Project Description

Our sponsor, the Worcester Art Museum (WAM), is largely involved with art from the past and exhibiting example of historical periods of art. However, in the near future they will be sponsoring a new exhibit, called Reusable Universes, that will feature artwork created by the contemporary artist, Shih Chieh Huang. This new exhibit will need corresponding interactive activities, provided by the WAM, to allow visitors to become more involved. Huang takes inspiration from early technology such as computer cooling fans, basic circuit boards, and even simpler objects; such as power strips, in order to create his sculptures. His views of these everyday objects differ from those of the public and our understanding of his creative process can only be developed so far through text. In order for viewers to truly grasp the thoughts and concepts that go into his work, Huang has set out to bring his artistic process to life and put on a show featuring himself creating one of his sculptures. He plans to highlight the meaning of each object through the location and orientation he chooses as the audience observes how he brings his art to life. Working alongside the WAM, Huang will be able to give the audience enough information and examples of his work to develop a true appreciation of his art style.

        The goal of this project is to provide the Worcester Art Museum with recommendations for interactive art activities to go along with the upcoming exhibit, Reusable Universes, that will engage visitors’ curiosity and creativity in this new form of art that involves using everyday technology and objects in different ways. In order to reach this goal, we propose to achieve the following objectives. First, we will identify useful and age appropriate interactive art activities that will entertain and engage different age groups. Second, we will identify methods to inspire curiosity in the visitors about Reusable Universes. Third, we will identify methods to stimulate creativity about the various ways everyday objects can be used.

        These objectives will be met through direct observation, participatory observation, interviews, and archival research. Direct observation through observing a museum’s activities associated with a particular exhibit will provide us with insight on how to get visitors engaged in any activities we propose. We will be able to use participatory observation by doing activities at the Art Carts in the WAM along with other museum visitors. This will give us more information on how the activities are run at the museum and how effective they are. We will gather information on the duration of an activity, the materials used for an activity, and the difficulty of each activity in order to apply it to our project. We will also obtain knowledge by conducting a series of interviews with experienced personnel. Interviewing the WAM staff will provide us with information on what aspects of interactive activities have been effective along with the characteristics that may have made them unsuccessful. An interview with Shih Chieh Huang will provide us with what he desires the interactive activities associated with his exhibit to incorporate. Lastly, interviews with art teachers will provide us with methods to get children involved and engaged in art related activities.

        In conclusion, our team will obtain information about past and current interactive activities in museums and apply this knowledge in order to provide the WAM with a set of interactive art activities. We set out to create them so they can be used in the museum and will be highly effective for engaging visitors in the upcoming exhibit, Reusable Universes, and what they can learn about art and the making of art.