@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
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    November 13th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    logoPlease note:  I’m still in a bit of a fog from MuseomixUK, please excuse typos/grammar errors – I’ll fix when I re-read with fresh eyes. 

    Wow – and no I don’t mean Team 5s Wonder of Water – I mean WOW!  We did it! 

    Last year, I came back from Museomix knowing I had to bring this experience to the UK.  Would people understand?  Would people show?  Would they get what I got from the experience?

    The answer is YES!

    I think I speak for all of Orga team when I say ‘Holy Smoly!’  Or Beeep beep beep beep!

    The following is a fast forward version of MuseomixUK.  There are going to be people who read this thinking I forgot this part, or missed this part – rest assured I didn’t forget anything!  Anyone who is trying to capture MuseomixUK in a post will know the struggle of adding everything.

    IMG_9682On Friday, I witnessed people from all over the UK travel to Ironbridge Gorge Museum in the gorgeous Shropshire. Many had the ‘deer in headlights’ look that I sort of knew was going to happen.  To avoid this as much as possible, I put three very friendly Shropshire faces on registration (huge thanks to Susan, Marissa and Theresa!)

    During the introduction we warned people that their name badges made them part of the MuseomixUK community. I’m sure no one understood what that meant.

    First step (in this fast forward version of Museomix) was a brief update to everyone on Museomix (I know they were still confused but they nodded in the right places).  We also asked the Tech Shop and Fab Lab crew to talk about supplies and equipment available for teams to use (oh yes, this was met with massive blank stares but that’s ok as it made sense eventually).

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    November 6th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    logoIn 2011, I caught the hashtag #museomix on Twitter and immediately wanted to know more.  One little problem – it was on in French, a language I can’t read or write.  But I could tell from the 140 characters that this was something magical I was witnessing.

    In 2012, I attend MuseumNext in Barcelona and heard Samuel Bausson speak about Museomix.  He explained it came out of frustration – that real changes need to be done but it had to be changes made WITH people and museums.

    photo3I was hooked, I knew I wanted to get involved.  I was invited to help on the web team (social media) at Museomix in Lyon, France.  Again, I don’t speak French so this was going to be a challenge – or so I thought.  My job was to report and watch the hashtag for English input.

    What happened in those 3 short days was amazing.  People who met each other on the Friday spent long hours all weekend to build a prototype as a team.  It took a huge leap of faith from everyone involved: team members, coaches, organizer, the museum and more.  This is not just about the prototypes – actually, it ISN’T about the prototypes – it’s about a platform for sharing, engaging and openness to happen in a positive way.

    8714243371_c0f51ebe76_cI knew I had to bring this experience to the UK.  I live in Shropshire and spent a lot of time at Ironbridge Gorge Museums (I have a tendency to call it ‘my’ museum even when talking to staff).  Ironbridge was the perfect choice as it’s home of the industrial revolution and Museomix is about taking things to the next level.

    It was a perfect marriage.

    I then decided to talk to the museum *ahem* and luckily they agreed.  We knew last year when we started this process that it was going to be a long journey.  At the time, IGMT didn’t have wifi (or very good mobile signal) and we had to worry about getting people to the venue as many (not looking directly at Londoners but near enough…) do not like to travel outside cities.

    The museum has embraced the challenges and not only had Wifi installed throughout the location, but they are the first museum on the Global Fab Lab network.  That’s right, a permanent Fab Lab has been installed in Enginuity which will be available to the public, schools and private hire long after Museomix UK leaves.

    A year later and with a lot of support from an amazing Orga team, we are here.

    Museomix UK kicks off on Friday, November 8 with people travelling from all over the UK, France and Russia to join us in remixing Coalbrookdale (Museum of Iron, Enginuity, The Old Furnace and the land) at Ironbridge.  But it’s not just here, Museomix is a Global event happening in 6 locations: 4 in France, 1 in Quebec and us. 

    We will work 8am to 11pm Friday and Saturday with prototypes ready to view and be tested by the public on Sunday from 3pm – 5pm.

    There will be laughter, arguments, tears, ideas, thoughts, dreams, wishes, and cake.

    We have no idea until Friday at lunch what we are up against.  It’s a mixture of excitement and quite frankly, fear.  But I’m not worried.  I know the people who are coming are bringing the most important thing:  an open mind and a will to make a difference.

    What more could we ask for?

    Please follow our journey online:
    Twitter @MuseomixUK [HashTags: #MuseomixUK, #MM_UK, #Museomix]
    Vine and Instagram

    If you would like to join us Sunday for the Open Day, please let us know here.

    I’d like to do a big shout out to my Orga team:
    9955308625_3d26c40ebaFrédérique Santune
    Raphael Chanay
    Mireia Bes
    Will Stanley
    Eric Huang
    Louie Stockwell
    Anne Prognon
    Katie Foster
    Céline Cadieu
    Hélène Herniou
    Paul Hutchinson
    Derek Houghton

    Special Mention to Teresa M & Susan P for volunteering to bring smiles, we’ll need them!

    And of course, the very brave Museum:
    Anna Brennand, CEO
    John Hughes, Museum Project Coordinator MuseomixUK
    Paul Gossage, Press

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    July 15th, 2013mardixonCulture, International
    Closing date for Applicants is JULY 15th
    imagesI’m Project Coordinator for Museomix UK, the only global Museomix happening in the UK and the only one that’s in English (4 locations in France, 1 in Quebec and us).   The concept is not easy to explain as it’s an experience, not an event (although I tend to use both words).
    MuseomixUK will take place in Ironbridge (Shropshire, West Midlands) – the idea is it’s home of the Industrial Revolution and we’re trying to take things into the next revolution.  I also wanted a location outside London, Birmingham, Manchester to prove that any museum could use maker communities to push things to a different level.  
    The concept is this:  
    3 days for different communities to come together to create:
    – An open museum with a place for everyone
    – A living lab museum that evolves with its users
    – a networked museum in touch with its communities 
    Basically, we use the museum as a sandbox for people to create/remix a museum the way THEY want to do it. 
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    March 29th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    denmark museumI’ve been trying to figure out how best to share my findings from the Denmark Museum Conference.  There was so much insight over the 3 days, with the added bonus of having a tour of a few museums which included curators talk.

    Full Storify here of all the tweets used with the tag #paatvaers


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    March 10th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    Whenever I tell someone I’m working on MuseoMix UK for November, the first obvious question I get is:

    What is MuseoMix?

    ubiquity31Officially (on the website) it states:

    For three days the participants co-create and test new ways of approaching exhibitions.

    We bring together museum professionals, actors of the innovation and the digital world, lovers of art and science, and other lovers of education and culture. This community mixes his views and embodies his ideas around a model museum whose vision is:

    • more open and inclusive, where everyone can find “his” place
    • networked and connected with diverse communities of visitors online and onsite.
    • a living laboratory that grows with its users

    For me, MuseoMix is an experience. For others, it’s an ethos. For others it’s a project.

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    November 5th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    Guest post from Laura Haapio-Kirk, community manager at sharypic.com, a collaborative photo sharing platform for events. Laura has an MSc in Visual Anthropology from Oxford University and is interested in museum experience.

    Photography is increasingly central to our everyday experience of the world, both as a means to mark significant moments and to document aesthetic sights (or, in some cases, to share what we’re having for dinner). However, in a museum we are often uncertain of whether photography is allowed and there is debate on the issue amongst museum professionals, with many institutions still hesitant to give full permission because uncertainty over lender’s rights (this informal survey highlights the issue nicely).

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    October 23rd, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    Day 3 – the day when all teams shared their projects with *insert dreaded music here*  The Public. In other words, it was a day of total concentration on projects.

    For my part, it was a hard day to try and capture in tweets or for this post so instead I went and made audio boos to capture the spirit of the teams, visitors and and support team involved in MuseoMix.

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    October 21st, 2012mardixonCulture, International
    Day two started at 8.30 with many have been here since doors opened at 8.  A slow start was not an option – creative juices were already flowing and needing the outlet that the good night’s rest clearly instigated.The morning (and majority of the day) saw all the times transforming their presentations with Playmobil into realistic objects. In other words, this is when things got serious.Throughout the day teams went from conceptual and theory to tangible and workable.  Not every project pushed boundaries, and that was ok!  What I liked is some teams knew when less was more – a value we often forget in today’s fast pace, hyper-technological world.  Could some teams reached higher?  Possibly but they are dealing with time constraints – another factor that is known but not appreciated until day 2.There are 10 teams, each working with a mixture of diverse personality and knowledge.  Day One was all about collaboration and agreeing on a project.  This included coming to a decision on which of the 10 issues identified by the museum and museomixers to choose from. Cross-over is allowed, in other words, 2 teams can work on the same project. Read the rest of this entry »
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    October 20th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    The conference started off with the usual sign-in procedure.  However, the badges were made via laser cut printers which are part of FabLab… what is Fablab?  They are part of the Resource team…. Yep, this is Museomix – and the ethos gets thrown at your straight away.

    The concept is simple:  Provide a venue that needs a good shake up in it’s collection/exhibition and way of thinking, invite museum people from around the country to apply to volunteer for 3 (long) days to create a better space, better way of thinking and better visitor experience. Chuck in some cutting edge technology (not that expensive), a few specific issues (via the Museum itself), a blank canvas and Playmobil.

    Ok, perhaps it’s not that simple – it is very much under the same umbrella as an Unconference but on a much grander scale.

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    October 14th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    This week, I’ll be heading to Lyon, France to take part in a revolutionary approach to collaborative thinking.

    Museomix is a 3 day event which brings diverse participants from all over France together to brainstorm on new thinking.  What would happen if you were provided a blank canvas to create a new visitor experience?

    Museomix allows free thinking without restrictions. 

    Participants will be put into various teams: thinkers, creators, testers – a true visionary process with no rigid outcome to aim for (the teams will set their own goals which I’m sure will be higher than anything anyone could set prior to starting). Each team will have a mixture of makers, developers, designers, museum people –producing a true Dream Team of creative thinkers.

    I first heard of Museomix last year when I caught a few Tweets from Claire Seguret  from Musee de Cluny who was taking part.  I tried my best to follow along with my limited (ok, non-existent!) French as it sounded like an amazing event.

    Fast forward to MuseumNext 2012 in Barcelona where I was able to hear Samuel Bausson from Museum de Toulouse share Museomix: remix your museum.  Samuel talked about how Museomix 2011 was about this euphoric museum – where visitors are at the front of the design, not an after-thought.

    I knew I wanted to learn more about Museomix. 

    I am very fortunate to have a place at Museomix 2012 where I’ll be sharing my findings via social media (Twitter via #museomix, Facebook and blogging on Museomix Tumblr.  I’ll be translating the participant’s adventures over the three days – along with sharing my own thoughts on my site.   Hopefully, I will be the eyes for those that can’t be there.  Please feel free to contact me if I’m clarification is needed.  I remember what it was like last year to follow along not knowing what it was about but knowing it was something exciting.

    MuseoMix is taking place at Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon.  For those in France, there will be a chance for professionals and students to come to see the progress (please see website for more information).

    Looking forward to taking you on this amazing journey with me!


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