@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 11th, 2014mardixonCulture, International
    Credit: Ludvig

    Credit: Ludvig

    This year, MuseomixUK was held at the forward thinking Derby Silk Mill.  (For background information see this post).  Our community was extremely strong, building on our first MuseomixUK at Ironbridge Gorge Museum last year.

    All teams used Tumblr this year with Google Glass to document their progress. Have a look at our main Tumblr to find pictures and info on all the teams.

    A message to our Community:

    Thank you.  We asked a lot of everyone and you did not disappoint!
    A MuseomixUK weekend is very demanding.  The beginning is unknown (and sometimes the end isn’t that much clearer!), you don’t always know the venue, your fellow team mates or what is to be achieved, but you trust us to guide you through this complex web of ‘demands’ to create something that we as a community then critique you and your team on. Not. Easy.

    tumblr_nes3elQzxC1tj32n4o1_1280BUT YOU DID IT!

    And you truly need to be proud of yourself for that.  You took a concept and idea on Friday morning at 11am and made a working prototype by Sunday at 4pm.  That is simply A-MAZ-ING.  And you did it all by collaborating, communicating, sharing, bonding, cooperating, adjusting, uniting (sometimes arguing), eating, drinking and overall working very very hard.   All this in one weekend.

    MuseomixUK 2014 Emotion Boxes Standardised Graph

    MuseomixUK 2014 Emotion Boxes Standardised Graph

    The hours were long and hard but we hope you felt it was worth it.  The intention was not to break you (despite the accusations by some, many ok, most) but to give you an experience that will inspire you after you left.  The prototypes you all created are innovative and truly superb, but they are in essence a bi-product of your journey.  And it’s that journey that makes the weekend so worthwhile.

    I hope that although you all arrived with immense talents (knowledge, creativity, skills and energy) that you left with something also; whether it be a gem of an idea you’ll look to develop later, or simply a new friend you will collaborate with in the future. It’s the people within this community that are exciting and eclectic, and bringing you all together proves just how much can be achieved by you all.

    Well done, and thank you again. Please take a few moments to fill out our surveyWe will be arranging a series of workshops and meetups throughout the year and am looking to take things in a different direction so please make sure you’re on our mail list or following our social media channels.

    Now is the time for work to begin on 2015 and EVERYONE is invited to help shape how it goes! 

    Credit: Ludvig

    Credit: Ludvig

    I need to thank everyone in Orga and Derby Museum for being so supportive.  Massive thank you also to our incredibly patient Fab Lab and Tech Shop crew without whom we’d all be lost!  And to Hannah and Rosie – your morale building videos and pep talks were the shot of laughter we needed!   Which leads me to our film crew, Francois and Carl who managed to do all the creation and editing of the films on a very tight schedule! A very personal thank you to our community for respecting our 2 minutes of silence on Sunday.  It was incredibly moving how everyone, even those from other countries, came together to show our respect.

    And to end with, I’m sharing a few of the things people said they learned:

    I Learned:

    • that people that are most different complement better on a team and make the whole project more fantastic.
    • the Future of the museums can be built over a weekend.
    • not to rush in making things in order to work quicker in the end!
    • diplomacy and observation.
    • to trust everyone with their individual bits of the projects. Also learned skills I didn’t think I was any good at!
    • to work and collaborate with an heterogeneous group; the importance of communication, transparency and flexibility in order to develop a successful project.
    • technology for technologies sake is pointless, it’s ideas that matter.
    • the importance of saying STOP! (sometimes)
    • teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!
    • that technical skills may not be as far out of reach as I thought.
    • it’s awesome to see all the technology and to know that (with the right team) literally everything is possible (even for museums with no resources or no budget!)
    • to be patient.
    • Mar is Off her head.
    • my pure motivation is coffee.
    • a lot can be done in a short time.
    • arty types can inspire me.
    • to trim videos into loops!
    • laser cutters are the coolest thing ever!
    • patience is PRIME – the simple solution is best.
    • not necessarily a team player.

    One last thank you to all of our sponsors and our Artist in Residence Sally Thompson!




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    May 20th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    On May 19, Anna Mikhaylova (@Madlena_P) and I produced a MuseomixUK workshop at The State Museum of the History of Religion (@Museum_Religion).

    Name tagsThe delegates arrived and were immediately put into action with the first ‘deliverable’ which was to answer a question.  This question help them decide what ‘role’ they were going to play throughout the day. We knew if we asked ‘Are you storyteller/narrative?’ no one would answer yes.  So instead we had four simple questions to indicate Communications, Fab/Tech, Narrative, Design roles. [Interesting, no one wanted to be a story teller!]

    Read the rest of this entry »

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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).

    Read the rest of this entry »

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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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