Umma Graphics

(click for larger image)

The graphics for the UMMA table were developed in long consultation with the museum. We wanted to have available all the artworks on view in the museum’s collection, with a way to update when what was on view changed. We looked at a variety of ways to characterize each piece with, for example, ¬†student tags, as well as find ways to connect each piece to others in the collection.

The table is organized around eras and locations. Every artwork has a line that connects it to a location on the map and to the date around the perimeter. The perimeter acts like a calendar, with all artworks displayed as ‘grass’, from the earliest piece at the top, to the latest piece created. As you pass your hand over the grass each artwork’s icon pops up – so that you can select and view it.

When you select one of the round icons (Grab me!) the icon opens up larger with a variety of available options. One option is to show the location of the artwork in the museum. Other options are ‘tombstone’ information – general info about the artwork. If there is a movie associated with it, the icon to start that is shown too.

As two visitors each select a work of art that is available on the table, the tags that describe those works are used to discover relationships between them. Selecting any of the tags opens up a different form of discovery.

A visitor can also create a pool of their favorite artworks. As they insert works into the pool, a variety of tags describing the connections between the artworks appear. Each of these tags, when selected, make other artworks available for browsing. In this way, the pool can become thematic, rather than a collection of disparate objects, as the table hints at relationships in one’s collection. The pool is saved and available on the Internet for further study.

Layout of an artwork as a visitor uncovers more about that work. If a movie is present, that can be played. As it is playing, other works that share information with that movie appear alongside it.

Graphics: Johanna Kindvall