Thursday, August 28, 2008

Voice Mail Museum, what next?

How far can museums go with interactivity? Voice mail museum is a nifty experiment in content creation by visitors. Is it just a kooky and creative anomaly or a premonition of the way museum's do exhibits? The popularity of the Brooklyn Museum's exhibit, Click, whose collection consists of photos taken and selected by the public suggests that the latter is highly possible. Even probable. We may be living through what historians will later see as seismic shift in what the public expects and gets out of the museum experience.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NPR Story about Music and Contemporary Art in Houston

NPR All Things Considered story by Wade Goodwyn highlights the pairing of music and artwork.
(Thanks to Kathy for picking this up)

American Museum - Music Part of Human Origins

At the Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, there's a section on the origins of music. I hope to check it out soon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Music and Museums

One part of culture that I feel that museums struggle to represent is
music. You might say - but music isn't meant for museums! It's meant
for concert halls, stages, cafes and venues of all kinds, but not the
dry silence of a museum. (It is kind of striking how it seems
everywhere you go - the grocery store, old navy, the elevator, the
dentist, Wal-mart, a soundtrack is pumping out, but museums are usually
dead quiet).

Cleveland's Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame tried to find a way to show and
represent music history, with mixed results. It's been criticized for
being overly commercial and vapid, and the building an eyesore.

A couple years ago I visited the Morgan Library and Museum in New
York, and on the top floor was an exhibition of priceless original
musical scores - the original handwritten sheet music by famous composers.
What the curators did was pair these scores with recordings and
headphones of the music performed by orchestras, so you could listen
and follow along. In some cases you could listen to several versions. There's something thrilling about getting inside the mind of a composer by seeing his handwritten notes and hearing the
music simultaneously.

How do you imagine music could be represented in a museum?
Take our poll on the left-handside of the page !

Monday, August 11, 2008

News from the Georgian Daily

A link to news from Georgia.

Petition by Secretariat of the Georgia Symposium on the Arts

The Secretariat of the International Symposium of Georgian Art has sent the following request to sign their petition:

Dear Friends--this is the least we can do to stop the Old Soviet
Monster, the Russian Military Complex, to pour on Georgia its hatred
towards the West, the US and the whole civilized world and its
democratic values.

Please sign this petition and send it to as many people as
possible. It's up to you to support and protect Georgia's

Statement to Russia from ICOM Poland

A copy of the letter to ICOM by the Chair of ICOM Poland:

Dear Allisandra, Ms. President of ICOM,

The Polish Committee of ICOM is terrified by the Georgia war. For the next time we are faced with unreasonable, cold aggression which destroys not only human beings, but many of splendid culture places. I must express my impression that we all - the members of ICOM should immediately react and help Georgian people to secure their museums, culture places, architecture. I think we all ICOM members should claim to both presidents of Russia and Georgia to stop destructions. Please take under consideration our proposition.

With kind regards,

Chair ICOM Poland
+48 22 7330489; +48 696 048 780

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Georgians on their own against the Russians

Georgia, "the darling of the west", has been the recipient of much international aid and investment, as well as special attention from the US administration, most recently by a visit from Condoleezza Rice. And yet no country is likely to respond to the Russian invasion with more than a "tsk tsk".

It's not a question of failing to join NATO either. Even if Georgia had been admitted, as the US administration wanted, it's hard to believe that NATO would have responded with force. Among other concerns, Moscow is a short flight to Berlin, the Russians have a hand on the valve to Europe's natural gas pipeline and everyone knows that US military and public don't have the bandwidth to enter any new arenas. The Russians further sealed Georgia's fate by timing the invasion while the world was distracted by the Beijing Olympics and the final months of the US presidential race.

It seems to me that Georgia is on their own against the Russians.

Here is what some Georgians have to say about the situation in a plea for the world to respond: