ideas

How Fiction Saved My Museum Mojo

How Fiction Saved My Museum Mojo

  I do some of my best cogitatin’  sitting on my side porch, early in the morning, with a cup of coffee.   And this morning, in fact for much of the past month, I’ve been pondering how best to use my time to surface opportunities for museums in the area of ancillary activities.  Now, my […]

Read the full story...


MuseumNext Barcelona: A Wikipedian’s Perspective

MuseumNext Barcelona: A Wikipedian’s Perspective

  From May 23 to 25, I had the amazing opportunity to represent Wikimedia at MuseumNext in Barcelona, joining four other Wikimedians from countries throughout Europe.  Now in its fourth year, MuseumNext brings together an international group of cultural professionals to share best practices in digital engagement in museums. In addition to presenting about QRpedia, […]

Read the full story...


Consilioque manuque (Scholarship and Dexterity)

Consilioque manuque (Scholarship and Dexterity)

It’s June 1 and, unfortunately, my 2012 Summer Vacation is already a thing of the past.   This year’s two week hiatus from most work was a “Busman’s Holiday” of sorts.  My only son has declared his intent to become an art historian and so instead of dragging a reluctant teenager to museums and historic sites, […]

Read the full story...


GLAM-Wiki takes the American Association of Museums

GLAM-Wiki takes the American Association of Museums

As a museum studies student I have always looked forward to attending the American Association of Museums (AAM) annual meeting, where thousands of museum professionals nerd-out in over 100 sessions on museum theory and best practice. But, I would never have guessed that my first time at AAM would involve chairing a session …on Wikipedians […]

Read the full story...


Exploring Where No-Body Goes

Exploring Where No-Body Goes

When we talk about distance learning, telepresence, avatars, asynchronous communication and the plethora of philosophical issues surrounding digital technology in museums, issues relating to the physical and digital body are inevitably present in the conversation. These theoretical views on the body in the digital realm are too numerous to explore fully here, so I will […]

Read the full story...


Mission Critical

Mission Critical

So I had to bail from the AAM Annual conference in Minneapolis early. I had committed to a gaggle of sessions (I’m just a guy who can’t say no) that I had to extricate myself from. However, I found some technology that allowed me to participate asynchronously. I came across this service a month or […]

Read the full story...


A voice from the past at the Minnesota History Center

A voice from the past at the Minnesota History Center

Gratia Countryman (1866-1953) I wear many hats in my professional life–museum professional, museum studies instructor, art historian, archival researcher, social historian.  When something happens and they all come together it has all the makings of a great day.   I’m currently in Minneapolis at the 2012 American Association of Museum’s conference to represent MIDEA in a […]

Read the full story...


Amy’s Banana & Joseph’s Harp – The Magic of Art

Amy's Banana & Joseph's Harp - The Magic of Art

                  I’m one of those art historians who talks about art but cannot really create anything.  That’s why art–almost any kind of art—is magic to me.   So it was with something akin to reverence that I watched my NMC colleague Amy Parker draw the banana above using […]

Read the full story...


SETI

SETI

If you’re familiar with SETI you’ll know it’s the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, one of its projects is to search for signature transmissions from deep space that might indicate the presence of alien life. You might also be familiar with the SETI@home project which is an Internet-distributed computing project that uses idling computers to process […]

Read the full story...


Getty’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI)

Getty's Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI)

Not so very long ago, in 2008, the folks at the Getty Foundation launched an initiative aimed at helping museums explore the brave new world of what it means to publish scholarly catalogues online.   Nine museums, with diverse collections, were invited to join the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) : Art Institute of Chicago Freer […]

Read the full story...


Making the “Gradient”

Making the "Gradient"

A Stop to Smell the Roses in Assisi Each year, about this time, or a little earlier, Admin Superhero (and fellow MIDEA blogger) Nik Honeysett does a cover letter and resume review for the first year students in my museum studies course.   This is an important part of the curriculum for me, and for them, […]

Read the full story...


AAM and NMC Mash-Up: The Big Trends

When I caught wind of AAM’s Center for the Future of Museum’s inaugural TrendsWatch report, I immediately was interested in comparing it with the NMC Horizon Project’s recently announced top 10 Metatrends. It’s always fascinating to see how the discussions in the museum technology sphere go from potential fads to legitimate trends that are deserving […]

Read the full story...


GLAMcamp DC adds Sparkle to Museum-Wikipedia Partnerships

GLAMcamp DC adds Sparkle to Museum-Wikipedia Partnerships

When one hears “GLAMcamp,” the last thing that would come to mind is a gaggle of Wikipedians hacking on tech tools and documentation. But that’s precisely what GLAMcamp is — a three-day event that brings together Wikipedians to create tools, standards, and best practices for partnerships between cultural organizations and Wikipedia. A friendly reminder: GLAM […]

Read the full story...


GoSoapBox

GoSoapBox

I came across a new app called GoSoapBox that is designed as an instructional tool and feedback loop for teachers in the traditional classroom environment. As with every new educational technology that I encounter, I asked myself “how could museums use this?”  I think that GoSoapBox has some great potential for stimulating conversations about works […]

Read the full story...


iPad apps, Part 3: Pleasures of the Kin-Aesthetic, Sculptural and Journalistic

iPad apps, Part 3: Pleasures of the Kin-Aesthetic, Sculptural and Journalistic

Isn’t it amazing how what takes 15 minutes to present in a MacWorld talk takes three–or even four–blog posts to write?  Now what’s that about? On the one hand, the speed of speech vs. the slowness of text, and on the other, the speed with which one can navigate an app in a demo versus […]

Read the full story...


iPad apps, Part 2: Pleasures and Pains of the Kin-Aesthetic

iPad apps, Part 2: Pleasures and Pains of the Kin-Aesthetic

In my last post, I suggested that the promise of the iPad was that: by engaging us physically with a magic pane of glass that refreshes and surprises us through a succession of media, we’d become enchanted with the topics at hand (literally, at our fingertips) where curiosity leads, knowledge may follow While games are interactive, […]

Read the full story...


iPad apps, Conclusion: A List of Qualities

In my first three posts about art and museum reference apps, I spoke of: the plethora of shovel- and brochureware apps that don’t make full use of the iPad’s kin-aesthetic qualities, while games such as Tate’s, which demand physical responsiveness, do; the delight of a beautifully designed interface such as MoMA’s AbEx NY: it invites […]

Read the full story...


Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry

Taking a leaf out of the UK’s Sun newspaper, internationally regarded as the lowest form of pond life when it comes to sensationalising a story, I had to liven up the title for this post with some innuendo because I’m going to talk about tax returns – but stay with me. A couple of years […]

Read the full story...


iPad apps, Part 1: Pleasures and Pains of the Kin-Aesthetic

iPad apps, Part 1: Pleasures and Pains of the Kin-Aesthetic

I just spoke at MacWorld on a panel called “The World’s Biggest Art Museum,” and it gave me the opportunity to review the latest crop of art viewing and museum-based iPad apps. There are certainly a lot out there. Many are shovelware: notably, the plethora of inexpensive apps published by a company that goes by […]

Read the full story...


Not Another Revolution?

Not Another Revolution?

There are a number definitions to the word “revolution”. There’s the Arab Spring kind, “an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed”, where people get hurt; there’s the “sudden, complete or marked change in something” kind; and then, like the flared jeans I’m wearing, […]

Read the full story...


It is always wise to look ahead

It is always wise to look ahead

As my first MIDEA post what subject would I choose other than the Horizon Project? I have a number of quotes about predicting the future. My favorite used to be: “Prediction is difficult, especially about the future” Pithy, and because its such a good quote its attributed to a wide variety of people from Niels […]

Read the full story...


Pathways are not destinations….

 Pathways are not destinations....

…but we still need them to get where we want to be. You’re the top! you’re the Collosseum, You’re the top! you’re the Louvre Museum, You’re the melody from a symphony by Strauss, You’re a Bendel bonnet, A Shakespeare Sonnet, You’re Mickey Mouse! –Lyrics to Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top,” from Anything Goes (1934)   […]

Read the full story...


Defining Open Authority in Museums

Defining Open Authority in Museums

  As part of my museum studies MA, I have been researching the potential of Wikipedia as a platform for museums to encourage accessibility and community dialogue. My research happened to coincide with an incredibly inspiring discussion about authority among museum professionals, which led me to propose a new model for authority in museums: open […]

Read the full story...


If there is no wind, row!

If there is no wind, row!

Si ventus non est, remiga–Latin Proverb I’d like to end the year on an inspirational note, and so, the Latin quote, which roughly translated means “If there is no wind, row!”  I’m lucky enough to be able to remember a time at museums when there was actually more than enough money to go around and […]

Read the full story...