This fall celebrates the exhibition opening of Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries at the Jewish museum in New York. On display are thousands of pages from Oxford's Bodleian Libraries, posing a curatorial challenge as material access is weighed against space and experience.
Morpholio has created a custom version of their fast growing portfolio app that is capable of displaying the ancient manuscripts in a beautiful, secure, yet highly accessible way. Called Morpholio Exhibit, it is the first truly customizable, exhibition specific solution for tablet display. Morpholio has crafted a suite of software that offers smarter means of presentation, collaboration and critique of visual material. The applications' unique ability to track and record user interaction also provides new resources for design and curatorial teams, truly advancing the role of technology in the art and exhibition world.
The Crossing Borders exhibition uniquely contained a colossal amount of precious and historical material. Ultimately the museum needed a "way to experience a thousand-year-old book" said exhibition designer, Eric Liftin of MESH Architectures. As no software existed that could handle the multitude of specific needs for the exhibition, Liftin's design team reached out to Morpholio to discuss a modified version of the Morpholio application. Due to the challenges faced with visitor involvement, spatial limitations, and experiential necessities the exhibition design team decided to promote strategically placed white iPads as a continuous part of the experience. "One of the most beautiful objects here - the show's centerpiece - is the 922-page Kennicott Bible ... examined at the exhibition on a sequence of mounted iPads," stated Ed Rothstein of the New York Times.
"The custom modified Morpholio app created was an extension of space," explained Toru Hasegawa, Morpholio co-creator. The result represents a new process for museums to employ in future exhibitions and a new way to consider the role of the audience. "App and device culture have already begun to permeate the museum experience and will, in all ways, be a part of their future," added Jeffrey Kenoff, Morpholio co-creator.
For Morpholio, what makes this additionally intriguing is that, as the visitor is experiencing the exhibition, the app has the unique ability to track and record their interaction. This data has the potential to inform the curatorial team as well as the exhibit thereby making the installation itself a utility for the museum. "The iPad applications enrich our exhibition exponentially," commented Rebecca Pristoop, former assistant curator at the Jewish Museum. "And offer our visitors an amazing entryway into the visual depths of these precious treasures."
Morpholio is now speaking with various museums and galleries to create custom museum grade versions of Morpholio Exhibit. These applications will have a compelling infrastructure for developing and deploying digital exhibitions or adding digital components to exhibitions, retail environments, and trade shows. Features will include a customizable interface, web-based file organization and deployment to devices, and security options. Utilizing the cloud-based technologies that power the Morpholio and Morpholio Trace apps, Morpholio Exhibit users will also be able to deliver extremely high-resolution content to any number of devices and customize each display, and even synchronize behavior across multiple devices. For Crossing Borders, "the overall impact is powerful" says the New York Times. Visit the Jewish museum before February 3, 2013 to swipe through the manuscripts.
Photos: Courtesy of Morpholio