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Museums & Technology

Some Strings Attached: the willful marionette at SAAM

July 15, 2016

SAAM's annual birthday celebration honoring the legacy of media pioneer Nam June Paik—an artist known for his interest in robotics and humanizing technology—featured artists Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault. Their work, the three-foot tall the willful marionette was built from 3-D scanned images of a human figure. It addresses what the artists refer to as "the frailty of the human body."


Pokémon Go: Games, Art, and Open Spaces at the Museum

July 13, 2016

Shortly after its release, colleagues began playing Pokémon Go —an augmented reality game that has captured the imagination of the entire internet. Museum visitors were doing the same. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, new games are often received with more enthusiasm than might be expected of an art museum. Perhaps you've heard, SAAM has a long history with games. Creating, collecting, exhibiting, and, of course, playing them. They're fun, they're often beautiful, and best of all, they connect people.


Painting with LED Light at the Renwick

January 27, 2016

"Years ago when we started looking at LEDs they just weren't ready for use in museums," says Scott Rosenfeld, lighting director at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. In 2010, Rosenfeld set out to see what he could learn about LED lighting and apply it to the museum. All lighting within the galleries and public spaces in the recently renovated Renwick was converted to LED after extensive research, testing, and prototype development.


Video Games: SAAM's Indie Arcade

January 12, 2016

Chris Totten, a professor at American University's Game Lab, coordinator for January 16th's Indie Coast to Coast Competition as part of SAAM's Indie Arcade, and head of the Independent Game Developer's Association (IGDA's) D.C. chapter, recently wrote about the intersection of video games and art.


Picture This: A 360 Degree Wonder

December 29, 2015

Plexus A1, Gabriel Dawe, 2015, Photo by Mike Tuttle After a two year renovation, the opening of the Renwick Gallery and its inaugural exhibition, WONDER, have been a major success. The building has been updated to a 21st century elegance...