Former LACMA social media manager Maritza Yoes and I produced and participated on a panel at South by Southwest’s Interactive conference in March 2015. Inspired by what we saw as the oft silo-ed relationship between art and technology in the space of the museum and the fast-evolving world of personal technology, we wanted to talk about the potential of what an experience of art (in a museum) might become and ways to address the seemingly exponential growth and capabilities of digital interaction.

Questions Considered

  1. How does an art museum redefine its role as a jump off for experience: a creative catalyst that ensures engagement, lasting creativity, and contributions to society?
  2. How do we open ourselves up to accessibility and space for the user while still ensuring our mission is clear?
  3. There’s an authenticity gap between our hopes for engagement and how we facilitate that experience. Technology can enable us to meet the difference, but which technologies, and why?
  4. How do we meet the user in the now of their experience and enrich that exact moment and beyond?
  5. What are the potential implications for the future of incorporating technologies like ibeacon and others to influence the next generation of art museum experiences?

Lori Kozlowski, Atom Factory’s editorial director, moderated the panel; and Todd Lefelt, managing director of user experience at HUGE Los Angeles, joined Maritza and me on the panel in Austin.

The conversation around “Art and Technology” has been around for decades, pulling ideas from two disciplines in hopes of generating some new type of experience. Technology continues to evolve, transforming daily life and the ways we engage with each other. Has the concept of Art+Tech kept up? Technology is, and has always been, about creating a great experience – ease, efficiency, and magnification. What does this mean for the Art world, and more specifically an Art Museum? If we look at the Art Museum as a catalyst for creativity, rather than a frame for art, we’ve got something to work with. We can make experience the focus instead of an afterthought in a post-digital world where interaction and engagement with technology and the museum only matter when they are working in tandem. In this presentation, we will discuss how Art+Tech is changing, how museums are harnessing technology to create a better experience, and future opportunities for integrating tech, creativity, and art. 

internet, lacma, research