Disruptive technologies: are museums immune?

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The internet is a disruptive technology for many types of industry - famously, the music reproduction industry. Are museums going to be affected by this or as cultural organisations, are they immune to these effects?

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Disruptive technologies: are museums immune?

  1. 1. 21 st Century Curation Disruptive technologies: Are museums immune? www.suzannekeene.info
  2. 3. Disruptive technologies? <ul><li>They are radically different from existing technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Initially perform worse by some measures than existing dominant ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal to a market sector that’s not important and not served profitably by established technologies. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Notable examples <ul><li>Music downloads and file sharing vs. compact discs </li></ul><ul><li>e-publishing vs. physical publications </li></ul><ul><li>e-commerce vs. physical shops </li></ul><ul><li>Open-source software vs. proprietary software (Linux) </li></ul><ul><li>Digital photography vs. conventional photography </li></ul>
  4. 7. Museums - what disruption? <ul><li>Nature of collections and their management </li></ul><ul><li>Collect the intangible heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Demand to contribute and share (W2) </li></ul><ul><li>Disclose what’s in the collections </li></ul>
  5. 8. Disruption – 3 sources <ul><li>Expectations and costs </li></ul><ul><li>Collecting </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for greater collections access and use </li></ul>
  6. 9. Expectations and costs
  7. 10. Melbourne Museum ethnography collections
  8. 13. Collections in two museums
  9. 14. Does it matter?
  10. 15. Archaeology Natural history Science + industry Local history
  11. 16. Does it matter?
  12. 17. 1001 kinds of collection <ul><li>the aesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>functional objects </li></ul><ul><li>archives for research </li></ul><ul><li>places & people collections </li></ul><ul><li>intangible heritage </li></ul>
  13. 18. 1001 collections, 1001 uses ... <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Memory + identity </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoyment </li></ul>
  14. 20. Museum examples ISIN – scientific instruments
  15. 21. 21 st Century Curation for museums? <ul><li>Guardians of collections </li></ul><ul><li>>>> facilitators of engagement with them </li></ul><ul><li>Storing static collections </li></ul><ul><li>>>> collections as a service (but ... for the future, too) </li></ul><ul><li>Different and separate from other institutions </li></ul><ul><li>>>> some of the players in a networks for research, learning, creativity, enjoyment and leisure – in which others take the lead </li></ul>
  16. 22. ‘ The museum needs to be turned inside out – the back rooms put on exhibition and the displays put into storage.’ Mark Dion, installation artist
  17. 23. www.suzannekeene.info

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