The Museum Machine Or: A Database Approach to the Representation of Space


Session Title:

  • Museums, Archiving, and Interactivity

Presentation Title:

  • The Museum Machine Or: A Database Approach to the Representation of Space




  • We generally think of space as a coherent and continuous extent and the representation of it is dominated by the linear perspective. Even though art movements like cubism or the infinite folding of the baroque, as characterized by Gilles Deleuze, have introduced different ways to conceive of space and its representation, the tools we use to conceive space are still mostly following the invention of perspective as it was devised by Brunelleschi and Alberti. Tied to this concept is the conclusion that the viewer as a single individual can only be in one point at a time as a precondition for the coherence of the space.

    In the project “Venture to the Interior” we are formulating a database approach to the representation of space. Devising a method that combines the rendition of computer generated 3-dimensional space with an array of different objects and media such as space-referenced photography, film, documents, taxidermies, and oral accounts we are creating a hybrid mixed-reality environment that integrates multiple points of view and allows to explore a layered structure of parallel spaces.

    The proposed paper describes our method and design considerations involved into the creation of the interactive installation “Venture to the Interior”, a real-time 3-d environment that investigates the nature of the museum as an apparatus of collecting and cumulative knowledge construction. With the example of the Natural History Museum in Berlin and its vast collections we are reflecting the nature of the museum as a space that exists outside of time and that entertains simultaneous relationships to a multitude of different places.

PDF Document: