2021 may have been another rollercoaster of emotions but it did bring along the beginnings of some important conversations and partnerships within the culture world. So what do we expect to see trending in 2022?
“Beyond Van Gogh” ruled the art scene in 2021, especially within the US where multiple versions of the phenomenon popped up in cities across the country. In the exhibit, Van Gogh’s most popular pieces were augmented to incorporate movement and projected 360 degrees into a space. In the post vaccinations and pre-Omicron days of mid 2021, it was Beyond Van Gogh that really moved people to engage with culture again as it was easy to socially distance.
A few other experience art exhibits such as Meow Wolf and Superblue’s show of design-art group DRIFT at the SHED, continued the trend and kept people talking. We expect to see more of these kinds of immersive art experiences giving new life to the art world in 2022.
NFTs x Museums
Last year Big Tech finally took an interest in the art world through the explosion of NFTs. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a unit of technology that allows a piece of digital content – whether it be a piece of digital art or a song – to be logged and authenticated within the block chain. Some NFTs garnered huge price tags at auctions, most notable the $69 Million sale of beeple’s Everdays in March of 2021 at Christie’s. Christie’s and Soethby’s have continued to lead the charge in popularizing NFTs and we’re increasingly seeing traditional artists move into the crypto-art scene.
The big question is how can NFTs be applied to the museum and culture institution space? We have seen some sports club utilize NFTs as memberships with exclusive in person experiences and find that an interesting route for institutions to engage with the technology.
Personalized Museum Experiences
An increasing number of museums and cultural institutions around the world are using mobile first guides to drive a personalized visitor experience. Because visits are often quite short and a visitor may only visit once, the process to personalization must be quick and efficient.
We recently acquired Fluxguide, who can create such personalized apps for museums and cultural institutions integrating augmented reality, interactive games, geolocation-based content, and much more.
Personalization is a big ticket theme across many industries, especially when it comes to marketing and experiences, and will be key in success in 2022.
The movement for social justice has not slowed since 2020 – rightly so. We have seen more and more cultural institutions engaging in the topic of colonization when it comes to their collections and the most respectful course of action.
Some institutions will be auditing their collections as a whole in an attempt to redevelop them. Other museums are working with local indigenous communities to determine the most respectful treatment of objects. Then there are museums and institutions presenting more intriguing options. In McGowan’s MuseumNext talk, he explained how in 2017, the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum transformed into Sámi Dáiddamusea within two months. He called this makeover a “museum performance” that included “amongst other things, the display of another collection of art entirely and the use of Sámi language for both exhibition texts and general signage.” The museum worked closely with the Sámi community throughout the process not only to gain trust, but to execute the project respectfully.
This kind of collaboration is one that we may see happen more often in 2022 and beyond depending on each cultural institution and the zeitgeist of the decolonization topic.
2022 will see MuseumPlus integrate with MuseumStars, a guide system from our partner company Fluxguide. What does this mean? The opportunity to take advantage of personalized visitor experiences will be at the fingertips of our customers. We’re already planning further exciting collaborations to enhance both back and front-end experiences at cultural institutions and museums.
MuseumPlus will also see innovations and optimizations in 2022 coming as updates, add-ons, and upgrades. An extensive set of new admin tools will also become available to users including but not limited to: import module, extended archive management, data evaluation via dashboards and statistics, enhancements to exhibition planning, a standard barcode integration with automated transport management, further integrations of authority data and vocabularies and much more.
Our goal for 2022 is to provide a comprehensive collections management system that is modern, flexible, and standardized.
In addition to these wonderful enhancements to our product line, we look forward to expanding into new markets and further developing recently entered markets. The world is our oyster!