December 13, 2013


Two interesting sides to an issue I wrote about over a year ago in "A visit to the MOMA."

"How Instagram alters your Memory" by Emily Badger examines a person's ability to retain information -- comparing the use of photography vs. observation. Specifically addresses this issue in museums.
Despite the added time or attention required to angle the camera and adjust the lens so as to capture the best shot of the object in its entirety, the act of photographing the object appears to enable people to dismiss the object from memory, thereby relying on the external devise of the camera to “remember” for them.
I might agree with this study. Here I photographed a piece and embarrassingly retained nothing about it. BUT I WAS THERE.  Taking notes can be a form of "museum memory cheating," but I was so excited by the crack-like rush of excitement from my photographic cleverness that I never looked at the label.

 "To Instagram or Not to Instagram" by Jillian Steinhauer supports museum photography and addresses the Art Selfie.
...people are often taking pictures because they’re excited about art. They came because they wanted to see it with their own eyes. And they’re using their cameras and smartphones as a form of interaction — we live, after all, in the age of mechanical reproduction, not the age of aura. Did we lose something in the exchange? Probably. But that doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands completely. The way we understand and process art has changed — you can take it home with you, blow it up on your computer screen, remix it in Photoshop, Snapchat it to your friends — in part because the way we understand nearly all cultural production has changed.
Other reads:

The original study on Museum Photography in Psychological Science
"The Overexposed Museum" by Eric Gibson