Three Proposals for the New Millennium…or the next 5 years!Peter SamisAssociate Curator,Interpretive MediaSan Francisco Mu...
No, we will not all be star children.…but we do aspire to be transformative.
But what will it take to get there?     How will we become transformative?
Practice #1:   LISTENING
Who are these people? And what are their goals for their museumvisit? And what about those who come less often?
Be uncomfortable.   ―The fear of what we might need   to do to be relevant.‖       -Olga Viso, Director, Walker Art Center...
DESIGN THINKING:1.   Empathize2.   Define3.   Ideate4.   Prototype5.   Test
Offering chamber. Withholding chamber.
“Design thinking is not pre-determinedby our solution. Don’t just refine thesolution. Refine the problem.‖                ...
Object sort activity at the Chicago History Museum.Families in action.©2011 Garibay Group. All Rights Reserved
The goal of this activity was to                                                                                     uncov...
Lo-tech and low-fiare, surprisingly,fine.
(The Oakland Museum ofCalifornia ―Art Lab‖used post-its on a wall.)
Along with a chair, a table, and a mirror.
They can still lead to results ofremarkable polish.
The ―You Are Here‖ activity in the California Portraits gallery.
Practice #2:   WORKING WITH ARTISTS  How will we become transformative? By  working with artists who have already  done th...
Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP
[And so they move us deeply.]
Some perhaps more superficially…but nonetheless offering us a fresh perspective…Machine Project’s Soundings: Bells at The ...
Or SFMOMA’s ArtGameLab.                   Crowd-sourced games with                   missions for the public to act       ...
―Bring a strange object to SFMOMA. Check it in the coat check. Document.‖
―Create your own version of a work ofart you find at SFMOMA. It can be anexact copy or an interpretation.‖        -supergo...
―Each time you hear, see or think this art word, perform the corresponding physical action.‖                       –instru...
[These six masked friends relax amid the blocks in the Koret Visitor EducationCenter’s family area after successfully comp...
Finally, how will we become transformative?                Scenario 3
Practice #3:      THROUGH TECHNOLOGY[Here used for interpretation, context-building, exposure to the artists when possible...
[Tate’s Muybridgizer app. Games clearly have a place here.]
What apps offer is the Pleasure of theKinAesthetic.
Univ. of Virginia Art Museum (UVaM) app: 18 objects                            [Not to mention the pleasure of real       ...
Words of Caution re: Seeing Technology as ourEngine of Transformation               ―No need to adapt our               ex...
On the other hand…  Technology can give us an ear and a  voice to enter into dialogue with our  visitors, and to reach the...
Diversifying our modes of address:         • Physical – in the galleries         • Social – as in social aesthetics       ...
But these structures are only justbeginning to be articulated. Our methodsof using technology to create a realdialogue—and...
May we be half as successful as WimWenders was in treating Pina Bausch!            Thank you.
Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!
Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!
Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!
Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!
Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!
Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!
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Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!

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Closing keynote delivered at the National Art Education Association Museum Division Pre-conference in New York City on Feb. 29, 2012.

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  • Thanks for the words of caution about seeing technology as our 'engine of transformation.' I keep using the phrase 'sustainable radical practice vs temporary revolution' in thinking about this tendency, and ways to break out of the endless cycles of techno-hype followed by the valley of despair. Best article I've read lately that addresses this is this one by Trevor Owens http://t.co/i3jAexm8 @tjowens
    I wish I could have heard your talk!

    Hugs,
    Nancy
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  • Peter,
    Great presentation. Posted link on https://www.facebook.com/museumplanning/posts/257478531000365
    -Mark
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  • And what are their goals for their museum visit? There’s obviously a growing literature about museum visitor identities and entrance narratives, but how closely are we all really listening to our own visitors? How often are we telling them what we think they ought to know, regardless of the questions in their own heads? How often do art museums do what we did with the fifth graders this morning: ask them what bores them, what puzzles them, and how we could better meet them where they are?And what about those who come less often? And do we decide to care or not care about those who never darken our door?
  • After all, many of our visitors are.>click<Very brave, that Olga Viso. We keep a brave game face on, but she’s reading the tea leaves, isn’t she!----- Meeting Notes (2/29/12 12:38) -----Remember what Lauren Brandt Schloss said in her touching final comment this morning to her kids: "I didn't know that letting you in to re-design the work would be so emotionally wrenching."It's uncomfortable to hear critiques of things we hold dear… from people we respect.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (2/29/12 12:38) -----[Hold long enough for people to write down the five words.]
  • When you really empathize with your users, it gives you a whole new take on what the problem might be.
  • Along with a chair, a table, and a mirror.
  • The You Are Here activity in the California Portraits gallery. [Describe what’s going on here. The set-up.]----- Meeting Notes (2/29/12 12:46) -----Kylie Peppler was talking about going from Constructivist to Constructionist paradigms this morning—and Peggy Fogelman echoed that the role of making is being revalued and integrated anew.
  • How will we become transformative? By working with artists who have already done the work to transform themselves. Some deeply.
  • And so they move us deeply.
  • And some perhaps more superficially—yet nonetheless offering us a fresh perspective. This is one of the ephemeral fruits of Machine Project’s 1-year residency at The Hammer Museum in LA. It’s called Soundings: Bells at the Hammer. 1:00-1:58!
  • And here is a set of crowd-sourced games with missions and assignments for the public to act out in the gallery. (The assignments are given in the Education Center, and the project was developed by Erica Gangsei, on my team.) In this game, visitors choose from a set of personas, each with its own needs and mask, and venture forth on their gallery quest. (Wearing the mask in the galleries is optional!)
  • Here’s an ArtGameLabassignment: Bring a strange object to SFMOMA. Check it in the coat check. Document!
  • And here: “Create your own version of a work of art you find at SFMOMA. It can be a exact copy or an interpretation.”I’ll let you decide which this is.
  • This is, not surprisingly, the gesture for “Line.” Other art words include composition, modernism, metaphor, and scale. The gestures can get quite dramatic.
  • These six masked friends relax amid the blocks in the Koret Visitor Education Center’s family area after successfully completing their missions.
  • [Here used for interpretation, context-building, exposure to the artists when possible. In this video, Robert Rauschenberg does what none of us can do: he plays his Trophy for John Cage in our self-authored multimedia tour, Making Sense of Modern Art Mobile.]
  • Here, Tate’s Muybridgizer app. So games clearly have a place here.
  • [Not to mention the pleasure of real immersion: they can follow you home, and you can share them around. Sometimes, you can even turn them around.]
  • And I emphasize dialogue—where we listen as well as speak.
  • Fertile territory ahead!
  • Three Proposals for the New Millennium--or the next 5 years!

    1. 1. Three Proposals for the New Millennium…or the next 5 years!Peter SamisAssociate Curator,Interpretive MediaSan Francisco Museumof Modern Art Anthony McCall, U and INAEA Museum Div. Pre-Conference New York February 29, 2012
    2. 2. No, we will not all be star children.…but we do aspire to be transformative.
    3. 3. But what will it take to get there? How will we become transformative?
    4. 4. Practice #1: LISTENING
    5. 5. Who are these people? And what are their goals for their museumvisit? And what about those who come less often?
    6. 6. Be uncomfortable. ―The fear of what we might need to do to be relevant.‖ -Olga Viso, Director, Walker Art Center, at AAMD
    7. 7. DESIGN THINKING:1. Empathize2. Define3. Ideate4. Prototype5. Test
    8. 8. Offering chamber. Withholding chamber.
    9. 9. “Design thinking is not pre-determinedby our solution. Don’t just refine thesolution. Refine the problem.‖ -Stanford d.school
    10. 10. Object sort activity at the Chicago History Museum.Families in action.©2011 Garibay Group. All Rights Reserved
    11. 11. The goal of this activity was to uncover patterns and identify common characteristics of objects that fell in each quadrant. This process allowed us to understand how families approach and think about objects. By uncovering these patterns, findings can be used to help CHM make decisions about ways to interpret collections and engage families. Thus, the purpose of the matrix is to more easily visualize groupings. Keep in mind that the focus is not on the individual objects, but rather on the patterns that emerged.Note that the italicized phrases in the quadrants (e.g., I know what…) were not onthe matrix used by families. These phrases were names we gave the quadrants tofacilitate analysis and discussion.©2011 Garibay Group. All Rights Reserved
    12. 12. Lo-tech and low-fiare, surprisingly,fine.
    13. 13. (The Oakland Museum ofCalifornia ―Art Lab‖used post-its on a wall.)
    14. 14. Along with a chair, a table, and a mirror.
    15. 15. They can still lead to results ofremarkable polish.
    16. 16. The ―You Are Here‖ activity in the California Portraits gallery.
    17. 17. Practice #2: WORKING WITH ARTISTS How will we become transformative? By working with artists who have already done the work to transform themselves. Some deeply.
    18. 18. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP
    19. 19. [And so they move us deeply.]
    20. 20. Some perhaps more superficially…but nonetheless offering us a fresh perspective…Machine Project’s Soundings: Bells at The Hammer: http://vimeo.com/14039519
    21. 21. Or SFMOMA’s ArtGameLab. Crowd-sourced games with missions for the public to act out in the gallery… -curated by colleague Erica Gangsei
    22. 22. ―Bring a strange object to SFMOMA. Check it in the coat check. Document.‖
    23. 23. ―Create your own version of a work ofart you find at SFMOMA. It can be anexact copy or an interpretation.‖ -supergoing.com/sfmoma
    24. 24. ―Each time you hear, see or think this art word, perform the corresponding physical action.‖ –instructions for Dialogues In Motion [This is, not surprisingly, the gesture for ―Line.‖ Other art words include composition, modernism, metaphor, and scale.]
    25. 25. [These six masked friends relax amid the blocks in the Koret Visitor EducationCenter’s family area after successfully completing their missions.]
    26. 26. Finally, how will we become transformative? Scenario 3
    27. 27. Practice #3: THROUGH TECHNOLOGY[Here used for interpretation, context-building, exposure to the artists when possible.In this video, Robert Rauschenberg does what none of us can do: he plays his Trophyfor John Cage in our self-authored multimedia tour, Making Sense of Modern ArtMobile.]
    28. 28. [Tate’s Muybridgizer app. Games clearly have a place here.]
    29. 29. What apps offer is the Pleasure of theKinAesthetic.
    30. 30. Univ. of Virginia Art Museum (UVaM) app: 18 objects [Not to mention the pleasure of real immersion: they can follow you home, and you can share them around. Sometimes,MoMA AbEx: de Kooning you can even turn them around.]
    31. 31. Words of Caution re: Seeing Technology as ourEngine of Transformation ―No need to adapt our exhibition designs to meet the needs of our visitors because we’re doing that through our nifty new mobile app!‖ It can become a palliative tool, justifying keeping the status quo modes of address in the physical galleries.
    32. 32. On the other hand… Technology can give us an ear and a voice to enter into dialogue with our visitors, and to reach them, on-site and online.
    33. 33. Diversifying our modes of address: • Physical – in the galleries • Social – as in social aesthetics • Emotive
    34. 34. But these structures are only justbeginning to be articulated. Our methodsof using technology to create a realdialogue—and to reach people in non-pedagogical ways—still need to bedeveloped.
    35. 35. May we be half as successful as WimWenders was in treating Pina Bausch! Thank you.

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