The simple answer is ‘why not?’ though that’s likely to be unsatisfying to people who want more context. This list of ideas was birthed in response to having these conversations ourselves, as well as seeing and hearing the conversations happening throughout the museum-world, over over the last few years as new people enter the field and a new generation of professionals works their way up through the ranks.
Is this entirely new? No, not entirely. It’s pulling it together into a simple, readable set of ideas where we enjoy some novelty. We have brilliant colleagues tweeting, blogging, writing, and making. This site doesn’t supplant the efforts of others, nor does it try to pretend that all museums are broken. But, if you want to be a modern and new museum, this thinking is meant for you.
If you’re already well down this path, we’re likely not exciting for you. We hope that you see kindred thought in the things that we say or provide dissenting opinions based on your experiences. Our desire is to be useful, so examples (both pro and con) are welcome.
If you’re not thinking like this, we’ve tried to make the rationale straightforward and show progression in thought. This isn’t about technology or new exhibits or collecting or the things museums already understand and do well. This is a view to engagement that takes a step forward reflecting on the reality of your visitors.
We choose anonymity deliberately. Every visitors comes to you at first anonymously and yet, if we are to believe in engagement, soliciting and valuing their opinions then we need to work at building relationships. Questioning who they are or their context or motivations is irrelevant. We need to judge each other on what we’re saying and the merits of the ideas, not on who we are. That’s also how we help newcomers to the field feel welcome and that they have a right to contribute.
Just as importantly, we’re trying to present an unbiased view that isn’t immediately categorized by who we are and what we do. We have a range of experiences, we’ve worked around the world, and we want to make the signal that we hear stronger.
We have some ideas where this might go and how we will engage, but we also reserve the right to change things as needed and make a go of something new. We’re looking forward to the journey and enjoying it already. We hope you do too.