Transmedia Art Exhibitions, From Bauhaus To Your House

Julia Fryett, USA

“Transmedia Art Exhibitions, From Bauhaus To Your House” investigates how transmedia relates to museum exhibition strategies.

Though the term transmedia was popularized in 2003, it echoes avant-garde exhibition design theories by Herbert Bayer and Frederick Kiesler in the early 1900s. This paper places transmedia within the trajectory of art history, positioning it as a curatorial methodology aligning with Bauhaus and De Stijl notions of immersion and interactivity. A platform-centric classification system, derived from the language of transmedia, is developed and applied to past and present exhibition histories.

Adapting Henry Jenkins definition of transmedia, following is the working description presented for transmedia art exhibitions:

Transmedia art exhibitions represent a medium where integral elements of a narrative are dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated experience. Each platform makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the narrative.

This paper is the research backbone of XHIBITOR – a multiplatform research project comprised of four sections:

  • EBOOK: Establishes a theoretical and historical framework for transmedia art exhibitions, positioned from the perspective of Bauhaus ideology.
  • DATABASE: Presents an archive of past and present exhibition histories, classified according to the language of transmedia.
  • TOOLKIT: Resources blog updated with articles, studies, presentations, academic texts and multimedia educational content.
  • VISUAL MAPS: Data mapping charts and visualizations representing exhibitions, taxonomies and related histories.

The presentation will include a briefing of the historical research as well as an overview of each integrated component of the XHIBITOR project.