Museum Archipelago

Museum Archipelago

75. Museduino: Using Open Source Hardware to Power Museum Exhibits
Feb 17, 2020 10:07

75. Museduino: Using Open Source Hardware to Power Museum Exhibits

Proprietary technology that runs museum interactives—everything from buttons to proximity sensors—tends to be expensive to purchase and maintain. But Rianne Trujillo, lead developer of the Cultural Technology Development Lab at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU), realized that one way museums can avoid expensive, proprietary solutions to their technology needs is by choosing open source alternatives. She is part of the team behind the Museduino, an open-source system for exhibits and installations. On this episode, Rianne Trujillo and fellow NMHU instructor of Software Systems Design Jonathan Lee describe the huge potential to applying the open source model to museum hardware. Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:15 Proprietary Technology in Museums 01:04 Rianne Trujillo 01:24 The Cultural Technology Development Lab 02:04 Museduino 02:35 Jonathan Lee 02:50 Open Source Software and Hardware 04:09 Arduino 06:35 Hardware Lock-In 07:02 Where Museduino is Already Installed 07:24 Museduino Workshops 08:55 Archipelago At the Movies 🎟️: Lisa the Iconoclast 09:44 Outro/Join Club Archipelago Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️, a bonus bad-movie podcast exclusively featuring movies that take place at museums; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 75. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript On Museum Archipelago, we focus on power in museums. On how cultural institutions have a tremendous amount of unchecked power. But power takes many forms and one of these forms is control over the technology that delivers museum content to visitors. From a button that plays a bird call when you touch it, to a projection screen that plays a story about the Battle of Gettysburg when you get close to it, every museum interactive requires a technological solution. Rianne Trujillo: Oftentimes, museums will purchase proprietary solutions. Oftentimes they're very expensive, especially to maintain them, and if they break you are sort of forced to rehire the same company or rebuy new equipment, and that can be fairly costly really quickly. This is Rianne Trujillo, lead developer of the Cultural Technology Development Lab at New Mexico Highlands University. Rianne Trujillo: My name is Rianne Trujillo. I'm the lead developer of the Cultural Technology Development Lab at New Mexico Highlands University, and I’m also an instructor of Software Systems Design. The Cultural Technology Development Lab is an R&D program where university faculty and students, museum professionals, and other partners work together on technology and design solutions for cultural institutions. Through working these institutions across New Mexico and the U.S., Trujillo realized that one way museums can avoid expensive, proprietary solutions to their technology needs is by choosing open source alternatives. Rianne Trujillo: So by using open source ha
74. 'Houston, We Have A Restoration' with Sandra Tetley
Jan 13, 2020 14:13

74. 'Houston, We Have A Restoration' with Sandra Tetley

Every time an Apollo astronaut said the word Houston, they were referring not just to a city, but a specific room in that city: Mission Control. In that room on July 20, 1969, NASA engineers answered radio calls from the surface of the moon. Sitting in front of rows of green consoles, cigarettes in hand, they guided humans safely back to earth, channeling the efforts of the thousands and thousands of people who worked on the program through one room. But until recently, that room was kind of a mess. After hosting Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle missions through 1992, the room hosted retirement parties, movie screenings, and the crumbs that came with them. Spurred by the deadline of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 in 2019, the room was carefully restored with a new visitor experience. The restoration project focused on accurately portraying how the area looked at key moments during that mission, right down to the ashtrays and soda cans. In this episode, Sandra Tetley, Historic Preservation Officer at the Johnson Space Center, describes the process of restoring “one of the most significant places on earth.” Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:14 Apollo Mission Control Center 00:49 Sandra Tetley 02:00 “History Keeps Going” 02:35 Becoming a National Historic Landmark 04:00 Starting the Restoration 04:40 Gene Kranz Steps In 05:15 Mission Control Visitor’s Galley 06:30 The Visitor Experience 08:10 The Drama of the Room 09:37 Independence Hall 10:10 Coffee Cups and Cigarettes 11:15 Apollo Flight Controllers Get to Celebrate 13:04 Archipelago At the Movies 🎟️: Lisa the Iconoclast 13:50 Outro/Join Club Archipelago Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️, a bonus bad-movie podcast exclusively featuring movies that take place at museums; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 74. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript Every time an Apollo astronaut said the word Houston, they were referring not just to a city, but a specific room in that city -- mission control. In that room, NASA engineers -- average age: 26 -- answered radio calls from the darkness of space. Sitting in front rows of green consoles, cigarettes and cigars in hand, they guided humans to the moon and back, channeling the efforts of the half a million people who worked on the program through one room. Sandra Tetley: I realized the value of this room to American history and to the world history. It's one of the most significant sites on earth. But up until a few years ago, that room was kind of a mess. Sandra Tetley: It was open to anyone who could get into the building. You could actually go into that room, you could sit in the chairs, you could dial the phones, press the buttons. They would have the co-ops come in their first day and they could have coffee and breakfast at the consoles. The Department of Defense used to have their retiremen
73. Sanchita Balachandran Shifts the Framework for Conservation with Untold Stories
Dec 02, 2019 14:59

73. Sanchita Balachandran Shifts the Framework for Conservation with Untold Stories

The field of conservation was created to fight change: to prevent objects from becoming dusty, broken, or rusted. But fighting to keep cultural objects preserved creates a certain mindset — a mindset where it’s too easy to imagine objects and cultures in a state of stasis. Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, founded Untold Stories to change that mindset in the conservation profession. Through events at the annual meetings of the American Institute for Conservation, Untold Stories expands cultural heritage beyond preserving the objects we might find in a museum. In this episode, Balachandran talks about Untold Story’s 2019 event: Indigenous Futures and Collaborative Conservation, avoiding the savior mentality, and how the profession has changed since she was in school. Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:14 The Conservation Profession 01:12 Sanchita Balachandran 01:35 Untold Stories 03:30 Mohegan Sun 2019: Indigenous Futures and Collaborative Conservation 04:58 endawnis Spears and the Akomawt Educational Initiative (episode 68) 06:09 Savior Mentality in Conservation 07:37 Changing Working Practices 09:03 Changing Technical Practices 10:30 Changing Social Practices 11:25 Activating Cultural Heritage 12:15 Salt Lake City 2020: Preserving Cultural Landscapes 12:30 Learn More About Untold Stories and Watch Recordings of Past Events 12:40 SPONSOR: StoriesHere Podcast 13:40 Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️: National Treasure 14:34 Outro Photo credit: Jay T. Van Rensselear Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Sponsor: StoriesHere Podcast This episode is brought to you by a new museum podcast, StoriesHere! The latest episode is an excellent two-part series about the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. It includes the story of a family secret being hidden from a daughter, revealed after talking at the site with a former incarcerated person. If you like Museum Archipelago, check out StoriesHere! Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 73. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear and the only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript The field of conservation was created to fight change: to prevent objects from becoming dusty, broken, or rusted. But fighting to keep cultural objects preserved creates a certain mindset -- the mindset of protector. A mindset where it’s too easy to imagine objects and cultures in a state of stasis -- that this is how it always was and will be forever. Sanchita Balachandran: Often, I mean, just given the Colonial and Imperial histories of museums, it was because people were going to be gone forever. That culture was gone. And so this is the last trace, but in fact, that's not how cultural heritage works. It's transformed. It's changed. It continues on in different forms. And a lot of the way that conservators think about cultural heritage is, is about mitigating that change, which makes it a little bit fossilized. But to me, that changes where things are really vibrant and exciting and people are so closely connected to cultural heritage, that it really feels alive. This is Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Sanchita Balachandran: Hello, my name is Sanchita Balachandran. I’m a conservator and I’m trained in the conservation of archaeological materials in particular. And my day job is the Associate Director at the Archaeological Museum at Johns Hopkins University. Balachandran founded Untold Stories, a project that pursues a conservation profes
72. ‘Speechless: Different by Design’ Reframes Accessibility and Communication in a Museum Context
Nov 18, 2019 14:42

72. ‘Speechless: Different by Design’ Reframes Accessibility and Communication in a Museum Context

Museums tend to be verbal spaces: there’s usually a lot of words. Galleries open with walls of text, visitors are presented with rules of do and don'ts, and audio guides lead headphone-ed users from one piece to the next, paragraph by paragraph. But Speechless: Different by Design, a new exhibit at the Dallas Art Museum and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, guides visitors as far away as possible from words with six custom art installations. In this episode, curator Sarah Schleuning and graphic designer Laurie Haycock Makela discuss how their personal experiences lead them to Speechless, and describe the process and considerations of putting it all together. Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:14 Museums as Verbal Spaces 00:52 Speechless: Different by Design 01:05 Sarah Schleuning 01:30 Schleuning’s Personal Experience 02:45 Picture Exchange System 03:40 Planning Speechless 05:00 Yuri Suzuki’s ‘Sound of the Earth Chapter 2’ 05:17 Misha Kahn 05:38 Laurie Haycock Makela 06:08 Makela’s Personal Experience 06:55 The Exhibition's Ground Rules 07:11 The Exhibition's Design 09:26 Museum Fatigue 11:30 What Keeps Schleuning Up at Night 12:16 Museum Selfies 13:29 Introducing Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️! 14:16 Outro | Join Club Archipelago Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️, a bonus bad-movie podcast exclusively featuring movies that take place at museums; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 72. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript Museums tend to be verbal spaces: there’s usually a lot of words. Galleries open with walls of text, visitors are presented with rules of do and don'ts, and artists guide headphone-ed users from one piece to the next paragraph by paragraph. But there’s a new series ot exhibits designed to be different, to guide visitors as far away as possible from words. One of those is a collaboration of the Dallas Art Museum and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. It’s called Speechless, and to underline the point, it is subtitled: different by design. Sarah Schleuning: Speechless has been an exhibition that merges research and aesthetics and innovative new design to explore accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting. This is Sarah Schleuning, curator of Speechless. Sarah Schleuning: Hello, my name is Sarah Schleuning and I am The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design and the interim Chief curator at the Dallas Museum of Art. And I love to focus on projects that really explore ideas of how design and art can transform our everyday lives. The roots of Speechless come from Schleuning’s own rethinking of how to communicate without language. Sarah Schleuning: The idea really germinated out of something very personal for me which is that one of my children has motor planning disability, a neurological issue that rendered him, wh
71. Assessing Curatorial Work for Social Justice With Elena Gonzales
Oct 28, 2019 15:06

71. Assessing Curatorial Work for Social Justice With Elena Gonzales

Museums are seen as trustworthy, but what if that trust is misplaced? Chicago-based independent curator Elena Gonzales provides a solid jumping off point for thinking critically about museums in her new book, Exhibitions for Social Justice. The book is a whirlwind tour of different museums, examining how they approach social justice. It’s also a guide map for anyone interested in a way forward. In this episode, Gonzales takes us on a tour of some of the main themes of the book, examining the strategies of museum institutions from the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:15 Trust in Museum Institutions 01:00 Elena Gonzales Website Twitter 01:45 Exhibitions for Social Justice 03:05 What is an Exhibition for Social Justice? 04:20 National Museum of Mexican Art 07:12 “Questioning the Visitor” 07:50 Anne Frank House Museum 08:25 Eastern State Penitentiary 11:23 Buy Exhibitions for Social Justice On Routledge (Use Promo Code ADS19 for 30% Off) On IndieBound On Amazon 12:30 Introducing Archipelago at the Movies! Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Archipelago at the Movies 🎟️, a bonus bad-movie podcast exclusively featuring movies that take place at museums; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 71. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript The American Alliance of Museums often says that museums are the most trustworthy institutions in modern American life. And the statistics are remarkable: some surveys indicate that museums are the second most trusted news source after friends and family. As rates of trust in other institutions plummet: the news media, etc, museums still enjoy a privileged position in collective consciousness. It’s something I’ve noticed over the past few years: even non-museum spaces try to adopt museum-like presentations to apply the veneer of trustworthiness. But it’s an uneasy set of statistics. Is it possible that the reason museums are so trustworthy is because they've been excellent at toeing the status quo, the party line? And whose public consciousness are museums enjoying a privileged position inside of anyway? That’s why I was thrilled to come across Exhibitions for Social Justice by Elena Gonzales during a recent museum binge. The book presents the current state of museum practice as it relates to the work of social justice, but also a guide map for anyone interested in a way forward. Elena Gonzales: I think if a lot of people fully understood how museum work is done, they might actually not trust us so much because they would understand the subjectivity. But I think the more that we are transparent about museums, content, who creates it, how, what the goals of an exhibition are, et cetera, the more people can trust us authentically and rightfully. I’m joined today by Elena Gonzales, author o
70. The Gabrovo Museum of Humor Bolsters Its Legacy of Political Satire Post-Communism
Sep 30, 2019 11:30

70. The Gabrovo Museum of Humor Bolsters Its Legacy of Political Satire Post-Communism

To the extent that there was a Communist capital of humor in the last half of the 20th century, it was Gabrovo, Bulgaria. Situated in a valley of the Balkan mountains, the city prides itself on its unique brand of self-effacing humor. In 1972, the Museum House of Humor and Satire opened here, and the city celebrated political humor with people in Soviet block countries and even some invited Western guests. Today, three decades after the collapse of Communism, the Museum House of Humor and Satire remains one of the region's most important cultural landmarks. The museum has had to reinvent itself to interpret not only a democratic Bulgaria, but a the global, meme-driven, and internet-forged culture most visitors live in. I went to Gabrovo to visit museum director Margarita Dariskova, who describes how the museum's strengths in its early years—like knowing how to present political humor without arousing the interest of the authorities—inform how the museum thinks of its role in the world today. Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:15 Gabrovo, Bulgaria 01:07 Margarita Dariskova 01:44 How the Museum House of Humour and Satire Started 02:40 How to Run A Humor Museum Under Communism 04:05 1st International Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts in Gabrovo 05:55 The Museum in 1989 06:40 After the Collapse 07:00 Humor is Not Universal 07:30 Media Freedom in Bulgaria 07:55 Addressing Civic Space in Bulgaria: Garden Town 09:09 The Museum and the Internet 11:00 Outro | Join Club Archipelago Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 70. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript In the middle of Bulgaria, not far from the crumbling Buzludzha monument, lays the town of Gabrovo. Situated in a valley of the Balkan mountains, the city prides itself on its unique brand of humor. Many local jokes jokes are self deprecating about the Gabrovoian obsession with frugality and entrepreneurship, and center around the comical lengths that townspeople go to save money. The mascot of the city is a black cat without a tail. It is said that Gabrovoians prefer cats without tails because they can shut the door faster when they let the cat out, saving on their hearting bills. Margarita Dariskova: That's actually typical for the Balkan mountains. This used to be the kind of humor that would exist in the region around Gabrovo, not just Gabrovo itself. But Gabrovoians were smart enough to brand it as theirs. That's the entrepreneurial side of things, of course. [laughter]. This is Margarita Dariskova. Margarita Dariskova: Hello! My name is Margarita Dariskova and I'm a curator by profession and I'm the Director of the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. The museum was founded in 1972. Before the Wall fell, this location was known as the Communist capital of humour, extending its reach across Eastern Block countries, and also
69. Soviet Spacecraft in the American Heartland: The Story of the Kansas Cosmosphere
Aug 26, 2019 11:53

69. Soviet Spacecraft in the American Heartland: The Story of the Kansas Cosmosphere

From Apollo Mission Control in Houston, Texas, to the field in southeastern Russia where Yuri Gargarin finished his first orbit, there are many sites on earth that played a role in space exploration. But Hutchinson, Kansas isn’t one of them. And yet, Hutchinson—a town of 40,000 people—is home to the Cosmosphere, a massive space museum. The Cosmosphere boasts an enormous collection of spacecraft, including the largest collection of Soviet space hardware anywhere outside Russia. How did all of these space artifacts end up in the middle of Kansas? To find out, I visited Hutchinson to talk to Cosmosphere curator Shannon Whetzel. In this episode, Whetzel describes the story of the Cosmosphere as “being in the right place at the right time,” why the museum’s collection includes “destroyed” artifacts, and how she interprets Soviet hardware for a new generation. Topics and Links 00:00 Intro 00:15 The Cosmosphere 01:20 Why Not Kansas? 01:35 Shannon Whetzel 01:45 Patty Carey 02:18 Starting the Collection 04:10 Apollo 13 Command Module 05:02 Successes and Failures 05:50 Soviet Hardware 06:50 Space Race Gallery 07:58 Lunasphere 08:35 Teaching the Political Context of the Space Race 09:30 Leaving Trash on the Moon 09:58 Site-Specific Museums 10:51 Join Club Archipelago Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 69. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript [Intro] There are many sites on earth that played a role in human spaceflight: the mission control building in Houston, Texas where flight engineers communicated with the Apollo astronauts on the moon, or even the grassy field in southeastern Russia where Yuri Gargarin landed to end his mission as the first person in space. But Hutchinson, Kansas isn’t one of these sites. No spacecraft engineering happened here, like in Huntsville, Alabama. No rocket testing happened here, like in Perlington, Mississippi. There’s not even a historic, exploration-related radio telescope here, like in Parkes, Australia. Despite this, Hutchinson -- a town of 40,000 people -- is home to the Cosmosphere, a massive space museum. The Cosmosphere boasts an enormous collection of spacecraft, including the largest collection of Soviet space hardware anywhere outside Russia. How did all of these space artifacts end up in the middle of Kansas? To find out, I visited Hutchinson to talk to Cosmosphere curator Shannon Whetzel. Shannon Whetzel: I think some of our brochures say, “why not Kansas”, right? The story of the Cosmosphere is more or less the right place at the right time. Whetzel says that the museum has had many decades to be in the right place at the right time. Shannon Whetzel: Hello, my name is Shannon Whetzel, and I am the curator here at the Cosmosphere. The Cosmosphere’s first iteration was a star projector and folding chairs set up at the Kansas
68. The Akomawt Educational Initiative Forges a Snowshoe Path to Indigenize Museums
Aug 05, 2019 14:42

68. The Akomawt Educational Initiative Forges a Snowshoe Path to Indigenize Museums

Akomawt is a Passamaquoddy word for the snowshoe path. At the beginning of winter, the snowshoe path is hard to find. But the more people pass along and carve out this path through the snow during the season, the easier it becomes for everyone to walk it together. endawnis Spears (Diné/ Ojibwe/ Chickasaw/ Choctaw) is director of programming and outreach for the Akomawt Educational Initiative. She saw a need to supply regional educators with the tools to implement competent education on Native history and Native contemporary issues. She co-founded the Initiative with Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) and Dr. Jason Mancini to make those tools. In this episode, Spears talks about the different between living culture and sterile museum artifacts, her discussion at Untold Stories 2019: Indigenous Futures and Collaborative Conservation about how Native narratives are violently presented through a white lens in museums, and the potential for museums to disrupt that for many visitors. Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 68. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript [Intro] endawnis Spears: “For many indigenous people, we are looking for ways to engage our culture at all places at all times. And for me and for many other Native people, it happens to be in the realm of museums.” endawnis Spears focuses on engaging with her culture within the realm of museums precisely because museums violently separate her culture from a living context. endawnis Spears: [Introduction in Diné] endawnis Spears: [Translation] Hello, I’m endawnis Spears, and I am Yucca-fruit-strung-out-in-a-line clan. I’m born from the Ojibwe people. My maternal grandfather’s from the Tangleclan, and my paternal grandfather is from the Choctaw/Chickasaw people. I’m the director of programming and outreach for the Akomawt Educational Initiative. endawnis Spears co founded the Akomawt Educational Initiative in 2018 with Chris Newell and Dr. Jason Mancini. The Initiative was born out of their experiences in museum and classroom education across present-day New England. They saw a need to supply regional educators with the tools to implement competent education on Native history and Native contemporary issues. They created the Initiative to build those tools. endawnis Spears: The word Akomawt is a Passamaquoddy word for the snowshoe path. One of our co-founders, Chris Newell, is a Passamaquoddy, and he recommended this term as a defining a part of our Initiative. In [the] Passamaquoddy world, snowshoe pass at the beginning of the wintery season is hard to find. It’s hard to walk on, but the more people pass along this path and carve out this path through the snow during the season, the easier it becomes for everyone to walk it together. And we see that as part of our mission and part of the work that we’re
67. Cité de l'Espace Celebrates Apollo Day from the Middle of the Space Race
Jul 15, 2019 08:08

67. Cité de l'Espace Celebrates Apollo Day from the Middle of the Space Race

Cité de l'Espace in Toulouse, France is a museum in the middle. It is in the middle of France’s Aerospace Valley and the European Space Industry. But it is also geographically in the middle of the two competing superpowers in the Space Race that ended with Apollo 11. From its vantage point in the middle, Cité de l'Espace has its own story to tell. The museum features a mix of Soviet and American space hardware, like an American Apollo lunar module and a Soviet Soyuz capsule. The museum also features an extentive collection of French-made space hardware. In this episode commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, I visit Cité de l'Espace to see their preparations for “Apollo Day,” discuss a museum on the lunar surface, and see how the Space Race is presented from the middle. Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 67. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear, and only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript [Intro] All over the city of Toulouse, France, on buses and on the streets, there are ads featuring a smiling moon with an American astronaut reflected in its sunglasses. [Audio of Toulouse radio ad] Apollo Day is the 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing — the first and for now, only time humans have made it to another celestial body — hosted by the Cite de l’Espace museum in Toulouse. [Audio of Toulouse radio ad] Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus anchoring what is known as Aerospace Valley — a cluster of engineering and research centers in the heart of France. Like the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex featured in episode 64, the museum also has aspects of themed attractions, but unlike most space museums in the United States, the museum presents hardware and content from multiple space agencies around the world, taking a more global approach to the history and future of space exploration. This could be because, in addition to being the Centre of the European aerospace industry, the museum and the rest of France sit in the middle: physically in the middle of the two competing superpowers in the Space Race that ended with Apollo 11. NASA, the American Space Administration, and the Soviet Space Program are both well represented here. The museum features a mix of Soviet and American space hardware, like an American lunar module, and a Soviet Soyuz capsule. And the mix of Russian and American is also present in more subtle ways too: in a planetarium show, an animated “James the Penguin and Vladimir the Bear” guide visitors through the night sky. [Audio from planetarium show: “Vladimir, you’re a surprising bear!”] I was keen to visit Cite de l’Espace because my family also sits in the middle of the Space Race. My mom, who is Bulgarian, remembers watching the Apollo 11 moon landing as a kid on TV from behind the iro
66. From ‘Extinct Monsters’ to ‘Deep Time’: A History of the Smithsonian Fossil Hall
Jun 17, 2019 14:35

66. From ‘Extinct Monsters’ to ‘Deep Time’: A History of the Smithsonian Fossil Hall

The most-visited room in the most-visited science museum in the world reopened last week after a massive, five year renovation. Deep Time, as the new gallery is colloquially known, is the latest iteration of the Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. It might not seem like much in geologic time, but the Smithsonian Fossil Hall has been welcoming visitors for more than 100 years. Over those years, the dinosaur bones and other fossils—even some individual specimens—have remained at the center, even as the museum presentation around them has changed dramatically. You can measure the change by the different names of the hall through time. What is today Deep Time first opened in 1911 with a different name: The Hall of Extinct Monsters. In this episode, we’re going back in time through the iterations of the Fossil Hall with Ben Miller, an exhibitions developer at the Field Museum in Chicago. From its opening as The Hall of Extinct Monsters in 1911, to renovations in the 1960s and 1980s, to the forceful climate crisis message of 2019’s Deep Time gallery, the Smithsonian Fossil Hall has answered life’s biggest questions. This is the story of how museum workers shrugged off their “cabinet of curiosity” roots and embraced education-oriented exhibits like what we see in the gallery today. Museum Archipelago is a tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or even email to never miss an episode. Unlock Club Archipelago 🏖️ If you like episodes like this one, you’ll love Club Archipelago. It offers exclusive access to Museum Archipelago extras. It’s also a great way to support the show directly. Join the Club for just $2/month. Your Club Archipelago membership includes: Access to a private podcast that guides you further behind the scenes of museums. Hear interviews, observations, and reviews that don’t make it into the main show; Logo stickers, pins and other extras, mailed straight to your door; A warm feeling knowing you’re supporting the podcast. Transcript Below is a transcript of Museum Archipelago episode 66. Museum Archipelago is produced for the ear and the only the audio of the episode is canonical. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, refer to the links above. View Transcript [Audio of Deep Time gallery] This is the most visited room in the most visited science museum in the world — the east wing of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. It’s the Fossil Hall, known simply as “the place with the dinosaurs.” Today is just a few days after its 2019 grand-reopening. For the past five years, this room was closed to visitors, undergoing a massive renovation. The new gallery is called Deep Time after the concept of geologic time. Deep Time reflects our current best understanding of life on earth. The dinosaurs in the hall are presented as part of the larger story of evolution: the gallery is punctured by prominent black pillars marking extinction events like the End-Permian Extinction, the End-Cretaceous Extinction that killed all non-avian dinosaurs, and our devastation of life today. It might not seem like much in geologic time, but this room has been welcoming visitors as a museum gallery for over 100 years. Over those years, the dinosaur bones and other fossils have remained at the center as the museum presentation around them has changed dramatically to keep with our understanding of the world. You can measure the change by the different names of the hall through time. What is today Deep Time first opened in 1911 with a different name: The Hall of Extinct Monsters. Ben Miller: It was this great big, open neoclassical sp