Press Release

Launch of Phase Two of Tate Modern's award-winning Multimedia Tour

Launch of Phase Two of Tate Modern's award-winning Multimedia Tour: Press related to past Tate news.

Tate Modern  Levels 3 and 5
1 October – 21 December 2003

Tate Modern has launched the second phase of the free public trials of its BAFTA award-winning Multimedia Tour of the Collection displays. Phase Two trials three new types of tour on the handheld computer or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant): a Multimedia Highlights Tour specifically designed to appeal to the 16-25 age group, a British Sign Language Tour designed for the deaf and hard of hearing people, and a Collections Tour that provides in-depth digital information about all artworks in the Collections displays. The Collections Tour and the British Sign Language Tour are the first of their kind and demonstrate Tate’s commitment to developing the next generation of interpretation tools for museums.

The Multimedia Highlights Tour is specifically designed for the 16-25 age group who responded positively to the first phase of the trials held in Autumn 2002. It focuses on 19 artworks in the Still Life/Object/Real Life and Landscape/Matter/Environment displays, and takes approximately one hour to complete. The tour features new content by artists including Howard Hodgkin, Cornelia Parker and Mark Dion and archive recordings and videos from Joseph Beuys and Jackson Pollock.

The latest innovations include ‘Tate Txt’ - a text-messaging function which allows visitors to send their views on artworks to other people taking the tour. In front of selected works visitors are encouraged to take part in opinion polls - such as voting on their first impressions of the Rothko room – and can track the percentages of other visitors who agree or disagree. They can also play music from a jukebox through their headphones, and play games such as ‘Exquisite Corpse’ which was invented by the Surrealist artists, and involves visitors taking turns to piece together an imaginary creature from different body parts, without knowing what the previous contributions has been.

A groundbreaking new digital British Sign Language Tour is also trialled. It plays video clips of an interpreter signing information about selected works in the Collection displays. The aim of this trial is to develop a tour that will gives British Sign Language users the opportunity to take their own personal tour of the Collection.

The new Collections Tour allows visitors to access textual information about all of the 300-plus works in the Collection displays. It is linked to Tate’s main online database and brings a wealth of additional information into the gallery spaces for the first time.

The Tate Modern Multimedia Tour allows information about artworks on display to be provided to visitors in a variety of different media on a portable screen-based device. Content is accessed on the hand-held computers through a wireless network that connects to a central server. This means that almost limitless information and content with real-time interactivity can be provided, and visitors can see video and still images in the galleries that provide additional context for the art. Visitors can also request the central server to send further information about the art they have seen to their home email address, creating a link between the in-gallery experience and Tate’s website.

Both phases of Tate’s Multimedia Tour programme have been sponsored by Bloomberg and developed in association with Antenna Audio. The hand-held device used is a Toshiba e750, donated to the project by Toshiba.

For more information please call 020 7887 8008