Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rockheim opens

A new Norwegian music museum opened today in a converted Trondheim warehouse. Called "Rockheim", it is to be the "national experience center for pop and rock". Similar to Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett's book "Destination Culture", Rockheim can act as a fine test case for discussing differences and similarities between museums and other experience-oriented institutions.

The opening today was for the general public, and was refreshingly free of long-winded speeches. Director Arvid Esperø was present to greet the long line of guests waiting to come in, but allowed the new exhibitions to speak for themselves. The long speeches will come soon enough, however, since Minister of Culture Anniken Huitfeldt is invited to attend an "official" opening ceremony on August 19th.

The Rockheim web pages are so far written only in Norwegian. Rockheim has instead added "Google Translate" links to several other languages. While this leads to "unauthorized" versions of texts in circulation, it also allows online visitors to participate simultaneously in things that Norwegian speakers are involved in - such as comment feeds. I feel that involving visitors in the website is more important than having control over all information. Bravo, Rockheim!

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