An online museum of sounds—the recordings of analogue machines.
Sunday, September 30th, 2018
Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
The museum exhibits over 800 carefully selected and sorted web sites that show web design trends between the years 1995 and 2005.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
When Aaron talks, I listen. This time he’s talking about digital (and analogue) preservation, and how that can clash with licensing rules.
It is time for the sector to pick a fight with artists, and artist’s estates and even your donors. It is time for the sector to pick a fight with anyone that is preventing you from being allowed to have a greater — and I want to stress greater, not total — license of interpretation over the works which you are charged with nurturing and caring for.
It is time to pick a fight because, at least on bad days, I might even suggest that the sector has been played. We all want to outlast the present, and this is especially true of artists. Museums and libraries and archives are a pretty good bet if that’s your goal.
Monday, November 7th, 2016
If you enjoyed reading Marcin’s serendipitous story on Twitter, here are the pictures to accompany it.
Sunday, November 29th, 2015
Sounds from our collective technological past.
(I’ll look past the fact that the sound labelled “ZX Spectrum” is using an image of an Amstrad PCP 464)
Sunday, May 10th, 2015
Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Monday, April 13th, 2015
I like this. It fills like a very webby way to explore a museum collection. Use any axis you like.
This is a sketch made quickly to explore what it means to navigate a museum catalogue made of over two million records. It’s about skipping around quickly, browsing the metadata as if you were wandering around the museum itself in Bloomsbury, or better yet, fossicking about unattended in the archives.
Friday, March 13th, 2015
A profile of the great work Aaron and Seb have been doing at the Cooper Hewitt museum. Have a read of this and then have a listen again to Aaron’s dConstruct talk.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Remember Aaron’s dConstruct talk? Well, the Atlantic has more details of his work at the Cooper Hewitt museum in this wide-ranging piece that investigates the role of museums, the value of APIs, and the importance of permanent URLs.
As I was leaving, Cope recounted how, early on, a curator had asked him why the collections website and API existed. Why are you doing this?
His retrospective answer wasn’t about scholarship or data-mining or huge interactive exhibits. It was about the web.
I find this incredibly inspiring.
Saturday, December 27th, 2014
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
We need a web design museum.
I am, unsurprisingly, in complete agreement. And let’s make lots of copies while we’re at it.
Monday, April 7th, 2014
The tragedy of the commons
Y’know, I’m worried about what will happen to my own photos when Flickr inevitably goes down the tubes (there are still some good people there fighting the good fight, but they’re in the minority and they’re battling against the douchiest of Silicon Valley managerial types who have been brought in to increase “engagement” by stripping away everything that makes Flickr special) …but what really worries me is what’s going to happen to Flickr Commons. It’s an unbelievably important and valuable resource.
As of today, we have left Flickr (including The Commons).
Unfortunately, they didn’t just leave their Flickr collection; they razed it to the ground. All those links, all those comments, and all those annotations have been wiped out.
They’ve moved their images over to Wikimedia Commons …for now. It turns out that they have a very cavalier attitude towards online storage (a worrying trait for a museum). They’re jumping out of the frying pan of Flickr and into the fire of Tumblr:
In the past few months, we’ve been testing Tumblr and it’s been a much better channel for this type of content.
Audio and video is being moved around to where the eyeballs and earholes currently are:
We have left iTunesU in favor of sharing content via YouTube and SoundCloud.
I find this quite disturbing. A museum should be exactly the kind of institution that should be taking a thoughtful, considered approach to how it stores content online. Digital preservation should be at the heart of its activities. Instead, it takes a back seat to chasing the fleeting thrill of “engagement.”
Leaving Flickr Commons could have been the perfect opportunity to invest in long-term self-hosting. Instead they’re abandoning the Titanic by hitching a ride on the Hindenberg.
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
Planetary: collecting and preserving code as a living object | Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York
Aaron Straup-Cope and Seb Chan on the challenges of adding (and keeping) code to the Cooper-Hewitt collection:
The distinction between preservation and access is increasingly blurred. This is especially true for digital objects.
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
This is so crazy, it just might work. Matt wants the internet to buy Wardenclyffe and turn it into a Tesla museum.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Here’s one to add to Instapaper or Readability to savour at your leisure: Aaron Straup Cope’s talk at Museums and the Web 2010:
This paper examines the act of association, the art of framing and the participatory nature of robots in creating artifacts and story-telling in projects like Flickr Galleries, the API-based Suggestify project (which provides the ability to suggest locations for other people’s photos) and the increasing number of bespoke (and often paper-based) curatorial productions.
Saturday, September 11th, 2010
This description of a tour of the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games is like a travelogue from an alternative dimension.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
The V&A has an API. Who knew? Looks very nice indeed.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Instruction manual to operate and maintain Charles Babbage's 2nd Difference Engine built by Barrie Holloway and Reg Crick, June 1991 for the Science Museum, London SW7 2DD.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Flickr Commons just keeps growing and growing. Now there are wonderful collections of pictures from Greenwich available for us all to peruse and tag.