Thursday, August 19, 2010

Every Move You Make: Stalking Patrons at the Museum

I always used to laugh at people who ignored the lyrics to “Every Breath You Take” by The Police and thought it was a lovely love song. If it’s about love at all, it’s about obsessive love—creepy, obsessive love that watches you through the windows late at night as you sleep. Stalking, however meant, always seems wrong. That song popped into my head when I read Isaac Arnsdorf’s piece in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Museum Is Watching You: Galleries Quietly Study What People Like, or Skip, to Decide What Hangs Where.” In the never-ending effort to make museums more successful in reaching the public (and reaching the public’s wallet), museums are now taking marketing to the next level by literally standing behind viewers and recording their every move. Like the lover in the song’s lyrics, museums now watch “every move you make” in hopes of cracking the code of what you want to see and how you want to see. But is building the better museum this way really best for the art world and the public? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Every Move You Make."

1 comment:

José Carrilho (Go Detail) said...

Hi Bob,

And devices such as the iPad do help tracking visitors' preferences, thus permiting the system to suggest different paths according to previous choices made by the user.