objects in interesting, and non-traditional, ways to tell compelling stories.

This work has really forced me to consider how bad a job many of the largest US museums are doing in terms of documenting, maintaining, and, most importantly, sharing their vast collections with the general public  --- either through exhibitions, online access and/or databases, or loans to other museums.

Rather than uncork that particular rant right now --- although --- stay tuned --- that particular rant will be coming to ExhibiTricks soon!  I thought I would highlight three wonderful resources about the nature of our (seemingly innate) deep human interest in objects:

The first is called the Significant Objects Project which is an amazing art project/social experiment that plays with the notion (of interest to museum folks) that "the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can be measured objectively."  If you deal with objects in your work life, you need to visit the Significant Objects website.

The second object-oriented resource is the book "Taking Things Seriously" which plays with narrative and objects in a slightly different way.  Author Joshua Glenn has collected 75 short anecdotes about seemingly mundane objects.  The stories about the acquisition of these objects, and the significance of the specific object to each owner make for a strangely magnetic book.

And lastly, this excellent TED talk from JJ Abrams about a "Mystery Box" that he received as a child, but has never opened!

What are the objects that drive your personal and/or work lives?  Let us know in the "Comments" Section below!

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