Everyone has their own opinion on contemporary art. Working in the digital department of a museum, we try to create ways to help visitors interpret and, increasingly, share their responses to our exhibitions.
At MCA there are a few ways visitors can do this. In 2014 we launched Articulate, an in gallery ipad app that asks questions to visitors who can then respond by writing, drawing, recording audio or video.
This past year, we relaunched our museum’s mobile app. This app has a lot of information about artworks in our collection and artworks as part of our changing exhibition calendar. It has exhibition guides by artwork and audio pieces by MCA staff and exhibiting artists. A function we’re excited to explore more is response form that allows us to pose questions about specific artworks. Visitors can be directly in front of an artwork, see a question and respond to it in the app.
Louise Hearman’s exhibition provided the perfect opportunity for us to use this functionality. While Louise was onsite during installation, she presented to staff on how to talk to our visitors about the artworks. Someone asked, if they are all ‘Untitled’, how do we guide visitors to help them understand the works? Louise said that more than anything she wanted to hear what visitors think.
Here we had the perfect match. Using the ‘leave your own response’ functionality of our app – paired with several of Louise’s paintings – we could ask visitors to share their interpretation of Louise’s artworks.
Here’s what our visitors say:
Where is the road going?
If you asked David Byrne he’d say Nowhere – Steph
To that other great painting ‘Wheat field with crows’ by Van Gogh – Edita Pahor
Goes to mystery – LG
Where is the other half of the cat?
The cat is formed from the light behind. This makes that the rest of the cat hasn’t been formed yet. – Serena Mosae Ripa
Magical Place – Freddie
Cat coming out of the fog – Elena
What is the young girl thinking?
God, please make it rain – Serena Mosae Ripa
Alien – BH
Have you visited Louise Hearman? Download our free app to share your thoughts and see what others have to say.
Louise Hearman runs until December 4 2016.
Susie Anderson joined the digital team at MCA in 2014, where she creates digital experiences on the web, mobile and in the gallery. A range of experience at arts and creative organisations led her to this point: Etsy Australia, RMIT University, Regional Arts Victoria and Voiceworks Magazine.
Off the clock she writes and performs her own poetry, and makes work with the arts collective sociocreative trust, who have performed at festivals and events across New South Wales and Victoria.