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INTRODUCING THE BLUE OCEAN MUSEUM: an imagined museum of the Nearly Immediate Future: about power sharing with visitors

The Blue Ocean Museum was written for the ICOM Triannual in Vienna Austria in 2007

It proports to be about a mythical museum “The Blue Ocean” but is really about the consequences of social networking.

Museums are among those institutions that are affected by this new wide-spread information sharing and will, I believe, have to shift from the intellectually-controlling institutions they currently are to becoming service providers of shared content in the future. In fact we are already seeing inklings of such practices within the more nimble museums around the world. You might think this paper is about museums in virtual space; their websites, online exhibitions or digitized collections. It is not. I am proposing to change the fundamentals of the physical museum site, where actual people congregate. As I wrote the paper, I asked myself: “Will museums be willing to respond to the new internet reality in order to remain important civic spaces, or will their inherently conservative natures prevail rendering them marginal or even extraneous in the future?””