Old-ish Content Warning!
You are viewing a post that’s more than three years old. There’s a good chance that a lot of the following is seriously out-of-date (or at least not reflective of my current thinking on this topic). Proceed with caution.
Hey, so apparently I have a blog! Who knew? At any rate, it looks like I’m going to be speaking at this year’s MuseumNext conference (travel budget permitting) in Barcelona, where I’ll be joining Nancy Proctor, Nate Solas, Robin Dowden, Hein Wils, Ferry Piekart, and lots of other museum smartsies for several days of kicking presentations and conversations. I’ll try and fill this out in greater detail later, but for now, here’s what I’m planning on talking about…
How much of museums’ total overall effort is bound up in potential? How much time do museums waste defining “best practices” instead of simply moving ahead with a solution that just works? Because the museum as it exists today is still essentially built on the 19th-century model, changes in practice still tend to evolve over years, if not decades. In a culture that now evolves at web-speed, the pace of museums’ own evolution is fundamentally unsustainable, if not suicidal.
Digital and technology practice in museums has, like a jet plane strapped to a hand cart, been artificially grafted onto this ancient model, with checkered results. Technology has been used by museums primarily as a tool of efficiency (produce label copy out of our CMS, stat!) or of strained relevancy (participatory culture! gamification!), rather than as a foundational concept. But what if this weren’t the case? What if a museum’s overall practice were built outwards from its technology efforts, rather than the other way around? What would a museum built from the ground up for speed and agility, rather than stability and longevity, look like? This presentation will speculate on this idea by examining the possible evolution of museum practice from a number of perspectives, including (but not limited to):
This presentation will pose many more questions than it will answer, but in so doing, will suggest new frameworks of understanding as attendees work towards building the museum of the future.
See you there, kids!