This coming November 6 to 8, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) will be the scene of MuseomixMTL, an R&D laboratory in which participants will set out to enrich the museum experience through the use of new technologies. The Musée will be transformed into a truly inventive laboratory with creativity, art and technology as its prime focus.
During this techno-creative weekend, more than a hundred professionals passionately interested in the Web, technologies, culture and museology will take over the MAC. Grouped in multidisciplinary teams, these creative talents (supported by mentors) will devise all kinds of prototypes—from Web and mobile apps to interactive installations—allowing visitors to experience the museum in a new and different way.
In the museomixers’ sights: two exhibitions at the MAC
Over the weekend, the MAC will offer the MuseomixMTL teams access to two exhibitions showcasing works from its extensive permanent collection. The first of these, titled New Discoveries and Other Obsessions, illustrates choices made by John Zeppetelli. The second exhibition, L’Œil et l’Esprit, features the selections of artist Geneviève Cadieux, who systematically went through the approximately 7,800 works in the museum’s holdings and came up with around one hundred well-chosen works that reflect her thinking with respect to art history and contemporary society.
A hive of techno activity at the MAC
For three days, ten teams of six people, selected for the complementarity of their respective expertise, will take up residence at the MAC. The museomixers come from the following communities:
- Mediation, interaction and users: museography, UX design, game design, sound design, mediation.
- Communication and media: writing and editing, journalism, community management, blogging, video documentary.
- Making: CAD (2D/3D), DIY, mechanical engineering, industrial design, construction, carpentry, sewing, crafts.
- Coding and development: electronics, mobile, desktop and Web development.
- Contents: art history, research, curating, information sciences.
- Design: graphic design, drawing/illustration, Web design.
- Space and landscape design: stage design, architecture, urban design.
Remixing the MAC: issues and playgrounds
Ever conscious of enhancing its visitors’ experience through enriching, cutting-edge projects and programs, the MAC is opening its doors to the Museomix experience with the aim of getting to know other ways of interacting with its public. The event will also be a chance to reflect on essential questions related to its ongoing development and its future in the current digital environment.
Structuring this process of reflection will be the following themes or “playgrounds” presented to the participating teams:
- Mediation of technology-based works: Technology as a central component of mediation is the very spirit of Museomix. But what happens in the case of a museum of contemporary art where more and more works have emerged out of new technologies?
- The museum in the city: How can the museum be an active player in the urban cultural landscape beyond its walls? How does it fit into its neighbourhood, its city? Both MuseomixMTL and MuseomixQC will explore this playground.
- (Re)showing the (un)showable: This playground takes place in two stages. First, showing the unshowable, such as the artwork selection process followed by the curators, the development of a gallery plan for optimal presentation of the works, and the process of restoring them in the laboratory. Many things are hidden from visitors’ eyes. What if we made the invisible visible? The next stage involves reshowing the showable: how can the MAC extend the life of its exhibitions, programs and contents?
- Beyond the screen: From the museum selfie to a tablet providing further details on the works, the screen is often the preferred interface between visitor and content. Some people see it as an added value, others, a nuisance. One thing is certain: over the past decade, the screen has revolutionized the way we visit the museum, but what is there beyond the screen?
- When the museum is closed: A museum that is closed-whether for renovations or to install an exhibition-nevertheless has a mission to present cultural offerings. How can technologies contribute to this mission?
An international event: Five countries are museomixing!
This year, Museomix is taking place simultaneously at eleven museums in five countries: in Canada, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; in France, at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris; La Manufacture, a museum dedicated to memory and textile design, Roubaix; Musée National du Sport, Nice; Musée de Bretagne, Rennes; and Musée d’art et d’archéologie, Guéret; in Belgium, at the Musée des beaux-arts, Ghent; and Musée Royal de Mariemont; in Switzerland, at the Musée de la communication, Berne; and in Mexico, at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.
Schedule and details
To observe the museomixers’ work at the MAC more closely, the public is invited to register in advance for guided tours, at www.museomixmtl.com. These tours are offered on Friday, November 6 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. Starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, the public is invited to see and test the prototypes that have been produced. The guided tours offered as part of Museomix are free of charge; museum admission is according to current pricing.
Event presented with support from Wawanesa.