Hey obnoxious visitors, this is you.

whenyouworkatamuseum:

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########MURAL Festival#########

Yesterday was Day 1 of MURAL Festival, kicking off a 4-day festival that has turned MTL’s St Laurent Blvd into a car-free, open-air party to celebrate public art on a huge scale. 

And I mean, huge scale. Right now there are 20 local & international artists transforming The Main with gorgeous, gigantic works of art. 

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 OTHER (Toronto, ON)

The murals will stay for a year, and then I’m guessing those walls will be refreshed with new works for MURAL ‘14. 

For obvious reasons, namely the fact that artists are working in real time in busy public spaces, this type of event is fun for everyone. It’s awesome how people have been using social media to share events and the progress of murals during the festival. You don’t really have to be in Montreal. Check out #Muralfestival on Instagram and you’ll find 100s of photos documenting artists’ process and various stages of mural production. 

The weather is beautiful, everyone is out celebrating art, chatting with artists, supporting businesses on St Laurent…It may or may not be the paint fumes, but I don’t see why it can’t be like this all the time..?

More muralgrammin’ after the jump..

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Talk about ‘guided detours’! I LOVE this project — part of the Artists Experiment initiative at MoMA, where education staff collaborate with artists to create innovative and participatory projects..
momatalks:

As part of Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncontested Spaces series, of our Artists Experiment initiative, he invited poets Kim Rosenfield, also a psychologist, and Robert Fitterman, to take over the fourth floor volunteer Information Desk. Or rather, Misinformation Desk! Equipped with therapeutic techniques and google, Rosenfield and Fitterman answered visitors’ logistical questions with probing, psychological responses and whatever else google searches came up with. Some visitors quickly caught onto the guerrilla-style information being distributed, while others were completely perplexed by the space the poets made for interpretation and creativity in the realm of seemingly straightforward, objective questions.
When one couple asked where the Ellsworth Kelly installation was, Rosenfield responded, “That’s such an interesting question. Do you remember your first experience with art? How old were you?”
The visitors looked back with simultaneous confusion, frustration and delight!

My friend just showed me MoMA’s Artists Experiment (thx Fiona!) after our especially inspiring chat about the educational turn in curatorial practice. I haven’t really thought about relational aesthetics or the collapsing/merging/evolving definitions of Educator vs. Curator, etc. since my MA in 2010, and man,.. it’s all comin’ back, s’all comin’ back to me nowww…
More on that topic later.

Talk about ‘guided detours’! I LOVE this project — part of the Artists Experiment initiative at MoMA, where education staff collaborate with artists to create innovative and participatory projects..

momatalks:

As part of Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncontested Spaces series, of our Artists Experiment initiative, he invited poets Kim Rosenfield, also a psychologist, and Robert Fitterman, to take over the fourth floor volunteer Information Desk. Or rather, Misinformation Desk! Equipped with therapeutic techniques and google, Rosenfield and Fitterman answered visitors’ logistical questions with probing, psychological responses and whatever else google searches came up with. Some visitors quickly caught onto the guerrilla-style information being distributed, while others were completely perplexed by the space the poets made for interpretation and creativity in the realm of seemingly straightforward, objective questions.

When one couple asked where the Ellsworth Kelly installation was, Rosenfield responded, “That’s such an interesting question. Do you remember your first experience with art? How old were you?”

The visitors looked back with simultaneous confusion, frustration and delight!

My friend just showed me MoMA’s Artists Experiment (thx Fiona!) after our especially inspiring chat about the educational turn in curatorial practice. I haven’t really thought about relational aesthetics or the collapsing/merging/evolving definitions of Educator vs. Curator, etc. since my MA in 2010, and man,.. it’s all comin’ back, s’all comin’ back to me nowww…

More on that topic later.

Fantastic video on the various issues/strategies for documenting and preserving installation art.

sofielh:

Here it is! The video from the project “Installation Art, who cares?”. A project started several years ago in the Netherlands, but with international collaborators, addressing the issues of installation art. Very interesting video for anyone working with these kinds of issues. 

On Museum Websites; e.g. Rijksstudio

For the last several months I’ve been updating the Collections section of the National Gallery of Canada website. It has been a great learning experience to work in the, dare I say, murky, undefined, yet ever-evolving process of a collection’s digitization and distribution. 

The ‘virtual museum’ concept is not new. From the NGC’s perspective, its national collection should be widely available to the Canadian public and not only visitors paying admission at the physical building in Ottawa. Therefore it’s a sensible strategy that the Gallery maintain a strong online presence. Same goes for other cultural institutions with their own range of reasons.

Look at ARTINFO’s article listing the top 10 museum websites. It suggests that museum web facelifts are what museum architecture was 10 years ago, in terms of its ‘hey we’re 21st century’ branding power. That’s a big deal.

So with regards to museums’ digital collections and engaging users online, I couldn’t think of a better example than the Rijksmuseum’s [relatively] new website and Rijksstudio. What a beaut!

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Object-Based Learning in the Classroom

I haven’t been posting much in the last..several months. I am still reading up on cool new ways that museums are engaging with visitors, but NOW I’ll make an effort to share more and be less selfish with these things…  

Ok so, I’d say most of the educational programming in museums is still pretty dependent on the school curriculum. My jaded view has been that it’s because school visits are the #1 priority since they ramp up visitor numbers, which effectively quantifies the importance of education in the institution. And I obv. love children and nothing brings me more joy than seeing them having a ball in an art gallery. But prioritizing schools means less time and resources left over for developing creative, experimental programs that target more members of our society. 

This blog post, however, adds an interesting twist! It’s a guest entry by Reema Ghazi, Youth Experience Coordinator for the Smithsonian’s EdLab, on Gretchen Jennings’ ever-insightful blog, Museum Commons.

EdLab is designed to support innovative teaching practices in the classroom through new media and object-based learning (using the collections of the Smithsonian Institution).

Summarized this way (or click for a diagram, provided on the EdLab site):

MBL (mission-based learning) = (classroom + museums + community) x technology

What I love about this initiative is that it flips curricula-dependent museum education on its head: instead, classroom teaching practices are broadened by object-based (or “mission-based”, as it’s called by EdLab) learning and informal education. 

Reema provides interesting case studies and challenges presented in EdLab’s present school year with the Capitol Hill Cluster Schools in Washington, DC. Worth a read for all educators!

ladiesupfront:

In which I discover the seemingly limitless possibilities of emoji jokes and annoy my friends because I think I’m clever.

sfmoma:

Our Twitter followers have been asking SFMOMA curator Erin O’Toole some great questions for #AskACurator Day today! In response to the question what object/art work makes you laugh?, O’Toole just brought up her love for William Wegman’s work, and our collective museum heart melted just a little bit.
Pictured: Wegman’s Holding It, 1987.

sfmoma:

Our Twitter followers have been asking SFMOMA curator Erin O’Toole some great questions for #AskACurator Day today! In response to the question what object/art work makes you laugh?, O’Toole just brought up her love for William Wegman’s work, and our collective museum heart melted just a little bit.

Pictured: Wegman’s Holding It, 1987.

Beautiful and so clever. Another great public art project.

"A new installation in Montreal encourages passersby to create music with swings; each swing on the 21 seat set plays a pre-recorded sound, but when swingers coordinate their moves, the swings work together to create a harmony."

Read more here: http://www.psfk.com/2012/09/musical-swingset.html

afrodiaspores:

“Museum therapist” Fred Wilson by Evelio Contreras, 2012
From a verbal portrait of the artist:

After all these years, Fred Wilson still smirks when he talks about the time he wore a security guard uniform to give a tour of New York’s Whitney Museum…Later in 1991, for his first solo gallery exhibition in New York, he featured four headless black mannequins wearing guard’s uniforms from New York’s major cultural institutions. “Guarded View” would eventually land in the Whitney as part of its 1994 show, “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art.”
Riffs on race, perception and power are recurring motifs in his career, which spans nearly four decades. His most recent “artistic intervention” (as his installations are often called) in SCAD’s new Museum of Art in Savannah is no exception.
The show, “Life’s Link,” is his latest in a long line of site-specific collaborations with museums and cultural institutions throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The native New Yorker has spent much of his career rooting around museum basements and reshuffling items within display cases to breathe new meaning into what we see on the museum floor.
The resulting installations have created unexpected juxtapositions: an antique silver tea service next to a pair of rusted metal shackles; a child-sized klan hood resting in a Victorian pram; a faux African-style tribal mask bearing the label “stolen from the Zonge tribe, 1899, private collection.” “Fred’s work, at its very center, asks you to really think about what is art, what is history, what is an art museum,” said Isolde Brielmaier, chief curator of exhibitions at SCAD….
His work has been known to cause confusion among critics and the public, who by turns say his work is either too accessible or too obscure.
Such was the case when the New York Historical Society enlisted Wilson to create an installation for its renovated gallery last year that highlighted the city’s often unspoken dealings with slavery.
“Liberty/Liberté” featured two busts of George Washington — one, in Romanesque robes, representing Washington the statesman; the other, with a more sinister countenance, representing Washington the slaveholder — both behind the balustrade from which Washington spoke during his New York inauguration.
Next to them rests a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte. Below, a cigar-store “Negro” holding a red French liberty cap looks up at the busts. On the backs of the pedestals hang slave shackles, metal tags used to label enslaved African-Americans and a coin representing the abolition movement. Nearby, he displayed a miniature portrait of Haitian liberator Toussaint L’Ouverture….
A bigger controversy arose when he was asked to create a monument for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an eight-mile path connecting the city’s neighborhoods. His proposed piece, “E Pluribus Unum,” was inspired by the city’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which features an ex-slave — his torso bare, his chains and shackles broken — among dramatically posed war heroes. Wilson proposed creating a second sculpture of the freed slave across from the city’s biggest municipal building — this time completely free of shackles, holding a flag representing the African Diaspora….

afrodiaspores:

“Museum therapist” Fred Wilson by Evelio Contreras, 2012

From a verbal portrait of the artist:

After all these years, Fred Wilson still smirks when he talks about the time he wore a security guard uniform to give a tour of New York’s Whitney Museum…Later in 1991, for his first solo gallery exhibition in New York, he featured four headless black mannequins wearing guard’s uniforms from New York’s major cultural institutions. “Guarded View” would eventually land in the Whitney as part of its 1994 show, “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art.”

Riffs on race, perception and power are recurring motifs in his career, which spans nearly four decades. His most recent “artistic intervention” (as his installations are often called) in SCAD’s new Museum of Art in Savannah is no exception.

The show, “Life’s Link,” is his latest in a long line of site-specific collaborations with museums and cultural institutions throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The native New Yorker has spent much of his career rooting around museum basements and reshuffling items within display cases to breathe new meaning into what we see on the museum floor.

The resulting installations have created unexpected juxtapositions: an antique silver tea service next to a pair of rusted metal shackles; a child-sized klan hood resting in a Victorian pram; a faux African-style tribal mask bearing the label “stolen from the Zonge tribe, 1899, private collection.” “Fred’s work, at its very center, asks you to really think about what is art, what is history, what is an art museum,” said Isolde Brielmaier, chief curator of exhibitions at SCAD….

His work has been known to cause confusion among critics and the public, who by turns say his work is either too accessible or too obscure.

Such was the case when the New York Historical Society enlisted Wilson to create an installation for its renovated gallery last year that highlighted the city’s often unspoken dealings with slavery.

“Liberty/Liberté” featured two busts of George Washington — one, in Romanesque robes, representing Washington the statesman; the other, with a more sinister countenance, representing Washington the slaveholder — both behind the balustrade from which Washington spoke during his New York inauguration.

Next to them rests a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte. Below, a cigar-store “Negro” holding a red French liberty cap looks up at the busts. On the backs of the pedestals hang slave shackles, metal tags used to label enslaved African-Americans and a coin representing the abolition movement. Nearby, he displayed a miniature portrait of Haitian liberator Toussaint L’Ouverture….

A bigger controversy arose when he was asked to create a monument for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an eight-mile path connecting the city’s neighborhoods. His proposed piece, “E Pluribus Unum,” was inspired by the city’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which features an ex-slave — his torso bare, his chains and shackles broken — among dramatically posed war heroes. Wilson proposed creating a second sculpture of the freed slave across from the city’s biggest municipal building — this time completely free of shackles, holding a flag representing the African Diaspora….

Sharing info about cool participatory and digital engagement projects, in and outside museums.

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