Monday, October 18, 2010

Social Objects

In our readings for this past week, Nina Simon focused a lot on social objects in an exhibit. She pointed out that sometimes, objects can actually do more than just look pretty in a case, they can actually facilitate conversation amongst visitors about it. One of these kinds of objects that came to my mind is the Hope Diamond. I know that I have not seen it in years, but distinctly remember going to the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History to see the Diamond. Other visitors that were looking at it seemed to all be having the same kinds of conversations about it. They commented on how beautiful it is, how large, how much money it has to be worth, how anyone could afford something like that... etc. I thought this was an interesting twist on exhibitions in museums. Sure, some interactives will give visitors something to talk about, but you almost never think about the way an object will cause visitors to interact amongst each other!

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