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Global Art, Local Museum – Brought to you by Hyundai Motor Company

Global Art, Local Museum – Brought to you by Hyundai Motor Company


I think it’s inevitable that technology
is going to play more of a role in the way that experience is mediated
in the museum world. My name is Joel Ferree and I am the program director of LACMA’s
art and technology lab. We decided to launch the art and tech lab because we were inspired by LACMA’s original
art and technology program which went from 1967 to 1971. LACMA is the largest encyclopedic art museum
in the western United States and the lab serves as a proving ground
for new technologies that the museum could implement
on a much broader scale. But because we have this laboratory here
where we’re able to work with artists in a sort of safe space, we’re able to take
these risks and sort of contain them and then take what we’ve learned and if it makes sense we could apply it
to the entire museum. I felt that we could rebuild the idea
of this multicultural museum in a way that was global and local. And whoever comes here, something of
their culture is here somewhere. As I took over the responsibility for LACMA, it was the moment when that sort of digital revolution was becoming
a social media revolution just starting. So, we create programs that we think
our audiences will be interested in, our curators do that. But of course we get reactions. It’s very two-way street in the
social media age. We put something forward, we get feedback, we adjust and think about our future programs
in relation to that. That’s a new thing in the art world.
Usually it’s talking down to you. We know what’s great, we’re going to tell you. Now it’s iterative design. We hear back, we’re going to think about how we might
present the next thing that could take that into account. So, the art and technology lab is not really
a place but a concept. The idea is can you help pair artists
with technologists, scientists, to create something new. The technology is not the point of the art, but the art itself is some expression,
emotion or a perspective what have you is the thing that is the point
of that piece of work. And so I think that there is a kind of
beautiful relationship there where it’s not art versus technology, it’s really
this combination of the two making something together. I do think that you can reach
a broader audience when you’re working with technology. I think if you do it right, you can leverage it
to reach a broad audience and still have a lot of artistic integrity
in the work. The idea of art and technology is that
you pair with that tool. The idea of art which is human creativity, thinking, reflection, self identity. So I think that you have two kinds of
problem solving, two kinds of progress and art is our humanity.

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