Posts Tagged 'National Digital Forum'

News Update 2 September, 2014

Kia ora

As well as electioneering and dirty politics, there has been some interesting news coverage about the power of art and culture – to enrich, to heal and to celebrate. Auckland Museum played a symbolic role in the Tuhoe Treaty of Waitangi settlement, with the return of the Maungapōhatu flag taking centre stage at the recent ceremony in Taneatua. Christchurch Art Gallery once again gained the spotlight with its activity in the wider community through public art.  In Dunedin, DPAG hosted the launch of a creative strategy for the city, Ara Toi Otepoti: Our Creative Future.

Auckland Museum Director Roy Clare is in the online news with an article for Museum iD exploring the implications of digital engagement and audience expectations. MA also made the news, along with museum colleagues, in a Listener article looking into the issues behind the recent controversy over MTG Hawke’s Bay.

The MA Board has finalised our new Strategic Plan that we work-shopped last month. There are now agreed strategies and actions under the revised mission statement. You can read more on our website.

On the national scene, some things change, and others stay the same. Creative NZ has released the report of its recent review of Visual and Craft/Object art, which confirms some existing arrangements and offers some increased grant limits but no radical change. Heritage New Zealand, formerly NZ Historic Places Trust, has released its new Statement of Intent 2014-2018 and Performance Expectations 2014-2015 with its new look, which looks much like business as usual within tight budget constraints.

Coming events you might want to be part of include Ask a curator day on 17 September, and this is Tongan language week.

And one more opportunity – MA is supporting the National Digital Forum 2014 by offering a registration bursary. Applications are due 30 September, for details see Opportunities below.

Mauriora,

Nā Phillipa māua ko Talei

Advertisements

National Digital Forum Reflections (National Horseless Forum?)

Phillipa and I attended the National Digital Forum (NDF) conference last week. Phillipa is on the NDF Board, which is great for Museums Aotearoa, because it keeps us in the loop with one of the few organisations spanning the entire NZ ‘GLAM sector’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums). New Zealand is pretty small, and it seems we’re all sitting in our respective cultural/memory/identity institutions thinking about similar challenges. We should be talking to each other as much as possible. So that’s what we did last week, and here are a few thoughts I had…

It was my second NDF conference, and I’m happy to report it was every bit as interesting as my first. Last year I was initially bemused at the concept of attending a ‘cross sector digital conference’. How frightening. I’ve only just mastered the microwave. Needless to say, I donned my best imposter stance and got on with it. I was pleasantly surprised then, as I was last week, with the relevant content discussed.

NDF is not a conference of tech people talking in inaccessible languages about the latest widgety wizardry thing they have created. Well, I suppose there’s a little bit of that, but it’s also very much a forum of thought provoking questions, challenges, calls to action, and actual constructive discussions about the future of our work. In a rapidly changing ‘digital environment’. Otherwise known as the modern world.

There was a lot of information thrown around over two days, and different people will be taking away different ideas to apply to their work. From my perspective, a week later, I have a few comments stuck in my mind that I’d like to share.

The first is from Michael Lascarides, of New York Public Library fame. He kicked off the conference talking about some projects they’re currently working on. Including What’s on the menu?, a crowdsourced menu transcription project, and their very fun Map Warper tool, which locates historical maps onto their current location/current maps, and also works on the principle of public participation. They’re fantastic projects, well worth checking out.

Within this presentation, Michael made the comment that “digital is the new horseless”. In other words, to define anything as digital is becoming increasingly redundant, because all we’re doing is making a statement about what it is not. (Incidentally this is a thought which occurs to me when I select the ever mysterious ‘vegetarian option’ at weddings. I don’t know what it is, but I do know what it’s not). So in this case, we’re making an arbitrary distinction between the physical and the non-physical. I think this is an important point, and one that we need to be constantly reminding ourselves about. Quit thinking about fancy digital experiences/content. Just focus on authentic experiences/content. Understand that people expect the technology of the day to be part of everything that they do, and the technology that enables our work always has been, and always will be changing.

The second related (throwaway) comment that I liked was made by Michael Parry from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, in Melbourne. They’ve been doing some cool things, such as their 15 Second Place project. The idea is that people capture ‘the mood of the place they’re in’, in a 15 second video, and upload it to an ACMI site via iPhone app. Apparently the app also works on iPod touch and iPad, and you can view the site (but not upload content) on other mobile devices. It’s an experience made for iPhone users. People are using it, having fun, telling their stories.

Someone asked Michael about ACMI’s decision to design for iPhone, and Michael made a quip along the lines of ‘Have you ever seen someone taking a video on an iPad? Yeah, they look like a dick’. Which I thought was wonderful. That’s a joke, obviously (although I did see someone taking a photo outside Te Papa with an iPad yesterday, and would have to agree…) but what I liked was the attitude of not over-thinking the creation of a thing/experience/interaction. Do what is logical. Focus on your audience. Don’t try and do everything, just do something well. Make things. If they’re wrong, change them.

The third fond moment worth sharing was actually from a slide in Lucinda Blaser’s presentation. Lucinda is from the National Maritime Museum in London. Her presentation was all about getting data out there. The attitudinal shift from making sure all information presented to the public is curated, complete and accurate, to simply making all data available. Knowing that in some cases it will be wrong, and allowing the public to play a part in the collection/modification of the information we hold.

What tickled me during Lucinda’s presentation was a selection of quotes that I believe had been transcribed from a ship’s log. One of these gems was simply “course diverted to investigate whales”. I liked this, firstly because it made a nice interlude to imagine a ship full of ye olde English sailors gallivanting around the oceans ‘investigating’ whales, and secondly because I thought it nicely illustrated the human connection to the content that we talk about. We can not know how people (now or in the future) will use the content that we have, what they will take from it, what it will mean to them, and it doesn’t matter. What we do know is that people probably won’t find any of it unless we make it accessible, put it out there, share our things/stories/connections. Do this well, and we can sit back and let people make their own emotional connections.

That’s my two cents worth.

As a vaguely related endnote, I want to let you know that the Wellington City Council last month ‘launched’ the 1892 Thomas Ward maps of central Wellington as an additional layer you can select to view in their public GIS system (which shows other useful information like drainage layers, and property boundaries etc). Here’s a press release from the Mayor getting excited about said ‘Geospatial Goldmine’. It’s a small step, but it’s in the right direction. There’s a lot more gold just waiting to be exploited in that mine. And there’s a big role for us (and by us I mean GLAMs) all to play in that ‘mining expedition’, so to speak.

We need to be thinking about getting out of our bunkers and talking to each other, working together even. Illustrating the potential of our information! How it can enrich lives! Taking it to the people!

Incidentally, our next conference is in April – in Wellington. The theme is collaboration.

Come.

Talk to your colleagues.

Sophie de Lautour Kelly – MA Membership Services Manager

News Update 30 June 2011

Registration is now open for the 10th National Digital Forum (NDF) conference at Te Papa in November, and the first international keynote speaker has been confirmed. If you’re quick, you could register online before the end of the June financial year. Visit the NDF website for details here.

This month, Christchurch continues to struggle to find a ‘new normal’ as continuing aftershocks make people feel they’re going one step forward, two steps back. The recent announcment of residential ‘red zones’ seems to be causing even more uncertainty while insurance and logistics are worked out. There have been useful discussions amongst culture and heritage organisations, and we hope that there will be some progress for museums and galleries there soon.

In New Plymouth, Minister the Hon Christopher Finlayson has announced $4million towards the planned Len Lye Centre from the Regional Museums Fund, adding to other pledged support. Patterson Architects are appointed and more information and an image of the proposed centre can be found here.

Further north, the Whangarei Art Museum is closing its doors on the 4th of July, 15 years after its opening in the former Plunket Rooms in the Rose Garden at Cafler Park. They will spend the next two months packing and moving to exciting new preimses in The Hub in the Town Basin, where the art museum will reopen on the 13th of September.

The Kauri Museum has just launched a series of three video movies on the kauri industry which are now on permanent show the Museum in Matakohe. The Speaker, Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, made a keynote address at a ‘premiere’, citing the movies as a vital educational resource. The videos on DVD are the work of Kiwi film-maker Tom Williamson, who has sourced rare film footage from searches in the national archives, Alexander Turnbull Library and National Film Unit, and include interviews with survivors who worked during the last days of the tree felling, and with people involved in restoring the damage today. Kauri – The Timber tells of how the huge trees were felled in the bush and transported to the sawmills; Kauri – The Gum relates how the swamps were worked and the product was collected and sold, while Kauri – Heart of the Forest, Soul of a Nation, tells how attitudes changed from ruthless timber extraction to total protection.


Derek Hope (Chairman), Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, Betty Nelley (Curator)
and Tom Williamson (Film Producer) at The Kauri Museum DVD launch.

Looking overseas, the British Museum has won the UK’s biggest museum sector prize, the £100,000 Art Fund Prize. The winning project is its ambitious and far-reaching ‘A History of the World’ project which examines 100 collection objects chronologically presented via the internet, radio broadcasts and a book, developed in partnership with the BBC and a huge number of other contributors. Michael Portillo, who chaired the judges, said: “We were particularly impressed by the truly global scope of the British Museum’s project, which combined intellectual rigour and open heartedness, and went far beyond the boundaries of the museum’s walls. Above all, we felt that this project, which showed a truly pioneering use of digital media, has led the way for museums to interact with their audiences in new and different ways. Without changing the core of the British Museum’s purpose, people have and are continuing to engage with objects in an innovative way as a consequence of this project.” Radio NZ National has been broadcasting four 15-minute segments each week after The Arts on Sunday, and you can visit the BM website here to listen to the broadcasts, view the objects and read more information.

Last week we saw extraordinary media images of Vancouver erupting in riots after the loss of an ice hockey match. Now the Museum of Vancouver is planning to collect and document, if not keep, all the plywood panels that have boarded up the broken windows – they have become a ‘citizen wall’, a kind of instant message board covered in graffiti and messages about the riots, a place for anonymous expressions of remorse, solidarity and pride in the city. See news reports here and here. I wonder if what would happen in NZ if we lost the rugby world cup final to Australia – and how would our museums respond?

Nga mihi,
Phillipa


Aratoi Museum of Art & History Friends’ Residency

The Friends of Aratoi – Wairarapa Museum of Art and History are sponsoring a new residency at Wairarapa’s New Pacific Studio, Kaiparoro Historic House, RD 1, Mount Bruce, Masterton, New Zealand. The residency is of one to four week’s duration and worth $NZ1000. It enables NZ visual artists, writers or historians the opportunity to live in a tranquil yet stimulating rural environment with many facilities – such as broadband, an excellent library and a well-appointed kitchen plus private and very well-appointed studio/study spaces where their creativity can thrive and their projects can be worked on. Applications should be received by NPS by the end of August, 2011, and the residency is available to be taken up between December 2011 and May 2012. For further information consult www.newpacificstudio.org


Centenary of the First World War

We are fast approaching the major milestones of the centenary of the First World War: August, 2014 sees the centenary of the outbreak of the World War I, and April, 2015 the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Over the next few years many organisations will be busy planning and executing an ambitious programme to mark these dates, and the many centenary observances that will occur, through to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, in November 2018.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has embarked on a government-led initiative to coordinate and inspire cooperation within the GLAMs and education sectors. At their suggestion and in consultation with Te Papa, Auckland War memorial Museum will host a day-long workshop, brainstorm and symposium on Centenary Planning, to be held on 21 July 2011. This will be a chance to share what your institution is thinking about during these crucial early planning stages, to hear what your colleagues are doing and to perhaps inspire partnerships and shared resources to create a worthwhile programme for all New Zealanders. We will also have some guest speakers to share what is being planned on a national and international level.

Further opportunities for discussion and planning will be arranged later in the year. Please contact Russell Briggs, Director of Exhibitions and Programmes, at rbriggs@aucklandmuseum.com or ring him on 09 302 3992 if you are interested.


PSA Banner competition

The Museum of Wellington City and Sea is working with the Public Service Association to manage a national competition for artists, designers and makers to submit entries for a new banner to mark the PSA’s Centenary in 2013. There is a prize of up to $15,000. The Museum will be touring the winning entries in 2013 and welcomes enquires.

For details and entry forms for the contest: http://psa.org.nz/Centenary.aspx
For exhibition and touring details: paul.thompson@wmt.org.nz


Museums Aotearoa Tweets

Join Museums Aotearoa

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: