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Digital Media

The Digital Media Department leads the creation, production, presentation, and dissemination of multimedia content to support the viewing and understanding of the Met's collections and exhibitions, both within the galleries and online.

Digital Underground

MediaLab Intern Spotlight: Exploring Algorithms in Islamic Art through Augmented Reality

Betty Quinn, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media; and Sarah Wever, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Department of Islamic Art's fifteen galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia are some of the most visually striking in the entire Museum. Located on the second floor of the North Wing, visitors are greeted by elaborate patterns carved and painted on many objects—from ceramic bowls to tapestries and arches. Tiles tessellate in repeating patterns across the walls, and in one room the ceiling is covered with intricately carved geometric patterns. With a collection of over twelve thousand objects, these galleries illustrate the fascinating diversity of the culture of Islam.

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Digital Underground

The Jade Room and Other Forgotten Museum Spaces

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Museum's main building at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street has practically been under construction since it was first completed in 1880. Growing and changing to accommodate the ever-expanding collection and visitor base, the building has been shaped by each director's initiatives, all with an eye toward accommodating future needs and demands. Wings have been added, galleries have been reconfigured, spaces have been renovated and changed time and time again, and some are wholly unrecognizable from their earliest days. In order to accommodate the collection, the Museum strives to create the perfect atmosphere for its artworks; curators strive to convey time and place, history and subtext—maintaining a great sensitivity to the past, but remaining firmly steeped in the present.

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Digital Underground

Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop: Accessible Wayfinding

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media; and Rebecca McGinnis, Senior Museum Educator, Access and Community Programs

Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014

Digital Underground continues its Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Workshop series by taking a look at a project that tackled the thorny problem of accessible wayfinding in a large, overwhelming museum such as the Met. Not only did the participants in this group develop a paper prototype outlining a user interface for wayfinding, they also did the practical work of walking through the Museum's first floor and identifying multiple points of accessibility metadata (stairs, lighting, acoustics, flooring, etc.) for every room. This effort led directly to a follow-up project during the following semester by MediaLab Intern Yuliya Parchina-Kottas, which you can read more about in her Digital Underground post. We caught up with this workshop team to discuss the inspiration for their project, and how the workshop helped them to better understand the museum experience.

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Now at the Met

Our New 82nd & Fifth iPad App—in Twelve Languages

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Met's 82nd & Fifth web feature redefined the online museum experience: in two-minute episodes, one hundred Met curators talked about the work of art that changed the way they see the world—one curator, one work, two minutes at a time. That content is now available on an iPad app in twelve languages. You can download, favorite, and share episodes, and create your own collections.

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Digital Underground

Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop: Eye on Art

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media; and Rebecca McGinnis, Senior Museum Educator, Access and Community Programs

Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

During the Fall 2013 semester, the Met and Parsons The New School for Design forged a new partnership, Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop, to explore possibilities for using technology to improve the museum experience for visitors with disabilities. Our first featured project from that workshop, Eye on Art, focused on developing an eye-tracking system that would enhance the experiences of nonverbal and mobility-challenged art lovers. We recently sat down with the student participants to discuss their inspiration for this project, and the challenges they encountered in the process.

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Digital Underground

MediaLab Intern Spotlight: Decho Pitukcharoen's 3D Printing Booklet for Beginners

Decho Pitukcharoen, Former MediaLab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

As part of my work as a MediaLab intern, I created an educational booklet about fundamental 3D-printing processes, 3D Printing Booklet for Beginners, which will help the Met's staff and visitors to better understand how to create and print 3D models with 123D Catch and other open-source software. The booklet was designed to build on the MediaLab's practice of helping audiences use 3D models of objects in the Met's collection for their own creative purposes. There are three main chapters in my booklet—Scanning, Modeling, and Printing—as well as some examples of how to create a new art project inspired by reproduction art, an idea I got from John Berger's Ways of Seeing.

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Digital Underground

Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media; and Rebecca McGinnis, Senior Museum Educator, Access and Community Programs

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014

What expectations do people with disabilities have when they visit museums? How are museums adapting new technologies to better serve our visitors, whatever their abilities and interests? How can the Met take a leadership role in introducing standards for inclusivity to the next generation of museum technologists? These are some of the questions we asked ourselves when embarking on the Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop.

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Digital Underground

MediaLab Intern Spotlight: Yuliya Parshina-Kottas's Accessible Wayfinding

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media; and Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, Former Media Lab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yuliya Parshina-Kottas is a recent graduate of the ITP program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. After a decade of working as an animator and designer for children's television, advertising, and multimedia museum exhibits, she is venturing bravely into the world of user experience, interaction design, and creative coding. I am thrilled to have Yuliya introduce her recent MediaLab project, Accessible Wayfinding, here on Digital Underground.

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Now at the Met

One Met. Many Worlds. and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide

Rachel High, Editorial Assistant, Editorial Department

Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The online feature One Met. Many Worlds. launched on June 9, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide recently became available as an e-book on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes; the print version will soon be released in Arabic, German, Korean, and Russian. These two projects present different perspectives on the highlights of the Museum's collection: One Met. Many Worlds. is driven by universal concepts that encourage the viewer to explore artworks in a new ways, while the Guide provides an essential art history background in a more traditional format. I recently spoke with Amy Liebster, associate coordinator for online publications, about both the web feature and the various versions of the print guide.

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Digital Underground

Digital Art Copyism: Making Your Own Super Mario Clouds

Jonathan Dahan, Former Media Technology Developer, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014

In my last Digital Underground post, I discussed artist Cory Arcangel's Super Mario Clouds (2002), a digital artwork that stripped the original Super Mario Bros. video game of everything but the background and clouds. If your interest in digital-art copyism was piqued by that, then you should also know that there are many routes one can take to achieve this end result. Cory has already shared his process, and in this post I will outline my experience translating his image-based instructions. If all goes well, you will end up with your very own bespoke copy of Super Mario Clouds.

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Digital Underground

Table d'hote and à la carte: The Museum's Restaurants

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital Media

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014

The Museum's first Bulletin, published in November 1905, mentions a restaurant "located in the basement of the North side of the Main building. Meals are served à la carte, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and table d'hote from 12 a.m.–6.pm." (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 1, Nov. 1905). The Museum Restaurant was located near the western end of what was then known as the Hall of Casts, accessible via a staircase leading to the basement (approximately where the current Public Cafeteria is now). By 1912 an entire renovation was planned for the restaurant, as "[it] has never been an attractive place to visitors, partly because of its location . . . but equally because of its dark, cheerless aspect, [and was] so far removed from the toilet rooms . . . [that it was] a serious drawback." (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 10, Oct. 1912). Accordingly, these planned renovations highlighted "a rest-room for women, with a toilet-room attached, [including] wash-basins with hot and cold water, while a smoking room will be provided for men, also with lavatories" (ibid.).

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Now at the Met

Celebrating the World Cup through the Met's Collection

Christopher Gorman, Assistant for Administration, Audience Development

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014

Today marks the opening day of the World Cup, the monthlong tournament in which teams from thirty-two nations will compete for the title of best soccer team in the world. Since the Metropolitan's collection includes works of art from all thirty-two nations participating in the games, we thought this would be a perfect occasion to celebrate the global nature of our holdings.

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Now at the Met

A New Web Feature: One Met. Many Worlds.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The art at the Met reaches across the globe, so we wanted to start providing our collection information in some of the many languages represented by these cultures. Our new web feature One Met. Many Worlds. brings you more than five hundred collection highlights in eleven languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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Digital Underground

The Met's Updated Image Use Policy

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer

Posted: Friday, June 6, 2014

One of the many lessons I've learned in my first 10 months on the job at the Met is how much attention is paid to everything we do here. Having worked at Columbia Journalism School for two decades, I am familiar with the amount of interest journalists take in the activities of a major institution (especially when most alumni are journalists themselves).

Because of the Met's reputation, scale, and history, our activities get a lot of scrutiny. I wrote recently about the social media traction that we got thanks to the annual #MetGala, and the Webby Award for our Instagram account.

But nothing quite prepared me for the amount of press, blogger, and social media attention we've gotten for our recently updated image use policy.

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Digital Underground

Creative Technologist Spotlight: Ancient Play at Children's Museum of the Arts

Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab, Digital Media; and Ana Marva Fernández, Digital Artist and Educator

Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ana Marva Fernández is a Brooklyn-based Mexican-American artist whose installations include found objects, photographs, and rapid-prototype works which explore the implications of art in society as we move towards the future. Her work tends to reference the tensions found in Mexico's political landscape, intertwined with a playful use of mystical characters. A guest artist at the Met's 3D Hackathon in 2012, Ana has produced a variety of works using the Met's collection as a starting point for her vision.

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Digital Underground

Notes from Internet Week

Eileen Willis, Web Group General Manager

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Internet Week New York, an annual gathering of speakers and events related to technology, business, and culture. Unlike other conferences I've attended, which are more focused on the museum sector, Internet Week provides a glimpse into the world of for-profit digital media projects and advertising issues, which I found incredibly relevant to the work being done in the nonprofit world as well.

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Digital Underground

Creative Technologist Spotlight: MetMirror

Ben Kauffman, Former Media Lab Intern, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014

I began my internship in the Digital Media Department's Media Lab in the summer of 2013, after my first year as a master's candidate in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. With a background in music and multimedia performance, my first year at ITP was frankly mind-blowing: I learned a whole host of new technologies that opened up entirely new ways of approaching narrative, visual imagery, and audience participation, and my work in the Media Lab was propelled by this new outlook.

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Digital Underground

A Busy Week for @metmuseum

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer

Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014

It's been a memorable couple of Mondays for the Met's social media efforts.

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Digital Underground

Met's Social Media Nominated for a Webby Award

Taylor Newby, Online Community Manager, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm thrilled to announce that the Met's Instagram account has been nominated for a Webby Award in the Social: Arts & Culture category! The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), honor excellence on the Internet. As a nominee, our Instagram account has been selected as one of the five best in the world in its category. The IADAS selects its Webby Winner in each category, but every nominee also contends for a "People's Voice" Award as selected by the voting public. You can cast your vote for our Instagram account through April 24.

In addition to the nomination, the Met is included as an honoree in several categories: our website is listed in the Web: Cultural Institutions category; our Twitter feed is listed in the Social: Arts & Culture category; and our Instagram account is listed in the Social: Best Photography & Graphics category. Finally, our web series 82nd & Fifth is listed in the Web: Art category.

Digital Underground

The Museum, ca. 1913: Celebrating J. Pierpont Morgan's Legacy

Stephanie Post, Senior Digital Asset Specialist, Digital Media

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014

The cover of the Museum's April 1913 Bulletin was devoted exclusively to J. Pierpont Morgan's contributions to the Museum during his lifetime. It read: "J. Pierpont Morgan / Great Citizen of Great Heart, Great Mind, Great Will / Knowing that art is necessary to upholding the ideals of a nation he gave to this Museum generously of his possessions and more generously of himself."

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