Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Digital dreams

The art museum world has been pretty slow at coming to terms with the digital world. Even now, and after a considerable amount of encouragement and enthusiasm by Best of 3, they are still really only just at the getting-the-collection-online and maybe-blogging-once-in-a-while stage. 
The exception is of course the Christchurch Art Gallery who blog regularly, sometimes provocatively and often amusingly once a day at least and have introduced My gallery image sets as a way of life for many of their fans. The fact is the digital world is fast and rapacious so blogging once a week or putting up a future exhibitions programme that’s just a list, or not having pics of your latest exhibition up three tenths of a second after the show opens (well at least before EyeContact puts them up for you) is kind of lame.
Here’s a list of things we have assembled from talking around and asking people what they would like to see on art museum web sites.
  • A constantly updated and annotated list of the latest art books. With no art bookshop left in Auckland (or anywhere else for that matter) this information is now hard to get unless you are professionally engaged.
  • Images of the current exhibitions on show (videos would be nice too). It won’t stop people coming (honest). 
  • Use Tweeting as a communication tool not just a promotional one - it's hard to respond to things that are just about how-amazing-we-are.
  • YouTube movies of all talks and lectures the day after they are given. And what with Skype being free and all how about including some off-shore people into some of these discussions.
  • The opportunity for the public to join in on cataloguing your collection with tagged information and stories, the Smithsonian already does this on Flickr
  • Regular posts, tweets or sets on great objects in the collection you don’t have space to show. 
  • Pdfs of all your printed catalogues from day one (Volunteers will do the scanning for you)
  • A personal report with pics from any curators who’s scored an overseas trips, telling us what’s going on out there (doesn’t have to be formal or the opinion of the institution and could start with Tweets or posting during the trip).
  • At least one thing that will give people a laugh once a week 
  • A chance to donate toward purchasing specific art works for the collection Kickstarter style
There’s plenty more where that came from (thanks G and M), but that’ll do for now.