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Hashing out destiny online

August 10, 2003|Christopher Knight

In the decentralized Age of the Internet, what is the future of the art museum? Apparently, the answer can be found only in the parochial center of America's Colonial past.

"Museums of Tomorrow: An Internet Conference" is the title of a two-week-long chat to take place on the Web site of Santa Fe's Georgia O'Keeffe Museum starting Oct. 6. Moderated by Maurice Berger, senior fellow at the Vera List Center for Art & Politics at Manhattan's New School University, the virtual discussion about the viability, effectiveness and responsibilities of museums that deal with contemporary art will involve three dozen curators and university professors. During the event, the public can participate by viewing the conversation (www.okeeffemuseum.org/center/onlinesymposium) and asking questions at a special e-mail address. But only the invited pros will be allowed to post directly to the 24-hour-a-day discussion.

Who's invited? In addition to academics from around the country, as well as three museum professionals from Santa Fe, almost all the curators who actually work in art museums are from institutions in New York, Washington and Philadelphia. (The two exceptions are curators Donna De Salvo of London's Tate Modern and Sylvia Yount of Atlanta's High Museum.) Curators in California, Texas, Florida, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere will get to see their destiny hashed out by colleagues in the Golden Triangle.

Sometimes, the future looks just like the past.

-- Christopher Knight

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