Some closing (opening) thoughts:   Learning in Museums 2008   Peter Samis Associate Curator, Interpretation San Francisco ...
1. The Importance of Interpretation Tate Modern’s  Principles <ul><li>Interpretation is at the heart of the gallery's miss...
The fact that museums never have time to interpret their own collections is one of the best-kept secrets of the profession...
And yet, do interpretive resources make a difference? (Statistics courtesy Randi Korn & Associates)
<ul><li>The  more interpretive resources  visitors used,  the more  they appreciated  the art—regardless of whether they h...
Building in-House  capacity
Permission  /  forgiveness <ul><li>You have to feel  personally committed  because you’re the  owner , proponent,  & advoc...
And besides, nothing succeeds like success.
<ul><li>Subject matter expertise (curatorial/historical) </li></ul><ul><li>Visitor Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Communication...
2. Revolution /  Evolution
Capability - Maturity Model <ul><li>Initial phase:   “heroic” </li></ul><ul><li>Managed phase:  “1-deep” </li></ul><ul><li...
“ I’m gonna learn about  Technology  and he’s gonna learn about  Education .” The Two Jasons
Tools with low barriers to entry <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Pachyd...
“ Many iterations to take us to where we want to go.” —Mike Mouw, MHS <ul><li>Experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>Failure </...
3. Web 2.0  and visitor engagement Olafur Eliasson
“ Objecthood  doesn’t have a place in the world if there’s not  an individual person  making use of that object.”  A Radic...
How we represent  How visitors  take  ourselves officially us into their own   lives
 
 
…to the point of re-inventing ourselves for various audiences: or letting them do it for us!
“Learn how to use the technologies people are using.” “ Then you’ll find out  why  they’re using them.”  —Sarah Schultz
 
Quotations from  Chairman Chris <ul><li>“People go to museums often to  get away  from  technology.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Th...
“ The most popular interactive is still the postcard.” And yet… Jane Burton,  Tate Modern Don’t forget the analog! neglect
Happy  Trails!
 
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Learning in Museums 2008 Closing remarks

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Presented in Minneapolis on June 21, 2008.

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Learning in Museums 2008 Closing remarks

  1. 1. Some closing (opening) thoughts: Learning in Museums 2008 Peter Samis Associate Curator, Interpretation San Francisco Museum of Modern Art AAM-LiM Minneapolis 21 June 2008
  2. 2. 1. The Importance of Interpretation Tate Modern’s Principles <ul><li>Interpretation is at the heart of the gallery's mission. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Works of art do not have self-evident meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>3. We believe that works of art have a capacity for multiple readings and that interpretation should make visitors aware of the subjectivity of any interpretive text. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Interpretation embraces a willingness to experiment with new ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>5. We recognise the validity of diverse audience responses to works of art. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Interpretation should incorporate a wide spectrum of voices and opinions from inside and outside the institution. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Visitors are encouraged to link unfamiliar artworks with their everyday experience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Gillian Wilson, “Multimedia Tour Programme at Tate Modern,” in Bearman, David and Jennifer Trant (Eds.), Papers, Museums and the Web 2004 . Online at http://www. archimuse .com/mw2004/papers/ wilson / wilson .html </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The fact that museums never have time to interpret their own collections is one of the best-kept secrets of the profession. “ Content is not content.” -Sarah Schulz
  4. 4. And yet, do interpretive resources make a difference? (Statistics courtesy Randi Korn & Associates)
  5. 5. <ul><li>The more interpretive resources visitors used, the more they appreciated the art—regardless of whether they had any prior familiarity with Barney and his work. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Building in-House capacity
  7. 7. Permission / forgiveness <ul><li>You have to feel personally committed because you’re the owner , proponent, & advocate within the institution. </li></ul>Does your museum have a culture of innovation?
  8. 8. And besides, nothing succeeds like success.
  9. 9. <ul><li>Subject matter expertise (curatorial/historical) </li></ul><ul><li>Visitor Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Communications Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>(concepts of load and flow) </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics & Data analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology: hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology: software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design: Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Design: Graphic </li></ul><ul><li>Design: Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture </li></ul>Cultural heritage multimedia thrives at the confluence of multiple fields: <ul><li>Ethnographic observation </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling: linear </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling: non-linear </li></ul><ul><li>Game Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism/Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Photography </li></ul><ul><li>Sound design </li></ul><ul><li>Videography / filmmaking </li></ul><ul><li>Experience planning </li></ul><ul><li>… and this list is by no means exhaustive! </li></ul>But don’t feel overwhelmed…
  10. 10. 2. Revolution / Evolution
  11. 11. Capability - Maturity Model <ul><li>Initial phase: “heroic” </li></ul><ul><li>Managed phase: “1-deep” </li></ul><ul><li>Defined phase: Processes in place </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitatively managed: metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Optimizing: metrics fed back into system </li></ul>Don’t skip the steps. Just set your sights on the step you’re at, and the next.
  12. 12. “ I’m gonna learn about Technology and he’s gonna learn about Education .” The Two Jasons
  13. 13. Tools with low barriers to entry <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Pachyderm </li></ul><ul><li>www.pachyforge.org </li></ul>
  14. 14. “ Many iterations to take us to where we want to go.” —Mike Mouw, MHS <ul><li>Experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>Failure </li></ul><ul><li>Experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Re-tooling </li></ul><ul><li>… (It’s a wheel) </li></ul>Build this capacity into the plan.
  15. 15. 3. Web 2.0 and visitor engagement Olafur Eliasson
  16. 16. “ Objecthood doesn’t have a place in the world if there’s not an individual person making use of that object.”  A Radical Stance: i.e., The Museum’s reality does not trump the visitor’s perspective.
  17. 17. How we represent How visitors take ourselves officially us into their own lives
  18. 20. …to the point of re-inventing ourselves for various audiences: or letting them do it for us!
  19. 21. “Learn how to use the technologies people are using.” “ Then you’ll find out why they’re using them.” —Sarah Schultz
  20. 23. Quotations from Chairman Chris <ul><li>“People go to museums often to get away from technology.” </li></ul><ul><li>“The subjective is always more powerful than the objective .” </li></ul><ul><li>“Never be the early adopter…  What ’s hip is to have a program that works !” </li></ul><ul><li>“ De-centralized content is King.” </li></ul>
  21. 24. “ The most popular interactive is still the postcard.” And yet… Jane Burton, Tate Modern Don’t forget the analog! neglect
  22. 25. Happy Trails!

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