A Tactile Twitter at the V&A by The Decorators
by Harry / March 7, 2011


Visitors at the V&A Museum for their Archive Late Night event last month were surprised with a poster of their commentary on the way out.



(Click the images below for full sized images)


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In an attempt to take some kind of imprint of the night, project initiators The Decorators chose to document the usually private and intimate commentary that takes place during museum visits.


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"By implementing their own system of communication, what they ended up with was both a live archive and real time feed of what was being said in different rooms of the museum, with one visitor describing it as a tactile twitter."


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"The Decorators chose nine pieces from the V&A as representations of the diversity and scope of the museum's collection. Secret agents were stationed by each piece and instructed to listen in on what visitors said when in a 2-meter radius of a designated piece. The secret agents would text the comments to The Decorators' central hub where they were printed as large A1 posters."


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"Nine bespoke archive boxes were made, one for each of the selected pieces. On the night the open boxes were stacked together to form a wall for the display of the posters. The tops of the boxes were then used to build a table for a plotter to sit on. As the comments were printed they were hung for display in their respective box. Throughout the night, comments were accumulated and the ever-changing panels of posters could be read as a live feed of visitor commentary."


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"In front of The Sluggard, a 19th century sculpture by Fredrick Leighton, someone said 'And she put it in the V&A', and what seemed a rather innocent candlestick from the 18th century actually prompted a 'We need to kill the British!' comment."


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"At the end of the night the posters were given away to those whose comments had been recorded. Duplicates were stored in their respective archive box, to be forever kept as a memory of that fragment of the V&A's long and wonderful history. Only once the wall came down and the table was dismantled were the nine boxes closed and sealed."


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"The poster design by graphic designers, Gugliemo Rossi and Marcos Villalba added another layer to the documentation process. By implementing a system into their design the posters have produced a real timeline of the night."

+ the-decorators.net


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