Here’s a post I wrote on Liam Wyatt’s blog (@wittylama) about our work documenting public art using Wikipedia and Flickr. I summarizes my IUPUI student’s final project at the Indiana Statehouse and discusses and discuss the future of Wikiproject Public Art.
This is an interesting summary and question-filled post by Huffington, but I think she, along with many others, miss what I understand to be the big difference between “2.0” and “1.0”. Contributions from users is what’s different, and what makes me think there might actually be a next version of the web, this 2.0 shift. Sure, showing visitors more information and getting them to use it and interact with it is cool, but how can we get them to contribute in a meaningful way, or even help take ownership of the information?
While asking users to contribute to important museum work can be terrifying for many museum professionals, the point of this ask is for us to find the work that we need help doing and then trying to get users to pitch in.
For years now I thought that the greatest need is for visitors to help document artworks in the collection and put that information online. Think of how many cultural institutions that don’t have good records of their collections online (or in real life) and then think of how easy it is to put basic information online. Of course, this is the basis for our research project, Wikiproject Public Art, but how else could it play out?
The City of Milwaukee has an extensive collection of public art. To date, Diane Buck’s book, Outdoor Sculpture in Milwaukee, has been the primary source of information. Published by the Wisconsin Historical Society, the book includes photographs of all of the sculptures, maps organized by…