article titled “Robot cleaners and the Museum of Me: Intel’s vision of
the future” was written by Justin McGuirk, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday
24th January 2012 16.38 UTC
Over the last decade or so, the burgeoning culture industry has
spawned museums at such a rate that it seems no small town or minor
artist will be left unrepresented. Now, social media has taken that
logic to its absurd conclusion: it is not just minor artists who will
get their own museum, we all will. Or so the creators of the Museum of Me would have us believe. Launched last year, and last week named the FWA
(Favourite Website awards) site of the year, the Museum of Me turns
your Facebook profile into a virtual exhibition. It sounds cheesy (and
it is), but the fact that it already has more than 850,000 “likes”
confirms that you can’t underestimate the public’s self-obsession.
The site, designed by Japanese agency Projector,
takes the 19th-century concept of the museum as edifying repository and
turns it into a characteristically 21st-century memorial to the self.
Entering this generically deconstructivist building, what you get is a
fly-through animation of a series of galleries, with pictures of you and
your friends on the walls. There is a random selection of status
updates jumbled on screens, and then a final sequence that implies,
erroneously, that you are merely a composite of your social network. A
soaring soundtrack turns the sentimentality dial to max. The experience
is a cross between a photo album, a phonebook and a funeral. Not until
the very end do you realise that it was all just an ad: “Intel Core i5.
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