MOPA Presents Soapbox! The Audience Speaks

Release Date: 
May 15, 2012

(San Diego, CA) May 15, 2012— What if visitors became curators and curators became visitors? What if exhibitions were not considered spaces, but rather experiences? The Museum of Photographic Arts is excited to announce our first-ever crowd sourced exhibition, Soapbox! The Audience Speaks. Visitors will curate Soapbox! from a random selection of 120 images from MOPA’s photography collection. The group of 120 images covers a broad spectrum of MOPA’s photography collection and contains numerous works that have never been on display at MOPA. Visitors will rate the images and the 40 highest ranked images and a selection of the lowest ranked images will be used to create the Soapbox!, onview October 6, 2012 through May 12, 2013.

On-site visitors will use a multi-touch display interface to rate images, while online visitors will have access to an integrated ratings system through the site. Soapbox! responds to the evolving ways in which the world is explored and understood through technology. The interactive processes that support Soapbox! integrates new technologies into the galleries and, empowering visitors to share their opinions and engage directly with MOPA’s rich and varied collection. Crowdsourcing marks a dramatic change in how information is gathered, allowing a wider audience to contribute to a collective voice while challenging traditional notions of singular artistic and societal authority.

“MOPA is moving into a new frontier of dialogue about art and curation,” says Amber Lucero, director of education and public programming at MOPA. “This is an exciting area to explore and we are certain that Soapbox! will be the beginning of an ongoing evolution of more meaningful way to interact with our visitors and to interpret and present exhibitions.”

In developing the multi-touch interface, MOPA partnered with two students from the University of California, San Diego, who developed the touchscreen interface using Ideum’s Open Exhibits open-source software package. MOPA will be on of the first museums to install the recently released Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface into the galleries, which will serve as the platform for the Soapbox! rating interface.

The rating process for Soapbox! The Audience Speaks will launch as part of the Three Story House exhibition on May 12, 2012 and continue until August 5, 2012. For additional information, please visit


Press Opportunities:To request high-resolution images, additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kristine Page at 619.238.7559 X203 or via email (

MOPA Information: MOPA is a center for visual learning, passionately dedicated to sharing and exploring the universal language of photography. Learn more at


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