Teaching & Learning in Art Museums: Plugged In or Unplugged?


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Public talk by Mike Murawski at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, May 11, 2013.

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  • Last year, LACMA hosted a conversation between the Museum’s Director and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; a program entitled How to Be Happy, Change the World, & Embrace a New Way to Be Human. First, of all, it is simply amazing and worth noting that this type of dialogue would occur at an art museum, and I think we all know for good reason. The conversation centered on spiritual paths to being more human, and connecting with the world and others in meaningful ways that bring about profound world change, like ending apartheid.  Archbishop Tutu stressed the importance of listening, and making decisions to connect with others in human interactions each and every day. And he made a rather profound statement. He said:“I need you to make me human, and you need me to make you human.”
  • Teaching & Learning in Art Museums: Plugged In or Unplugged?

    1. 1. Teaching & Learningin Art Museums:Plugged InorUnplugged?Mike MurawskiDirector of Education & Public Programs, Portland Art MuseumFounding Editor, ArtMuseumTeaching.com
    2. 2. somethingi’d like toask you
    3. 3. When you visitmuseums, are you morelike this ...
    4. 4. When you visitmuseums, are you morelike this ...or this
    5. 5. Let’s start with a quick look at howPLUGGED INour experience with art can be today
    6. 6. Our museum experience may still begin with an encounter with a work of art
    7. 7. an artwork that intrigues us, catches our attention, or makes us ask questions,like this installation by Maurizio Cattelan in the Lifelike exhibition.
    8. 8. Then our experience goes digital as we take cell phone photos and instantly begin to share
    9. 9. Outside of visiting a museum inperson, we can access museums andtheir collections from any anywhere onany device with ease. Museums nowgo where you go.
    10. 10. Cleveland Art Museum, ArtLens& Gallery One project
    11. 11. How many of you arethinking more like thisnow?It’s OK.I won’t tell.(I might Tweet aboutit, though)
    12. 12. BUT WAIT,what about this?
    13. 13. In 2012, LACMA hosted a conversation between the museum’s director and Archbishop DesmondTutu, a program entitled How to Be Happy, Change the World, & Embrace a New Way to Be Human.“I need you to make me human,and you need me to make you human.”-Archbishop Tutu
    14. 14. Teaching and learning in art museums is about...Slowing down, looking closely, andseeing differently
    15. 15. Building communityCollaboratingLearning about each other
    16. 16. Teaching and learning in art museums is about...Digging down deep inside and pulling outour imagination & creativity.Making, moving, interacting, and feeling.
    17. 17. And while it brings us in connection to artists & objects...
    18. 18. It is also about making them our own,learning about ourselves, our society, our identityand who we are as human beings.
    19. 19. And these things can allhappen withouttechnology.
    20. 20. If your museum lostpower, would you stillbe able to providethese core, human-centered experiences?
    21. 21. Where does this leave us?Plugged in? Unplugged?Is there some balance? Can technologysupport human-centered experiences?
    22. 22. a possible example...3D Image Capture & Printing
    23. 23. 3D image capture in the galleries using iPhones and mobile devices
    24. 24. 3D printing at the Walters Art Museum
    25. 25. 3D Hackathon at the Met has users manipulating objects to create composites.
    26. 26. This is obviously very plugged in, yet is also ...• Collaborative, team-based• Object-centered – involves slow, kinesthetic, close looking• Brings in a very strong component of making/creating• BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – less dependent on museum tech• Tactile product – total visitor ownership (make it their own)
    27. 27. Where does this leave us?How do we strike abalance?
    28. 28. maybe we end up somewhere like this...; )