008: Intergallactic Planetary


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By Museopunks. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
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 and Aaron Cope of the Cooper-Hewitt wrote in their blog post on the acquisition: "Museums like ours are used to collecting exemplary achievements made manifest in physical form; or at least things whose decay we believe we can combat and slow. To that end we employ highly trained conservators who have learned their craft often over decades of training, to preserve what would often be forgotten and more quickly turn to dust. But preserving large, complex and interdependent systems whose component pieces are often simply flirting with each other rather than holding hands is uncharted territory. Trying to preserve large, complex and interdependent systems whose only manifestation is conceptual – interaction design say or service design – is harder still." In response to these questions, the Cooper-Hewitt made the decision to open-source the source code for Planetary, uploading it to GitHub. In this episode, the Punks dig into some of the questions that these kinds of acquisitions and conservation processes could mean for the museum, and for how we think about objects in general. We ask how digital technologies are changing the practice of conservation? In this episode, the Punks dig into this question with the Cooper-Hewitt’s Seb Chan (Director of Digital & Emerging Media) and Aaron Cope (Senior Engineer), and Dale Kronkright (Head of Conservation at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum). Fair warning: it’s a long episode, but a super interesting one.

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