Because they are hard… Reflections on #MCN2019

November 14, 2019

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Last week, around 500 museum digital practitioners were thrown together in a resort in San Diego for MCN 2019. This was my eighth MCN, and it was the first one since I first attended in 2011 that I had absolutely no hand in shaping. When I first went to MCN, I was both a scholarship recipient and […]

VOX POPS: Crowdsourcing Museum Definition perspectives for Museopunks

October 2, 2019

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As you probably know, the International Council of Museums recently proposed a new definition for museums. Although the vote on the definition was postponed, the conversations that it sparked have been valuable and provocative. On the next episode of Museopunks, we wanted to try to unpack more nuance and perspectives than we can do with […]

Teaching a new course on museum ethics

September 13, 2019

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This semester, I’m teaching a new course on Museum Ethics and Values. Early in the development of this course, I reached out via Twitter for thoughts about the kind of topics the course should address. These discussions have informed the final approach, so I wanted to share and revisit them. (I didn’t include every response, […]

a new punk.

May 17, 2019

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A couple of weeks ago, I put out a call for a collaborator, co-host and co-producer for Museopunks, the podcast for the progressive museum. I was overwhelmed by how many people reached out to find out more and put themselves forward. I had in-person or phone calls with nine potential collaborators, who ranged from people I knew […]

Posted in: Museopunks

Looking for a collaborator on Museopunks

April 8, 2019

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If you’re reading this, you probably know that I host and produce a podcast called Museopunks, the podcast for the progressive museum. For the first couple of years of its life, Museopunks was a collaboration between myself and Jeffrey Inscho. It was one of the best collaborations I’ve ever worked on. Jeffrey left the museum […]

Kids, consent and privacy: #musesocial edition

March 25, 2019

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I had an interesting conversation last week about the concerns of consent and privacy when using photographs of vulnerable populations on social media. A question came up about developing takedown policies for social content, which I hadn’t considered before. Some images of people that might be appropriate when put online might later become problematic for […]

Posted in: Ideas, Social media

An ode to small change

April 20, 2017

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I’m sitting in my office in Washington, DC, following the Tweets from the annual Museums and the Web conference. The keynote speaker is Tim Phillips from Beyond Conflict, who’s tackling the topic, Building More Inclusive Communities: Lessons From 25 Years On The Front Lines Of Peace.  There is some great discussion surrounding this keynote, including a […]

Published on Medium: “Museums and Structural Change”

December 19, 2016

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Earlier today nikhil trivedi and I wrapped our long-form letter-based conversation on museums, the nature of institutions, structural change, and oppression. The conversation, which is our contribution to A Series of Epistolary Romances, includes thoughts sparked by the election, and considers everything from institutional reform all the way through to the abolition of current institutions. It’s been a rewarding […]

Can institutions be empathetic?

December 6, 2016

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In recent years, there has been a growing call for museums to be “empathetic” as a solution to a raft of problems. Mike Murawski links empathy and social impact (something he also spoke about at MuseumNext), Robert J. Weisberg draws diversity into the discussion, and the Empathetic Museum group argues that museums are impossible without an inner core of […]

Posted in: Ideas, Questions

Understanding this moment: The tension between professionalism and participation

October 23, 2016

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For more than a decade, there has been an increasing push towards participatory practices in museums, in part with the eye to democratizing the museum. It is proposed that participatory practices can make our institutions more open to diverse visitors; that through their use we can invite in more voices who might not otherwise have the opportunity to […]

Posted in: Ideas