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Art and Artifice in Southern California

New technology showcases history in America at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.


Computer-based videos to be tried out shortly at California's J. Paul Getty Museum could revolutionise the way in which gallery and museum information is presented to the public. The interactive video presentations will incorporate a 'touch-and-tell' mechanism; 'multiple-choice' information options appear on the screen and by progressively touching these, visitors can learn as little or as much as they wish about a particular exhibit or gallery. 'We hope we may have found a technology that gives a very broad range of art information to all different types of audiences', says Bret Waller, the Getty's Assistant Director for Education.

'Previously the dilemma facing museums producing information for visitors has been whether it might either be too specialist or too simplistic. How can we cater for the research scholar and the general public, both of whom visit the collections here? With step-by-step video we theoretically have unlimited options as to how much detail and sophistication we can offer the enquirer'.

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