Sunday, October 31, 2010

I owe you an update

HI! Wow, I owe you an update Internets, I apologize for letting you go for so long.

So yes, if you didn't know by now, I live in Washington, DC. My neighborhood is the historic Logan Circle, full of history, gentrification and lots of cute dogs. I live an insanely busy life, little time for social outings, a lot of time and work put into school, and my three jobs.

I am still working on Wikipedia Saves Public Art, devoting more of my time to working on Wiki stubs and the Flickr images, and not so much on photographing DC. I've been very busy, so devoting the time I did in Indy to travel around is tough, and many of the areas I need to get too are hard without a car. A lot has been going on with WSPA - including a new project in Milwaukee which has brought a lot of awareness to the project. I've been a bit overwhelmed by all they have been doing, but also feeling like I'm not doing enough.

I am still working on expanding the Washington DC public art on Wikipedia, you can take a look here, and get involved if you'd like. The image above is one of my favorites in DC, "Gwenfritz" by Alexander Calder, at the National Museum of American History.

Speaking of the Smithsonian, I got a gig with the National Museum of African American History & Culture. I'm the research assistant to the head curator, Jacquelyn Serwer. A true honor, especially with her esteemed career at the Corcoran! I'll be doing research for their fine arts collection.

I'm also the Studio Director of a commercial/fashion photography studio in Old Town called Union 206. I assist the studio owner, Charles, and I handle all member needs, event planning, and the like. It's a great experience, and is my home away from home.

On Fridays, I lend a hand at a local vintage store in the heart of the U-Street district, peddling fine vintage wears to the cool folks of the District. It's quite fun.

And of course there is school! Three masters classes and my butt is getting kicked. Museum Administration, Non-Profit Admin and Green Museums - all dramatically different. Lots of projects in the works and lots of team work (something I do struggle with) to be had. My main goal - work hard and meet the right people.

Ok, so, there is your short update. DC has been pretty great so far. I'm car-less, which has been surprisingly tough to deal with, and I don't go out much - it's too expensive, and well, I have more important things to do.

More soon....PROMISE!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome to the world of Copyright Chaos

So after some epic speedbumps and a two day banning, I've started uploading select photographs from my collection onto Wikimedia Commons. Commons features millions of bits of media - photos, film, music - all available for public use for free. It's like the ultimate Creative Commons repository. What has led to this minor obsession?

Over the past 48 hours I have learned a ton about copyright - what to do and what not to do in regards to free media and what can be shared and what can't. Just when you think you don't. (It's taking me a bit of time to post this, I chose to do it while watching the Stanley Cup finals...)

I don't want to get into the gory details about my copyright chaos. Let's just say it's added a bit of unneeded stress into my Wiki world, but I have learned from my mistakes. I also realized that our project, Wikipedia Saves Public Art, has a lot of friends in the Wiki world that support us. If you have visited our page in the past 24 hours (oh and I know you have!!) you will see that our project has been nominated for deletion by a very bored/irritable Wikipedian. I encourage you to check out the discussion taking place, and if you're a Wikipedian, please take part. It's rather entertaining, and this isn't the first time I've stirred the pot with my innocent mistakes.

Here is a picture of me giving thumbs down to copyright fails with a Panda in Woodley Park that I am not allowed to upload to Commons. However, if I chose to write an article about these pandas, I can upload it to Wikipedia. I do not think Wikipedians will appreciate me in the photo though.
There's a lot to the story, but, you can follow the Wikipedia page for WSPA if you really want in on the drama known as Copyright Chaos.

So, to help with the "epic project" known as Commons, I've start
ed uploading photos. No, not the panda photo. But, images from my trips and travels that fall within the scope (my favorite word right now) of Commons. Want to use some of my photos? Give me credit. You can even manipulate them all you want, just let me know. Here is your chance to pillage my photos, enjoy!

In other news, I have completed the most epic of all Wikipedia public art projects. It's not even complete, and of course you can help me complete it, if you want. I still need to write a nice blurb for the opening page, but, I think you'll be impressed. Or you'll be ashamed if you know me, thinking I have no life.

Read it and weep. Prepare to have your mind blown with art work you probably did not even know existed. Prepare to go "Hmm, I think I drive by that statue, every single day."

It's been my main project since getting my undergrad and waiting to move to DC. I can't wait to leave Indianapolis, and I've completely immersed myself in Wikipedia and educating myself about public art and re-educating myself about old D.C. punk rock. My heart, mind and soul are in the District already, it's just my body, my belongings and my cat that are still here. Oh, and some of my friends and family of course.

But, this isn't for all that personal mumbo jumbo. In one month I'll be posting about my new life in D.C., from my studio in Logan Circle, overlooking the city. Breathing in the heat of summer and enjoying what life has in store for me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The new collection management system?

Center for the Future of Museums twittered this today: Barcodes help objects tell their stories.

Here is the direct website for Tales of Things.

I got a bit excited. Is this the step that the internet needs to form into a collection management system? Is there a way that small museums can incorporate this into their systems, as a way to share objects with larger audiences? Can this be used in our project Wikipedia Saves Public Art?

So many questions. I'm looking forward to trying out my first barcode!

A photo of the Ten O'Clock Line Sculpture taken in Gosport, Indiana this past week:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Next phases..

Our beloved Wikipedia Saves Public Art is growing in notability (how Wiki!)! It's delightful to meet people in the museum world who know about the project - I'm so proud to be involved! Soon Richard and Jennifer will fly off (no bird pun intended) to Denver for Wikimedia@MW2010 to share our hard work with fellow professionals, public art and birds throughout the region. We've still got some work to do - I'm working on D.C. and we're trying to wrap up the final aspects of SOS! in Indianapolis. It's going well though, and once others jump on board it can only get better. Read the blog entry written by Richard McCoy at the Indianapolis Museum of Arts blog: "The Bird Flies in Denver."

I've had a lot going through my head after a lecture last night about how Wikipedia can help document performance art that isn't "allowed" to be documented by museums and institutions that purchase concepts/performances. Who says I cannot document a concept as a non-institutional person on Wiki? Perhaps there is something or someone, if so, please let me know. I'll get my thoughts together more on this and hopefully write more shortly. (And this also brings up ethics questions?)

I've made the decision to head off to The George Washington University to get my masters in Museum Studies. Should be a great experience. I love DC, and it will be a great place to show off my WSPA skills, continue to meet others who are passionate about museums and culture, and to finally settle into a new place (at least for two years). Heading out for a short trip and looking forward to a symposium featuring keynote speaker Richard Kurin...very cool - only in D.C.!

Ok, gotta fill out exciting financial aid paperwork. On that note, I'll leave you with an image of Frances Slocum's memorial marker in northern Indiana. More details on the road trip I took seeking out Native heritage in the region soon!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The future is calling + WSPA

Right now I am in the process of deciding where I am going to go to grad school. I'm close to making my decision, and I'll post as soon as I do. I'll be getting my masters in Museum Studies, more info coming soon!

In other news, I'm actively involved in Wikipedia Saves Public Art. What is WSPA? Well, we aim to "encourage the creation of accurate, informative and up-to-date articles about public art." You can learn more about WSPA here. The project is spear-headed by Jennifer Geigel Mikulay, public scholar of visual culture and a professor at IUPUI, and Richard McCoy, conservator of objects at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. What started as a project involving bringing public art to Wikipedia via an IUPUI museums studies course (you can read more about that on the WSPA Wiki page) has blossomed into a passion and obsession involving Web 2.0 in many forms.

How did I get involved? Ever since I got an iPhone, I've been fanatical about it. I love it. While browsing applications, I found something called FourSquare, an application that allows you to politely stalk your friends - the program uses the phone's GPS capabilities to locate you and you "check in" at locations that are listed (and you can create). By exploring and going to various locations, you can unlock badges and become "mayors" of locations. I thought this was great, but, FourSquare still needed to be tweaked a bit. Regardless, the majority of locations on FourSquare consist of bars, restaurants, shops, etc.

Then, while using the Genius option on the iPhone application store, Genius recommended Gowalla. I loved the layout of the program - it was like FourSquare, but sexier. And instead of becoming the "mayor" of locations, you find virtual objects - everything from prairie dogs and pints of beer, to holiday objects like Mardi Gras beads and Olympic torches. I fell in love with Gowalla - the format, the look and the energy behind those who created the program. I had a few friends who used it, mainly fellow Twitter folks. One day, I got an email from Richard asking me to get involved with WSPA, explaining what the project was, and how he had interest in incorporating Gowalla into the project. How can we use geolocation programs to bring awareness to public art?

I became obsessed. Richard, myself, and friends of mine (who I forced onto the Gowalla bandwagon) started fanatically adding public art locations. See an example here. We hope that with Gowalla we are able to not only validate locations, but, bring awareness to public art in peoples environments. With the Gowalla interface we are able to describe the object or talk about the history of the location and take photographs and upload them for friends and users to see. Perhaps we are the only one's that care, but, we like to think otherwise.

We've also started creating Google maps documenting public sculpture in Indy. This features all of the original Save Outdoor Sculptures! entries from the 1993 survey. Eventually we'll have a map of SOS and non-SOS sculptures, but, our priority is to physically document (and use Gowalla!) and verify locations of the original SOS! sculptures. We're getting there, and it's great that Spring is here - makes stomping through graveyards more enjoyable (since the majority of the one's we need to document still are in graveyards).

Alright, I'm sick, so I'm going to zone out here on the couch to bad TV and Love & Hate in Jamestown by David Price.