The sequel is a notoriously dicey—though sometimes brilliant—film enterprise, be it Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Empire Strikes Back, or my personal favorite at the age of twelve, The Karate Kid, Part II. After the first round of 30 Seconds videos, in which MoMA staff and members created short videos with filmmaker Thilo Hoffmann, we invited Thilo back late last year. The results are in, and you can now see selected videos by staff and members.
Posts by David Hart
Congratulations to the teens from the MoMA Teen Voices Project for their hard work on the website PopArt, which recently won a People’s Voice Webby in the Art category. The Teen Voices Project (formerly the Youth Advisory Council), a group of sixteen students from New York City high schools, collaborated with MoMA Staff to design the interactive site.
Faced with the challenge of creating an educational resource that other teens could use to engage with MoMA, the team started by learning about and analyzing existing interactive educational activities, websites, and technology-based communication projects. After countless debates on the purpose of education, the coolest parts of MoMA, and strategies to make MoMA more accessible to teens, the team identified a vision for their project: to create an online tool for people of all ages to interact with and respond to modern art, to reveal unexpected connections between works of art, and to trust in their own “gut” feelings about art.
“We want to live-stream a silent woman, sitting still in a chair all day for three months.”—Paraphrased from a meeting a few weeks ago, followed by the sound of my hand hitting my forehead.
Working in a department that interfaces with the Internet (home of zany fun like Is This Art? and my new favorite site Selleck Waterfall Sandwich), you get used to hearing a lot of unusual ideas getting presented as Things We Need To Be Doing Right Away. I guess I should be used to it by now, since MoMA is a museum that has in its collection an alleged can of poop.
The Graphic Design and Digital Media departments work on the same floor in the MoMA offices, and though we may disagree on how many overhead fluorescent lights should be on (the correct answer is zero), we all enjoy getting the chance to work together. It’s not often that we get the chance to work on a project from its inception, so the Meet Me website was a unique opportunity.
Last week, Ingrid Chou explained the process of creating the lovely Meet Me publication. For the website, we worked with Ingrid and designer Sam Sherman (as well as the Education Department) to translate elements from the publication into a digital format. We also wanted to take advantage of some of the new features and frameworks we created for the MoMA.org redesign.
The second half of the 2000s (is it too early to say that?) saw the rapid rise of online video (read a good summary here), and we’ve been actively experimenting here at MoMA. What started over three years ago as a small trial with myself, Zoe Jackson from the Marketing Department, a laptop, and a cheap miniDV camera has turned into a larger production—with a team drawn from MoMA’s Education, Marketing, Graphic Design, and Digital Media departments collaborating (in addition to all of our other day-to-day responsibilities). One of the most common types of videos we’ve produced are time-lapse videos of exhibition installations. Our first (shown above) was of Richard Serra’s sculptures being installed in the Sculpture Garden.
From a technical standpoint, the setup is pretty simple: an old PC laptop, an inexpensive piece of software to control a Canon still camera, a tripod, and a few power cords. It’s very easy to set up, move, or leave running overnight or over multiple days. The individual still images are then run through a QuickTime script or imported into Final Cut and compiled to create a kind of stop-motion film.
Months before an exhibition opens we meet to plan out any related online features. Since we’re a small team we often get developers or designers to help for bigger sites. For the Tim Burton exhibition, we worked with the Brooklyn company Big Spaceship, who built the site for our Contemporary Voices exhibition in 2005.
Having nearly broken my VHS copy of Beetlejuice from overuse while growing up, I knew the project would be an exciting one for a design firm to sink their teeth into. In the words of Big Spaceship, “Having the opportunity to work with MoMA for an artist as admirable as Tim Burton was amazing. The quality and imagination inherent to his art speak for themselves—we’re particularly inspired by his breadth of work and desire to experiment.”
One of the most exciting parts of the process is the concept meeting with the designers. After an initial meeting to discuss the exhibition, the crew from Big Spaceship put together three different directions for the site, and we sat down together with the curators to pick a design to build out. We asked them to talk about the three directions they proposed.
If you are interested in reproducing images from The Museum of Modern Art web site, please visit the Image Permissions page (www.moma.org/permissions). For additional information about using content from MoMA.org, please visit About this Site (www.moma.org/site).
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