Gallerycamp 2014 (aka #Gallerycamp14) was held at QUAD Derby on 23rd September 2014, an annual unconference dedicated to discussing and getting hands-on with the future role of digital and technology in the arts and cultural sector.
The event brought together a broad cross section of professionals working with or interested in digital and technology in the arts and cultural sectors including curators, managers, directors, (digital) artists, designers, producers, programmers and technologists.
I invited a few of the attendees to reflect on #Gallerycamp14 and provide a key takeaway that the arts/creative/cultural sectors could learn from.
“My takeaway would be that as a sector we have a lot to learn from other sectors and we shouldn’t be trying to reinvent the wheel but learn how to fold in creative ideas. I really enjoyed learning from the interactive games people – it’s not something that every museum/art gallery could implement but perhaps pieces of it could help shake up ‘traditional’ thinking.”
2. Jonathan Wallis, Head of Museums, Derby Museums @jonathanmuseum.
“Much of the talk at Gallerycamp14 was about the way museums can engage visitors with more information regarding our collections using mobile technology. Whether this is using iBeacons technology, Apps or QR tags there are plenty of different options available. If I take one thing away from the day it is that we can’t wait for someone to devise the perfect solution to how this engagement can be best achieved. We have got to leap in and be part of the experiment.
It gives us the ability to provide much greater levels of insight to our visitors about the things that we look after and interpret and not something that we should shy away from. So let’s have a go, experiment, take risks, evaluate what we do, share that with others and “grab the bull by the horns”. I came away inspired that our planned experiments with mobile interpretation were valid and despite the risks well worth the experiment.”
3. John Sear, wallFour, Creative Technologist, @discostu_uk
“I proposed and ran the session ‘Adult Entertainment in Galleries’. It was great to start a discussion on a controversial subject and then let the room take it in the direction they wanted.
My main takeaway from this was that museums and galleries are ‘public’ spaces – and hence they should consider more events that bring the public together. Sure, it’s important to have fantastic websites to reach the online masses but ultimately they are buildings where the public need a reason to congregate.
Games and play will be a big part of public spaces in the future. Once museums get past their prejudices of what games are, their audiences can be exposed to a rich new variety of shared experiences.”
4. Caron Lyon, online community manager + digital audience producer at PCM Creative and Audience Europe Network, @pcmcreative
“Gallerycamp was on my doorstep it gave me the freedom to roam, listen and network. Practitioners in the arts and culture industry sharing their passions and insights was the most valuable element of the day. The meeting of many like minds with the decision making power within their own institutions to make stuff happen made it a worthwhile day. My one takeaway ‘don’t forget to follow up on the contacts you make.”
5. Phil Campbell, digital advocate for technology brands, @philcampbell
“The take away for me was the creative sectors would do well to regularly co-create together using the latest smartphone applications to effectively crowdsource the digital making process when it comes to video making. We played with a number of different applications that allowed us to work as a democratic group in the production of our own collective video. it’s obvious to me that others should attempt to do the same.”
These are just a snapshot of the diversity of sector-focussed opinion at #Gallerycamp14. If I take one key thing from the event, it is about legacy, ensuring that the conversations, partnerships and collaborations lead to future exhibitions, performances, products and services, taking the arts and cultural sector into new and exciting places.