Browsing All Posts filed under »Ideas«

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 […]

When seeing becomes social: How the network is changing the way I look at the world.

February 15, 2013

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In response to the 2010 Edge Annual Question How Has The Internet Changed The Way You Think? classicist James O’Donnell proposed that his fingers have become part of his brain. That “the sign of thinking is that I reach for the mouse and start “shaking it loose”… My eyes and hands have already learned to […]

Is social media writing the new first rough draft of history?

December 19, 2012

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During recent weeks, I’ve felt somewhat suffocated by the media and social media coverage of events like Sandy Hook. I’m normally a news junkie, but lately I’m struggling to cope with the onslaught of information, of bitsy and incomplete pieces of coverage and comment across every platform I use. This is probably no great surprise […]

The Political Museum Professional

November 29, 2012

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Well, my 2012 world tour of museum conferences is over. After three conferences in three countries in four weeks, plus time at the Smithsonian and visiting plenty of museums, I have aeons of raw mental material for processing and synthesis. But as I begin doing so, I thought I’d start at the end rather than […]

A Museum Genome Project?

September 23, 2012

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Superquick post. I just noticed that Jasper Visser has written about the blurring of boundaries between things; between art fairs and libraries, between shops, restaurants and galleries. The delineations between institutions or organisations once seemingly quite distinct are becoming less so. Or, as Jasper puts it, “The label becomes less important.” As much as we’ve […]

Crowdfunding, hype & the Goddamn Tesla Museum

September 17, 2012

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There must have been a collective intake of breathe from museum professionals around the world last month when Matthew Inman from The Oatmeal put the call out to build a Goddamn Tesla Museum, inviting donations and support via Indiegogo.  The crowdfunding project has now raised more than $1.2million, with the city of New York promising […]

Inside/Outside: Criticising museum practice

September 8, 2012

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Given the ostensible parameters and protocols of the call for contributions to this volume, I am given to imagine myself as one of a group of contributors situated “outside” a (museum) “profession” and “looking in,” as a “scholar who has written books about museums but who [is] trained and work[s] in other disciplinary areas.” In […]

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