Saturday 19 March 2016

Reading list, 19 March 2016

The new CODE | WORDS project, a series of back-and-forth conversations about aspects of museums in the digital age, is unfurling. The latest is an exchange between John Gordy and Rachel Ropeik on the metaphor of museum as platform. They began by politely disagreeing on MuseumHack (something I wrote about a while ago with respect to founder Nick Gray's talk about Webstock in February).

The Cooper Hewitt marks the first year of operation of the Pen (their digital visitor aid, which allows you to collect information about exhibitions and objects on display, and use interactive tables in the gallery spaces) by opening up the data collected thus far.

A lengthy article about the history of humans feeling bad about the way they smell, from ancient Egypt to modern day feminine scented wipes. Fascinating for the way product marketing has come to dictate how we feel about the body's natural functions.

Whether you're feeling it yet or not, the technology industry is reshaping our workplaces, not just with the tools it develops and sells, but through the philosophy it espouses. I find myself strangely defensive when it comes to the remote-first, no-meeting, always-chatting workplace (crossed with the 'venerate the real worker, four hours of flow' mantra). I think it's because I find it culturally one-eyed, and I'd love to know how a Samoan, or Indian, or Nigerian workplace might be organised, and see what we can learn from those values and methods. Nonetheless: Annalee Newitz on the Slack take-over, and Virginia Heffernan on the elimination of meeting culture.

I feel like so much of the online aesthetic milieu that surrounds me is summed up in this lengthy article of Kinfolk and its kith, 'The Last Lifestyle Magazine'. I was particularly struck by the quote "[Editor Nathan] Williams doesn't have a personal Instagram and the official magazine account only posts once or twice a week, but #kinfolk is used about once a minute."

I found this "exit interview" with the departing director of the Honolulu Museum of Art, Stephan Jost, really fascinating. It's the first time I've heard an American art gallery director use the concepts of an indigenous culture to describe their work. OTOH, this article in The Star about Jost's recruitment as the new head of the AGO in Toronto has all the trappings I associate with North American institutions (boards! dinners! wealth managers! a "coronation"!).

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