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Digital Underground

Tour the Met on Your Smartphone

Dante Clemons, Interactive Media Producer

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015

In a previous post, we introduced a beta release of the Audio Guide web app, giving users access to over sixty hours of Audio Guide content in ten languages. Since then, we've considered how to broaden the opportunity for users to engage with the Audio Guide further. Naturally, the next step was to add the ability to access tours and to do so in the user's preferred language.

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Digital Underground

Picturing Met Museum through Visitors' Eyes

Helen D. Wall, Former MediaLab Volunteer

Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Met's Collection Online lets viewers browse through thousands of high-quality images of the Museum's vast holdings. Another rich depository of artwork images is the Museum's group pool on Flickr (a popular site for sharing photographic albums, with a free terabyte of online storage), where visitors post their own photos taken while touring the galleries. In this study, I took a closer look at what visitors were photographing and how they shared their photos online.

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Digital Underground

Beacons: Exploring Location-Based Technology in Museums

Veronika Doljenkova, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media; and Grace Tung, Digital Media Associate, Creative Development, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015

As mobile technology is developing, the boundary between the physical and the digital user experience is rapidly disappearing. Visitors who enter enclosed public spaces such as galleries, malls, airports, and museums are expecting to receive a mobile experience that is highly relevant, convenient, and delivered in a timely and seamless manner.

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Digital Underground

"Caravans of Art": The Neighborhood Circulating Exhibition Series, 1933–42

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beginning in 1933, in the shadow of the Great Depression, the Museum began an initiative known as "Neighborhood Circulating Exhibitions." This experiment was a collection of traveling exhibitions, composed exclusively of Museum-owned objects, to be exhibited in the neighborhoods of "certain groups in the city's population that have not thus far had the adequate opportunity to take advantage of the Museum's services" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 11, Part 1, Nov. 1933, 183). The works were to be exhibited, at the expense of the Museum, in neighborhood spaces such as settlement houses, branches of the New York Public Library, municipal offices, and schools.

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Digital Underground

Art, Robots, and Chocolate at the Fall 2014 Media Lab Expo

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of MediaLab, Digital Media

Posted: Friday, March 6, 2015

Each semester Media Lab works with a group of college and graduate interns, exploring the ways that technology impacts, and is impacted by, the Museum experience. Media Lab interns are encouraged to think outside of the box, to engage deeply with the Museum's staff, collection, and visitors, and come up with novel prototypes that encourage conversation and spur new thinking about the relationship between contemporary digital practice and centuries of artistic tradition. At the conclusion of the internship, participants present their projects to the public at the Media Lab Expo. Visitors can try out hands-on demos and talk to the creators themselves about their work and ideas.

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Digital Underground

Metaverses—Merging Time, Space, and Content through Augmented Reality

Justine Williams, Former Media Lab Volunteer, Digital Media; Jason Schuler, Former Media Lab Volunteer, Digital Media; Patrícia Faolli, Former Media Lab Volunteer, Digital Media; and Vanessa Gilbert, Former Media Lab Volunteer, Digital Media

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We are four interdisciplinary artists pursuing Master of Fine Arts degrees at PIMA, Brooklyn College. From January through May 2014, we were in residence at the Met's Media Lab, working in collaboration with five artists over the age of sixty who live and work at the Westbeth Home to the Arts in New York City's West Village. Together we created "Metaverses"—an augmented-reality tour of some of the Museum's collection.

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Digital Underground

Artwork of the Day: What Would You Pick?

Eileen Willis, Web Group General Manager

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015

When I joined the Met as Website Editor in 2006, the Artwork of the Day feature—which appeared on our old website's "splash page"—was limited to a small set of preselected, curatorially approved works of art. I felt we had a great opportunity to change the process. Why be limited to a small number of works when the Museum's collection is so vast? And why not tie the picks to actual events, either current or historic? That first year, I even included special birthday picks for my friends and family. These days, I select works that relate more broadly to historic and current events, holidays, artists' birthdays, Museum milestones, and even the weather forecast.

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Digital Underground

Maintaining the Main Building: The Museum's Trade Workshops

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015

Hidden behind the galleries, unseen by visitors, lies a veritable city within the Museum's walls. In support of the Met's buildings and daily activities are highly skilled, highly dedicated tradesmen, and our many workshops see the tireless work of carpenters, engineers, lampers, painters, plexi-workers, plumbers, riggers, roofers, landscapers, electricians, machinists/millwrights, and locksmiths. The product of their work is knowable by the constant fine-tuning of our galleries and buildings, and by the comfort of visitors and employees who spend their days at the Museum. Their work has gone on without much fanfare, but without their expert efforts the Museum would struggle to subsist.

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Digital Underground

Media Lab Intern Spotlight: Rock Zou's Beyond the Screen

Rock Zou, Former Media Lab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015

During my Media Lab internship this summer, I explored a prototype project that uses two Kinect depth sensors to reconstruct a scene that can be viewed from different perspectives based on the viewer's position. What I then created (seen in the video above) is a 3D-video-converted GIF shot with two Kinect depth sensors pointing at the dancer, Veronika, from opposing sides. The 3D images from each sensor are then put together in post-production, resulting in this all-around 360-degree video.

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Digital Underground

New Features and Increased Accessibility: Introducing Met App V.1.1

Liz Filardi, Associate Mobile Producer, Digital Media

Posted: Monday, January 5, 2015

The newest version of the Met App, Version 1.1, was released earlier today, and includes dozens of design and usability refinements inspired by feedback from our users. Among a number of new enhancements being rolled out, I hope users will enjoy the new "Favorites" feature, which enables the creation of personal lists of exhibitions, artworks, and events happening across the Museum. I can't wait to see what makes it to the shortlists of our 134,000-plus users.

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About this Blog

The Digital Media Department leads the creation, production, presentation, and dissemination of multimedia content to support the viewing and understanding of the Met's collection and exhibitions, both within the galleries and online. This blog discusses a few of the activities of the department, and invites your questions and comments about the Museum's digital initiatives.


Above: Jim Campbell (American, born 1956). Motion and Rest #2 (detail), 2002. Light-emitting-diodes (LED) and custom electronics. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Henry Nias Foundation Inc. Gift, 2004 (2004.105). © Jim Campbell