13 June 2012

Projekt Senckenberg

As the world becomes ever more virtual, with seemingly any purchase, communication, or information available through the ether, leaving the house seems ever more a tiresome inconvenience. And noone can deny the importance of the web, to the point that lack of a presence there seems anywhere from charmingly anachronistic to downright dangerous. The Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt is one of the most respected natural history museums in the world, on par with New York’s Museum of Natural History. Their recent symposium “Exhibit Nature, Explain Science” was an examination of the role of traditional museums in the contemporary electronic world with presentations by a range of participants from other nature museums showing cutting-edge exhibits to technology vendors with new tools for dissemination. And me. Ironies abound in our world: everyone loves nature shows on television, but participates (albeit unwittingly) in the destruction of this realm we love. Perfect example: toilet paper. Who would think that paper companies denude old-growth forests to make this product that we flush away several times a day? The lesson? One of the simplest things the individual can do to save wildlife is buy TP made from recycled stock. This is the type of message that goes perfectly in a nature museum. The experience of presenting to such an audience was fantastic, with more to come, we hope. To speak to such a group, talk about one’s project, then get the live feedback, is something that the internet can never do; and thus the importance of live interaction. We are social animals. Nothing can replace the experience of the face-to-face meeting and exchange.

No comments: