Interactive

The Online Transformation of the New Museum

Screen shot of my searching "Internet" on Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz’s "Image Atlas" (2012). The first project featured on First Look.
Screen shot of my searching “Internet” on Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz’s “Image Atlas” (2012). The first project featured on First Look.

Here at Hyperallergic we remember the days when The New Museum, and their then chief curator Richard Flood, were most commonly associated with an unfortunate statement that equated bloggers with prairie dogs. Those out-of-touch days are no longer and as fate would have it, Mr. Flood has started blogging!

This transformation at the New Museum is most evident in the launch of a brand new website featuring four exciting new projects: the New Museum Digital Archive, Art Spaces Directory, a new blog called Six Degrees and First Look: New Art Online, which features and/or commissions a new web-based artwork once a month curated by Lauren Cornell, the former executive director of Rhizome and currently (it’s a mouthful) “curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub” at the New Museum.

The New Museum is positioning itself as an institution at the forefront of web-based art. I have already covered the importance of new digital conservation methods, where I mentioned Ben Fino-Radin, the digital conservator for Rhizome at the New Museum. But the commissioning and displaying of web-based works is the most exciting to me. First Look: New Art Online is however not the first of it’s kind, the project is very reminiscent of the Walker Art Center‘s own online gallery, Gallery 9, which featured many online works from 1997 to 2005 and was directed by Steve Dietz, who founded New Media Initiatives at the Walker.

Screen shot of The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial from the new Digital Archive.
Screen shot of The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial from the new Digital Archive.

The Digital Archive is a really nice feature. I am sure most of our readers can relate to being unable to navigate many museums’ labyrinth-like websites to find a specific piece or artist. The archive is really easy to navigate; searching for an artist name quickly reveals past shows, publications, public programming and more. You can browse every show through the years, and easily see the artists and installation shots of these shows. This is definitely the best digital archive for a museum I have ever seen.

Screen shot of the interactive map on the Spaces Directory.
Screen shot of the interactive map on the Spaces Directory.

Not only do the changes emphasize the museums cutting edge internet presence, but the New Museum also re-asserts an emphasis on place with the impressive interactive map featuring 400 exciting and independent art spaces from ninety-six countries. While the New Museum is reinvigorating it’s online presence, it is also highlighting other important institutions of the art world and asserting itself as a hub of activity. This sense of community and a willingness to promote other institutions that we might not be aware of is definitely commendable.

Good work, NuMu.

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