The Museum-Ready Internet

from the how-do-you-put-the-internet-in-a-museum dept

A very interesting column by someone who is helping to set up a museum exhibit about the internet for the Tech Museum in San Jose. The exhibit doesn’t go live until 2004, but planning started in 2001. As she points out, how do you plan a museum exhibit around something that is constantly changing, when you have to start 3 years in advance? More importantly, what the hell do you show in a museume exhibit about the internet? Clearly, it has to be more than what anyone could get sitting at their computer at home or why would you bother to have an exhibit. Certainly, an interesting set of challenges. You have to boil down the internet to what it means at its core – and not just which uses of it are popular today.

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dorpus says:

The non-community of the Valley

Looks like another misguided attempt at “revitalizing downtown San Jose”. Maybe we’ll have a kiddie museum exhibit complete with giant purple plastic gear cams on the wall and dirty metal buttons that stopped working in 1992?

Several years ago, San Jose got a gift of live goldfish from a sister city in Japan. Nobody knew what to do with them, so they dumped them in a water fountain and they all died.

Or there was the time in 2000 when San Jose put up “cultural art exhibits” of 7-foot fiberglass sharks all over the city streets. People stole or defaced them, and the newspaper was outraged that people would harm the works of “art”.

And of course, there was the 80 year old lady in Palo Alto who commited the heinous crime of growning her hedge bushes taller than 3 feet (city ordinances say fences have to be lower than 3 feet), so she was arrested, handcuffed, taken to the police station, and fingerprinted.

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