The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

Richard Elms , 15.01.2014
The brief to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum’s digital media team, Herbert Media, was simple: create a digital gallery video interactive for the exhibition Secret Egypt.

The problem was the budget of £1,000, which had to include hardware, software and production costs.

Secret Egypt poses a series of questions and provides a wealth of archaeological evidence to encourage the visitor to reassess what they think they know about ancient Egypt.

The installation was commissioned to explore the world of fakes and copies to show the importance of genuine artefacts in understanding the past.

To meet this brief, Herbert Media took an old visitor survey touchscreen, up-dating the computer, and bought exhibit kit software from digital exhibits expert Joe Cutting to make Real or Fake? – a cheesy 80s-style game show, utilising video quiz question sequences presented by a larger-than-life marketing assistant in a gold lamé suit called Ben.

Everything was produced in-house, from the script to the sound effects and quiz show theme tune.

Secret Egypt is the Herbert’s most successful touring exhibition and Real or Fake? has played its part in that, engaging audiences of all ages.

Since opening at the Herbert in 2011, it has toured six venues around the country and been seen by more than 100,000 visitors. The tour continues in 2014/15 with dates in Perth, Shrewsbury and Somerset.

Richard Elms is the manager of Herbert Media at Culture Coventry