Monthly Archives: July 2011

Mobiles in Museum Context

nu colossus - nari wardI have been working at MASS MoCA for the last six months, helping them among other things raise capital for their educational and artist programs. MASS MoCA is a fascinating place—frugal, efficient, innovative, caring, supportive, and often sometimes exploring beyond boundaries. They are a making museum, one where the artists (and sometimes the entire staff) create installations/art on premises, real time. Most recently, for instance, we helped Jamaican born artist Nari Ward construct a  massive 60′ basket-woven fish trap ensnaring a 30′ fishing boat that Nari had found at a local garage.

This August, though, I will be doing some work with MASS MoCA’s KidsSpace and local B-HIP interns, discussing how mobiles (and digital media) can be leveraged for learning and curatorial opportunities in the museum context. (B-HIP is an intensive arts management internship program in the Berkshires.) Given MASS MoCA’s unusual circumstances, what is context when the museum is a 13-acre campus with 25+ buildings offering hundreds of thousand of square feet? This campus was the home, for example, of the Solid Sound Festival, a Wilco-curated arts festival spreading out into every nook and cranny of  the massive campus.

What, also, is context in terms of art that is yet to be created? And what is context when the mobile phone by definition liberates the participant from a fixed context to a more discursive, untethered experience.

I’m just thinking through some questions. If you have ideas on mobiles in museums, please send me a note; richard AT . I’d love to hear what you’re doing.