Issue 119/06, 01.06.2019
What is most exciting you in museum tech at the moment?
The Museums Association is running Museum Tech 2019: A Digital Festival Museums on 27 June at the Museum of London. This jam-packed day will celebrate new and emerging digital technologies that are helping to shape the way audiences experience museums and their collections. Lauren Vargas will be the chair for the day.
Lauren Vargas, Digital fellow, One by One Project
“What is most compelling about museum tech at the moment is the receptiveness to using business management tools, such as digital maturity models, to jump-start institution-wide conversations. Digital does not belong to any one individual or group, but the entire institution. Museums cannot afford the ‘fail fast and break things’ type of disruption. Instead, how might museums use maturity models to create a sense of urgency to find the time and space to have constructive, considered, and continuous conversations about what is required to make technology useful, usable, and sustainable?”
Arran Rees, PhD student, University of Leeds
“There has been a lot of exciting work done using tech, but I think the next big thing needs to address how museums can collect the born-digital content being created through our increasingly tech-led lives. From smartphone photos and memes to software and apps – museums interested in contemporary collecting are starting to consider how best to acquire and manage these types of objects. It was great to see the Empowering Collections report promoting experimentation with born-digital collections – I’m looking forward to the coming innovations in practice.”
Daniel Pett, Head of digital and IT, Fitzwilliam Museum
“My view is that museums should be thinking about the coming ethics crisis. We must think carefully about our use of new technologies, our data collection methodologies, the devices and suppliers that we use, the platforms we choose to engage with, the impact of employing hardware on climate change, how our licensing methods compound colonial control of our collections. Many of us are jumping to get on the Google train, to use Artificial Intelligence, to collect more user data. Are we giving away too much, are we thinking anthropologically about our work?”