Art making, viewing and collecting in the digital age

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.

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How does a museum keep audiences interested when it’s closing its doors?

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.

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Mash-up Culture Roundtable at SXSW 2014

ER&L (Electronic Resources & Libraries) organised a side event at the 2014 edition of South by South West SXSW that I was invited to be part of. It was called #ideadrop and ran as a series of live streamed talks and roundtables on themes that effect and influence the sector. I was part of a session called Mashup Culture put together by Jon Voss of Shift Design and History Pin. It sought to “explore the legal, technological and cultural framework which is creating new models of working with cultural assets in the context of mashup culture, and how libraries, archives and museums can lead the way”.

I kick off the session with a bit on my Oh So Criminal project, tune in below.



Where should you put a digital department in your museum?

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.

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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”.

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On saying good bye

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).

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Museums & Mobile: stats and analytics

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.

 of the Engaging Museums blog has written a great recap of the whole conference, so I’m going to focus on my session.

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Building a successful museum website

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.

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