Topic: Virtual Museums
What is the status of "copies," replicas, dramatic reenactments, photographs of naked bodies, Nazi regalia, human remains (hair), and other materials and display techniques, in relation to the Holocaust's factuality (the material status of what constitutes evidence), on the one hand, and the affectivity of its materiality, representation, and narration (eye-witnesses, professional historians), on the other. (Read: Lawrence Douglas, "The Shrunken Head of Buchenwald: Icons of Atrocity at Nuremberg," Representations 63 (Summer 1998): 39-64). Consider issues bearing on the ways in which survivor testimony--text, audio, video, live (docents, programs)--are produced, edited, incorporated or installed in exhibitions.
While many so-called virtual exhibits are nothing more than hyperlinked, more-or-less multimedia (at the very least text and image) webpages, see, for example, The Permanent Exhibition at the Museum of Jewish People online, there are virtual Jewish museum projects that are much more (see the Museums and Virtual Exhibits at the University of Pennsylvannia's library). What are the implications of new technologies--and their deployment inside and outside the museum--for how Jewish museums are being conceived and experienced: the difference, for example, between the embodied and tangible experience of a singular physical location (Western Wall, Auschwitz) and one's relationship to multiple versions of such sites distributed across many locations, accessible as much as 24 hours a day, through webcams, scale models, virtual reality, and other methods.