I’m thrilled to present at the Museums and the Web conference in April with my collaborator and colleague Marty Spellerberg. Together we discuss our experience using Agile development methodologies for digital museum projects.
Featuring a bold, responsive design, the new website for the Clyfford Still Museum launched October 6, 2014. The approach for the new site was to help the museum position itself as a destination…a site of pilgrimage for art lovers interested in the life and work of master abstract expressionist painter Clyfford Still.
I produced a video for the exhibition The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology, which traces the interest in history, archaeology, and archival research that defines some of the most highly regarded art of the last decade. Curated by former MCA Chicago Manilow Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete, the exhibition makes the argument that we are in the midst of an artistic movement which Roelstraete has termed the “Historiographic Turn.”
After completing the “facelift” of the MCA’s website, we needed to address the site’s content management system. The legacy system was custom built by a previous in-house developer and was at least five or six years old—ancient by most web standards. In addition, the old CMS had been hacked for the launch of the facelift in order to make the updated front-end function on top of the legacy CMS.
The Visitor Motivation Survey of the MCA website was conducted to give the organization insight into how the site was being used. The intent was to be able to identify which kinds of users were accessing the site in an effort to analyze current and inform future online offerings.
London-based artist Goshka Macuga’s residency project for the MCA Chicago, titled a Chicago Comedy, is inspired by Hamburg Conversations on Art: Hamburg Comedy, a 1896 work by German Jewish art historian Aby Warburg. Because the resulting work, likely to be a play, would not exist until the end of the residency term, the residency project team’s challenge was to make the residency visible to the public. The artist preferred not to create an object or an installation to represent the residency, so digital, with its ability to present a depth of information in a physically economical and engaging way, emerged as the best candidate.
The artist’s process is being documented and presented to the public as Preparatory Notes for a Chicago Comedy. Our team became involved as interactive media designers/developers.
Los Angeles–based artist Amanda Ross-Ho premiered her first outdoor public art project, THE CHARACTER AND SHAPE OF ILLUMINATED THINGS at the MCA Chicago. This video served as a primary component of the interpretative materials for the exhibition.
The MCA Chicago’s exhibition Amalia Pica was the artist’s first major solo museum show in the United States. Pica uses simple materials—such as photocopies, lightbulbs, drinking glasses, beer bottles, bunting, cardboard, and other found materials—to create work that explores metaphor, communication, and language. She is particularly interested in the role of the artist in conveying messages to audiences and the translation of thought to action, and idea to object. The video features Pica’s commentary as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the artist installing her work.
The exhibition This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s provided an overview of the artistic production of a decade of cultural and political transformation. Presenting canonical as well as nearly forgotten works produced between 1979 and 1992, the exhibition touched on major developments of the period, including the rise of the commercial art market, the politicization of the AIDS crisis, the increased visibility of women and gay artists and artists of color, and the ascension of televised media.
The video features interviews with exhibition curator Helen Molesworth, and artists Donald Moffett, Dotty Attie, Gregg Bordowitz, Isaac Julien, Tony Tasset, Frida Kahlo of the Guerrilla Girls, and Allan McCollum. The video provided an engaging overview of the exhibition and was featured prominently on the title wall of the exhibition.
Coinciding with a small-scale organizational restructuring, the newly collected Design, Publishing, and New Media Department (DPNM) was eager to update the look of the website to a bolder, more contemporary look and feel. The technical team—comprising one web developer and a project and content manager—worked with the design team to address front-end concerns, while leaving the CMS largely intact. The “facelift” (pictured above) was launched in October 2011 and remains the design of the site while a new CMS is being built.