Digital museums: lessons for the art market?

What lessons could the art market – particularly galleries – learn from the innovative and increasingly second-generation digital projects taking place in many parts of the museum sector? In “Post-web technology: what comes next for museums?” published on The Guardian Culture Professionals Network, Mia Ridge and Danny Birchall list a number of digital experiments and research projects which museums are undertaking, such as:

  • Lightweight low-budget mobile tours using WordPress and GPS technology to deliver rich experiences on a limited budget
  • Experiments with wearable and augmented technology
  • An EU-funded project to investigate embedding digital content in ‘smart objects’
  • A shared innovation model for smaller institutions through multi-participant projects

These topics and more will be discussed in November’s UKMW14: ‘Museums Beyond the Web’ conference organized by the UK Museums Computer Group (@ukmcg). Ridge and Birchall’s article concludes with a statement that should resonate for anyone working in the digital art world:

Through projects like these, what we used to think of as a “digital” mindset is starting to become widespread in some cultural heritage organisations. The ethos of user-centred design and rapid iteration associated with digital projects is crossing from the digital realm into the physical environment.

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