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Author Information

Currently, I am the digital production manager at CyArk working with a team of curators, technology experts, and developers to digitally document and archive world heritage sites with an emphasis on at risk heritage. I am also a PhD candidate in “Digital Heritage” in the History of Art and Visual Culture department at UCSC and lecturer at MIT’s Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative. Finally, I am a proud member of Women Who Code, UC Robotics Club, and Drinking about Museums. This blog is a collection of videos, images, and text relating to new technologies in a museum setting. I plan to experiment and practice what I am writing about and researching in hopes of gaining a better understanding of this emerging field.

Objects of Exchange: Dynamic Tagging

The online exhibition created by the Bard College Graduate Program of 37 First Nations objects from the Northwest Coast, used an innovative, interactive digital interface to communicate the complexity of varying conceptual and curatorial themes within a single collection.

While usually curated exhibitions remain static in a museum gallery, Bard’s students devised a unique way to engage visitors with multiple “interactive tag clouds”.  In 2004, the tag cloud was seen as a new way to visually display the number of times a word was used to identify a set of data, the importance of each tag shown with different font sizes or colors. The collection of 37 First Nations objects brings this idea to a whole new level. Inside the online gallery, the digital interface (presented on a touch-screen in the gallery) allowed visitors to dynamically reconfigure the collection according to various themes. By clicking on a particular word or object image the program created a web of interconnectedness, having the viewer link different ideas to objects in new and interesting ways.

In this instance, the data set was structured around curatorial themes. However, this information could be reconfigured to represent indigenous terms, categories, or concepts and thus be re-purposed to accommodate different kinds of community-driven initiatives and audiences.

To see the tagging project at work click on the link below and hit the “enlarge image” in the lower right to explore.

http://www.bgc.bard.edu/gallery/gallery-at-bgc/past-exhibitions/focus-gallery-2/interactive-tag.html

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