Feeds

The ‘subversive adult Disneyland’ where iPods track your every move

El Reg visits the Museum of Old and New Art, where IT budgets are boundless

High performance access to file storage

David Walsh invented what he calls “a money mine”, and when he decided to spend some of its contents on an art gallery, he gave his IT team more than four years to provide the best visitor experience of any museum in the world.

That team now rates their work on the gallery as a “dream project”, thanks to Walsh’s no-compromises attitude and an environment in which different disciplines pulled together. A more-or-less-limitless budget also helped.

The 51 year old Walsh was able to offer this work environment because he is a professional gambler who devised a betting system that works so well there's conjecture about whether he's a billionaire or merely a multi-millionaire many times over.

However large his fortune, he's been able to spend at least $AUD100m on art, amassing a collection that outgrew first his home and then a small museum.

His new creation, Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), can hold a lot more of his booty and was designed as "a subversive adult Disneyland". Since opening in 2011 it has become one of the planet’s hottest artistic attractions.

The Museum is unashamedly an expression of Walsh's tastes and interests and has polarised the art world, thanks to exhibits like Cloaca, a machine that makes a spectacle of food turning into faeces. Within the walls of the museum you’ll also find the pelt of a kitten, staked out as if it were a bearskin rug, and The Epic of Gilgamesh written in binary on the walls of a maze.

Technology infuses many exhibits, with one of the first works on display, bit.fall, offering a waterfall that connects to the Net to find words trending in news. Those words are squirted out by a row of nozzles which generate a cascade of disintegrating droplets-as-script.

Watch Video

Technology is also thrust into every visitor's hands when they arrive, in the form of an iPod touch on a lanyard. ‘The O’, as the device is dubbed, locates visitors as they move about MONA’s galleries and offers content – audio, text and video - pertinent to nearby artworks. Each work offers a chance to cast a vote – the options are Love or Hate – with results presented instantly so visitors can see how their tastes match those of previous visitors.

At the end of a visit, The O uploads a list of all the artworks a visitor beholds to the web, so that visitors can re-live their visit.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Secrets of the O

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.