Five Blog Posts – V Other – Research into the Cabinet of Curiosities and Web 2.0

Cabinet of Curiosities 

What is a Cabinet of Curiosities?

Well, the Cabinet of Curiosities is a metaphorical cabinet which contains artefacts and items that represent you as a person. It might be a collectable like tickets or news paper snippets or an unusual exponent that you came across in your journeys. This is where the idea of Cabinet Of Curiosities came to be.

In Renaissance Europe, rich men of the world started to travel the world and encountered extraordinary items unique to them and often not seen before by other members of the public. They started to collect these and, one by one these artefacts started to accumulate and expand. The term “cabinet” meant something different in those days, it described a room, which was quickly filling up with relics and unseen paintings as it slowly started to change in to “the room of wonder” as some may call it. Some of the collections got so big and fascinating that they became of value to the public. Sir Hans Sloan is one of the examples. His cabinet of curiosities grew so large of relics from all over the world consisting from flora and fauna to coins and seals. After his death, the collection moved to the British Museum and was the foundation of the Natural History Museum at a small fee of £20,000.

Todays collections have similar principles however they differ in size and the way they are delivered. Of course there are many people that still collect things that interest them like stamps or photographs however it is becoming less and less common as we start moving more often and live in smaller and smaller houses which limits our possibilities.

One way around this is World Wide Web, blogs like this one are examples of Cabinet of Curiosities as they contain information about our life, our interest and passions. It is much easier to share content with others and find people with similar hobbies. Blogs, Youtube/Vimeo and Tumblr are good examples of ways in which people share their fascinations for things with others.

Sites like this are part of Web 2.0 where (as one theorist (D. Gauntlett) said) the audience becomes a prosumer, a consumer which also produces its own content. In other words we are no longer just looking at things made by other people, we can also make our own things in response. Whether its as simple as a comment or an opinion on a forum or a representation of the content in a way that we see it by reproduction of said media. This gives a voice and an opinion to people because we are no longer simply watching something, we can contribute to it as well.


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