As Douglas Adams once memorably said, ‘lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food’. The message is the thing, not the medium through which it is conveyed. But if this is true of print, will it not turn out to be equally true of ‘Digital’? There appears to be some confusion about which ‘Age’ it is that we are living through. Some call it the ‘Digital Age’, and characterise the revolution as being one driven by technology. Others would have it as the ‘Information Age’, regarding the technology merely as a tool through which the rich information layer of daily life is exposed, manipulated and enhanced. (more…)
Author Archives: nickpoole
In August 2011, for 3 days, London was overtaken by a series of spontaneous riots. As disaffected children and young people took to the streets, looting shops and damaging property, the television news sent pictures of burning buildings and angry mobs around the world.
In the aftermath of the riots, people of all ages and faiths came together in angry condemnation of the senselessness of the riots and with a renewed spirit of unity and community. When things like this happen, society needs to understand them, to learn from them and ultimately learn how to avoid them in the future. (more…)
Yesterday’s announcement about the High Court ruling that the Wedgwood Museum’s collections can be sold as an asset to contribute to the £134m pension shortfall of the Wedgwood company has prompted me to return again to the theme of how fragile a museum’s legal relationship with its Collections can sometimes be. (more…)
What are the essential ingredients of a museum? If you’d asked this question perhaps 10 years ago, the list would have been pretty straightforward – walls, objects, respectful visitors, curators. The mental archetype of the museum in the popular consciousness would have been a place with things in it, cared for by people who knew about the things. Probably wearing tweed, and almost certainly male. (more…)
On the 5th December, I attended the first of 5 meetings of a new initiative called the ‘Museum Ethics Network’. Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and led by the School of Museum Studies at Leicester the purpose of the network is to examine the current ethical framework governing museums, to test it and to identify potential ways forward. (more…)