How To Make Art Museums Interactive
One of the problems museums are facing in our modern age of the 21st century is that of people having so many different avenues to choose from as regards their entertainment dollar. People want stuff INTERACTIVE these days. And I’m sad to see that only a few of the museums I have lately visited are employing new interactive media technological techniques. And no more is this seen not to be the case, than in the case of the art museum.
Art museums have changed little since they first began in the days of King Arthur - large empty buildings with paintings on the walls and statues in the corners. It’s a miracle they’ve survived this long. If art museums are not to join wide-screen cinemas and opera houses as quaint but irrelevant relics of bygone erae, they must make changes. They too must join the Interactive Revolution - or as I call it the INTERUTION!
Below are some notes I took whilst perusing the world’s great art museums. I have selected problem items - of genre, artist, or artwork itself - and have provided practical solutions for each. I feel confident that my solutions to these very old problems will get museum attendance up into even the thousands per year:
Ancient Greek Statues - the new conservatism makes it certain that people will dismiss life size-statues of naked young men out of hand. Solution: dress statues in clothes by the hottest fashion designers, thereby attracting both the art and fashion afficionadi. Advertising tie in? - “Body by The Rhodes Master 367 B.C. ... clothes by Christian Dior ... ”
Still Lifes - face it, still lifes are pretty boring if you don’t appreciate the techniques the artist used to get his effects. I recommend still life paintings be set next to real life reconstructions of the actual objects depicted, so people can see how close the
Frida Kahlo – Too serious. Lighten up. Friday nights, women get free fake mustache
Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” – great stuff, but we’ve seen the pic over and over. Easy fix though - play continous loop of Nat King Cole singing “Mona Lisa” song.
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Same prob as Mona Lisa - everybody’s seen it. Solution: THE SERPENT - a rollercoaster that loops around the Chapel at 90 mph, allowing patrons to take in every one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces in under 2 minutes. Also gives viewers sensation of flying through the Ether with the angels. (Individual rollercoaster cars shaped like God in the Creation of Adam. Poss. safety hazard with jutting finger? - check w/Vatican Health & Safety Admin)
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” – Yet another victim of its own success. Solution: place loudspeaker behind the painting that emits piercing human shriek every 6 to 8 minutes. Hire high-profile celebs to contribute screams? Christopher Walken? Judi Dench? That guy from the Shakespeare movie?
Jackson Pollock – first patron each day to find 10 images of cats hiding in the painting wins a prize.
Rubens’s Women – Naked chicks = great. Fat naked chicks = only so-so. Use computerized image editing to alter proportions of female nudes to current standards of female beauty. Could be a whole show exploring how beauty has improved over the centuries with before and after versions of paintings. Sponsored by Loreal or other?
Andy Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Can” – serve Campbell’s soup to patrons, so they can both look at the can AND eat soup at the same time! Everybody loves soup! Also (crazy but COOL idea) allow patrons to clean up after themselves using real Brillo pads. Obvious ad tie-ins too.
The Venus De Milo – People are put off by the notion of “ideal beauty”. I say, employ REALISM - fountains of blood continuously spurting from her severed limbs. It’s half a statue one day, a multimedia installation the next!