Yesterday I attended Museums Ideas conference in London and it although I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, it sort of confirmed things:
We’re having a movement. Years from now we’re going to look back at this time and say ‘Remember the Maker Movement?’ Or maybe we need to come up with a better collective name for this move to digital, social open, participatory in museums era. Wait – let’s crowd-source what the label should be!
And that is what I’m referring to.
We seem to be really cognizant of making everyone feel part of something these days. That’s a good thing! However, as it is early days for this movement, we’re all being ever so polite about it. Everyone is allowed into ALL communities.
I’m Project Coordinator (and Founder) of MuseomixUK. This is a movement that started in France 2011 and has grown and grown. As I write this I’m in Paris at a meeting with all the communities to discuss progress, plans and issues. I firmly believe that we should listen to the public and allow different sectors to help rethinking, redesign, remake and remix museums. I also believe museums should be more open to using digital, social, wearable tech. when appropriate.
I don’t believe this is right for ALL museums or cultural venues. And this is the issue I have right now with this movement of museums to give ownership to collection and exhibitions to the public.
While it’s fun, neat and participatory, it’s dangerous. MuseomixUK is a year long production. We communicate and work with the museum and everyone involved has to apply. This is not a weekend drop-in hack where anyone can show. Curators and content experts are involved in the whole process.
And that difference matters.
We know who we are working with and talking to. We know what the museums would like. We facilitate these conversations but don’t allow barriers.
Everyone has the right answer. But wait, what is the question?
Please don’t get me wrong, I think it is brilliant what we are doing. I am just afraid of what is going to happen when this bubble burst and we hit our plateau. We need to be thinking beyond today (not trying to guess the next tech or wearable but embracing them) and remember the core mission of each museum.
There will never be a one-size fits all to these things.
I’ll write more on the digital/tech thing later but I wrote about some of that already here