I still remember very vividly that on my first day at the office I was introduced to the speaking figure of MF Husain. Curious how? It was a hologram of the artist standing with a paintbrush in his hand. The experience was rather surreal, making me realise the development in technology over the last decade (with the pandemic accelerating the process) and the central feature it plays in all our lives. Technology creates exposure as it enables us to interact with vastly different people and cultures. The pandemic specifically, also inspired the technology team at the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) to undertake several ambitious projects, the largest being the digitisation of the collection, making it one of the first museums in India to do so.
Mayank Manish, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) leads the technology department at the museum with his team from Opezee (which he founded). Mayank comes with a background in Information Technology (IT), and after having worked extensively across the globe, he was eventually bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, resulting in him moving back to India to start his own company. At MAP, the technology team is responsible for creating a robust IT infrastructure in terms of display systems, having an online presence, digital interactives and building a Cumulus, MAP’s own in-house museum management system.
Mayank and I extensively spoke about the correlation between technology and museums. As a creative, it was fascinating to hear a different perspective as today we see a composite presentation of art where technology is used to provide a more immersive and holistic experience. To this, Mayank said, “as far as the museum used to be concerned, technology was the last thing one would consider before the pandemic. Suddenly, we were forced to present digitally. Over time, as things began to reopen and our focus shifted towards the physical space, so did our perspective. Technology is no longer something museums