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Art can be a very cathartic experience, and the individual mood of the viewer can play a large part in how they feel about each piece. Those feeling calm might have a zen moment among a collection of Rothkos, while angry visitors might see themselves more in Pollock’s splashes. While the Cleveland Museum of Art has already introduced visitor-curated tours through its Artlens app, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is now organizing its collections by feeling through its Mood App, which also lets guests create their own tours for other customers.
Launching earlier this month, the app features a collection of guides that present visitors with pieces on display that correspond to a particular mood — whether it’s sad, afraid, bored, cheerful or in love. The Dutch museum provides free headphones to listen to the prepared tour through the Mood App, and hopefully visitors can discover some new pieces that chime with their disposition. With the help of peer educators or ‘Blikopeners’, young people can also create their own tours by making a playlist of artworks in the gallery and assigning a mood, as well as audio comments if they wish. Other visitors can then follow either the curated tours or the visitor-created ones, and leave their own audio comments.
Since all art exhibitions are curated, the Mood App simply puts that power in the hands of the consumer by remixing the gallery’s collections to their own tastes. Are there other ways to engage museum visitors by helping them broadcast their own ideas and thoughts about art and culture shows?