3.0 PARADIGM SHIFTSADVANCING UPON US ( E V E N A S W E H AV E N O T F U L LY I N T E G R AT E D T H E I M P O R TA N T P R E V I O U S I D E A S A N D S T I L L H AV E MUCH WORK TO DO) QUITO, ECUADOR 2 0 11
I ASK FORGIVENESS IN ADVANCE:I apologize for not speaking your native language while visiting your country.I feel it is only fair to warn you that this is a polemic, slightly exaggerated for effect, in order to starkly contrast my views from those of the more classic museologists of the past.I am an old women and impatient for wholesale change.
INTRODUCING ELAINE HEUMANN GURIAN’SCONTACT INFORMATIONegurian@egurian.com: emailwww.egurian.com: websiteAnd if you go to FLICKR, SLIDESHARE, LINKEDIN go to “egurian”If you read English go to the tab: “Omnium Gatherum” on my web page.
INTRODUCING ELAINE HEUMANN GURIANBorn in America in 1937 of German Jewish ImmigrantsGrew up in Queens, NY during the Holocaust which colored the images and anxieties of my childhood.Trained as an artist and etcher.Taught art education in elementary school.Begin during social action (mobile crafts and community –built playgrounds) in 1969 for the Mayor of Boston to pacify a city (Boston) that had rioted after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968Went into the inclusive museum business in 1968, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Boston Children’s Museum until 1987And in 1987 I became the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Museums of the Smithsonian.Etc, etc. etc. Why do I tell you this?
ELAINE’S DEFINITION OF MUSEUMS:I believe that Museums are much less important for the reasons that they use to justify their existence and much much more important for reasons of social integration.Museums have only two core competencies (and even these they share with others)Museums are:• Public Civic Spaces that allow and should encourage strangers/people/neighbors/friends to congregate.• Use three dimensional evidence to create understanding/knowledgeThe old definitions of (Collect, preserve, protect, educatedisseminate) are only in the service of the two competenceslisted above.
40 YEARS IN THE MUSEUM PROFESSIONMy whole career has been based on these overarching principals:• Our patrimony belongs to everyone• Museums hold objects in trust no matter what the law says about ownership.• Our institutions are often not welcoming both physically and philosophically.• The non-visiting public is not waiting for an invitation.• Creating true inclusion is difficult and multi- varied.• There is no “magic bullet”. You have to do everything you can think of and all the time.• The way the staff treat each other is apparent to the visitor. “If you “love” each other, the public will forgive everything. If you don’t, the public will forgive you nothing.
MUSEUM ADMINISTRATION, AND STRUCTURES • The majority of the museum profession in most museums are successfully resistant to change. • In order to become really inclusive there needs to be a change in philosophy AND administrative policy. Neither one alone is sufficient. • The classic museum structure that accords the curator special privilege and makes the functions of collections , curation, and research superior to the function of the public need never creates thorough-going inclusion no matter how well intentioned.
EL PENSAMIENTO MUSEOLOGICO LATINAMERICANO LOS DOCUMENTO DEL ICOFOM LAM 1992-2005
THREE OF THE NEW ISSUES• SHARED AUTHORITY• NEW DEFINITION OF COMMUNITY• VOLUNTARY CIVILITYEach have implications andopportunities for museum practice
THE EVIDENCE IN DAILY LIFE• The use of the cell phone is rising exponentially and narrowing the technological divide.• Whole countries need not put in electronic cabling because cell phones are replacing pc’s, lap tops, and telephones.• The web (accessed by cell phone, notepads, mp3 players, e- readers or computers) offer access to instant information.• This information is being created by everyone using the same tools. The people can be experts, credentialed, amateurs, or crackpots.• News services have learned how to integrate multiple sources of information into one format. (eyewitness, blogs, commentators, and academic background)• Eyewitness accounts of events are considered important evidence when evaluating the trustworthiness of any story.• Seemingly leaderless movements have brought governments down.• “Communities of interest” are being built using social network tools.• Each individual needs and uses virtual and actual social
GENEROSITY OF SPIRITThere is a tension on the web about information for free and for fee. Much information still remains free.Much of the tools we use are nonjudgmental service platforms (Facebook, Flickr, Linkedin, You Tube, slideshare).Much of the knowledge creation is created for free by people who could get paid for their work. It is a philosophical and perhaps genetic trait. (Wikipedia, amazon lists, creative commons, non-juried journals, reviews, etc.)There is a theory “Smart Mobs” that collaborative work produces better work than individual activity. Based on these assumptions, how does it affect museums and what action should they take?
SHARED AUTHORITY• Museum have been institutions of authority coupling objects with vetted information.• Museums evolved exhibitions from static (objects and texts) to multiple layers of interactivity using multiple strategies. However they have still controlled all of the content.• Museum has created interactive websites but mainly they have controlled all of the outcomes.• Museums have created advisory groups and first person techniques including the community voices but mainly through the editing function they have controlled the final product.• Everyone carrying a cell-phone when entering a museums looks up any information they wish without permission.• So the question is how will museums begin to share the platforms of communication with others in an unmediated way and accept the creation and sharing of
NEW DEFINITION OF COMMUNITYMy thesis of predictable organic change (no matter what content) comes in three interlocking parts. First there is an emerging organizational atomization that is allowing people to differentiate between an institutional mission and its physical assets. Because technology allows an organization to operate physically and virtually simultaneously people are beginning to accept the differentiation between place and service. Thus School and Education no longer need to be interchangeable.Secondly, because of the simultaneous (virtual and actual) continuous availability of service the system need no longer be delivered either by just one organization or during any appointed time. The public in getting used to this trans-border amalgam of services and is beginning to accept complexity and variety associated with any civic service. Thus, for example, the distinction between formal and informal education becomes obsolete as more and more opportunities for learning become recognized as creditable.Thirdly, we as citizens will collectively recognize a new definition of “village” and "community" as an interlocking network of service providers and will come to rely on interconnected systems rather than on any individual organizational units. What is happening is what Fiona Cameron calls “liquid democracy”“In a liquid modern frame knowledge production and the technique of education is no longer bound to specific apparatus such as the school or the museum nor are questions of agency formulated along one line, but, rather pluralised governmental possibilities emerge.” (Cameron)
VOLUNTARY CIVILITY – A FORM OFCITIZENSHIPThere are agreed rules of peaceable behavior in all public places. They are country specific but not the same place to place.When they are violated the citizens reinforce them with each other. (i.e. queues, selling, helping the elderly., behavior and safety of children, )The police reinforce them usually only when citizens are in danger or the behavior defies some public policy (i.e. safety for tourism)In order to be more inclusive, museums must examine their internal expectation of citizen behavior to see if it deviates from the public norm (quiet, interaction, nursing, etc.) and recalibrate so that civic safe norms are observed but one is not creating an atmosphere of mistrust. Where are the guards stationed for example, and what are they doing? Is it necessary?In a porous and multi-cultural integrated society, new forms of cooperative etiquette established for common behavior