Rebooting the museum of the moving image

After closing for a major make-over (and pandemic postponement) the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is re-opening with a fresh approach to its collection and exhibition spaces.

How do you be all things to all people? The old Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) was a nexus of screen industry and audience, at once collecting and preserving screen culture while running talks and films that kept pace with changing media. But how do you re-think a museum designed to get couch potatoes and screenagers into a physical space?

A museum’s collection is both its biggest challenge and biggest draw for visitors. Only a small amount of any collection can be shown and there’s a universe of objects that make up a collection. Displaying the collection online seems like a good way to showcase it but collection management systems are often clunky and designed for back-end research rather than an audience. The new ACMI puts a Lens over their collection – linking everything you see in the revamped exhibition spaces to other media, including films outside their collection.

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George Dunford is Content Director at ArtsHub and Screenhub. He has written for Meanjin, The Big Issue, Lonely Planet, The Good Food Guide and others. He has worked in digital leadership roles in the cultural sector for more than 10 years including at the National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Wheeler Centre. Twitter: @Hack_packer Instagram: george.dunford

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