The Future of Memory: Jewish Culture in the Digital Age

On View:
Jan 27, 2015 - Dec 18, 2015
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley
2121 Allston Way | Berkeley , CA
The Magnes
Gallery Hours:
Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm

What should we remember, what should we forget, and who decides? 

The Future of Memory: Jewish Culture in the Digital Age is a new project of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life that includes an installation, exhibition, and digital research lab in which museum professionals, scholars, students, and the public, discuss the meaning of memory and the many facets of digital history.

An interactive installation highlighting the resources of The Magnes Collection and The Bancroft Library, and their collaborations with Bay Area organizations–including the California AudioVisual Preservation Project, the Internet Archive, History Pin, Findery, PopUp Archive, and more–The Future of Memory encourages a critical exploration of the many approaches to history in the digital age by focusing on the global nature of Jewish culture.

An evolving exhibition will continuously feature museum objects included in the recent Magnes publication, The Jewish World, thousands of digital images, hours of early-20th-century film, audio files, oral histories, and an interactive platform aimed at inspiring visitor collaboration and public conversations about the intersection between the cultures of the global Jewish diaspora and the innovative practices pioneered in the San Francisco Bay Area. These resources will be featured in the flow from “analog” to “digital” collections, showcasing how this movement can enhance the collective and global understanding of cultural heritage artifacts.

At the same time, The Future of Memory will transform the Main Gallery of The Magnes into a laboratory and a classroom, in which the online representation of primary sources is investigated and critically examined by faculty, graduate students, participants in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP), and the public. In a continuingly changing and evolving setting, this project will encourage and present ongoing research on how the “digital” opens the door for a collaborative participation in the humanities.

The Future of Memory (2015) Introductory Panel

Curatorial Team:
Dr. Francesco Spagnolo (Curator), , Gary Handman (Archivist and Librarian), Dr. Daniel Viragh (Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies), Mary Elings (Archivist for Digital Collections, The Bancroft Library), Pamela Vadakan (Archivist, California AudioVisual Preservation Project)

Faculty Advisors:
Prof. Greg Niemeyer and Prof. Abigail de Kosnik, Berkeley Center for New Media

Julie Franklin

Research Apprentices:
Zoe Lewin, Christine Liu, Anna Bella Korbatov, Erin Faigin, Lauren Cooper, and Yiying Ruang

Exhibition design:
Gordon Chun Design

Major support for The Magnes comes from the Hellman Family Foundation, Koret Foundation, Magnes Museum Foundation, Taube Philanthropies and Magnes Leadership Circle.

The Future of Memory is also the beneficiary of a Collaborative Research Grant awarded to The Magnes through the Andrew W. Mellon grant, Capacity Building and Integration in the Digital Humanities, administered by Digital Humanities at Berkeley, a project of the Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities and Research IT at UC Berkeley.

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