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Curating The Internet For Life Online

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Seven weeks to go before Life Online opens to the public. The physical build is coming on, looming shapes have appeared in the foyer, and upstairs in Level 7, walls are appearing. Our technicians are ready to fit screens, lights and speakers, and the office is a hive of activity.

Behind the scenes at this stage, everything needs polishing and signing off. There are bits of text to finish, films to check, interactives and animations to be tested and improved, and content still to collect. We are liaising with external agencies about design, animations and games, and with artists about their installations in our temporary exhibition upstairs. All the while we are talking to the press and helping our marketing and PR teams to get the message out about the gallery.

In short, we’re busy!

There is one area which still needs a lot of work, but when I describe it, you won’t think it sounds like work at all.

At the centre of the gallery there are three large projection zones. In the office we have been referring to these areas as the ‘Cloud Browsers’… a meaningless name which has its routes in a long forgotten concept. They are Find Out More stations, with a twist. Because our gallery charts the history and impact of the internet, we need to represent the internet within the gallery. But of course, we cannot allow free and open access, especially not when someone’s search results will be projected six feet high for all to see; so starts the job of curating… the internet!

Our Find Out More stations (the name is still up for debate – any suggestions welcome!) will expand on the topics explored elsewhere in the gallery. In them you will find articles produced by our curators, films made by our in-house media development team, and lots of relevant content streamed live from the internet. Hundreds of websites need to be found, checked for accuracy and interest and added to the relevant section in the Stations. For the next seven weeks I am paid to surf the web! Better get back to it…

Written by Anna Ward

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