The Museum of the Future 02: In a Virtual World
During the second meeting in the series titled Museum of the Future together with invited guests: Ewa Drygalska, Justyna Górowska, Aleksandra Przegalińska, and Marek Wojtaszek we will be discussing the impact and role played by digital technologies in building art institutions and in programming their activities.
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Virtualisation of activities of many institutions, including the museums, that has been progressing for almost a year now due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has triggered a number of discussions on the online presence, activities, and overproduction of art institutions. The pandemic forced them to make a shift in their practices to hybridization but has also made the art community and museum staff acquire new competences, including thinking beyond the social media (new forms of participation, changes in the offers of institutions caused by technology development). On the other hand, this unusual and rapid change in the museum operating framework has marked the beginning of a process, rather important from the technology development perspective, in which analogue heritage is being adapted to virtualisation of activities and art collections at an unprecedented scale. It has also brought to light the complex nature of such reassessments and raised many questions concerning further directions of these changes.
What is the direction of further evolution of digitisation of museum practices and information architecture? Can a museum be competitive vis-a-vis other players on the media market? Can it successfully make offerings and compete with commercial media giants? Should museums build their own platforms, applications, etc.? Does it make sense to take part in this race for audience attention? These and other questions will hopefully find answers during the meeting.
THE MUSEUM OF THE FUTURE
Jubilee celebrations are usually about reflecting on the past, however, we are looking into the future! The 90th anniversary of the donating of the International Collection of Modern Art by the "a.r." group to the Museum that we are celebrating this year will be the starting point for talks, discussions, and speculating about what our institution will become in 10 years, on its 100th anniversary.
These considerations centre around The Avant-Garde Museum, an exhibition planned for the autumn 2021 that is the outcome of many years of our studies. Although placed in a historic context, the exposition will take up surprisingly pertinent themes as it will show avant-garde thinking about institutions as spaces for experiment, art development or the production of knowledge. It will help us in seeing a museum as a social initiative whose aim is to design possible scenarios of the future. Or – at a more ad hoc level – an institutional form of self-assistance since, on the one hand, it seeks to ensure sources of financing for artists while, on the other hand, it ‘archives’ their work for future generations. Operations of institutions that lean so much into the future and can be envisaged as a result of The Avant-Garde Museum exhibition are to respond to our needs here and now.
The series of talks, discussions, and lectures on The Museum of the Future puts this year's program of ms in a discursive frame. It will also create a platform for interdisciplinary dialogues on some topics important to us today, so that we can try and start building a bridge between the museum as we have known it before and the vision of the museum of the future. In the group of theoreticians, philosophers, economists, artists and, finally, museologists, we will try to contemplate on what type of museum we will need in a decade or so.
The year-long discussion will focus on futurological visions, economy, the virtual world, care, mental health, accessibility, participation, and the attention economy as well as attention ecology. This way we will try to work out possible versions of the avant-garde museum of the future.