Museums are not broken!

Lightning Talk
Matthew Tarr, American Museum of Natural History, USA

Having attended a few museum conferences over the last decade or so I’ve noticed a common thread. The air is thick with a sense that somehow we are on a sinking ship and everything we’ve ever done was done wrong. If we don’t change the way we engage visitors, the way we sell to donors and the way we manage collections there is a good chance our institutions won’t exist next year for us to attend this conference!

It’s 2015! Your institution better be innovating augmented-reality, beacon APIs by continuously integrating radical, open source, agile frameworks. While you are at it some custom hardware couldn’t hurt. How did this museum survive the last 140 years without Twitter, SnapChat, Periscope, Watch or drone footage?

Tracking our visitors’ every step, anticipatng their every need, teasing them into leveraging their social graph on cooperative, Interactive projection mappings supported by invisible architectures of cloud-hosted, big-data sets combined with predictive models and deeply personalized metrics.
What is true? technology is a mighty powerful tool and as much promise as it holds, it holds danger in equal measure.

As the Director, Digital Architect at a really big museum I am dedicated to ensuring that we take full advantage of what technology offers, but I am also commited to ensuring that the institution survives the digital transition.

There are two paths to obscurity, one is by sitting by while the world changes, the other is by changing so much that the world no longer recognizes you.