I evaluated the A Million Blue Pages exhibit we worked on in class and I actually enjoyed the idea behind it. Overall, I really liked using a social networking website for our class part of the A Million Blue Pages exhibit. I believe that making exhibits digital is beneficial for all who participate. Having A Million Blue Pages online made it easier for others to participate in the project whether they were in our class or a different class. The reading by Olivia Frost talked about how having exhibits in a digital format makes it easier for a broader audience to see the exhibit. Having our A Million Blue Pages online made it a more functional and interactive exhibit in comparison to it being a physical exhibit. This does not mean that it would not have worked as a physical exhibit. I really enjoyed it better as a digital exhibit.
Personally, the assignment of making objects would have been significantly more difficult if the exhibit was physical. I think it was easier because there were so many technological ways to create these objects that would not have been easily displayed physically. It also would have been significantly harder to collaborate with the other classes. It would have also been more difficult to browse through the items that were created for the exhibit if it was made physical. This would have been difficult because of the huge amount of items that were created. Being able to interact with other students from different classes was a great way to better understand the different ways other students were interpreting and interacting with the book. This in turn made certain parts of the book easier for myself to understand what was going on. I also enjoyed this exhibit being online because it made it easier for a wider audience to be reached, and then for that audience to add their own interpretations and objects. Discussion was definitely lacking in this format though. We were able to add descriptions to our objects, but we were not able to ask questions about how other students had come to the conclusions they had. I would have enjoyed being able to ask why because it might have helped me to better understand that part of the book. It also would have been interesting to find out what made a student decide to create the item in the way they created it.
I believe that functionality and interactivity go hand in hand. If the site is not functional in showcasing the items within an exhibit, the site will not be interactive. And if the site is not interactive enough, I do not believe it to be functional. Each depends on the other because they are both important for the entire learning process. Being able to ask questions about an item within the exhibit can help students to better understand the content of the book that the item is made to represent. Having the website function properly also helps the learning process. Even though we were not able to have discussions on the objects that were posted on the A Million Blue Pages site, we were still able to see the objects that were being posted.
Overall, I really enjoyed the fact that A Million Blue Pages was digital instead of physical. In the conclusion of Olivia Frost’s piece, she says that digital and physical exhibits do not have to compete with each other though. The A Million Blue Pages exhibit could easily have been made a physical exhibit, I just do not think I would have enjoyed using it as much. Personally, I would recommend this exhibit to my peers, but I would add some minor changes. I think that I will continue to go back to this exhibit as I continue working towards finishing the rest of House of Leaves.
Frost, O. & Parry, R. (2010). When the Object is Digital. Museums in a Digital Age (237-246).