Interactive: Core Lab
1 February 2010
Interface, defined by the dictionary as a common boundary or interconnection between systems, equipment, concepts, or human beings. It is what allows two very different objects to share a connection. How can the word interface be applied to exhibits at museums? I quickly realized that answer after paying a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. At the museum, there are these galleries consisting of various taxidermies of animals. Each animal had its own display case and the case was decorated and painted to look as close to its natural habitat as possible. As I stop to look at these animals in their display cases and appreciate the work that the artists put in to emulate its surroundings, I began to feel as if I am in the plains of Africa, standing next to a zebra, or in the deep woods of the Rocky Mountains in front of a Grizzly Bear. I began to imagine what it would be like if I were actually at these places that these animals lived. Then as I walk into the oceanic section, they had the same setup for the marine life. There was this particular showcase that for some reason was so powerful to me that it sent chills down my spine. It was of a whale and a giant squid tangled in a deep-sea battle. The longer I stared at it the more I felt this battle was actually happening in front of me as if any moment, these two animals going to come to life. The reason I chose to talk about these animal showcases is because the way that it made me feel. The animals posed so naturally and the realistic installations served as an interface between me and the deep-sea animals and the wildlife of the jungle. I think these showcases are good examples of interface in museums because it helped me visualize what these places are like in real life.