Wednesday, March 11, 2009
So what if artists are producing science programs outside of museums? What does that mean for museums?
In her Monday post on Deliberately Unsustainable Business Models, Nina Simon made the point that museums need to do more than survive, they need to learn from such folks as the Mark Allen's (and the Phil Ross's) and also focus on being awesome.
But what artists are doing without funding -and often without the brutally political overhead of an institution- is take and idea and run with it.
Museums are houses to idea that has passed, contemporary or otherwise. Their job is to innovate on how to bring those ideas to the masses. For the large ones, their part-time job can be to foster research and innovation, or foster connections amongst ideas (I'm thinking of the Lab at Belmar's "Mixed Taste" series).
The job of the artists and scientists is to do their creative work - whatever it may be.
What this means for museums is that they need to continuously find new ways to bring attention to, or engage with the work of scientists and artists on a larger scale- while making them accessible is a goal. Being awesome while doing is hopefully a core value.
Next: is this a question of audience or accessibility?