Aaron Glass
Bard Graduate Center

While not technically a project in digital return, this gallery and online exhibition of First Nations material from the Northwest Coast used an innovative, interactive digital interface to communicate the complexity of conceptual and curatorial themes uniting the objects on display. Each object’s label in the exhibition and catalogue was “tagged” with a selection of terms relating to its interpretation, and this digital interface (presented on a touch-screen in the gallery) allowed visitors to dynamically reconfigure the exhibition according to these themes. In this iteration, the “interactive tag cloud,” as we called it, was structured around curatorial themes. However, given a dataset unique to a specific culture, context or object type, this kind of interface could be driven by indigenous terms, categories and concepts and thus be repurposed to accommodate the kinds of community-driven initiatives represented at the Digital Return workshop.