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Mutual aid systems rely on forms of exchange, sharing support and resources, to enable communities to care for their members in the face of difficulty. In May this year, Museum Workers Speak started the Museum Workers Relief Fund, a form of ‘radical redistribution’ that seeks donations from those with means to support US-based museum workers who ha…
 
Even before a pandemic changed everything, we were living in turbulent times. Extreme partisanship defines politics in many countries, inequality grows even wealthy countries, and faith in institutions is diminishing. How do museums create environments of trust, especially where there are histories of distrust, victimisation and oppression? In this…
 
Over the past decade, museums have increasingly shared high resolution open access images of their collections. Yet there are significant legal and ethical complexities related to digital cultural heritage, particularly when blanket decisions about open access are made without involving communities of origin. In this episode, the Punks are joined b…
 
Being Human, the new permanent gallery at Wellcome Collection, explores what it means to be human in the 21st century. In creating the exhibition, the Wellcome Collection worked with two advisory panels - one composed of scientists, and the other of artists, activists and consultants, convened in collaboration with the University of Leicester’s Res…
 
The season for existential crises continued this past month when the International Council of Museums (ICOM) announced that a working group had proposed a new definition for museums and that said definition would be voted on at the ICOM Triennial in Kyoto, Japan. We followed the many conversations that unfolded over the next few weeks, and asked a …
 
As decolonisation moves more firmly onto the agenda in museums, so to does its critique. In this episode, we speak with Sumaya Kassim, author of the essay 'The Museum Will Not Be Decolonised', and Nathan “Mudyi” Sentance to ask whether museums can dismantle the colonial gaze. We'll also find out more about the kinds of structural changes inside mus…
 
Unpaid internships are commonplace in the museum world, supported by a culture that suggests “experience” and the chance to get “a foot in the door” are worth the sacrifice of time and lost earnings. This practice necessarily limits the sector’s ability to diversify or become equitable, by ensuring that only those who can afford to work uncompensat…
 
The end of Pride Month does not mean that we should stop talking or thinking about LGBTQIA+ inclusion and queer curating practices in museums. This month, we’re joined by Craig Middleton and Nikki Sullivan, authors of the KINQ (or Knowledge Industries Need Queering)manifesto, and Alison Kennedy and Anna Woten, from AAM’s LGBTQ Alliance Task Force f…
 
On September 11, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Mountain-Plains Museums Association unanimously voted to require that any jobs or paid internships posted to the MPMA Job Bank would include the level of compensation– whether salary or hourly rate. The MPMA’s move was in line with a move by a number of museum associations to end salary cloaking,…
 
In early 2019, experience designer Ed Rodley asked the hivemind what they saw as the biggest issues facing ppl who make museum experiences in 2019? The answer from Jay Rounds, E. Desmond Lee Professor of Museum Studies emeritus at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, was “A surfeit of virtues.” Rounds proposed that, “There are so many demands for…
 
OF/BY/FOR ALL is a global movement and a set of tools to help community institutions around the world become more representative OF and co-created BY their communities. In this episode, we’re joined by OF/BY/FOR ALL founder Nina Simon and Rohini Kappadath, General Manager of Immigration Museum (Australia), to find out how to create a museum for eve…
 
Since the mid-1990s, it has been received wisdom that museums are, or should be, “safe spaces for unsafe ideas.” But is this true? Are museum safe spaces? And do they really deal in unsafe ideas? In this episode, Elaine Heumann Gurian, who is credited with first expressing this idea, helps us unpack whether it continues to make sense in museums tod…
 
How can museums participate in transitional justice, which seeks to address massive human rights violations? In this episode, Suse is joined by Omar Eaton-Martínez and Dr. Karine Duhamel to explore the implications of truth and reconciliation in museums. Dr Duhamel has written that reconciliation “as a process based on hope, remains the core animat…
 
In this special two-part episode, Suse and special guest co-host Desi Gonzales, explore virtual reality in museums. In part two, we take a deep dive into Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s academy-award winning virtual reality installation CARNE y ARENA with VR film-maker Paisley Smith. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to Museopunks on iTunes or StitcherMuseo…
 
If there is a hot technology in museums right now, it is virtual reality–a technology sometimes credited as being the “ultimate empathy machine.” But can VR live up to the hype for museums? What happens when VR technologies are used to recreate or invoke traumatic experiences? What kinds of scaffolding do museums need to provide when preparing a vi…
 
With a reticence towards partisan politics, museums are sometimes perceived to be neutral institutions, many avoiding taking a visible stand on issues. But can they really avoid being political when making choices about the allocation of resources, time, and energy? #MuseumsAreNotNeutral is “an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutralit…
 
The vision of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, describes how the museum “will reflect and realize the values of decolonization in all of its practices, working with the Wabanaki Nations to share their stories, history, and culture with a broader audience.” But what does it take to decolonise a museum? How does it change the governance structur…
 
Did you know that several studies in recent years have shown that when women enter a specific field in large numbers, the pay for that field declines overall, even for the same jobs that men were doing? This is one of many implications of gendered professions, which are at the core of this month’s episode of Museopunks. The Punks dig into the impli…
 
Progressive museum work, particularly when focussed around community engagement, is often a form of emotion work that demands emotional labor. Museum professionals who are deeply engaged with the challenges of changing their institutions, negotiating a volatile political climate, or facilitating community work, can experience compassion fatigue, se…
 
Don’t call this a comeback! After an almost three-year hiatus, Museopunks returns to explore progressive museum practice. How much has changed since the ‘Punks last hit the airwaves? Does Jeffrey have any new tattoos? Has Suse lost her Australian accent?In this first episode of season two, the ‘Punks unpack the trials and tribulations of trust with…
 
On August 27 this year, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in NYC announced that it had acquired Planetary, an iPad app, which was also the Museum’s first acquisition of code. But how can such an acquisition be conserved for the future? What does it mean to acquire these kinds of highly-networked, ‘living’ objects? As Seb Chan …
 
Marshall McLuhan once proposed that new technologies introduce new habits of perception, new ways of seeing and interacting with the world. In this session, the Punks and their guests will tackle this theory head-on.How do digital tools and technologies alter our habits of perception? What does it means to look at the world with one eye always glue…
 
Over the course of MCN2013, we’ll hear a lot about great #musetech projects and issues facing the sector. But in this session, the Punks want to learn about the muses and inspirations outside of the sector that help fuel and inform some of most creative work from some of the most interesting #musetech practitioners. What music, literature or extra-…
 
DigitalCitizenship.net cites nine individual elements of digital citizenship: access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights & responsibilities, health & wellness, and security (self protection). Cultural institutions are doing well in some respects, but what about other areas? Could museum interactive experiences not only provid…
 
Tyler Green (Modern Art Notes) recently wrote that “In the future, most American art museums — say, those with operating budgets of ~$7 million and up — will offer free general admission.” In this episode, the Punks talk to Green, and Maxwell L. Anderson, Director, Dallas Museum of Art, about just what it takes for museums to go free, and how new t…
 
One of the most interesting sessions at MCN2013 was on The Future of Museum Digital Departments, which featured staff from the Tate, the National Gallery, London, Imperial War Museums, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and discussed the sometimes harsh realities of delivering a digital strategy within a complex organization. In the session, John …
 
What role does language have in dictating the way we talk and think about the future – and present – in museums? Does talking about the future hold museums back in the present? Do terms like “innovation” and “forward-thinking” actually promote the behaviours they connote? In this episode, the Punks talk to Colleen Dilenschneider, Chief Market Engag…
 
Games are such a hot topic in museums, but the topic is a complex one. As blogger Kevin Bacon (no, not that one) points out, video games are expensive, are being made by many dedicated people outside museums, and can be a challenging vehicle for telling nuanced historical stories. So should museums invest in games? And if so, what should they be se…
 
News and media organizations have been undergoing similar challenges to those facing museums in the digital age, with increased competition for attention, challenges to old models of authority, and the need to develop new kinds of business models and modes of practice in response to changing technological, social, and economic conditions. So what c…
 
In 2012, Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole did a short analysis of 40 mission statements of leading UK museums and galleries, and discovered that the word “Future” was the third most common word used to describe the missions of the museums, double that of the word “past”. With such an eye to the future, it is little surprise to discover that museums…
 
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