E.W.: Audio guides
Edward Winkleman is musing on audio guides. My complaint: By merely offering audio guides a museum is looking at you with a condescending eye. You, dear vi$itor, aren't smart enough or well-informed enough to know what you're looking at. So you'd better listen to this so we can tell you all about it.
For me, one of the great joys of art is going to a museum, seeing the work of an artist of whom I've never heard or about whom I know little, and then going home and trying to find out more about that person. It's the joy of discovery times two.
via edward_ winkleman :
[...] an essay by Robert Storr recently convinced me that audio guides designed to supplement viewing an exhibition, regardless of how well produced, actually do the viewer more harm than good with regards to the experience available.
-- and Robert Storr:
the bane of exhibitions by unfairly competing for the attention of the viewer by piping words into their ears when they should be using their eyes. [...] Moreover, inasmuch as audio guides function by directing the listener to duly marked "key" works in a gallery, they cause crowds in front of these works, making it impossible to examine them in any careful or sustained way. Worse, they spur the crowd to skip everything in between. No compelling sequence of works can overcome this herding effect [...] [T]he audible whispering of such guides substitutes itself for conversation and arguments among viewers, and the taped voice of authority---whether art expert or mellifluous actor---drowns out the voice in the viewer's head that struggles to articulate its own ideas and feelings.