Strike a Pose
of an Exhibit
by Devora Liss
Published on February 12, 2017
Museum: Cooper Hewitt
Visit Date: December, 2016
Plenty has been written about the cutting edge technology at the Cooper Hewitt – the pen (leave your mark and “collect” favorites) and the immersion room (experience the digitized collection of wall coverings).
I’d like to review a smaller piece of technology, which we encountered on the lowermost floor. A white square marked where to stand. I found myself in front of a large screen, which prompted me to strike a pose. As I moved my body around, the screen stuck poses along with me. When I had settled on one, the screen processed it and displayed a related object from the museum’s collection.
This was an interesting way to make more objects available, and experience them differently. Instead of being presented within a predetermined context, visitors could conjure up “random” objects (literally) by a wave of their hand.
We had fun playing, although we were mostly intrigued by the number of available poses and objects. We also found one particular pose that made the computer crash, which was candy for the engineer…
The pen was fine. We doodled some (although the designer in me was frustrated by its limitations and we haven’t retrieved whatever it was we saved), the immersive room was shiny and glitzy (although digital isn’t really a stand-in for the real, tactile thing). But this was pure fun. Whether you need to visit the restroom or not – it’s worth a quick visit to the bottom of the stairwell.