Jon Stam, Maja Kolar, Thomas Hügin, Valentin Vogelmann, Boris Smeenk
SEARCHER explores the networked potential of digital collections as new forms of co-curation within museum spaces. This prototype consists of hybrid e-paper image atlases that allow associative and regenerative searching of museum collections and the saving of new object constellations as narrative readings. The work is inspired by the image atlases of art historian Aby Warburg (1920), which mapped out visual themes across time through association. Using machine learning SEARCHER remediates the image atlas as dynamic ‘thinking spaces,’ where searchings and findings become a spatial, situated, and social act performed by museum professionals and visitors alike. The research challenges the finite boundaries of collections and embraces serendipity—finding something you were not initially looking for.
This prototype is the first practice-led output of the Ph D. in the Arts project Rituals of Access - Designing Interfaces for Agency in Museum Spaces.