Watch At the Museum, MoMA’s 8-Part Documentary on What it Takes to Run a Great Modern Museum

If you’ve ever visited the Museum of Modern Art — and probably even if you haven’t — you’ll have a sense that the place doesn’t exactly run itself. As much or even more so than other museums, MoMA keeps the behind-the-scenes operations behind the scenes, presenting visitors with coherent art experiences that seem to have materialized whole. But that very purity of presentation itself stokes our curiosity: No, really, how do they do it? Now, MoMA has offered us a chance to see for ourselves through a new series of short documentaries called At the Museum, a look at and a listen to the nuts and bolts of one of America’s mostly highly regarded art institutions.

The series, which will run to eight episodes total, has released four thus far. In "Shipping & Receiving," some of the museum’s staff prepare 200 works of art in its collection to ship to Paris for a special exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation while others get new shows installed at MoMA itself.

In "The Making of Max Ernst," a couple of curators design a show of work by that surrealist painter-sculptor-poet. In "Pressing Matters," the opening of both the Ernst exhibition, "Beyond Painting," and "Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait" fast approach, but several important decisions remain to be made as well as works to be installed. In "Art Speaks," MoMA staff and visitors take a step back and contemplate the purpose of modern art itself.

At the Museum could have assumed a highly traditional form, stopping methodically to witness the daily labors of everyone from MoMA’s directors to curators to installers to security guards as narration earnestly explains to us their place in the art ecosystem. From the very first episode, however, the series takes a different and much more compelling tack, providing an uncommented-upon series of fly-on-the-wall views of MoMA people at work, eavesdropping on their conversations, and occasionally weaving in their reflections spoken directly to the filmmakers. But just as the experience of MoMA changes with each new exhibition, so does the form of At the Museum with each new episode, one of which will continue appearing every Friday until December 15th. Watch them all (here), and you’ll never look at MoMA, or indeed any other museum, in quite the same way.

At the Museum will be added to our collection of Free Documentaries, a subset of our collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

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Kids Record Audio Tours of NY’s Museum of Modern Art (with Some Silly Results)

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Launches Free Course on Looking at Photographs as Art

Free: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Offer 474 Free Art Books Online

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Watch <i>At the Museum</i>, MoMA’s 8-Part Documentary on What it Takes to Run a Great Modern Museum is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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The First Known Photograph of People Sharing a Beer (1843)

It should go without saying that one should drink responsibly, for reasons pertaining to life and limb as well as reputation. The ubiquity of still and video cameras means potentially embarrassing moments can end up on millions of screens in an instant, copied, downloaded, and saved for posterity. Not so during the infancy of photography, when it was a painstaking process with minutes-long exposure times and arcane chemical development methods. Photographing people generally meant keeping them as still as possible for several minutes, a requirement that rendered candid shots next to impossible.

We know the results of these early photographic portraiture from many a famous Daguerreotype, named for its French inventor, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. At the same time, during the 1830s and 40s, another process gained popularity in England, called the Calotype—or “Talbotype,” for its inventor William Henry Fox Talbot. “Upon hearing of the advent of the Daguerreotype in 1839,” writes Linz Welch at the United Photographic Artists Gallery site, Talbot “felt moved to action to fully refine the process that he had begun work on. He was able to shorten his exposure times greatly and started using a similar form of camera for exposure on to his prepared paper negatives.”

This last feature made the Calotype more versatile and mechanically reproducible. And the shortened exposure times seemed to enable some greater flexibility in the kinds of photographs one could take. In the 1843 photo above, we have what appears to be an entirely unplanned grouping of revelers, caught in a moment of cheer at the pub. Created by Scottish painter-photographers Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill—who grins, half-standing, on the right—the image looks like almost no other portrait from the time. Rather than sitting rigidly, the figures slouch casually; rather than looking grim and mournful, they smile and smirk, apparently sharing a joke. The photograph is believed to be the first image of alcoholic consumption, and it does its subject justice.

Though Talbot patented his Calotype process in England in 1941, the restrictions did not apply in Scotland. “In fact,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art writes, “Talbot encouraged its use there.” He maintained a correspondence with interested scientists, including Adamson’s older brother John, a professor of chemistry. But the Calotype was more of an artists’ medium. Where Daguerreotypes produced, Welch writes, “a startling resemblance of reality,” with clean lines and even tones, the Calotype, with its salt print, “tended to have high contrast between lights and darks…. Additionally, because of the paper fibers, the image would present with a grain that would diffuse the details.” We see this especially in the capturing of Octavius Hill, who appears both lifelike in motion and rendered artistically with charcoal or brush.

The other two figures—James Ballantine, writer, stained-glass artist, and son of an Edinburgh brewer, and Dr. George Bell, in the center—have the rakish air of characters in a William Hogarth scene. The National Galleries of Scotland attributes the naturalness of these poses to “Hill’s sociability, humour and his capacity to gauge the sitters’ characters.” Surely the booze did its part in loosening everyone up. The three men are said to be drinking Edinburgh Ale, “according to a contemporary account… ‘a potent fluid, which almost glued the lips of the drinker together.’" Such a side effect would, at least, make it extremely difficult to over-imbibe.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

The First Known Photograph of People Sharing a Beer (1843) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Watch the Illustrated Version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic

Alice’s Restaurant. It’s now a Thanksgiving classic, and something of a tradition around here. Recorded in 1967, the 18+ minute counterculture song recounts Arlo Guthrie’s real encounter with the law, starting on Thanksgiving Day 1965. As the long song unfolds, we hear all about how a hippie-bating police officer, by the name of William "Obie" Obanhein, arrested Arlo for littering. (Cultural footnote: Obie previously posed for several Norman Rockwell paintings, including the well-known painting, "The Runaway," that graced a 1958 cover of The Saturday Evening Post.) In fairly short order, Arlo pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge, pays a $25 fine, and cleans up the thrash. But the story isn’t over. Not by a long shot. Later, when Arlo (son of Woody Guthrie) gets called up for the draft, the petty crime ironically becomes a basis for disqualifying him from military service in the Vietnam War. Guthrie recounts this with some bitterness as the song builds into a satirical protest against the war: "I’m sittin’ here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug." And then we’re back to the cheery chorus again: "You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant."

We have featured Guthrie’s classic during past years. But, for this Thanksgiving, we give you the illustrated version. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who plans to celebrate the holiday today.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

If you’d like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

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Watch the Illustrated Version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Watch Classical Music Get Perfectly Visualized as an Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

When the Zurich Chamber Orchestra aka the Zürcher Kammerorchester wanted to promote its new season in 2012 it commissioned studio Virtual Republic to think about listening to a symphony as a ride, or more exactly an emotional rollercoaster. And it returned with this brief interpretation of the first violin score for the fourth movement of Ferdinand Ries’ Second Symphony.

It might not be as easy to follow as the Music Animation Machine we posted about last week, but the building crescendo of the violin’s line makes for a lovely ascent, but once over the peak, the furious drop is all vertiginous runs until its sudden stop.

Or as Virtual Republic described their own work:

The notes and bars were exactly synchronized with the progression in the animation so that the typical movements of a rollercoaster ride match the dramatic composition of the music.

The production company’s Vimeo page shows a lot of domestic product commercial CGI work, from dishwashers to paint, so the chance to jump on something a bit more artistic must have been a relief.

Watch a Making-of video below…

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Watch Classical Music Get Perfectly Visualized as an Emotional Roller Coaster Ride is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Net Neutrality Explained and Defended in a Doodle-Filled Video: The Time to Save the Open Web is Now

By the end of December, net neutrality may be a thing of the past. We’ll pay the price. You’ll pay the price. Comcast, Verizon and AT&T will make out like bandits.

If you need a quick reminder of what net neutrality is, what benefits it brings and what you stand to lose, watch Vi Hart’s 11-minute explainer above. It lays things out quite well. Then, once you have a handle on things, write or call Congress now and make a last stand for the open web.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

If you’d like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

Net Neutrality Explained and Defended in a Doodle-Filled Video: The Time to Save the Open Web is Now is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham

The deeper we get into the 21st century, the more energy and resources museums put into digitizing their offerings and making them available, free and worldwide, as virtual experiences on the internet. But what form would a virtual museum have taken before the internet as we know it today? Japanese telecommunications giant NTT (best known today in the form of the cellphone service provider NTT DoCoMo) developed one answer to that question in 1991: The Museum Inside the Telephone Network, an elaborate art exhibit accessible nowhere in the physical world but everywhere in Japan by telephone, fax, and even — in a highly limited, pre-World-Wide-Web fashion — computer modem.

"The works and messages from almost 100 artists, writers, and cultural figures were available through five channels," says Monoskop, where you can download The Museum Inside the Telephone Network‘s catalog (also available in high resolution). "The works in ‘Voice & sound channel’ such as talks and readings on the theme of communication could be listened to by telephone. The ‘Interactive channel’ offered participants to create musical tunes by pushing buttons on a telephone. Works of art, novels, comics and essays could be received at home through ‘Fax channel.’ The ‘Live channel’ offered artists’ live performances and telephone dialogues between invited intellectuals to be heard by telephone. Additionally, computer graphics works could be accessed by modem and downloaded to one’s personal computer screen for viewing."

"We need to recognize honestly that there were numerous problems with The Museum Inside the Telephone Network," writes curator and critic Asada Akira in the catalog’s introduction. "Neither the preparation time nor the means for carrying it out was sufficient. Thus there were not a few creative artists whose participation would have been a great asset to the project, but whom we were forced to do without." Yet its list of contributors, which still reads like a Who’s-Who of the avant-garde and otherwise adventurous creators of the day, includes architects like Isozaki Arata and Renzo Piano, musicians like Laurie Anderson and Sakamoto Ryuichi, directors like Kurosawa Kiyoshi and Derek Jarman, writers like William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, composers like John Cage and Philip Glass, choreographers like William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, and visual artists like Yokoo Tadanori and Jeff Koons.

The Museum Inside the Telephone Network launched as the first venture of NTT’s InterCommunication Center (ICC), a "21st-century museum that will provide interface between science and technology and art and culture in the coming electronic age," as Asada described it in 1991. Having recently celebrated its 20th year open in Tokyo’s Opera City Tower, the ICC continues to put on a variety of non-virtual exhibitions very much in the spirit of the original, and involving some of the very same artists as well (as of this writing, they’re readying a music installation co-created by Sakamoto). But offline or on, any union of art and technology is only as interesting as the spirit motivating it, and the creators of such projects would do well to keep in mind the words of The Museum Inside the Telephone Network contributor Kondou Kouji: "I hope that people will think of this as the experience of accidentally drifting into a telephone network, wherein awaits a vast world of pleasure and fun."

via @monoskop

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Good Morning, Mr. Orwell: Nam June Paik’s Avant-Garde New Year’s Celebration with Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Peter Gabriel & More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Source: http://ift.tt/ge8G4T

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham

The deeper we get into the 21st century, the more energy and resources museums put into digitizing their offerings and making them available, free and worldwide, as virtual experiences on the internet. But what form would a virtual museum have taken before the internet as we know it today? Japanese telecommunications giant NTT (best known today in the form of the cellphone service provider NTT DoCoMo) developed one answer to that question in 1991: The Museum Inside the Telephone Network, an elaborate art exhibit accessible nowhere in the physical world but everywhere in Japan by telephone, fax, and even — in a highly limited, pre-World-Wide-Web fashion — computer modem.

"The works and messages from almost 100 artists, writers, and cultural figures were available through five channels," says Monoskop, where you can download The Museum Inside the Telephone Network‘s catalog (also available in high resolution). "The works in ‘Voice & sound channel’ such as talks and readings on the theme of communication could be listened to by telephone. The ‘Interactive channel’ offered participants to create musical tunes by pushing buttons on a telephone. Works of art, novels, comics and essays could be received at home through ‘Fax channel.’ The ‘Live channel’ offered artists’ live performances and telephone dialogues between invited intellectuals to be heard by telephone. Additionally, computer graphics works could be accessed by modem and downloaded to one’s personal computer screen for viewing."

"We need to recognize honestly that there were numerous problems with The Museum Inside the Telephone Network," writes curator and critic Asada Akira in the catalog’s introduction. "Neither the preparation time nor the means for carrying it out was sufficient. Thus there were not a few creative artists whose participation would have been a great asset to the project, but whom we were forced to do without." Yet its list of contributors, which still reads like a Who’s-Who of the avant-garde and otherwise adventurous creators of the day, includes architects like Isozaki Arata and Renzo Piano, musicians like Laurie Anderson and Sakamoto Ryuichi, directors like Kurosawa Kiyoshi and Derek Jarman, writers like William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, composers like John Cage and Philip Glass, choreographers like William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, and visual artists like Yokoo Tadanori and Jeff Koons.

The Museum Inside the Telephone Network launched as the first venture of NTT’s InterCommunication Center (ICC), a "21st-century museum that will provide interface between science and technology and art and culture in the coming electronic age," as Asada described it in 1991. Having recently celebrated its 20th year open in Tokyo’s Opera City Tower, the ICC continues to put on a variety of non-virtual exhibitions very much in the spirit of the original, and involving some of the very same artists as well (as of this writing, they’re readying a music installation co-created by Sakamoto). But offline or on, any union of art and technology is only as interesting as the spirit motivating it, and the creators of such projects would do well to keep in mind the words of The Museum Inside the Telephone Network contributor Kondou Kouji: "I hope that people will think of this as the experience of accidentally drifting into a telephone network, wherein awaits a vast world of pleasure and fun."

via @monoskop

Related Content:

Take a Virtual Tour of the 1913 Exhibition That Introduced Avant-Garde Art to America

Take a Virtual Reality Tour of the World’s Stolen Art

Japanese Computer Artist Makes “Digital Mondrians” in 1964: When Giant Mainframe Computers Were First Used to Create Art

Good Morning, Mr. Orwell: Nam June Paik’s Avant-Garde New Year’s Celebration with Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Peter Gabriel & More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Source: http://ift.tt/ge8G4T

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham

The deeper we get into the 21st century, the more energy and resources museums put into digitizing their offerings and making them available, free and worldwide, as virtual experiences on the internet. But what form would a virtual museum have taken before the internet as we know it today? Japanese telecommunications giant NTT (best known today in the form of the cellphone service provider NTT DoCoMo) developed one answer to that question in 1991: The Museum Inside the Telephone Network, an elaborate art exhibit accessible nowhere in the physical world but everywhere in Japan by telephone, fax, and even — in a highly limited, pre-World-Wide-Web fashion — computer modem.

"The works and messages from almost 100 artists, writers, and cultural figures were available through five channels," says Monoskop, where you can download The Museum Inside the Telephone Network‘s catalog (also available in high resolution). "The works in ‘Voice & sound channel’ such as talks and readings on the theme of communication could be listened to by telephone. The ‘Interactive channel’ offered participants to create musical tunes by pushing buttons on a telephone. Works of art, novels, comics and essays could be received at home through ‘Fax channel.’ The ‘Live channel’ offered artists’ live performances and telephone dialogues between invited intellectuals to be heard by telephone. Additionally, computer graphics works could be accessed by modem and downloaded to one’s personal computer screen for viewing."

"We need to recognize honestly that there were numerous problems with The Museum Inside the Telephone Network," writes curator and critic Asada Akira in the catalog’s introduction. "Neither the preparation time nor the means for carrying it out was sufficient. Thus there were not a few creative artists whose participation would have been a great asset to the project, but whom we were forced to do without." Yet its list of contributors, which still reads like a Who’s-Who of the avant-garde and otherwise adventurous creators of the day, includes architects like Isozaki Arata and Renzo Piano, musicians like Laurie Anderson and Sakamoto Ryuichi, directors like Kurosawa Kiyoshi and Derek Jarman, writers like William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, composers like John Cage and Philip Glass, choreographers like William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, and visual artists like Yokoo Tadanori and Jeff Koons.

The Museum Inside the Telephone Network launched as the first venture of NTT’s InterCommunication Center (ICC), a "21st-century museum that will provide interface between science and technology and art and culture in the coming electronic age," as Asada described it in 1991. Having recently celebrated its 20th year open in Tokyo’s Opera City Tower, the ICC continues to put on a variety of non-virtual exhibitions very much in the spirit of the original, and involving some of the very same artists as well (as of this writing, they’re readying a music installation co-created by Sakamoto). But offline or on, any union of art and technology is only as interesting as the spirit motivating it, and the creators of such projects would do well to keep in mind the words of The Museum Inside the Telephone Network contributor Kondou Kouji: "I hope that people will think of this as the experience of accidentally drifting into a telephone network, wherein awaits a vast world of pleasure and fun."

via @monoskop

Related Content:

Take a Virtual Tour of the 1913 Exhibition That Introduced Avant-Garde Art to America

Take a Virtual Reality Tour of the World’s Stolen Art

Japanese Computer Artist Makes “Digital Mondrians” in 1964: When Giant Mainframe Computers Were First Used to Create Art

Good Morning, Mr. Orwell: Nam June Paik’s Avant-Garde New Year’s Celebration with Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Peter Gabriel & More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Source: http://ift.tt/ge8G4T

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham

The deeper we get into the 21st century, the more energy and resources museums put into digitizing their offerings and making them available, free and worldwide, as virtual experiences on the internet. But what form would a virtual museum have taken before the internet as we know it today? Japanese telecommunications giant NTT (best known today in the form of the cellphone service provider NTT DoCoMo) developed one answer to that question in 1991: The Museum Inside the Telephone Network, an elaborate art exhibit accessible nowhere in the physical world but everywhere in Japan by telephone, fax, and even — in a highly limited, pre-World-Wide-Web fashion — computer modem.

"The works and messages from almost 100 artists, writers, and cultural figures were available through five channels," says Monoskop, where you can download The Museum Inside the Telephone Network‘s catalog (also available in high resolution). "The works in ‘Voice & sound channel’ such as talks and readings on the theme of communication could be listened to by telephone. The ‘Interactive channel’ offered participants to create musical tunes by pushing buttons on a telephone. Works of art, novels, comics and essays could be received at home through ‘Fax channel.’ The ‘Live channel’ offered artists’ live performances and telephone dialogues between invited intellectuals to be heard by telephone. Additionally, computer graphics works could be accessed by modem and downloaded to one’s personal computer screen for viewing."

"We need to recognize honestly that there were numerous problems with The Museum Inside the Telephone Network," writes curator and critic Asada Akira in the catalog’s introduction. "Neither the preparation time nor the means for carrying it out was sufficient. Thus there were not a few creative artists whose participation would have been a great asset to the project, but whom we were forced to do without." Yet its list of contributors, which still reads like a Who’s-Who of the avant-garde and otherwise adventurous creators of the day, includes architects like Isozaki Arata and Renzo Piano, musicians like Laurie Anderson and Sakamoto Ryuichi, directors like Kurosawa Kiyoshi and Derek Jarman, writers like William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, composers like John Cage and Philip Glass, choreographers like William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, and visual artists like Yokoo Tadanori and Jeff Koons.

The Museum Inside the Telephone Network launched as the first venture of NTT’s InterCommunication Center (ICC), a "21st-century museum that will provide interface between science and technology and art and culture in the coming electronic age," as Asada described it in 1991. Having recently celebrated its 20th year open in Tokyo’s Opera City Tower, the ICC continues to put on a variety of non-virtual exhibitions very much in the spirit of the original, and involving some of the very same artists as well (as of this writing, they’re readying a music installation co-created by Sakamoto). But offline or on, any union of art and technology is only as interesting as the spirit motivating it, and the creators of such projects would do well to keep in mind the words of The Museum Inside the Telephone Network contributor Kondou Kouji: "I hope that people will think of this as the experience of accidentally drifting into a telephone network, wherein awaits a vast world of pleasure and fun."

via @monoskop

Related Content:

Take a Virtual Tour of the 1913 Exhibition That Introduced Avant-Garde Art to America

Take a Virtual Reality Tour of the World’s Stolen Art

Japanese Computer Artist Makes “Digital Mondrians” in 1964: When Giant Mainframe Computers Were First Used to Create Art

Good Morning, Mr. Orwell: Nam June Paik’s Avant-Garde New Year’s Celebration with Laurie Anderson, John Cage, Peter Gabriel & More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Source: http://ift.tt/ge8G4T

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham

The deeper we get into the 21st century, the more energy and resources museums put into digitizing their offerings and making them available, free and worldwide, as virtual experiences on the internet. But what form would a virtual museum have taken before the internet as we know it today? Japanese telecommunications giant NTT (best known today in the form of the cellphone service provider NTT DoCoMo) developed one answer to that question in 1991: The Museum Inside the Telephone Network, an elaborate art exhibit accessible nowhere in the physical world but everywhere in Japan by telephone, fax, and even — in a highly limited, pre-World-Wide-Web fashion — computer modem.

"The works and messages from almost 100 artists, writers, and cultural figures were available through five channels," says Monoskop, where you can download The Museum Inside the Telephone Network‘s catalog (also available in high resolution). "The works in ‘Voice & sound channel’ such as talks and readings on the theme of communication could be listened to by telephone. The ‘Interactive channel’ offered participants to create musical tunes by pushing buttons on a telephone. Works of art, novels, comics and essays could be received at home through ‘Fax channel.’ The ‘Live channel’ offered artists’ live performances and telephone dialogues between invited intellectuals to be heard by telephone. Additionally, computer graphics works could be accessed by modem and downloaded to one’s personal computer screen for viewing."

"We need to recognize honestly that there were numerous problems with The Museum Inside the Telephone Network," writes curator and critic Asada Akira in the catalog’s introduction. "Neither the preparation time nor the means for carrying it out was sufficient. Thus there were not a few creative artists whose participation would have been a great asset to the project, but whom we were forced to do without." Yet its list of contributors, which still reads like a Who’s-Who of the avant-garde and otherwise adventurous creators of the day, includes architects like Isozaki Arata and Renzo Piano, musicians like Laurie Anderson and Sakamoto Ryuichi, directors like Kurosawa Kiyoshi and Derek Jarman, writers like William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard, composers like John Cage and Philip Glass, choreographers like William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, and visual artists like Yokoo Tadanori and Jeff Koons.

The Museum Inside the Telephone Network launched as the first venture of NTT’s InterCommunication Center (ICC), a "21st-century museum that will provide interface between science and technology and art and culture in the coming electronic age," as Asada described it in 1991. Having recently celebrated its 20th year open in Tokyo’s Opera City Tower, the ICC continues to put on a variety of non-virtual exhibitions very much in the spirit of the original, and involving some of the very same artists as well (as of this writing, they’re readying a music installation co-created by Sakamoto). But offline or on, any union of art and technology is only as interesting as the spirit motivating it, and the creators of such projects would do well to keep in mind the words of The Museum Inside the Telephone Network contributor Kondou Kouji: "I hope that people will think of this as the experience of accidentally drifting into a telephone network, wherein awaits a vast world of pleasure and fun."

via @monoskop

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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