For this week’s assignment, I chose two really interesting online exhibits. It was really hard to choose because I found so many really cool ones, so I’ll post those links at the end of this post if anyone is interested in seeing them. I really wanted to write about a natural history or biology related exhibit, but I ended up choosing two that were not that, but like I said, I’ll post the runners-up at the end.
For the collaborative effort, I found a really cool exhibition called Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul that was created by the Arab World Institute (AWI) in Paris, France. This was a collaboration with AWI and Iconem, UNESCO, and Ubisoft with support by the University of Lausanne and L’Oeuvre d’Orient. The exhibit featured six historic monuments from three cities across the Middle East and North Africa. The really cool part of this exhibit was that it was a virtual reality, 360° view YouTube video. I love these so much. There are some on YouTube that give great 360° views of the inner workings of the human cell. If you don’t have very much experience with these, you can zoom and “look around” by clicking and dragging your mouse or by using the arrows in the top left corner. I think they do take a pretty decent internet connection, the music seemed to glitch out sometimes for me. The Age Old Cities video was terrific. I also find that the more immersive an experience is, the more memorable and impactful it is to me (no surprise there). At first, I thought that for this assignment, I would be flipping through photos with little context, but I was really impressed with this one! I think the background music really took it to a different level and really created a very special experience.
The more non-collaborative exhibit I found is called Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall. This is an exhibit at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. I chose this exhibit because as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I believe it is so important to remember where we came from and who we have to thank for the rights we have today. This is a relatively small online exhibit that highlights people and objects associated with the Stonewall uprising events which were in response to police raids in queer spaces in Manhattan, June 1969. I thought this exhibit did a good job of engaging with the audience. I found the photos to be both interesting and informative. I especially liked the gripping language that was used for the different titles of the pages. One was “What do you do with your feelings? How do you survive?” One piece of criticism that I have is that I believe that there was insufficient mention about the transgender community and people of color, especially black trans women. There was a button with Marsha P. Johnson’s image on it, but not much other than that. My main issue with this is that the uprising has been largely whitewashed even in the queer community, so I we should be making even more effort to talk about these people when we talk about these events.
Q: Kind of in the vein of the VR video, in what ways do you think we could create more immersive online exhibits as we continue forward into the Information Age? I’ve always thought that something like smell-o-vision idea would be interesting (haha), or at least something that could appeal to another of our senses. With haptic touch technology increasing, maybe something that could appeal to our sense of touch…
Elephants and Us: Considering Extinction – About elephant conservation
Habitat – About the natural habitats and their protection (Visually stunning)
Online Exhibits – This one is the collection of so many different exhibits which is where I found all of mine.