Hey! I’m Suse Cairns–an Australian museum geek and academic, living in Baltimore and working in the Museum Studies Program at The George Washington University. Until recently, I was Director of Audience Experience at The Baltimore Museum of Art.
Welcome to my digital think-space.

I use this blog to think through issues around museums, technology and ideas, join the debate about the future of museums, and connect with others in the field. Many of the things I explore here are ideas in sketch; emergent questions that I don’t yet have answers to. Rather than being fully formed or resolved, they are incomplete and open.  To that end, I welcome love debate, comment and discussion.

I am a regular presenter at conferences including Museums & the Web (USA), Museums Australia, INTERCOM, MCN (USA), and the National Digital Forum (NZ). My work has been published in CURATOR The Museum Journal, on the Museums Association UK website, and other websites and publications. Additionally, I have teaching experience at The University of Newcastle.

I am currently on the Executive Committee on the Board of the Museum Computer Network, as well as Program Co-Chair for the annual MCN Conference. In 2012, I was a member of the Advisory Board for the NMC Horizon Report – Museum Edition (2012/2013). I was on the working party for the Open Knowledge Foundation Network Australia and a member of the Program Committee for the UK Museum Computer Group conference. From 2012-2013, I wrote a regular From the Blogs column for the Museums and Galleries NSW enews.

In 2012, I was awarded the Inaugural Margaret Olley Friends of the University Postgraduate Scholarship for Fine Art. I have received grants from ArtsNSW and the Kress Foundation, and in 2011, was awarded the UoN Ltd. Annual Student Art Prize.

I hold a PhD (Creative Arts) and a BFA (Hons – 1st class, Faculty Medal) from The University of Newcastle, Australia, and a BArts (Comms – Print Journalism) from Charles Sturt University. Since moving to Baltimore in 2014, I’ve fallen in love with the city I now call home. You should visit me here sometime.profile

Find me on Twitter or connect here. You can also explore my other museum+innovation projects–Museopunks – a monthly museum podcast for the progressive museum, and CODE | WORDS: Technology and theory in the museum, an online experiment in online publishing and discourse (now also a book).

This blog is filled with my own opinions, and does not speak for any of the institutions I am associated with.

12 Responses “About” →
  1. Hi Suse – I love the blog.
    Quick geeky question, I like the functionality of the comments box – is it a standard wordpress plugin?
    all the best

    • Hi Mike! Thanks so much. It is so lovely to hear from you, and to know that you are enjoying the blog.

      In terms of the functionality – the whole blog is just a pre-packaged wordpress set up. The theme is “inuit types” – and the comment box etc is built into the theme. So while there might be a plugin for it, it’s not something I’ve had to chase down. Sorry I can’t be more help. I’m a pretty non-technical geek unfortunately.


  2. Thanks Suse – I had a quick look at the code and I think its something called highlander, seems I’m not the only one to be jealous!:

  3. Hi Suse!!!

    it’s nice hearing from you all kinds of things about museums and web 2.0! i I am not really a creator on the social web, so I am happy about you writing this blog about “our” topic. Thanks and best wishes, Bianca

    • Hey Bianca! Thanks for saying hi, and reading. One of my friends described my blog as being “like homework, but in a good way” so I still find it a bit novel that anyone reads it🙂

      Like you, I’d never really been a creator on the web until recently, but it’s very enjoyable (although strangely consuming). If you ever decide to give it a go yourself, send me a link.

  4. Hi Suse –

    I edit the Museums Association website (www.museumsassociation.org) and found your blog Can a technologist get ahead in museums very interesting. Would you ever let us repurpose it for the comments section of our site?


    If so, please drop me an email at patrick@museumsassociation.org. I look forward to hearing from you –

    Best regards,

  5. In addition to what has been said so far, I would like to amicaly provoke a further discussion focusing on the etymological root of “curator/curation”.
    It comes from Latin word “curare”, that means “treat”, “take care of” but also “love”, giving more importance to the intellectual.

    In this sense, a curator is someone who solves troubles. In knowledge, solving a trouble could mean to make available or giving a new vision about something previously misunderstood.

    Consequently, making a list could be a curation – well, not everi kind of list -: making a list you give information about you, your taste and so on, but also, you establish a hierarchy and logical connection between stuff you put in this list.

    This is only a sketch!

  6. Truly like your writing and thoughtful perspectives. Look forward to exploring your site further.

  7. wow! so many interesting articles to read! I would love to talk to you about AR VR developments in museums and the technology that we are seeing here. I would really appreciate it if we would speak. Thank you. Caroline. Tower of David Museum

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