Returning to the NDF conference ....
One of the most interesting moments of the conference was when a session chair asked for a show of hands, to see what kind of instition people who were attending the conference worked at. The results looked something like this:
That blue sliver is 'galleries' - and it's probably over represented. About 3 people out of 300 raised their hands when 'galleries' was called out by the chair.
Three things worry me about this. First, the NDF conference (not so much this year, but definitely last year) is a great place to learn about what cultural orgainisations are doing online to increase and serve their audiences. Last year's presentations by Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum and a nice fellow from the V&A were total eye-openers.
Second, NDF is currently the most obvious manifestation of what's being called in political dialogue "the GLAMs sector": galleries, libraries, archives and museums. I'm not sure that art galleries are aware that they're meant to be part of this group - or that they're being represented on a national level by this body.
And third - this reinforces my feeling that compared to some of our other cultural instititions, galleries are really not that interested in working collaboratively, sharing information and ideas, or even just hanging out together.