Books for Sale

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I’m having a bit of a clear out and looking to sell some books:

Transforming Museums in the Twenty-First Century – Graham Black
Apart from a small dog ear on the front cover this book is like new, Amazon price is £26.99 / am selling it for £17 + postage (if you live in Belfast happy to meet up rather than post).  **SOLD**

Inside the White Cube The Ideology of the Gallery Space (Expanded Edition) – Brian O’Doherty
Excellent condition, like new, but has my name on the inside cover. Amazon price is £14.93 / am selling for £8.50 + postage (if you live in Belfast happy to meet up rather than post).

Ignite the Power of Art Advancing Visitor a Engagement in Museums – Bonnie Pitman / Ellen Hirzy
Slightly tatty around the edges but a great book / I got my copy in Finland, was pretty hard to come by at the time. Amazon have it for £10.99 / am selling for £7.00 + postage (if you live in Belfast happy to meet up rather than post).

A Theory of Fun for Game Design – Raph Koster
Excellent condition, like new, but has my name on the inside cover. Amazon price is £18.35/ am selling for £13 + postage (if you live in Belfast happy to meet up rather than post).

Museums in a Digital Age – Ross Parry. Excellent condition – a few sections are heavily (but ever so nicely) highlighted – this will help you find the interesting sections easily 😉 Amazon price is £30.99 / am selling for £17 + postage (if you live in Belfast happy to meet up rather than post).

Shock of the New – Robert Hughes. Excellent condition – like new. Amazon price £16.97 / am selling for £10  + postage (if you live in Belfast happy to meet up rather than post).

If you’re interested in any of these books drop me a private message on twitter @OonaghTweets or email me Hello@oonaghmurphy.com – happy to knock a couple of quid off if you want to buy a few books from this list!

Amsterdam Museum Night

I’m just back from an ace weekend in Amsterdam, luckily my visit coincided with Museum Nacht. Museum Nacht is annual event which sees 45 museums open to 2.00 am, not only are the museums open but they also host a pretty random mix of events from bikini waxing, to 3D printing you can check out more their programme here>>

I was blown away by the quality of events at Museum Nacht. Museums weren’t simply open…they programmed exciting and innovative workshops and events and welcomed with open arms Amsterdam’s young creative types.

People paid to take part.

17,50 euro isn’t cheap but 1,000’s of people parted with their hard earned cash to visit museums on a Saturday night. Everyone really made an effort (we felt a little under dressed!)

The event sold out, and lots of people we spoke to said they really wanted to go but that they couldn’t get hold of a ticket anywhere. There is an interesting value relationship at play here. Museums value their young visitors and invest in creating exciting and engaging events, young visitors invest in culture because they know that it is something that they will enjoy.

Visitors and museums financially invest in Museum Nacht…which I think changes the nature of the event – in a good way. Visitors did not just ‘visit’ they participated with museums, they produced exciting new work in response to museum collections, and they had a great time doing it.

What follows are a couple of great things that we came across on the night:

Amsterdam Museum I really loved the mix of paintings, objects and interactives at the Amsterdam Museum. The buzz around the place was unbelievable it actually felt like we where in a club, and there was a great mix of people drinking and dancing in the courtyard and people taking in the exhibitions inside.

The Amsterdam DNA exhibition, the museums central exhibition uses lots of QR codes, but presents them in a really easy to use way. I loved that when we walked in to the gallery space a guide sorted us out with info in English and explained how to use the QR codes. Each visitor gets a book with a unique QR code that they can use at home to follow up there visit.

FOAM Next up we headed to FOAM…we followed the crowd and the queue to find it!

I’m not a fan of queuing but the impressive architectural mapping projecting made standing in cold more than worth it. I’ve seen lots of videos of this technology but this was my first time actually seeing it first hand and it looks blooming brilliant.

Once inside we went to an exhibition which looks at the future of photography, and the photography museum. The exhibition posses lots of challenging questions, and asks visitors to get involved. You could barley get hold of a pen because so many people where queuing up to add their voice to the exhibition.

Visitors also got the opportunity to make their own work out of photographs- which my friend Sarah Campbell is demonstrating in the photo below.

Mediamatic I was really excited about getting to check out Mediamatic they seem to constantly be producing really cool projects.

For Museum Nacht they asked people to register a RFID tag (in the form of a pink heart!) to their Facebook account. Visitors could then scan their tag by objects that they ‘liked’ …such a great idea.

With a queue out the door it’s not surprise the tech was struggling a little to keep up. I loved the experimental nature of this exhibition and the use of the RFID tags, it wasn’t perfect but it was so nearly there.

I will definitely be watching with interest how Medimatic continue to develop the use of RFID technology in exhibitions spaces!

Alongside the great tech, Mediamatic also had the cheepest beer of the night at only 2 euro…so all round we where impressed.

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For more info on Museum Nacht I would highly recommend watching Geer Oskam (project manager for N8) talk about his work at MuseumNext click here >> for a link to the video and text transcript

Shout it from the roof tops!

Museums are great, we (museum people) know this, we spend everyday telling people this, from outreach programmes, to print advertising, social media to competitions we’ve tried them all…

But sometimes,  shouting it from the roof tops is quite simply the most effective way of telling the world about how great our museums are.

Here are a couple of interesting examples that demonstrate this:

1. The National Museum of Ireland’s brilliant building size billboard sums up what the museum has to offer in a couple of words. Museums often struggle to produce concise yet effective visitor info but this example shows how great it can look – if done well!

Collins Barracks

2. This is actually a bit of an old one, but it fits in well with this post so here goes:

National Galleries of Scotland decorated their building with giant impressionist flowers during their ‘Impressionist Gardens‘ exhibition …it really brightened up the very traditional museum facade and no doubt prompted passing tourists to pop in for a look.

Is decorating the museum facade all a bit ‘old’ museum?

Decorating museum buildings is an interesting one, because so much of what I read, write and research is about the new museum, its about honest conversations with people. The new museum is about co creation, about multiple platforms and channels and decorating the museum building does seem a little bit one sided. The two examples I’ve shown are great but perhaps they could be even better if these museums got their community in on the action:

How can we make decorating the museum facade ‘new’ museum friendly?

In theory it’s simple: co create, talk to people, share and exchange ideas

  • Local communities could decorate the museum facade for an event or exhibition
  • Perhaps museums could help develop the career of an emerging artist with a design competition
  • Or crowd source images and illustrations for future banners or billboards

Do you have any examples of this kind of work? If so get in touch I’d love to add them to this post…

Laughing at the museum

Museums are full of rules. No photography, no eating, no running, no touching the works. ‘No’ features a lot in museum signage, but the Art Museum Tennis Palace in Helsinki takes a simple approach to demystifying all these rules.

In a simple leaflet called ‘why’

What I particularly love about this leaflet, is that after explaining all the things you can’t do. It ends with a positive direction  and tells visitors ‘Speaking is allowed!’ it even says that it is not even necessary to whisper…

I visited the Tennis Palace last month and I was delighted to find that the great Interpretation continued throughout the exhibition, they had a great book shop and loads of comfy seats. All in this is one of the friendliest, most engaging small museums that I have been to in a while.

As my dad always says the simple ideas are the best!