It’s no ordinary cardboard disc.
The Lens has a chip inside that can be used to “collect” any object or media throughout the exhibition – and you’ll get to take it home to keep.
“It has magical qualities in a way,” Ms Sedgwick says.
“There’s a code on that device which means when you get home you’ll be able to put that code in [your phone or computer] and anything you collected will be there for you on the screen.”
Those who have visited Hobart’s Mona or the Arts Centre’s Music Vault may be familiar with this interactive, digital-driven approach to the museum experience.
Ms Sedgwick says ACMI’s has added value because its curators have created a world of “constellations” around the items collected on the Lens, which visitors can explore after their visit: “curated connections between those things you’re interested in and a whole lot of other media – art, film, TV, games.”
It’s the equivalent of going down a Google or Wikipedia wormhole, she says, except the links have been thoughtfully curated by experts.
The ACMI building itself, which has been closed to the public since May for the redevelopments, was originally designed to be a shopping centre, says Sedgwick.
The revamp by architects BKK and designers Second Story swaps the Flinders Street escalators (which seemed to lead up to nowhere) for a wide, open staircase – just one example of how the museum will feel more “connected”.
The former Cube venue on the ground floor, which has hosted many acts during Melbourne’s Comedy and Writers festivals over the years, will become the ACMI gift shop and a larger events space will be built on the second floor.
The Screen Worlds exhibition will still contain a chronological walk through of film, video and games throughout history but with a wealth of new content and sections.
There will be an increased focus on Indigenous media, and a new section on factual content exploring digital literacy, journalism, “fake news” and propaganda.
Another section will focus on “craft and world building”, looking at effects such as prostheses, and there will be a foley room where visitors can create their own soundtrack using various objects.
The ACMI team is working on an operating system called “XOS” that will allow its curators to update what’s playing on the screens in the public exhibit in just five minutes.
“That will drive the exhibition and enable us to be as responsive as we must be if we’re exploring contemporary media,” Ms Sedgwick says.
The games section will also renew its content every quarter.
“There’ll be a lot of things moving through,” Ms Sedgwick says.
“We want the people of Victoria to be able to come back regularly and explore and play and share through this permanent exhibit.”
Hannah Francis is Arts Editor at The Age