via The Times (London):
January 19, 2009
BlackBerry-using Barack Obama set to become first President 2.0
-- Mike Harvey, Technology Correspondent, in San Francisco
-- Mike Harvey, Technology Correspondent, in San Francisco
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution: 3.0) License (US), though the work this blog incorporates may be separately licensed.
A Search for Comity in the Intellectual Property Wars: symposium at The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, April 28-30, 2006 [slides, audio, transcripts]
download the report [PDF]
via The Times (London):
(thanks to Tyler Green / TylerGreenDC [@Twitter])
Why We Made smARThistory
For years we have been dissatisfied with the large expensive art history textbook. We found that they were difficult for many students, contained too many images, and just were not particularly engaging. In addition, we had found the web resources developed by publishers to be woefully uncreative. We had developed quite a bit of content for our online Western art history courses and we had also created many podcasts, and a few screencasts for our smARThistory blog. So, it finally occurred to us, why not use the personal voice that we use when we teach online, along with the multimedia we had already created for our blog and for our courses, to create a more engaging "web-book" that could be used in conjunction with art history survey courses. We are also committed to joining the growing number of teachers who make their content freely available on the web.
A Short History of smARThistory
smARThistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional and static art history textbook. Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker began smARThistory in 2005 by creating a blog featuring free audio guides in the form of podcasts for use in The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Soon after, we embedded the audio files in our online survey courses. The response from our students was so positive that we decided to create a multi-media survey of art history web-book. We created audios and videos about works of art found in standard art history survey texts, organized the files stylistically and chronologically, and added text and still images.
We are interested in delivering the narratives of art history using the read-write web's interactivity and capacity for authoring and remixing. Publishers are adding multimedia to their textbooks, but unfortunately they are doing so in proprietary, password-protected adjunct websites. These are weak because they maintain an old model of closed and protected content, eliminating Web 2.0 possibilities for the open collaboration and open communities that our students now use and expect.
In smARThistory, we have aimed for reliable content and a delivery model that is entertaining and occasionally even playful. Our podcasts and screen-casts are spontaneous conversations about works of art where we are not afraid to disagree with each other or art history orthodoxy. We have found that the unpredictable nature of discussion is far more compelling to our students (and the public) than a monologue. When students listen to shifts of meaning as we seek to understand each other, we model the experience we want our students to have—a willingness to encounter the unfamiliar and transform it in ways that make it meaningful to them. We believe that smARThistory is broadly applicable to our discipline and is a first step toward understanding how art history can fit into the new collaborative culture created by web 2.0 technologies.
Amid all the action leading
up to Obama's inauguration it is easy to forget that there is still an
issue very close to the President-Elect's heart that has yet to be
resolved: that of the fate of his BlackBerry.
Speaking with CNBC Wednesday, Obama explained that he is still fighting to hold onto the device despite the sea of lawyers who have warned him against keeping it.
I don't know that I'll win, but I'm still--I'm still fighting it. And--but here's the point I was making, I guess, is that it's not just the flow of information. I mean, I can get somebody to print out clips for me, and I can read newspapers. What it has to do with is having mechanisms where you are interacting with people who are outside of the White House in a meaningful way. And I've got to look for every opportunity to do that--ways that aren't scripted, ways that aren't controlled, ways where, you know, people aren't just complimenting you or standing up when you enter into a room, ways of staying grounded.
I dont know... Ever since we let them have electricity at the white house it's never been the same.
[For part 1 see: Up Close + Personal: Socially Networking the Museum, via newsgrist]
re-blogged via koven j. smith:
December 30th, 2008 by Koven
Maria Gilbert of the Getty Museum started an interesting (and, I’m sure, evolving) conversation this morning about institutional “brands” on Twitter. The discussion was sparked, in part, by a recent post from Ari Herzog assessing the Museum of Modern Art’s own online presence. Twitter, and specifically how to use it in an institutional capacity, has of late been a hot topic at the Met as well, and the time seems right to lay out some of my own thoughts on the subject. Welcome to my New Year’s resolution to write more here at kovenjsmith dot com. Woot.
I think that the process of trying to figure out how to use so-called “social media” platforms like Twitter and Facebook has essentially accelerated the disintegration of what we used to call “the institutional voice”; that single, monolithic, thoroughly-vetted voice that spoke to you, the visitor, from a given museum’s publications, press releases, and Web site. As more and more low- or no-cost publishing platforms have become available over the last decade, we’ve seen an erosion of this single voice, as individuals from institutions are able to publish more quickly without going through a traditional vetting process. The question for museums is then: when that voice is gone, what replaces it?
I find, on Twitter, that institutional or company feeds are always less interesting than personal feeds. They’re informative, to be sure, and often highlight things about a given institution (a work of art, an upcoming program) that I might not have otherwise known, but they lack that certain personal angle that makes for a really good feed.
The problem is that a feed that speaks for an entire museum must, by its very nature, often remove the personal and/or provocative from its tweets in order to appeal to the broadest possible constituency. Therefore, the problem is less “what should we write about?” and more “from what perspective should we write?”
I agree with Tyler Green that the primary focus of a museum feed should be Art, but an institution can’t be as free with its opinions as an individual can be. If an art museum were to say something like “this portrait looks like Billy Dee Williams” in its Twitter feed (and let’s hope that happens), I’d have to wonder, as a follower, whose perspective that is. Does someone in the marketing department think that? Does the curator? An educator? The Web site director? As an institution, then, we’re reduced to posting somewhat bland tweets–daily highlights of works from the collection (something better suited to an “Artwork of the Day” desktop widget), or advertisements about half-price admission days (which probably belong in a marketing newsletter).
However, this problem of perspective goes away if you replace that single feed with a diversity of feeds from your staff.
Think about it. Friendships in the virtual space are not much different from friendships in real space. I’ll never be “friends” with MoMA, no matter how much I may love it as a museum, but I could easily imagine being friends with MoMA’s technology people, its curators, its educators, or its conservators. MoMA The Institution might not feel free to say that a particular work in its collection is sub-par, but a curator on MoMA’s staff might be willing to tweet at length about why that work is sub-par. I may not agree with that perspective, but it’s still an interesting one to read (and potentially joust with as well, via @ replies). As a follower, I’m not engaging with the institution per se, I’m engaging with one of many possible viewpoints from within that institution. This would have the end result of actually connecting me to the institution in a much more powerful (and one would hope, lasting) way.
This doesn’t mean that a single institutional feed has no value. In fact, as Tim O’Reilly points out in a recent post, he finds that his own Twitter feed often works as a kind of switchboard, connecting his followers to individual feeds within O’Reilly Media. One could certainly imagine an institutional feed taking this role, functioning almost as a party host introducing various guests to one another.
Although it seems likely that Twitter is about to break into the mainstream, we’re all still really trying to figure out how best to use it. It’s not a blog, it’s not e-mail, it’s not a Web site–it’s something entirely different that, I believe, has the potential to fundamentally change the way museums interact with their public. In “Remix,” Lawrence Lessig states that “…despite the rhetoric of the content industry, the most valuable contribution to our economy comes from connectivity, not content. Content is the ginger in gingerbread–important, no doubt, but nothing like the most valuable component in the mix…” It will be interesting to see if this will become true for museums as a result of engagement with platforms like Twitter.
h/t to Joy Garnett (from the Goldwater Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) for the Lessig quote.
Koven J. Smith
is the Musical Director of cornfield dance, as well as a producer of
interactive technologies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an
adjunct professor of Information Technology for the Visual Arts at New
York University. With a background in electroacoustic music, formal
composition, and new media design, Koven's work explores the
intersection of multiple art forms and technology.
Koven J. Smith is the Musical Director of cornfield dance, as well as a producer of interactive technologies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an adjunct professor of Information Technology for the Visual Arts at New York University. With a background in electroacoustic music, formal composition, and new media design, Koven's work explores the intersection of multiple art forms and technology.
The moment Lessig's new book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, finally arrived in the mail, someone I know grabbed it (!) and I may just have to wait til he's finished to grab it back.
In the meantime, reviews that get it (and some that don't) are out...
October 24, 2008 4:20 PM
It was a tough morning swallowing Spencer's review. My reaction was -- "really, that's what you see in the book?!" None of the key points that made it worth my writing the book were visible to him (or at least, as evinced by the review). And that, frankly, was astonishing, and astonishingly depressing.
But it is the end of the day (here in Hong Kong), and with it comes a review by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, that is actually about the stuff in this book that is what the book's about, and new (and of course, as I think, important). What the book "is" of course is hard to say. But her review is actually a review of the book I thought I wrote.[...]
excerpt of the Fitzpatrick review (in B&N reviews):
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
By LAWRENCE LESSIG
Reviewed by Kathleen Fitzpatrick
"What does it mean to society when a whole generation is raised as criminals?" This is the question that intellectual property guru and "copyleft" leader Lawrence Lessig asks in his new book, Remix. He's building on a point he first raised in his influential volume Free Culture: if we are going to declare a "war on piracy," we need to be prepared for collateral damage. The blowback that Lessig explored in Free Culture was felt by traditional U.S. culture, with its modes of open exchange (libraries distributing books, for instance, as well as teenagers making mix tapes) and its reliance on a growing public domain to spur creativity.
In this book, Lessig identifies victims even closer to home: our children. "How," Lessig asks, is the war on piracy "changing how they think about normal, right-thinking behavior?" The creative practices of today's youth include a range of activities -- file sharing, most notoriously, but also the production of mashups -- that are illegal under the current copyright regime, but criminalization is having little success as a deterrent. Instead, the focus on "piracy" is changing our relationship to the law itself, which has come to seem arbitrary and unfair, and it's hampering creative and educational uses of new technologies. It's time to consider, Lessig argues, whether the costs of this war are too high.
As recently as 100 years ago, the majority of the music that Americans heard was that which they made themselves, or which others around them made. Prior to the popularization of the player piano, followed by the gramophone and the radio, music had to be performed live, and for that reason, an amateur culture of music making flourished. The spread of technologies for the recording and playback of music thus didn't democratize music itself but rather the ability of the masses to hear professionals play. The end result, as Lessig points out, was in fact highly anti-democratic, replacing an amateur culture with a professional culture and transforming much of the populace from producers into consumers. As music (along with other artistic practices) became increasingly professionalized, it also became increasingly subject to ideas of ownership, with the result that amateur uses of music's professional products became increasingly restricted.
However, many of those amateur uses of professional culture were restricted throughout the 20th century, not just by legislation but also by the scarcity and cost of the technologies involved. Since few people had access to recording facilities, for instance, the unauthorized reproduction of music was a fairly limited affair. What copyright controlled, for much of its existence, was thus the professional reproduction of cultural texts -- usually in the form of books and other printed matter -- and copyright law was understood to restrict publishers from releasing competing versions of texts, rather than restricting consumers in their uses of those texts.
The situation has of course changed, and changed radically, in the age of the computer, as the technologies of cultural production are available on an increasing number of desktops throughout the country. On the positive side, this change has the potential to transform a professionalized, read-only culture back into a widespread amateur read-write culture. On the negative side, however, computer technologies have caused the jurisdiction of copyright law to spread from producers to consumers and thereby increasingly restrict the uses we can make of the culture we participate in.