HOW BRITISH MUSEUM’S WEB PAGE PRESENTS TO ON-LINE GLOBAL VIEWERS, WITH ILLUSION OF INCLUSIVITY
The British Museum uses digital social media in its website to attract and interact with global viewers and users. The first gaze by the viewer is its name on the usual top left corner, for viewers and users want to know they have clicked on the right site. It uses different font sizes, with shades and contrasts, plus bars, columns, colours, and automating slides to guide the eyes in good precedence. The web design, with databases and search engines, can be navigated smoothly. The typography gives the impression that it is an advanced web designer technology, giving different visual weights to the eyes. Their services include high definition platform (Facebook and twitter) to workshops, camps, on-line games, lectures and even field research in very comprehensive ways. It thus gives their global viewers the desire to engage them in order to create knowledge, social and political power. The British Museum is a great museum of the British Empire and has the aura and authority to authenticate its artifacts, images and data, with its world-renowned legacy.
With the projected image as a signifier of knowledge and culture, the British museum attracts viewers to visit its website. It is astounding to note that it signifies a historical tradition of two hundred and sixty years, from the Renaissance to now, and is ever expanding in its scope and collections of objects. The twenty first century sees greater expansion with more gallery refurbishments, equipped with modern e-media technology. As cultured people, with good aesthetic taste, few can afford to be missed and excluded in such common wealth. Even a virtual walk-in into such a cultural palace will enhance the viewers’ own image. It will satisfy the desire to be recognized by our peers and to find our meaning in such relate.
The British Museum is a public institution, administered by a Board of Trustee, with its own elected chairman. It has some ten subcommittees, supervising a thousand paid staff and eight hundred volunteers. It will be a prestige to be among any level of staff, with better ego image in higher hierarchies. Job opportunity and conditions for work are opened freely to all, without prejudices. It shows fairness and justice to all, only if one is included in that exclusivity. However, it is still privileging the elite and famous curators.
Despite its comprehensiveness and inclusivity, there will be selection of data display and collections. Information and objects are enormous and the select committee has to focus on some and ignore others. What the viewers see are really choices of such representations or reproductions. The authority to “lock in” or “lock out” information depends on them and may be a political decision. Even the arrangement of images and what to display in the themes are ideological, in the frame of social and cultural perspective. Moreover it will be illusory for on-line viewers or users, with polysemous interpretation, to find common identity, for power landscape is never smooth or on even play field.
1 Sturken,M and Cartwright,L..(2009) Practices Of Looking: An Introduction To Visual Culture. Chapters 1 & 2, Oxford /NY. Oxford University Press.
2.British Museum, General History. http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/the_museums_story/general_history.aspx cited 09-03-2014
3.British Museum: Current Job Opportunities. http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/jobs.aspx cited 09-03-2014
4.Collis Ta’eed.(2007)Nine Essential Principles for Good Web Design.. http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/9-essential-principles-for-good-web-design–psd-56 cited 30-03-2014
They have looted,destroyed and altered many great civilizations around the world.Can it be their genetic makeup to be bloody? Yet they stick their noses high and snorts at those below and with a put-on air of empathy and compassion to boot.High culture or great pretensions?The best and the worst of the once upon a time empire is showcased in that museum.
Lots of their exhibits were looted from afro- Asian countries. Yet we hear endless preaching on human right and intellectual property violations.