March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Demonstrations: Description

Davis Museumcast Tour

Jim Olson, Davis Museum and Cultural Center, USA

The Davis Museumcast Tour is our most recent technology initiative aimed at creating an educational and entertaining user experience. Dabney Hailey, Linda Wyatt Gruber '66 Curator of Collections and Photography and Lenka Kiss, '05 engage the visitor in an informal conversation that explores eight collections objects within the context of the entire museum collection. The tour is available at the Davis Museum website for download to student owned iPods and other MP3 players and serves the duel purpose of providing an introductory tour for virtual museum visitors that are unable to visit the physical space. There are 5 iPods available in the museum lobby for students and visitors that do not own these devices.

Podcasts will enhance many of the museum's future educational and interpretive programs. For example, last semester visitors could download a group reading of Thirty Six Poems by DuFu with Translations by Kenneth Rexroth while viewing the exhibition Brice Marden: Etchings to Rexroth. Moreover, recordings of lectures, interviews with artists and curators, concerts and other content will be available for download in the future.

During the Spring 2006 semester, Jim Olson, Coordinator of Technology is working with the students of Marty Brody, Catherine Mills Davis Professor in the Music Department, and Jessica Irish, Assistant Professor in the Art Department to create interpretive soundtracks and dialogues inspired by collections objects.

The museum will also offer a short guided tour for On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West (in both English and Chinese) and an informal interview with Xu Bing, our featured lobby installation artist, and Curator of Contemporary Art, Anja Chavez.

The project will be expanded to include content created by other Wellesley students to create more tours and interactions. Students from all departments will be invited to develop tours: musically inclined students can create sound tracks for works in the collection or galleries; art history and studio students can share their research and interpretations; and students interested in writing can create short stories or poetry inspired by collections objects. This student generated content will then be uploaded to the museum website and other visitors will be able to download the files to their iPod or MP3 device for use during a museum visit. These podcast recordings will provide both the content creators and the end users with more active, educational, and entertaining museum experiences. The project not only provides a venue for student generated creative output, it also gives the students a sense of ownership — a feeling that this really is their museum and that their opinion counts.

Demonstration: Demonstrations [Close-Up]

Keywords: podcast, iPod, tour, small museum, inexpensive