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)


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.


"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."


"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."


"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."


"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."


"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."


"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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