Fresh ideas from museums around the globe in your inbox each week
Jeff Steward is Director of Digital Infrastructure and Emerging Technology, Harvard Art Museums. He directs the museums on the use of a wide range of digital technology.
He oversees the collections database, API, and photography studio. For the opening of the new Harvard Art Museums in November 2014, he helped launch the Lightbox Gallery, a public research and development space. Steward has worked at museums with museum data since 1999.
He builds Twitter bots to spread joy and spark conversations; game engines to explore new modes of storytelling; and online databases to gain a better understanding of how to contend with the relative uncertainty and instability of digital platforms.
Playing the Museum
I want to demonstrate how museum data and APIs can be used to remix and reimagine art collections and museums. I will do this by illustrating a few rudimentary web based games built from the Harvard Art Museums.
Art museums and art collections are highly subjective. Visitors, physical and digital, can and should interpret art museums on their own terms through means that are relatable and engaging. Building or playing games with a collection is one of these means.