In our daily work it is essential to keep constantly in touch with our partner institutions. TBA21 is one of those who makes this dialogue easy and pleasant because we share common visions and objectives as we both are aware of what on-site or virtual audiences are needing.   Our commitment  to provide an excellent experience related to culture and art lead us to build meaningful activities specially designed to enrich the exhibition proposals.

Some weeks ago, our museums manager in Austria and Germany, Rocio Burchard met Tereza Grandičová to have a little talk about digital strategies in TBA21, the way  communities are being created around the institution and, of course, her experience with CloudGuide as a global digital channel.

Here it comes.

Ro: Could you introduce yourself, what is your position and your tasks at TBA21?

Tereza: I am mostly working for the marketing department, supporting all the other departments on like graphical or little bit technical base of the graphic programs, and than on all these digital forms and trying to implement new medias and new platforms and yeah, working little bit also a with videos, sometimes also with the picture archive and and than recording of the, many things, many things

R: What happens if a museum enters the digital world? What changes?

Tereza: We just today we had the discussion (...) us from the kind of x generation we already kind of see these like 3d/4d possibility of digital things, definitely that is like crossing boarders, nations and all these things, that you can do these things remotely in your bed, in your comfortable zone but also than if you are in the place it gives you completely different experience, like not the opportunity of use the things remotely but the element of digitally use in the ordinary visit, visiting experience, visitor experience, and of course its little bit, I quiet like these, this incorporate, that suddenly the museum guest, can cooperate much more obvious, or you know, the references are clearer because there could be really linked in certain art platforms or, I mean for somebody like the google art projects, that opened completely different idea of researching in private collections, or in collections in general, all this virtual exhibitions, you know and these things.

How is it to implement it?

T: Oh its really hard, if you want to know my private opinion its super hard, because most of the people don't see it yet as something very practical, when they have time they do these things, but if you are at the exhibition there are so many other elements, that you go there with friends, so thats I think that people still have to get used to, that I think still, people can imagin the remote access but I think it is hard to convince them to use the things in there, but from our experience in Augarten, when they do that, they are happy then, they find like very useful, they get more information and it is also hard to convince that the members of the team, like "this is really cool guys, you have to do that because thats really completely opening a different window", yeah it will come

R: How is the feedback in the team?

T: Just like, some people come, I tried and it is really nice and it is really exciting, but most of them didn't really test it, no one has really time, to take the tour maybe, it's like yeah it works, nice images, they are happy if something is working, that they get good feedback, and they don't need to bother with other things, or of course the older generation is not used to these things and they cannot even imagine that and also like its, some people really have a approach to digital things, like me as total mobile device, freak, that I am always testing platforms and I am happy to move the boarders, in this way, thats easy for me than I guess for someone else

R:  How do you think would you have to communicate this devices?

T: I thougth that maybe the different wording might help, because this "APP" is little bit annoying, because in this days everyone has "app" because it is so cool and so important to have but there is not the functionality communicated in the title, so I thought that the main idea behind the CloudGuide is that we want give more information so it means like guide them through in a different way. It is also really important that the guys in the Augarten communicate it and tell the people "hey look" the CloudGuide, you can listen to it and look at the pictures (refers to closeups)

Ro: Do you think it influences in the way the experience the exhibition?

Te: I think it is very helpful, as you can listen to it and look at the same time at the exhibits. You don't have to look through the booklet while you are looking at the artwork. Also people have the chance to look at it before they come. We also have a big community in New York that follows tba21 but cannot come to the exhibitions, with the Guide they have the chance now to see it too, what they did not have before. You also can look at many pictures (refering to detail images for exhibits)

Ro: What is your personal experience with digital channels, also Twitter, Facebook and now CloudGuide, lets say with this triangulation?

Te: With these you cannot only share info, but share also something more personal, you can use it to tell something else (comparison with someone who uses it to share). Also if you are not very much into reading a lot, it is very helpful, to have an overview, you can easily follow

R: How is it to work with CloudGuide?

T: Fabulous (loughs). It is great that it is outsourced, we don't have to take care of the technical stuff, to be updated, there are options which are on the one hand quiet expensive and very hard to.. well you can ask a company to do a mobile device for you but than, its so hard to decide on the headway of communication, on the stuff you want to communicate and many times its kind of overlapping with the website information so it doesn't actually bring the aspect, the additional experience, that anyway its just another text that you can read and than of course at a certain point the external company would step away and you would have to keep updated the technologies and all which is all very simple, and the research on the needs and on the analytics and things like that that thats like absolutely helpful that the CloudGuide does it for us.

And second of all its not an ordinary app, its not like an additional thing, its a thing what, I mean like either you could take it or not take it, so its additional, but how to say it, its actually something if you want it can,(...) some of these apps what I tested, yes always there is something interesting, but then its like, it doesn't help you to experience the exhibition.Iits more like a taking time and yeah, but this might help, in in the orientation, it is easy to navigate through the exhibition space because the people see the pictures, you don't always have, wall texts or anything, especially in Augarten where we are not so much for wall captions, yeah whatever

Ro: Is there something you are missing or what you would like to have improved, I mean it is an ongoing process but?

Te: I think that maybe, but I think that is something that will be solve with another version in few months, (...) but I can imagine that somethings could be more intuitive, this kind of like smooth movements through, its just. Maybe I don't find that important the giving opinion, I think the liking button its cool because thats something people are used to these days. I am curious if we will get some opinion, so far no one gave us any written feedback. Maybe I could imagine that it would be maybe good for students, that is connected more with other ordinary app, like dropbox, where you can share it, or save stuff, or if they even know they could synchronize it, if you leave a note, if you could synchronize it with some other source, what I use a lot is evernote and so of course it would you limit you again if you are used to write notes in a different app, why would you do it with the CloudGuide if you to distract from there, maybe an integration with other and than the rest. I think that some of the images have law quality, but we discussed this already, you remember...