Week 8

In terms of digital presence, I am all for the modernization of museums. I feel that in order for museums to stay relevant and up to date with the times, going the technological route is the way to go.

Of course, the first step would be a website. It would be a great service to the museum and to those interested in it if the museum were to have a website that would provide all the information they need – address, special exhibits, “know before you go” tips. A website would probably be one of the first things potential museum guests would look at before deciding to make the trip there, so this would definitely be something that is well crafted and enticing.

Secondly, social media is now the norm with many teenagers and young adults. This demographic is definitely the type to benefit from the information a museum can provide, so I would definitely expect for a museum to be on social media. This younger crowd definitely is the type to follow trends and visit cool locations, so in creating social media, museums could find that it is an inexpensive form of advertising for itself.

A class that would be extremely interesting to see would be how to do the basics of design. At this time and age, designing (or even just using basic photoshop) is the norm for most people looking for an entry-level position. It would definitely be helpful to learn design basics, typography and possibly photo editing. Although I’m sure there are some videos like this already available, to have all the basics conveniently available would be extremely beneficial.

Lastly, this is the digital story telling piece I would like to share.

It strikes a chord with me because this is a Content Creator that I’ve been following on Youtube and other forms of social media for a long time, primarily for beauty and lifestyle. While naturally, she would drop tidbits about her personal life from time to time, this video was beautiful to see. It was a wonderful and emotionally poignant piece of digital storytelling that makes me empathize with her, as well as educates me.

Week 8

I expect for museums to use digital tools to create narrative that gives unique perspective and context that cannot be accomplished from just being in the presence of the physical object. Museum digital tools should be exciting and fun but also functional and assist with research and creating a lasting sense of resonance with the collection.

I really dislike online classes. I always find myself trying to treat them like a game that I want to win instead of engaging with the material. I think the only class online that would be effective would be a creative corse,like design and media arts such as 3D modeling. It would be cool to create online an engage in a dialogue cross culturally with other students. Maybe a language component could be involved.

I really like art 21 but I feel like sometimes they focus to much on process. I like the personal aspects of this piece.I find it funny and endearing and it makes me feel more connected to his work and him as an artist.

Digital Storytelling: A Way of Demystifying not just Art, but the Museum

I was not aware that LACMA was working on web-based videos as a way of communicating stories about their artwork, exhibitions and directors. It was interesting to see that this medium is being used not just for documentary style videos, but to conduct interviews and offer a close-up look of some of the museum’s new initiatives.

When thinking about a museum’s digital presence, I first expect it to have a comprehensive and well-designed website. Apart from museums, I judge organizations, schools and other institutions based off their webpage. A poorly designed website or one that is not user friendly is almost as bad as turning in a bad resume- first impressions are so important and I am not likely to put in more effort to find information if the simplest things e.g. contact information, opening hours are difficult to locate.

It would also be great for museums to have a social media presence that seeks to engage us with in-the-moment news. Apart from just promoting their events and exhibitions, museums as an educational institution have the authority and power to be responsive to current events. For instance, several artists have produced works referencing the Black Lives Matter movement, and a museum could tweet or make a post about a previous or upcoming artist who would be featured as part of that movement. This ensures the institution itself is not viewed as being politicized, while still promoting the works of artists.

It would also be helpful if museums were somehow able to track the visitors at respective exhibits, and notify past visitors of similar/ related exhibitions that might pique their interest. This will encourage return visits and sustain audience engagement, rather than have visitors seek out exhibitions and events solely through their own research.

I did not have access to any classes on Coursera, but I found a TedX video titled “The Problem with Modern Art” by Tomas Gonzalez Cueto. He is not the most engaging speaker, but the subject matter is unique (something I would watch from start to finish) in that it was critical of museums and the construct of modern art. Members of the general public already have a perception of modern art as being disconnected from reality, abstract and difficult to comprehend, and museums do little to address this lack of understanding for the art. Perhaps addressing this elephant in the room by creating videos that directly acknowledge some of the misconceptions and pressing questions the public has about art (rather than just assuming everyone who watches the video should be an art enthusiast) will help people relate to it better. The institution itself is seen as uptight and some level of self-deprecating humor might be well-received by museum goers, and make the content produced by museums seem less dry and intimidating.

Finally, I looked up the trailer for the ballet documentary “First Position” since I have heard a lot about it but not actually watched it. The trailer does a good job of incorporating personal stories into a greater narrative, and provides insight on the less well-known and hardly publicized lives of professional ballet dancers. I would encourage this digital storytelling approach as it gives viewers the perception that they are being let on a “sneak peek” or exclusive “behind the scenes” video of what museums do. When people can relate to and have a better understanding of the institutions that are creating content, I think it naturally makes them more curious of the museum’s exhibitions.

Week 8

When I think about what I want from a museum’s digital presence, I think about access, depth, and engagement. In terms of access, when I go to a museum’s website, I’d like to be able to easily interact with the online exhibitions and see most, if not all, of the museum’s collections. In terms of depth, I’d like to see a variety of materials that would enhance my connection to and understanding of the pieces (digital storytelling is one method of this). In terms of engagement, the site should draw visitors in and somehow find a way to instill the wonder of seeing the actual object (V & A’s Design a Wig does this).

I go back and forth on my opinion on online classes all the time. I think they have great potential to make education more democratic and accessible, but I’m also a huge proponent of small, seminar-based classes and hands-on education. I think certain types of learners can benefit greatly from MOOCs, but others can easily get lost. Senior year of high school, I sat down and did an edX class (The Secret of Life, which is a biology course from MIT) start to finish. I would not have been able to take an MIT class otherwise, so that was really exciting. The professor was very fascinating and charismatic, the course included supplemental materials that kept me engaged, and the course had a very specific structure, which kept me on task. The class had such an impact on me, that it influenced what I wanted to do with my life (this is changing now, but at the time I found a true passion for biology). However, I can easily see others not being engaged with the course.

This video isn’t necessarily digital storytelling in the way that we learned about digital storytelling in class, but I’d argue that it is a form of digital storytelling, and it conveys a profound and complicated topic in an entertaining and easy to grasp manner.

Response to Agnes Stauber

I watched most of the videos on lacma.org/video but the one that I found to be really entertaining and overall enjoyable was The Megalith Arrives at LACMA: The Making of Levitated Mass. LACMA’s video production, I have to say, is incredible! I think with the variety that the museum provides in its video content is what makes users engaged with not only what the video is about, but also the museum sphere and experience as a whole. Along that line, the video about the Megalith was one that had an interesting composition that was so simple, yet really impactful. I loved how the video was quite literally about how LACMA moved the Monolith into the vicinity of the museum building with thousands of onlookers cheering and documenting it. The shots of the crowds of people and the huge mass gave me a look at just how important the museum community is and how experiences like this make museums so wondrous and overall lasting.

Speaking of “lasting,” this is where digital presence comes into play. Yes, the fact that LACMA has a video section on their website- now common among most museums- is already evidence of a good and evolving progression into the digital world. When we’re talking about online classes, I also think positively on this method of delivering content from institutions like that of a museum. Essentially growing up on Khan Academy and other online resources during my high school years, I think online classes are extremely helpful in terms of allowing students to interact with content on their own terms, time, and interest, as well as have more subjectivity and material to discuss and present with professors, other students, and the like. I think that more art-centered classes would be interesting; that is, classes like understanding composition of paintings, color theory, visual literature, and so on. I think Khan Academy has a few videos on art history and the humanities in general, but they’re usually very general and sometimes gloss over the finer information that one would receive in a classroom setting. With these video ideas, which can involve having allotted time and instructions for activities to do while watching, I think positive engagement and interest would follow.

One digital storytelling piece that I recently saw other than the Monolith one earlier is by Variety Magazine called SAG Winners Recall Their First Acting Job. The video is quite short- only 3:39 minutes- but the significance of the subject stands in how the individuals talk about their experiences, all culminating into how their success with winning a SAG award singlehandedly changed their lives. Funny, uplifting, and warmhearted, the stories of the SAG winners remind us how dreams can be achieved against all odds. In the end, all individuals joke and reminisce about both the hard and good times of their journey to success. I personally love digital storytelling projects like this, which involve multiple perspectives that overarch into a single or common theme. I also am intrigued with videos that cover events rather than physical objects, as the personal connection we have as human beings are often associated with the memorable times in our lives.

All in all, with this post comes the reminder that the class will be visiting LACMA this Friday, and I can’t wait to wander through one of my favorite museums again and see what’s new, digitally and on exhibition!

Week 8

The Internet, technology, and other digital applications play an integral role in almost everyone’s lives. These new forms of communication facilitate new interactions, experiences, and expectations and have in turn reshaped the museum-going experience as a whole. As a generation that exists online, content is key, and it is abundant. The online community is obsessed with content, but they want more than just access to it, they want to be a part of the conversation. They want to be “producers” of content, not just “downloaders.” There is a new widespread desire to be “uploaders,” to be creators and contributors of the content itself. I think this new mentality should be reflected in a museums digital and online presence. Museums are already reshaping their intentions towards having more of a public service and engagement outlook. The public has more of a say than ever in what objects are deemed valuable and what is exhibited. As a result, objects and our interactions with them are more interactive than ever before. For these reasons, I think that museums that have an interactive, novel, and engaging online presence are the most successful.

After having explored Coursera, I think classes like “Big Data” or “Data Mining,” those that explore data visualization, are classes that I would be the most interested in and would watch from start to finish. I think it would also be great if those courses explored data visualization art, where the students get to create and design new interpretations for big data.

I think the MoMA has beautiful and well-produced digital storytelling pieces about the objects, artists, and artworks that are exhibited at the museum. The video, “Maria Hassabi | Plastic,” is haunting and mesmerizing. I think what makes their digital story telling successful is that each video is filled with such emotion and candor. They reveal the “human touch” that is hidden behind each piece that they explore, and as a viewer I feel I am uncovering it with them.


Week 8

I don’t think I have any major expectations in terms of a museum’s digital presence except a clean functioning website that offers an explanation or information on the exhibits and events taking place at that particular musuem. Any museum site should be user friendly so as to draw in potential patrons, an expectation that I would think to be intuitively considered in the web design process. Othewise I think digital aspects shouldn’t necessarily stand in for the physical experience, but instead enhance it as with the arrival of the megalith in the Levitated Mass video on the LACMA site.

I’m actually taking an online class right now through UCLA for my last science GE. Though its pretty convenient, I wouldn’t say I’m getting much out of the experience since it is so easy to complete the adjoined activities without really understanding the content. However I think this has less to do with the online aspect and probably more to do with my lack of interest in the subject matter. If I had to chose or create an online class I think I would be interested in something more of a practical application like something to do wth coding that way I’d be more interested in actually understanding the content.

I didn’t have any immediate thoughts when it came to good digital storytelling projects I’d seen so I googled. A project that came up numerous times was Bear 71 which was an interactive storytelling project about a female bear living in Banff National Park in Canada. The story took around 20 minutes and varied between controlled visuals which would play at specific points in the narration in conjunction with an interactive range which would appear in between allowing you to travel over the park tracking not only Bear 71 but other animals and humans. All the while there was narration that was meant to be coming from the main subject Bear 71 explaining essentially the negative effects of the human expansion and presence in the once truly wild habitat of these animals. By relating these issues in the format of a story, I think it was more emotionally resonant and the message thus had more impact.

Week 8: Response to Agnes Stauber

When I think about a museum and their presence online, I don’t want to just see posts of the art you can see in the museum – that’s why I visit a museum. Rather, it should give viewers context, both with the “behind the scenes”, as well as the history of the art itself. I think that’s the strength of LACMA’s videos, as it doesn’t necessarily focus on just one aspect, but rather, incorporates many different aspects of what the museum is about. They do not necessarily need to have a strong social media presence, although that helps a lot with increasing foot traffic, but having a digital presence can enhance a user’s experience, either after the museum visit, or before.

I am not a huge advocate of online courses — in high school, Khan Academy used to make me fall asleep (Salman Khan’s voice is extremely soothing for me), and I find other ones difficult to sit through as it’s not as engaging as traditional courses can be. However, I think online coding classes are very worth it. I currently use Lynda.com to learn JavaScript and SQL. If I had to pitch an online course, I would probably have one about running an e-commerce site. This would combine coding skills with graphic design and economics/management, and it’s pretty relevant to today’s consumers.

One thing that is interesting to note — MoMA just announced a few days ago that it would be launching a free photography course online, so it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out.

Stephanie actually posted the storytelling piece that I wanted to post (the Dreams of Dali VR is so well done), but Wired actually posed about something else I had seen, so I’m going to use that one instead. They are reporting about Google’s collaborations with large museums via the Cultural Institute project, which is digitizing tens of thousands of pieces onto a digital archive. This time, Google partnered with the Guggenheim Museum in New York  so that you can visit it through your computer. This combines Google’s street view option on maps with an extensive set of cameras/drones to capture the building, built by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Week 8: Response to Agnes Stauber

As far as digital storytelling, something I really look for is if the topic at hand is interesting at first glace, if the discussion of it is quick and to the point, and if the way it is presented is engaging. A good example I’ve stumbled upon in the past is (excuse the candid topic) Asian Flush, Explained. also by Vox (they do a really good job at these types of videos, evidently.) As with Noor’s example, the topic and the video length is perfect for motivating me to watch the video in its entirety. I think when conducting this type of storytelling to people who are unfamiliar with the given topic, videos in the format of a “crash course”–i.e. quick, to the point, exciting, sometimes funny–are really effective. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the video itself is visually striking.

Although this example is somewhat unrelated in the context of museums, I feel that museums are able to and should leverage this kind of storytelling in their digital presence. Looking at the LACMA’s current videos, it seems as though LACMA is doing relatively well in its videos angles–behind the scenes, interviews, expanding on exhibits’ topics, etc. I don’t really have strict requisites for museum’s digital presence beyond that, in all honesty. Videos are, to me, the most effective way to add context to curious museum goers, so long as they are done in a way that keeps viewers interested, as sometimes museums blur the line between a “digital presence” and “educational television, online.” Instagram being effectively used as a publicity tool and as a way to convert digital viewers into in-person viewers has also been discussed in readings, and I agree it’s a good tool in establishing digital presence. The Broad and The Met have been seen as good examples of this.

As far as online classes, I’ve taken a handful in an academic setting. One UCLA class was focused on 3D modeling in urban planning, and had two elements: a set of video lessons of the program SketchUp building on top of one another, and a set of videos giving real-life context to what we were modelling. The former was effective, but the latter was completely ineffective. The context videos were just really dull and did not come across as meaningful, where as the 3D modelling videos were engaging because of its “learn-by-doing” concept. I remember KhanAcademy in high school… and hating it; but I also remember going through Lynda classes on Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut Pro and enjoying them, so perhaps my initial interest play a significant role in lessons’ perceived effectiveness. A class I would pitch would be maybe a web design class or an iOS application design class that would employ the same “learn-by-doing” aspect my 3D modelling class had, ultimately having students walk away with a finished product for a portfolio or something in that nature.

Museum’s Digital Presence/Online Course

One digital story telling piece that I found to be compelling was “Why babies in medieval paintings look like ugly old men” by Vox. I enjoyed the video because it clearly broke down a topic that you didn’t realize you wanted to know more about. It did this in a clear way in less then 3 minutes and I can honestly say that I learned something from it. Also the fact that the editing was really well done and the motion graphics gave it a modern and clean aesthetic added to my enjoyment as a viewer. I see far to many informational videos with interesting topics being ruined by being overly lengthy and poorly executed.

While the Vox video is coming from a media site, I do think videos similar to that have a place in museums digital presence. Not only can the videos be used to act as digital archives of important visuals and interviews, they can also bring traffic and attention to the museums themselves. Museums at times do take on a business model, and branding through video or other digital tools should be an avenue taken very seriously. The Tate is an example of a museum that does very well at documenting themselves through video in an entertaining way.

I don’t usually take online classes unless there is a specific skill that I want to learn that would further advance me in some career field that I am interested in. For example, I currently go through Lynda classes to learn various Adobe programs that I can’t completely learn at theory based classes at UCLA. If I had to pitch a class it would be on motion graphics and the curriculum would be skill based over theory. The course would probably involve creating a project by the end so that you students fully learn the process.