MoMA director Glenn Lowry was in Australia recently to deliver the keynote address for the conference Museums of the 21st Century at the Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne and to deliver the Ann Lewis Contemporary Visual Arts International Address at the Museum of Contemporary art in Sydney. One of his interests is the way institutions are transcending physical space by developing new creative online collaborations and how technology is radically changing the art museum business. He says: “Technology is now so essential, it's threaded into almost everything we do – from the most mundane wiring of the institution to the incredibly complicated ways in which artists are able to create images and how we present that on line.”
He's also moved on from the school of thought that says the museum experience must remain the one-on-one experience of a collection presented in real space. As content increasingly moves into cyberspace the audiences that grow around that content are as valid for him as those that walk through the doors of MoMA. “The way we process information and how we consume content are changing, especially for the younger generations,” he says. The bottom line for him is art museums must keep up or lose the race: “The contemporary world is changing so quickly that if you're not with it, it's gone and you're obselete.”
You can sample some of MoMA's online programmes here.
Image: Glenn Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, NY