Browsing All Posts filed under »Ideas«

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Transforming audiences, transforming museums

January 27, 2016

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Digital transformation is really about something else that often isn’t openly talked about – transforming audiences. – Seb Chan What does it mean to transform an audience? Is it a shift in the make-up of an audience, how that audience is conceived, how an audience behaves and interacts with an institution, or all three? I’ve been trying […]

Invisible Architectures

March 11, 2015

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Well, the MCN2015 theme has been posted, and I could not be more excited to share it with you: MCN 2015: The Invisible Architectures of Connected Museums: Making Meaning with People, Collections, and Information The world continues to move past the simple physical/digital dialectic towards a more nuanced matrix of architectures uniting digital and material culture. For […]

Do new technologies democratise museum collections, or reinforce conservative values?

January 21, 2014

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I am fascinated by power. When I was involved with the music industry, and my friends were busy dissecting the production values of obscure indie records, I was reading the street press to find out who the power brokers were. I wanted to know which individuals shaped what I heard, or could make or break […]

Declarative relationships, and the promise of social media interactions

December 2, 2013

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A few months ago, I finally ‘Facebook friended’* someone with whom I’d been friends for some time. Writing on his wall in the days after, I made note of the fact that our friendship was now ‘real’ because it was publicly declared; a kind of symbolic nod to our relationship that was now visible to […]

“I like your old stuff better than your new stuff.” On 3D mashups, appropriation, and irreverence.

October 29, 2013

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I just happened to stick my head up from the books for a moment to catch a wild discussion taking place on Twitter about whether 3D mash-ups of masterpieces are ‘sacrilege’ or merely ‘winking irreverence’. Arts journalist Lee Rosenbaum Tweets that the ‘@MetMuseum‘s digerati should serve the curators, not the other way around’, and is […]

Worlds within worlds: Immersion and museums

March 7, 2013

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There has been significant discussion in recent months about immersive experiences in museums. Seb Chan and Ed Rodley have both written on the subject in response to the site-specific performance Sleep No More; Elizabeth Merritt has asked what museums can learn from Derren Brown: Apocalypse, a two-part television series that immersed a single protagonist in a surreal ‘other […]