E-Labels: Making Magic on Gallery Walls

Lightning Talk
Susan Chun, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA

Electronic paper is a screen-based display technology that mimics ink on paper. Today’s electrophoretic displays—used in screen reading technologies such as the Kindle and Nook e-readers—feature screen resolutions largely indistinguishable from ink on paper.
Recent improvements to e-paper (or e-paper, or e-ink) technology and growth in the number of e-paper manufacturers have made it possible for museums to seriously consider the use of e-labels to augment or replace or augment traditional paper label programs. E-labels may offer museums the opportunity to provide visitors with a new kind of in-gallery interpretive experience, customized to their interests and needs. The same label-sized screen can deliver interpretive content in multiple languages, in large type for the vision impaired, and in language suitable for youth and adult audiences. E-labels can deliver context-aware content that references a user’s visit path or favorite works automatically—as if by magic.
This lightning talk will report on a collaboration between participants from a dozen U.S. organizations to explore the potential uses of e-labels and on recent work undertaken at the Museum of Contemporary Art to develop e-label content for a forthcoming exhibition.

Bibliography:
Electronic paper is a screen-based display technology that mimics ink on paper. Today’s electrophoretic displays—used in screen reading technologies such as the Kindle and Nook e-readers—feature screen resolutions largely indistinguishable from ink on paper. Recent improvements to e-paper (or e-paper, or e-ink) technology and growth in the number of e-paper manufacturers have made it possible for museums to seriously consider the use of e-labels to augment or replace or augment traditional paper label programs. E-labels may offer museums the opportunity to provide visitors with a new kind of in-gallery interpretive experience, customized to their interests and needs. The same label-sized screen can deliver interpretive content in multiple languages, in large type for the vision impaired, and in language suitable for youth and adult audiences. E-labels can deliver context-aware content that references a user’s visit path or favorite works automatically—as if by magic. This lightning talk will report on a collaboration between participants from a dozen U.S. organizations to explore the potential uses of e-labels and on recent work undertaken at the Museum of Contemporary Art to develop e-label content for a forthcoming exhibition.