A Photo Exhibit Without Photographs?

As a photographer, I take and see a lot of photographs. As a photographer who does a fair amount of work for an art museum, I see a lot of art. So, I don't really know how to feel about this new concept I just found out about (via a user-submitted story idea! Go ahead and submit things!) that involves using a mobile device to view a photography exhibit... that has no photographs hanging in it!

Filmmaker Anders Lönnfeldt has created a video with and about a project by photographer Lukas Renlund that is trying to redefine the gallery-viewer’s experience. Renlund, a Copenhagen-based visual artist, wanted to figure out a new way to show his animated visual stories — his "motion photographs" — in a physical space.

Using an app his team created, called “MoPho,” users can basically “scan” a beacon in a gallery — or wherever — and have the art come up on their device. I’m not sure how many people would be interested in going to a gallery where there were only white beacons on the wall where the photographs should be, and where they have to be on their phones the whole time to view the work, but I do see how it could be a very useful idea. It’s a different type of experience, and I guess it will just take time to see if the idea catches on or morphs into another area of art, or something else entirely, before it catches on.

Would you be interested in interacting with art in this way? Would you rather just see the motion photography Renlund creates on a large TV-screen that’s already hanging in the gallery? Do you like the idea of having to have a smartphone to view art in person? 

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David Storer's picture

Your unstated but implied gut reaction is dead on. It's worthless.

Peter Brody's picture

Sounds fine for adding to what is already at an exhibit, but silly if that in itself is the exhibit. Might as well stay at home then.

Anonymous's picture

Seems like a natural progression in a world where people increasingly experience everything through their phones and other devices. I'm not at all surprised.

Joe Walmsley's picture

If this is where art is going I want no part of it! In fact I'm going to be different and start shooting film again yeah!