In the 24 hours since I finished at MCN yesterday, my whole state has been put into a 6 day COVID lockdown. It’s been a strange time emotion-wise, so this morning I let myself sleep in. I missed the only live session I was really excited for, but can re-watch that later, and I have just caught up with some pre-recorded sessions.
Curator Brain, Meet AI Brain
I really loved this! It was so great to hear from the Henry Ford and Bluecadet about their work with the Connection Table at the museum. They were asking lots of interesting questions about the ways that their 26 MILLION artefacts connect and unpacking the core themes that are shared across the collection. They also were interested in the way that AI can make connections, and whether or not it could think like a curator.
They started with an amazing huge pen and paper mind map that started from the Model T, one of the most significant objects in the collection, and expanded from there based on themes and other collection links. This looked so satisfying to do.
This project has resulted in a beautiful table that uses both curator-made and AI-made connections to give visitors an opportunity to explore some of the hundreds of thousands digitised objects. I love this project!
Quick, Nimble, Relevant: Planning Content for the Unplannable (and Staying Sane in the Process)
I loved hearing about the ways that the Denver Botanic Gardens are constantly mining social media/web content from the goings on at the gardens. Jen Tobias spent some time brainstorming what visitors miss out on if they are unable to visit in person and has worked out a list of the ways that social media can bridge that gap and fulfil those needs. There’s a wide range of content that we can make use of in our daily work that can be stored and then shared over time.
I liked seeing the way that she has put this in practice. In particular, Jen shared a time lapse videos of painting a wall for an exhibition and then the finished product. It’s a great way of bringing the visitor into the action and exposing them to the context behind the exhibition. The same could be done during registration (close up, condition photography), installation documentation photographs (people love ladders and mess), artist interviews (recorded in a regular, scheduled meeting), or object research (again part of registration).
This was really inspiring in the lead up to our install in December, I am ready to take some good documentation shots and time lapses!