One Saturday night in later July I took part in a panel discussion “URL Meets IRL”, organised by the wonderful Willa Koerner, that dived into ideas of art making, viewing, and collecting in the digital age. I joined some really smart panelist and a very engaged audience to get into the history of making, collecting and conserving art as it careens into the digital age.
A few weeks ago I sat down with Pili Mitchell from the Interaction Consortium, a fantastic digital agency in Sydney, to begin to answer the question How does a museum keep audiences interested when it’s closing its doors for three years?
The museum I work for, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, is current closed and on the go until 2016. Which opens up an opportunity for innovation in the way a museum can provide a engaging program without a physical venue for people to visit, as well as allowing space for interesting digital experiments. In the following interview I try explain what it’s like to part of a project that includes building a…
…a seven-storey football field worth of art and storytelling in the middle of downtown San Francisco.
Tate’s John Stack and I were featured in the most recent episode of Museopunks, the self-described “podcast for the progressive museum”. Entitled “Digital as a Dimension of Everything” it explores the questions that surround the role and placement of digital departments in museums. John talks about his experience as Head of Digital Transformation at Tate and I cover my recent experience at SFMOMA.
A number of people have asked me why I left Sydney for San Francisco. Why my family and I left our close friends and family, Sydney’s warm climate and great food, and I left a job with a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to move to America. There are lots of different answers to that question, but the museum-centric one is “something old and something new”.
I haven’t had a chance to post here since leaving the Museum of Contemporary Australia (MCA) to take up the position as Head of Web and Digital Platforms at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s Anish Kapoor ePublication was recently recognised at the global museum and technology conference Museums and the Web. The iPad application won the Rich Media category of the Best of the Web Awards.
I recently took part in the 6th iteration of the Museums & Mobile online conference, in a session entitled Usage data for mobile: what can it tell us? with Seb Chan from the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and Elena Villaespesa from the Tate, London.
It’s been a year since the launch of the award winning MCA website and enough time has passed that I can reflect of the process of UX, design and development and a make an honest assessment of the project.
When I first started working at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the main website (www.mca.com.au) had a flash header, an early 2000s aesthetic and scrolling ticker in the header (see below if you don’t believe me, those little people walk around at page load). There was no online collection, every exhibition – big or small – looked the same, there was no mobile support and the site was clearly in need of some love. Happily for me, the MCA had already begun work on a new web presence.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Kevin R. Brooks from Macquarie University about the mechanisms behind the inversions and distortions of Anish Kapoor’s mirror works. We also talked about Oracle, one of Kapoor’s early void works (and my favourite work in his exhibition at the MCA).
Dr Brooks is Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Science, Macquarie University, specialising in the research of Visual Perception and Psychophysics.
There are some great moments where the film crew are reflected and distorted in the mirrored surfaces in the background of our conversation. There’s also some visual trickery when we’ve turned a piece of footage taken through the deep red reflections of Blood Cinema upside down, in post production, so that it matches what Kevin is talking about at the time.