Tate Modern Multimedia Tours

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					              Tate Modern PDA tours

Gillian Wilson
Tate Modern, UK        Mobile Learning Conference, ELG, 6 March 2008
         Interpretation at Tate Modern

•   Interpretation is at the heart of Tate’s mission
•   Works of art have no self-evident meanings
•   Tate has an obligation to provide information
    about its collections and displays
•   Interpretation should be offered in a variety of
    forms to suit different learning styles
•   Interpretation should be layered
•   Interpretation should offer a range of
    viewpoints about an artwork
•   Interpretation should promote dialogue
    between visitors
                        Audio guides

•   Collections tour
•   Highlights tour
•   Children’s tour
•   Architecture tour
•   Tour for visually
    impaired people

• Audio points

Produced in association with
                        Mobile phone tours
Pilot project for David Smith exhibition,   Interesting findings
autumn 2006
• Low projected visitor figures             • Significant amount of people
• Costs are less – audio cheaper, no        uncomfortable about using
distribution desk required                  mobile phones in the gallery
• Very short segments of content – little
anecdotes about the work                    • UK audience particularly
                                            worried about cost of calls

                                            • Younger people more attracted
                                            to using mobile phone tours
                                            than audio guides

                                            • Those who are after a learning
                                            experience perceive that an
                                            audio guide will suit their needs

                                            • People seem to be after a
                                            choice of devices to use
Multimedia tours
             Multimedia tour programme
                               •   Pilot 1 – 2002
                               •   Pilot 2 – 2003/04
                               •   Pilot 3 – 2005
                               •   Launch of Multimedia Tour for the
                                   Collections Displays – June 2006
                                   – Adults tour
                                   – Family tour
                                   – Highlights tour (also in 4 foreign
                               • Schools tour pilot – Jan – April 2008
                               • BSL tour – launched in December

                               • Also have produced tours for large-
                                 scale temporary exhibitions (Frida
                                 Kahlo, Rousseau, Kandinsky, Gilbert
Produced in association with     and George, Dali and Film)
Antenna Audio

Youth programme podcast
Material science podcast
Modern paints podcast
Video podcast – Tate Shots
        Multimedia tour – content and design
Some design tips
•    Design of PDA interface should reflect standard website or digital design
•    Visitors want to be in control of the PDA so don’t make anything happen
     automatically; allow them to stop and start commentaries
•    Choices made need to be accompanied by visual or audio feedback
•    Visitors’ experience of using the PDA needs to merge successfully with their
     experience in the gallery. For eg device tells visitor to look from the screen to the
     artwork; they need to be able to find the artworks easily
•    A choice of small chunks of information is better than lengthy commentaries
Popular content
•    Video clips of artists at work
•    Audio contributions by artists and other commentators
•    Audio commentary accompanied by still images
•    Interactive interfaces (‘Touch and listen’)
•    Interactive games
Less popular content
•    Text
                             BSL tour

Tour in British Sign Language, for deaf and
hard of hearing people

                                              • BSL film clips are
                                              shown on the PDA
                                              • Deaf people
                                              have independent
                                              access to BSL
                                              interpretation, on
Schools tour

       • Additional layer of
       interactive content for 20
       • New tools for students to
       make their own content
               - drawing
               - text
               - audio
       • Follow up back at school
       on students’ own personal
       • Results in creation of
       multimedia presentations
     Why use mobile interpretation tools?
 • Gives rich contextual info            • Doesn’t clutter up the gallery spa

         • Dispenses with crowding around gallery information captions

  • Provides interpretation where the visitor needs it – in front of the ar

      • Can give a range of point of views      • A non linear experience

• An interactive experience for visitors
                                        • Supports different styles of learnin

 • Personalisation of content

                                • User-generated content?

 • Content to be accessible on visitors’ own personal