Let’s Hack Museums

12.23.10 Marina Galperina

Photo bans are outdated, inconsistent and thwart viral art discussions. Since Musée d’Orsay in Paris instituted a photo ban in the museum, the reactionary cluster OrsayCommons decided to “hack” it by defiantly photographing together and taking it viral. OrsayCommons’ Julian Dorra also suggests “hacking your favorite museum” by “organizing pirate tours that the museums don’t offer; printing alternative catalogs” and etc., but is there a risk in Tyler Durdening around for better art’s sake?

Likely not so much, but this year’s hero museum “hackers” got banned for life for exhibiting the censored A Fire in My Belly video on an iPad and videotaping in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. They set an excellent example for anyone seeking to turn museums into “open platforms.” They also got manhandled by guards and police.

On a much lighter note, had I not been huddling surrounded by an horde of stubborn European tourists and families at the MoMA upperfloor window alcove until the guards gave up trying to disband us, I wouldn’t have caught Marina Abramović’s gra-a-and finale in pics (photos weren’t allowed in the atrium, which didn’t prevent a “spy’s” momentous puke photo either). Lesson: grouping up is nifty, IRL or online.

The Strictly No Photography network has entire categories dedicated to forbidden museum and art gallery photography. And if bloggers aren’t publishing alternative museum guides already, they should. And… here’s an ongoing photo policy list for NYC museums, hint hint.

(Image via Strictly No Photography)