How do you like your art mixed?


A possible pairing of “remixed art” using the MIA’s new website.

Ever thought you’d like to be in charge of hanging your own exhibition? Or has a work of art ever inspired a connection for you with another work from a different time, a different country, a different genre?

Well, now here’s your chance to show the museum staff at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts just how good you are.

In conjunction with its “Art ReMix” project, the MIA is allowing you to take a work of art from its collection and pair it with anything else in the museum you like. They’re calling it “ReMix Yourself,” and each week are putting out a new work of art for people to experiment with. The first week featured Chuck Close’s self-portrait from 1969 (shown above paired with a 6th century clay sculpture, per the “remix” of one Liz Short). This week, the museum has added Dale Chihuly’s glass “Sunburst” which hangs in the main entrance of the building.

It’s a fun idea, which is I’m guessing in part designed to get people to spend more time looking at the collection, both at the museum and online. Personally I like the notion of “trumping” the curators.

But after spending some time with the site, my primary impressions were a) it’s cumbersome to navigate (including a lengthy sign-on section that demands, of all things, my postal code and birth date!) and b) it seems to be populated primarily with the pairings of staff members – i.e. people who already know the collection quite well and feel comfortable with the concept of playing curator (if they aren’t one already).

I think the “game,” if that’s what it’s to be called, needs better technology behind it to make it easier to peruse the MIA’s collection. Otherwise, many folks are going to feel lost swimming in the sea of 17,814 images (just a fraction of what art the MIA actually owns).

But if you have the time, and the inclination, give it a shot. You may find yourself empathizing with those museum curators and the challenges they face every day trying to put together an exhibition.

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