Title:Augmenting On-Line Exhibitions. Building a Multimedia Knowledge Repository: Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality on
Authors:Randall Packer
Publication:MW2001: Museums and the Web 2001

This paper focuses on the creation of a knowledge base that provides educational support for museum exhibitions in the hypermedia environment. The subject of this report is \"Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality,\" a project commissioned by and created by multimedia artist and historian Randall Packer. The site explores the broad historical trajectory in the arts and sciences that has converged as multimedia, providing a critical foundation of media history, aesthetic inquiry, and social critique that enriches the viewer\'s visit to \"Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality\" embraces the dynamics of multimedia in its study of the medium, providing the on-line visitor with a better understanding of the language of media, the complexity of non-sequential learning and exploration, and new ways of thinking about essential concepts of media such as interactivity, immersion, hypermedia, integration and narrativity. The site\'s contents, which include a timeline of multimedia\'s pioneers, an illustrated historical narrative of multimedia, and in-depth studies of the creative work of seminal artists and scientists, serves as a knowledge base that provides historical and theoretical context for several of\'s exhibitions that showcase media art. A section devoted to using the site in the classroom, from which teachers can derive presentations, enrich on-line syllabi with links, and give students research assignments, becomes a model and educational tool for both students and teachers - guiding them in the use of and how it extends itself into the classroom. The paper will include a detailed explanation of the specific educational objectives of the site, its integration with exhibitions, and how it is being prototyped in digital arts curriculum, notably Randall Packer\'s courses at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. This project is part of a larger hybrid-publishing project, which includes the book of the same name, co-edited by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan and published by W.W. Norton for April 2001.