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Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

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About the Museum

The Multimedia Art Museum has a distinctively young audience. Before the pandemic, 86% of all MAMM visitors were between 18 and 35 years old. After the lockdowns, the audience became even younger. Teenagers between 14 and 18 years old flocked to the exhibition halls on Ostozhenka Street, even though global statistics indicate that people in that age group do not go to museums at all.

Once within the walls of MAMM, the young people went about their usual business and began recording TikToks.

Many considered this behavior inappropriate. The director of the museum Olga Sviblova, on the other hand, saw this as a new way of interacting with the works of art, a primarily physical way. The museum studied social media videos and highlighted the locations where young visitors recorded them most often. Among them were Igor Samolet’s “I Woke Up Already Tired” project, Timofey Parshchikov’s “Sad.O.K.Super” series, and “ALARM” by Andrey Filippov, as well as the “Piercing Room” by Anya Zholud. Now the Multimedia Art Museum is trying to make use of this method of communication with art and inspire similar processes in the future.

Olga Sviblova

Founding Director

  • How ready was the museum to transition to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    When the pandemic hit, we were no less ready to go online than other museums. We are well-versed with video, so we immediately came up with several new formats on social media.

    But when we had to quickly increase the museum’s presence on Facebook and Instagram, we immediately faced a staff shortage. The necessary employees simply did not exist. Traditionally, we hire specialists in art history and cultural studies, but they lack the skills to communicate about a work, to understand the audience and expand it.

    © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

    Talking about an art object is a special talent, no less in demand than an artist’s creative ability. Many have learned to talk about social and environmental issues, but talking about works of art is much more difficult. In addition, social media uses very short messages. One needs to be concise and interesting, while still preserving the scholarly value.

    But we discovered a lot of mechanisms that were not so obvious before. For example, our team had assumed that a successful post on Instagram or Facebook would be visible to all subscribers for a long time. However, it turns out that as soon as the popularity reaches a certain plateau, the post stops getting into feeds and the algorithms require advertising funds to be spent on its display.

    © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

  • How have quarantines and lockdowns influenced the development of the museum's digital projects?

    During the pandemic, we again resorted to three-dimensional exhibition models. We spent a year analyzing the experiences of our colleagues in Russia and abroad, and we came to a disappointing conclusion: No one does 3D exhibitions well. There is a certain compromise option that I am not too excited about. I’m talking about Matterport, an American web platform. It emerged in 2014 as a small retail startup to showcase and sell apartments and hotels. Gradually, museums began to use it to create 3D tours. For lack of a better alternative, we also work with this platform, but it is very inconvenient for exhibitions. We analyzed the existing formats in Germany, America, and France, but the situation was the same there. Yet I hope that some clever Russian developer will design a platform that enables us to get a real spatial experience while “walking” around an online exhibition.

    © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

    In addition, the quarantine forced us to turn to online art. During this time, there was a breakthrough in digital art all over the world, including in Russia.

    I decided to celebrate the 25th anniversary of MAMM not by summing up the results, but instead with a different theme: The Most Interesting Lies Ahead. The anniversary biennial began in early December 2021 and is called Art for the Future. The entire space of the Multimedia Art Museum is occupied by Russian and foreign art associated with new technologies.

    At the same time, we will launch a digital platform, accumulating the best digital art works. Today, they are scattered across the web, and we are going to collect them in one place. This project will also be part of the biennial.

  • Will online projects replace offline museum spaces and eliminate them forever?

    This is completely impossible. Just as the advent of the cinema did not abolish the theater, the internet will not abolish the museum.

    Yes, we spend more and more of our time online. I myself regard my screen time with horror. I never used to spend as much time in front of the iPad and the smartphone as I have during the pandemic. But people keep going to museums, and that cannot change.

    Going to a museum is an experience. And culture is based on the experiences that we receive largely through physical contact and touch. When the first lockdown was eased, everyone ran to work. We really wanted to look at each other in reality, not on Zoom. It’s the same with art. Reproductions will never be able to convey what you experience when seeing an original masterpiece with your own eyes.

    © Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

  • The information provided by Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow in summer 2021.

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project team

Author

Chief-editor

Producer

Designer

Developer

Project Manager

Assistant Producer

Diana Terenteva

Kirill Golovkin

Ali Muratkali

Karina Golubenko

Nadezhda Savina

Victoria Davidyan

Rina Podolski

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