For this assignment I defined a collaborative effort as an exhibit designed with input from the public or clear contributions from non-museum personnel. For my example of a museum exhibit which demonstrates a collaborative effort I selected the online exhibit “Alutiiq -An Alaska native Language” from the website of the Alutiiq Museum. I classify this exhibit as collaborative for two reasons. Firstly, the museum itself was founded by and is governed by a group of eight Kodiak Alutiiq organizations and has strong ties to these native communities. Secondarily the exhibit itself contains samples of several indigenous languages recorded from native speakers, who are credited for their contributions to the exhibit.
                This exhibit is made up of a combination of written segments, photographs, and audio clips, with some embedded reference links mixed in. The primary goal of the exhibit seems to be to introduce visitors to the subject of the Alutiiq language and direct the visitors to secondary websites for additional information. In this regard I think the exhibit is quite successful as I found it easy to navigate, and the resources offered to visitors to expand their knowledge are similarly easily located. Of particular note the inclusion of the audio files with common Alutiiq phrases made the language feel more like a part of our modern world and a living culture rather than a simple scientific curiosity or relic of the past.
                The second exhibit I looked at for this discussion was the Bus 142 Virtual exhibit from the University of Alaska: Museum of the North. While not complete the current state of this exhibit felt like there was less of a collaborative element in developing it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as many exhibits are difficult to develop collaboratively, particularly if there is not a clear community associated with the exhibit in question. With that in mind there is a small effort in place to collaborate with the public on the design of this exhibit in the form of a survey included on the webpage, however I felt like this was a fairly limited amount of collaboration as there is no clear dialog between interested groups being established, and public influence seems to be limited to providing feedback on existing development decisions.
                Overall this exhibit did seem fairly effective at providing information about the subject of the bus, though its unfinished state does make it difficult to evaluate. The exhibit at present includes a short written statement about the intent of the exhibit, the existing efforts being made to preserve the bus and updates to the app. The app include available for download on the webpage will include greater information about the bus’s history, virtual images of the bus itself, and commentary about the efforts involved in retrieving and preserving the bus for future generations.
                My question for this week is this: What is the type of exhibit that you think would be the most difficult to develop collaboratively, but which would benefit most from such collaborative development?


One Thought to “Museum Exhibits: Korovin Ellis”

  1. MoHagani Magnetek

    I really enjoyed this reading considering I’m curious to learn about the Alutiiq Museum and the Bus 142 project. I think just about any collaborative effort comes with the challenges of working with others. From my own personal experiences over the last few, creating an art exhibition is a daunting task. I would be amiss to point my fingers at others, however it takes not just collaborators doing their parts or participating in their roles, rather excelling in those positions to make an exhibit superb. It’s easy just to throw some stuff together and hang it on a wall. However, it becomes a test of patience and fortitude when creative visions do not align resulting in exhibitions that are disjointed and incoherent to a certain degree. I surmise history or cultural or natural science museum exhibitions are easier to compose collaboratively, however people must come together to make those happen successfully. In short, collaboration on any exhibit can be problematic.

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