Opportunities and Challenges with Reproductions
As I travel the country talking to museumers, one of the most frequently asked questions is "in the future, will people still value ‘real’ things?" People wonder, naturally enough, whether constant exposure to virtual worlds, digital depictions and ever more accurate replicas will erode the respect accorded to the collections we work so hard to amass and maintain. Why should people subsidize collections care and conservation if they are just as happy with a good copy? If, in the future, anyone can fabricate a good facsimile of any object, what happens to the competitive advantage museums hold in being able to mount only-see-it-here exhibitions? This week, Jasper Visser, who blogs at The Museum of the Future, shares his thoughts on the repro v. real based on his recent experience opening an exhibit at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam.