Archive for January, 2008

your media, pachyderm templates, visual stories

Have you ever stood in front of a work of art and thought, “What is that? I don’t get it.” Then you wander about looking for the label only to discover that it says “Untitled”. Looking at art I sometimes feel as though I’m standing outside an invitation only party and I can’t find my invite. To be fair, my chance to personally connect with the art can often be quite obvious, if only (sigh) if only, I would remember to drop my “don’t make me think” attitude in the trash can.

In my dreams, all the vast amounts of valuable information about each work of art would be easily accessible and (gasp) open to tagging and comments from you. Many museums and artists are already exploring how to make this fantasy a reality. One of my favorite players in this arena is the New Media Consortium (NMC). The folks at NMC really know how to spark innovative learning, curiosity and creativity. An amazing application they have developed is Pachyderm, a multimedia authoring tool that allows curators and educators to publish rich media learning objects as easily as 1, 2, 3.

The Pachyderm project originated in the mind of Peter Samis, Associate Curator, Interpretation, SFMoMA. Peter and his team developed the Pachyderm web tools and methods to inspire curators to share their wealth of knowledge about understanding art. And rather than just do this for SFMoMA, Peter, NMC and IMLS have helped make Pachyderm freely available to any museum or educator who has an interest in sharing a story.

What is so wonderful about Pachyderm? It was designed by people who understand the needs, strengths and challenges of curators, artists, art educators and museum visitors. I think of Pachyderm as a digital muse who inspires curators and educators to ask thought provoking questions and tell stories while simultaneously stimulating the visitor to look deeper, explore the context and discover personal meaning and connections to art. In fact, I see Pachyderm as a tool to help turn visitors into part of the creative process, giving them the keys to unlock a new interpretation that has the potential to transform the work as well as themselves.

Want to see what I mean? Let me show you the door to four art adventures, I challenge you to explore one and let me know what you discover about art, the world and yourself.

Still hungry for more? Check out the Pachyderm Showcase. Who knew elephants could be so delicious?

A dear friend just shared the 2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz with me. How do you pick who you are going to vote for? What if you could choose your candidate based on what issues are most important to you and where the candidates stand on your issues….voila…the Pick Your 2008 Candidate for President quiz is here to help.

I just took the survey and here are my results. How ’bout you?

81% Barack Obama
79% Hillary Clinton
77% John Edwards
77% Chris Dodd
76% Bill Richardson
75% Joe Biden
63% Dennis Kucinich
58% Mike Gravel
47% Rudy Giuliani
42% John McCain
31% Mike Huckabee
31% Mitt Romney
23% Tom Tancredo
22% Fred Thompson
9% Ron Paul

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz