As an archivist, my ethical duty is to maintain those objects of intrinsic value to future generations. I’ve often found that others assume my profession is focused on facts and figures, the hard data from which a census or otherwise lifeless historical record can be drawn. Such data will inform one on how a people survived. As important as this data is, it cannot tell you how a people dreamed. [more inside]
Tacoma Art Museum has just opened an entirely new wing devoted to a single collection of Western American art [depicting Native Americans and created by Europeans and Euro-Americans]. Because the work presented is culturally problematic, the museum has taken the unusual step of commissioning a handful of Native American people to write labels responding to the art. What results in the galleries can be frustrating, but it also breaks open the complexity of what's really going on both in the art and in the institution of the museum in 2014.How Tacoma Art Museum Criticizes a Collection Without Angering the Donors, by Jen Graves.
I quit liking things on Facebook for two weeks. Here's how it changed my view of humanity [more inside]
Reading: The Struggle
What I’m talking about is the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction—for immersing oneself in it and then coming back and back to it on numerous occasions over what could be days, weeks, or months, each time picking up the threads of the story or stories, the patterning of internal reference, the positioning of the work within the context of other novels and indeed the larger world. Every reader will have his or her own sense of how reading conditions have changed, but here is my own experience.[more inside]
wwwtxt.org: "In 1995, commercialization, a swelling population, and the multimedia revolution began to shape Web 1.0 and the modern Internet. 1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet. / The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+). / wwwtxt digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts." [more inside]
This Is Why I'm Broke: not just jet packs and flying cars - you could locomote in a hot-tub boat, a killer-whale submarine, or a light-up monowheel; exercise on a rock-climbing treadmill; sleep on a convertible futon bunk bed; set the world on fire; or hold a zero-gravity wedding. Only in your dreams? Well, you can still fritter away your money on a flying radio-control shark, a turntable for your wall or for your cat, geeky iPhone cases (cassette tape - han solo in carbonite - ordisguise it as a leather book), a Batman snuggie or a pizza-wheel + fork or a flying fuck. All this and much more collected & curated for browsing, updated daily. Default sort is by popularity: can change to price or newest updates first. [more inside]
The Google Cultural Institute is the portal for an effort to digitally preserve and present vital historical information using the latest web technologies. Highlights include the World Wonders Project, a geographical tour of UNESCO Heritage sites; Google Art Project (previously), curating 50,000 years of human cultural expression; the Palace of Versailles in 3D and a digital archive of the Dead Sea Scrolls (previously)
Network Awesome mines the resources of YouTube to bring you treasures vast and plentiful, packaged and gift-wrapped in an easier-to-watch format. Since it launched in January 2011, it's expanded a bit with a corollary animated GIF site and an online magazine. (previously; 2) [more inside]
Introducing The Curator’s Code - a standardized system for honoring discovery and intellectual labor, using two unicode characters. But is it dead in the water already? [via] ↬
Maria Popova may be the best curator of Awesome on the Internet after the blue's own hivemind. Her site, Brain Pickings, has been mentioned a few times, but no-one appears to have pointed out her Twitter feed or her contributions to TBWA's tumblr, Curiosity Counts. Some recent posts of note: a piece on digital parasitism and the business of culture, Terry Prachett's self-documentary Choosing To Die, her selection of the best children's and picture books of 2011. Also, the best of Brain Pickings from last week and 2010. When not doing all that, she's writing for several magazines, organising the effort to restock the Brookyn OWS library after its destruction by police, and curating physical objects, sent as gifts every quarter.
How (crowd) curation is making a comeback in search and how Facebook is using it to "remake whole industries."
Copy-art.net is an ongoing curatorial project that aims to create an online platform to exchange works between artists, curators and the public and give the audience free access to works of art. Artists have been invited to submit work to Copy-art in any medium that will then be available online, making it possible for visitors to use these works in any possible way and without restrictions. Submitted works can be downloaded, changed, distributed, exhibited and used by all visitors for free. All submitted works will be present online in an archive, and available to the public to access. Commercial use of the works is excluded.
Radiohead are taking over the BBC this Christmas. For one week, from the 22nd to the 28th of December, the band will assume control of BBC digital staion 6Music, choosing music, selecting shows, co-presenting programmes and contributing website material. The station is streamed worldwide. Christmas this year may be a little less jolly. ;)