This year I’ve had the pleasure of being ridiculously busy. Lots of productive things have happened in the meantime, and I wanted to use this space as a repository for bits of text/media that are currently scattered across the Internet that I would like to keep around. If I had a more dynamic tagging structure for this blog, I would tag this post RELENTLESSLY SELF-CENTERED, so be warned.
I was a speaker at the Museum Computer Network conference in Seattle, WA, in a full panel called The Social Museum.
Sarah Bailey-Hogarty of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Kathryn Jaller of the Contemporary Jewish Museum and I worked together closely to create a fully integrated presentation looking at the ways that museums can be more social on social media, through engagement with online audiences, other museums, and staff. We also collaborated with the infamous and anonymous online personality Museumnerd to break open the insular conference model by using Google+ Hangouts to stream our closed-room presentation out to a much wider audience. The archived Hangout is below– apologies for the weird faces I’m making, I was trying to tweet and read Museumnerd’s chats to me while presenting to a full room at the same time. So yes, the video is a bit wonky, but I think our presentation ended up being highly interesting and informative for anyone interested in museums and social media. If you watch it, let me know your thoughts! Oh, and if you hate our low-fi hack-of-a-video, the slide share (with our complete powerpoint) and a professionally shot video of the whole thing should be up on MCN’s website soon. I’m also hoping to wrangle my thoughts on the conference + other presentations I attended into a new blog post soon, so stay tuned for that.
This year I also spoke at The Creators Project on a panel called The Digital Museum, which was hosted by Julia Kagansky. And, back in February, I gave two presentations with fellow SF-area social media folks at the California Association of Museums Conference. After my first year as a fulltime museum professional, I managed to survive a few terrifying public speaking engagements with nary an ulcer or nervous breakdown–SUCCESS!
Brady Welch featured me on his awesome blog, Yr Doing A Great Job.
Brady is a great writer and producer who used to live here in SF, but has since moved to NYC to work for Mercedes Benz (COOL GUY ALERT!). We used to play in a band together called Sheep Skin City, which was fun. Anyway, he interviewed me for his blog and I swear it wasn’t only because we’re friends– he actually thinks I’m doing a great job at my job, I think. Right, Brady?
Q: Do you think social media adapts to how people already communicate or that people adapt to how social media allows them to communicate?
A: People have adapted to the new forms of communication that various social media platforms can facilitate. Obviously communicating through Twitter looks and feels differently than communicating through Facebook or Instagram, and there’s no argument that people haven’t adapted their ways of “storytelling” to work within the constructs of each medium. There are gains and losses here – obviously Twitter has worked as an amazing communication tool in some cases, such as with the artist Ai Weiwei or the Arab Spring. On the other hand, social media can be said to have trivialized communication and maybe kids these days can only think and write in 140 characters. Like all things, it depends on how you look at it. But I’m optimistic.
Read the full post here.
I finally wrote an un-work-related post for SFMOMA’s blog, Open Space.
The post is about Janet Cardiff’s The Telephone Call, which has sadly gone off view since the post was published. I was compelled to write about Cardiff’s piece because (as I hope you all know by now) SFMOMA will be closing to the public in about 6 months for a massive expansion project. If you’re finding this out for the first time right now, I apologize and virtually pat you on the back, because (brace yourself) the museum will be COMPLETELY CLOSED for NEARLY 3 YEARS. When the building reopens, Botta’s designs will have been hugely altered, and the staircase will be gone. This means that Cardiff’s piece will need to be re-configured by the artist in order to still “work,” in the sense that it’s a video tour through an architectural space that relies on a close relationship between what the viewer is experiencing in real life and what’s being viewed through the digital video. Anyway, it’s a completely fascinating piece, and hopefully if you missed seeing it at the museum, you can read my blog post and imagine yourself experiencing it in real life? :-
Just for a moment, press rewind and allow yourself to enter an alternate universe in which another’s past becomes your present. For now, your only anchors to reality are a handheld video camera and your own two feet hitting the floor. You are inside SFMOMA. Other museum visitors mill about as you become a visitor inside a stranger’s head. The camera pulls you away from your life and into the stranger’s, articulating her own experience of being present. As you gaze at the world through her eyes, the stranger dares you to look more closely, to see meaning where you hadn’t noticed it before. For 15 minutes you’re isolated in public, immersed in an experience that isn’t exactly yours, but has somehow taken you over.
Read the full post here.
Something I wrote was also published on the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s blog.
As we talked about in our MCN conference, Sarah, Kathy and I are working hard to break down barriers between the museums/cultural institutions of San Francisco. What does this mean? We attend each other’s museums for media previews, and use our own personal social media accounts + museum accounts to broadcast a wide array of culturally-relevant art information, for the good of the whole San Francisco arts scene rather than merely for the marketing purposes of our own institutions. In allegience to this plan, a blog post I wrote for this blog about the #MuseumOlympics was published to the FAMSF’s blog, which is (if I do say so myself) pretty cool.
Read the post here.
Oh, and way back in July, I got a nice little shout-out in Complex Mag’s piece, 15 Rules for Success from Creative Industry Insiders.
My rule for success? Be the nicest, friendliest, most genuine person you can be. This rule still stands, so if you ever catch me being a mega-b*tch, call me out.
Two more things to stick in here as 2013 approaches…
SFMOMA’s Twitter account (for which I am the lone content producer/editor/manager) was named one of The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012 by TIME Magazine. As the first and only museum to make the list, I’m pretty proud 🙂
The West Coast’s first museum dedicated to 20th century art is now the first museum to make our Top 140 Twitter Feeds. Let’s state the obvious: the point of art museums is to educate and expose us to the history of art. By providing reviews on exhibitions, and art history facts you might not otherwise know, we’ll put it this way: SFMOMA has mastered the art of twitter.
SFMOMA’s Pinterest account was also named in TIME’s The Top 30 Pinners You Should Follow Now. Aside from the Archives of American Art, we’re the only museum on that front, too.
Since the invention of the Internet, the way we view and discover artwork is no longer limited to the construct of four white gallery walls. Museums have been making digital strides to take their work from the gallery walls to the computer screen in compelling ways to inform the public about art, with SFMOMA as an exemplary case. Here, you’ll find everything you’d hope for on a Pinterest board, but with an artistic slant. Food? Mondrian cake. Design? Josef Albers’ “Homage to the Square.” Fashion? Cindy Sherman’s self portraits.
On Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 12pm, Suzanne Stein, SFMOMA’s Head of Community Engagement, and I will launch our first ever collaboratively-produced online conversation. Using Google+ Hangouts, we’ll convene participants from our recent crowd-sourced project, Art MicroHubs. During the conversation we’ll ask participants a range of questions, such as, how are smaller-scale art spaces crucial to both high-culture cities and towns with fewer cultural resources? and WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH ART MICROHUBS? By asking the folks who have participated in the project to tell us what to do with it, I’m hoping to actually get somewhere with the content + mission. Sure, we can throw together a million projects that ask for participation, but can we foster a meaningful relationship with smaller-scale art spaces and artists that is powerful and useful to both them and the museum? What should the goals of these types of projects even be? I can’t wait to tackle these big questions LIVE ON AIR with anyone/everyone watching and participating. Stay tuned here for more info!