A Museum Exhibit Of Spam's Golden Years

from the the-power-of-the-museum-exhibit dept

Over in New York, a new art exhibit has recently opened, with various displays of “Spam’s Golden Age”. The idea is to jump into the future, and take a guess at how a museum might put on an exhibit of the history of spam. The exhibit has various displays with spam being categorized into different buckets – and background information about the spam and spamming techniques. For instance, in talking about Nigerian 419 scam emails, the exhibit includes images and stories of the real people the scammers base their emails on. The exhibit isn’t designed so much to be a statement about spam – but more about the way museums present information (and how they sometimes can present things as certain fact when they’re really just conjecture). This reminds me a bit of the old book Motel of Mysteries, which is the story of a time after the US has been buried by junk mail (the paper kind) and someone stumbles on a “perfectly preserved” motel, which he proceeds to explore as an amateur archaeologist. In the process, of course, he gets just about everything wrong in trying to describe what things were used for. It has a similar effect of describing how ridiculous some museum exhibits must be as things are presented as fact when the archaeologists probably are taking pretty wild guesses as to what things were actually used for.

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