FRIDAY Fast Five: App-aritions

So #WednesdayWhakaaro this week was pretty awesome. If you don’t know, #WednesdayWhakaaro is a weekly event where we present a cultural sector related question to our Twitter community. It’s a way for us to encourage conversation around burning sector issues, topics that interest us, or just things that we don’t know much about and want to know more about. It’s also a way for us to get smarter about stuff cos hot damn there’s a lot of amazing people on Twitter with heaps of knowledge. This past Wednesday I asked about museum apps. And man, we had heeeeaps of kōrero with some superb folk. Like, proper app expert types. It was sometimes confusing and always great. Barbara Palmer even Storified the convo so, yeah, awesome.

So I thought I might just take that convo and run with it. And thus, present you with links to stuff:

1. Cooper Hewitt acquiring the app Planetary for their collection.

This isn't new news, but I just find this SO. VERY. COOL. One, I love the sound of the app - a system that organises your ITunes files like a galaxy system. How pretty is that. And two, it's such an awesome collecting move. It pushes that boundaries around collecting, visitor engagement and participation. Something the we should give much more thought to methinks.  

2. Also not new news but I love this piece by Frith Williams on MONAs beacon system. This self-guided, exploratory, context-pushing interpretation tool really peaks my interest. If you don't know much about the beacons and how MONA use them, I suggest giving this a read. Perhaps ironically, as a *museum professional* my uptake of apps is pretty low. Courtney Johnston put forward some thoughts on this -  is it because I think I know enough and don't perceive there is a need? Is it because there just aren't that many museum apps in NZ right now? These are probably both true but the MONA beacons, like most things about that place, reeeeally intrigue me. I love that you can choose different interpretations of the art works as you move through the galleries - Gonzo style, Art Wank etc.

3. During the whakaaro, Lindsey Green suggested we read her piece , 'What we know about mobile experiences in museums after 6 years of research.' I think tech is a pretty daunting subject for many people in the sector. Is it safe to say it's either viewed as a silver bullet or just way too scary to even go near? Maybe. Anyway, people like Lindsey actually do the research so we know what works, what doesn't, how we should approach design, visitor needs, expectations, understanding value etc.

4. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's new tour app

This is another 'choose your own style of tour' apps. SFMOMA's Chief Content Officer calls it "a cross between This American Life and the movie Her..." Apparently the tours vary in mood from "philosophical and emotional" to "hilarious and strange." In one tour titled This is not an Artwork, actors from the show Silicon Valley discuss Marcel Duchamp's Urinal. Wild.

5. Also during the whakaaro, Mahuki alerted us to Sweeper which sounded pretty hardcore. It is an iBeacon-powered virtual minefield created by United Nations Mine Action Service in recognition of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It's an interactive exhibit to help New Yorkers understand the fear of living near minefields. The exhibit, entitled “Sweeper,” is a "multi-sensory experience that combines visual, audio, physical, mobile and interactive installation elements. To experience the Sweeper exhibit, visitors need to download the Sweeper mobile app available at Using Apple's iBeacon technology, Sweeper provides an audio tour guide and beacons to simulate the experience of walking through a minefield."

Kinda badbuzz note to end on but...yeah. Apps!

Hands up who hasn't got their hands on the new Franks Ocean album? Me neither. It's devastating. I keep waiting for Spotify to come through but I don't think it's gonna happen. Hello iTunes I guess...(PS this ISN'T this the "full album". LIES)