Posts tagged "technology"

announcing museum making: a research project.

This summer and through next May, I’ll be hard at work on my thesis research project, Museum Making: Creating with New Technologies in Art Museums. Over the past three years, art museums have launched initiatives inviting audiences—from casual visitors to professional artists and technologists—to take the reigns of creative production and experimentation with new technologies. Hackathons, startup incubators, labs, 3D printing workshops, and maker spaces are just some of the offerings that fall under museum making. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Media Lab to the Peabody Essex Museum’s Maker Lounge, I’ll be investigating how these initiatives have emerged and the impact they are having on communities of creators.

While many types of cultural and learning institutions—especially children’s museums, science museums, and discovery centers—have long incorporated making and creative technologies, my research primarily focuses on technology initiatives at art institutions. Among other things, I’m interested in exploring the implications of museum making on concepts of aesthetic value and creative production.

Museum making initiatives have only been adopted in art museums in the last few years. I believe this research project is an excellent opportunity to trace the historical precedents of these initiatives, while also observing how museum making develops and imagining its implications for the future of cultural institutions. Although this is a specific movement happening right now, the debates around it address broader questions: How do change and innovation happen in cultural institutions? Who gets to make cultural and art objects? And who gets to bestow aesthetic value on these new forms of art?

I launched a blog to share my thoughts and progress as I delve into my research. Over the next few months, I’ll be reading, writing, attending museum tech events, and talking with participants of these programs. If you’re involved in creative technology at a museum in anyway, or just generally interested in the subject, let’s talk!

this week in museum education.

It’s been a good week for museum education!

On May 14  at the NYCMER annual conference I learned how to write an effective art label and discovered I can transcribe historical restaurant menus. I also dined on the terrace of the New York Public Library with the technology peer group, in which we discussed our enthusiasm for and hesitations about digital media in museums.

At the office, I’ve been in the throes an evaluation of the Whitney’s multimedia guide (which includes Biennial audio stops just for kids). It’s been fascinating the hear feedback and ideas to improve the guide in the future.

Speaking of the Whitney, For Kids placed third on Artinfo’s top 10 art museum websites, right behind our mama whitney.org. Occupying 20% of the list is not too shabby.

And on Sunday, May 20, I made it to the tail end of THATCamp Museums NYC. We discussed everything from 13 year olds fact-checking the Met’s floor maps to applying  disruption theory to museums. While conversation tended toward speculation of the future of museums and technology, I learned one very concrete thing: Always be in beta.

(image source)

Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically.

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