Thursday, 27 August 2009

Why do museums waste money on digital interpretation?

They never work for long. They are usually designed by people who know only how to dumb it all down to the level a retarded newt could understand, so missing the level of enquiry of most of us.
Shocking amounts of public money go into digital interpretation and the lengthy conferences in Sao Paolo or Brisbane that the planning of digital heritage manegement requires. Within a matter of months, half the screens will be broken or visitors will see blue error screens.

But what's the point? We visited the Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games in Olympia last month. The museum is great, but I have clearly donated substantial sums of money to allow an EU-funded "Digital Exhibition" compete with an expensive 4-colour glossy brochure all about it.
Aren't they aware of the irony of this. If you can't adequately deliver information about the exhibition digitally and have to print a brochure, then doesn't that sort of prove that people are more comfortbale with 'solid'content?

Nearby, further south, the Messinia district and Kalamata city have equally spent copious amounts of EU cash on the 'Cultural Route of the Olive Tree' which seems to mainly consist of a hugely expensive flashy website and almost nothing.....nothing....of any kind of consequence. Even the 'olive shop' on the website isn't actually an online shop. An eight year old kid in his pyjamas can open an online shop, but not the gurus behind the expensive Route of the Olive.

I would be the very first in line to vote for anyone prepared to increase funding for heritage, but the disgusting waste of spend on short-term fluff - like digital interpretation - is truly appalling. The lack of any kind of accountability in this sector is disgraceful.

If I want a digital experience, I will buy a DVD or watch TV or go on the internet, yet none of this is available for the digital content of either the Museum of the History of the Olympics (which doesn't even have a web site, for goodness' sake!) or the Route of the Olives. Typical, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment