I am excited to announce that we are relaunching the new site with 54 partners and nearly double the number of videos. We have 16 new partners from around the world, including our first partners from Italy and three more university art museums, and about a thousand new videos, from both new and existing partners.
Here are some of the updates to ArtBabble:
We are debuting a fresh new brand to go with our new layout and navigation. Our new brand maintains some of the playful feeling but re-imagines ArtBabble a little sleeker and a lot more sophisticated. The black background optimizes video watching. Designer Rita Troyer will share specifics of the new look later this week.
We made the strategic decision to switch from hosting video to primarily embedding from YouTube and Vimeo. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important one is timely content, a comment we heard many times during our Spring 2012 user survey. Based on experience, I know the easier it is for our partners to get their videos on the site, the faster we can get fresh videos to our users, so we set out to transfer as many existing videos as we could. The YouTube video player’s mobile accessibility also played a large role in this decision.
And speaking of, embedded videos plus our new responsive design means ArtBabble is now mobile. As a phone addict, this is the update I am looking forward to most. Check us out on your phone or tablet for art videos on the go!
ArtBabble’s most important purpose is to deliver art video to viewers, but our biggest complaint during our survey was that users couldn’t find the content they were looking for. After examining the channel tags on the site, we decided to sort and organize them into a larger, organized framework. This taxonomy is the basis for the new navigation of the site, and is built to grow to allow for the addition of future topics.
Building off the new structure of the site, we decided to create the beginning of a “For Educators” section. We hope to grow this page over the coming months to continue to encourage the use of our videos in the classroom. Please let us know if you have suggestions, and share with us how you use art video in the classroom.
Our new Facebook comments feature allows actual conversation around the videos. Yay! Dive into the conversation, or share our videos on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Our new search lets users find what they are looking for faster and easier. In conjunction with the navigation filters, it allows for targeted search as well as casual browsing. We hope this will help you get to what you want to see and discover new things along the way.
Thank you for your support of the site over the past 3+ years! Please continue to share ArtBabble videos with your friends and let us know how you feel about all of the changes.
As ArtBabble turned three this past spring, the ArtBabble Team at the IMA convened and started to think about all of the major changes we wanted to make to the site. This summer the team, which consists of IMA Lab developers, designers, educators and producers, got to work planning the redesign, including establishing a new brand and getting a staging site running to start transferring content.
Inspired by SmallBox Web‘s 24 Hour Web Project, we decided (perhaps foolishly) to hold a 24 hour sprint to implement the new ArtBabble. This gives the nine of us a chance to collaborate closely on the project, as well as do focused work without other office issues interrupting. We decided to get away from our usual space, and are excited to be sprinting at the Speak Easy, an awesome co-working space in Broad Ripple.
So finally, today is the day! The sprint is upon us, and we have gathered with much caffeine to babble our little hearts out.
The team sets up and gets to work.
Charlie Moad, Director of IMA Lab, and I will be live blogging the progress here, so check back for updates or follow us on twitter at @ArtBabble. We guarantee some middle-of-the-night dance party madness and at least a few shots of us eating pizza.
9:00 a.m.: The team arrives and starts carting computers, paperwork, food and yellow mascots up to the Speak Easy loft, our working space for the next day. There are so many things to bring! I forgot my mouse and made an emergency phone call to get one delivered. -Emily
9:45 a.m.: We are all set up in the loft, including multiple cases of Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Red Bull. Designer Rita Troyer just briefed the guys on the technical feature list and everyone is volunteering for tasks they are interested in. -Emily
10:17 a.m.: The table gets quiet as everyone gets to work! -Emily
11:00 a.m.: Most of the first hour involved just getting everything up and running and assigning areas of the site that each developer will work on. I’m working with the designers to get the main site theme running. Kyle and Dan are working on the search index and site navigation. Ed is working on the video pages. Gray is cranking out partner and people listing pages. Kris is diving into the front page. Emily is providing moral support. -Charlie
11:01 a.m.: Rude. I am, in fact, organizing the “For Educators” page content. -Emily
11:50 a.m.: Lunch arrives (delicious Jimmy Johns) for our first break and recap of work so far. Daniel Cervantes reports on how search is going: “It’s going.” -Emily
12:44 p.m.: Starting to see some content appearing on the home page and working with developer Kris Arnold on some content for “Popular Videos”. Jimmy Johns sufficiently decimated. -Emily
1:16 p.m.: It’s getting real now. A lot of crosstalk is starting to happen. -Charlie
1:18 p.m.: Emailing partners and working with them on embedding their videos from YouTube, Vimeo and Brightcove. We hope this major change will enable many more videos from places you love like SFMOMA. Also, just checked out our browser use analytics for the past year: AB users are fairly evenly spaced out, with Safari at 30%, IE at 24%, Firefox at 23%, Chrome at 22% and Opera squeaking in with 1%. -Emily
1:30 p.m.: Meg Liffick, the IMA’s Director of Public Affairs, brought us some of her amazing cookies. Just the fuel we needed to keep going! -Emily
2:14 p.m.: More and more content is starting to appear on the staging site, and Matt is following up with style. I’m about to migrate all the video files from the old site to the new site where we are still hosting the videos. Many videos on the new ArtBabble will be hosted by Vimeo, YouTube, and BrightCove. -Charlie
2:33 p.m.: Web designer Matt Gipson is dominating CSS while working on the main menus. Also he just finished his third Red Bull. -Emily
2:34 p.m.: Developer Gray Bowman announces all code for the partner channels page is finished. A cheer rises from the gathered crowd. -Emily
3:03 p.m.: Time flies when you are having fun. 5+ hours in and it feels like we just got here. -Charlie
3:39 p.m.: ArtBabble 24 Hour Sprint, now brought to you by George Michael and Stanley. When someone working downstairs heard the saxophone they shouted “Oh, NO!” -Emily
4:00 p.m.: I couldn’t stand it anymore. The free beer tap downstairs has started flowing. -Charlie
4:12 p.m.: At a quarter of the way through, spirits are still high. We have completed a significant amount of work and are starting to get to the fun parts. More visiting coworkers are on their way! -Emily
5:30 p.m.: The videos pages are starting to really look like the final product. I also just kicked off a transfer of about 1500 videos from the old site to the new site. They are all going to be converted using Zencoder. -Charlie
5:44 p.m.: Jenny from Public Affairs stopped by with spirit glasses! The team paused for a group photo. -Emily
6:12 p.m.: Kyle Jaebker, whose titled is self-described as “Boss”, just announced that the Facebook comments feature is done! I am personally really excited for this feature and the potential for more conversation around videos. -Emily
6:49 p.m.: The pizza and wine is here. -Emily
7:39 p.m.: We were working so hard we tripped a breaker. Lights out until we can figure where the breaker box is hiding. -Charlie
7:57 p.m.: 10 hours in. Light are back on. We are getting ready to pause for our first major group check-in on progress. I think we were supposed to do that about 6 hours ago… -Charlie
8:49 p.m.: Everyone is diving in after our status meeting. We have progressed through much of the development of more than half of the pages and Matt has started styling pages. The site is starting to look real! I have been adding test content for related links and getting videos selected to test the new homepage slider. -Emily
9:43 p.m.: The music selection is going down hill. Fast. -Charlie
9:49 p.m.: Halfway through. Starting to see lots of check marks on our progress board! -Emily
10:28 p.m.: The music is getting truly bizarre. Also, 90 minutes until our cookie delivery arrives. -Emily
10:55 p.m.: We have started to get into the nitty-gritty. Lots of detailed questions and everyone is focusing on minutiae, throwing questions out for designers Rita and Matt. -Emily
11:42 p.m.: Cookies are here. Time for a progress update and stretch break. -Charlie
12:13 a.m.: Working on pulling high resolution poster images. We want our partner’s videos to look great. -Charlie
12:41 a.m.: 9 hours to go! Just finished writing the blog post announcing the update for the existing site. We hope to have a splash page with a promo video on the old site on Monday morning for the next few weeks before launch. I also have started the task of saving every partner logo and transferring them to the new site. It’s the little things like this that make the site start to look really put together and polished. -Emily
12:59 a.m.: “Waiting for my internet to come back.” -Charlie via Emily’s internet connection
1:10 a.m.: Everyone is getting their second wind. Almost all the work at this point is in the fine details. Unfortunately there are a lot of those. -Charlie
2:13 a.m.: Just finished pulling and adding all the partners logos. Now I am going to create the new footer pages: About and Contact Us. This will combine all the current footer page content, some of which is outdated. Kyle just shared: “We already have more code commits in two hours today than what we did all yesterday.” -Emily
Code Commits for the past 24 hours
2:37 a.m.: A middle of the night sneak peek at the new ArtBabble graphic identity. I can’t wait to unveil the full site! -Emily
3:25 a.m.: After wrestling with it for 45 minutes, developer Gray Bowman just announced YES! and pounded the table when he got a particularly difficult bit of code to work. At 3 in the morning, these are the things that keep us going. -Emily
3:31 a.m.: It’s getting harder and harder to tackle the next task… Still plowing through though. -Charlie
3:58 a.m.: LOOK! a squirrel!!!!! -Kris
4:20 a.m.: Just completed our 4am status meeting. The final To Do list has been drawn up and everyone has broken out to work on the final tasks. Eyes are red. Also, it appears the blog has been hacked. -Emily
5:42 a.m.: Tasks are taking about 4 times longer than normal right now. Knowing we are approaching the 24 hour end is making it hard to concentrate as well. -Charlie
6:20 a.m.: Desperately needing a shot of inspiration to make it through the final stretch. I have been been linking videos for a while, and made a lot of progress on SmartHistory, MoMA and YBCA. “You Can Call Me Al” just came on so I think it may be time for a short dance break. -Emily
6:22 a.m.: I just counted 4 heads leaning on hands. These hours are ticking by slower and slower it seems. -Charlie
6:54 a.m.: Speak for yourselves, you guys. -Rita
7:35 a.m.: I have been officially spent for about a hour. Everyone else is hanging in there like champs and have done amazing work over these last 22 hours. -Charlie
7:35 a.m.: The guys have a new round of focused work after breakfast bagel delivery. I am working on more content for the homepage and hoping the final hour goes quickly! -Emily
8:39 a.m.: Cleanup and breakdown begins. The number of Red Bull cans, pizza boxes and cookies gathered is preposterous. I am so proud and impressed by the amount of work the IMA Lab team completed! We will take the next few weeks to implement page styling on the site and make sure everything is working perfectly before the big launch. -Emily
9:15 a.m.: We have had so much fun today, and we are so pleased with the results of the sprint. Thanks for following along! Thanks also to SmallBox Web and the Speak Easy for sharing and hosting us. We can’t wait to share the shiny new site with you on December 4th (we hope!) Please continue to share our project on Twitter until the relaunch and let us know what you think of the site when it debuts! - Emily & Charlie
What are the physical manifestations of faith? How does what we believe affect the objects that we use in our everyday life?
The IMA’s opening of Beauty & Belief today brings more than 250 works of art to Indianapolis for a survey of Islamic art that spans the globe and sixteen centuries. It’s the first show of its kind in Indianapolis and an important window into a new world for the people of Indianapolis. In between meetings in a busy installation schedule, I sat down with curator Sabiha al Khemir to discuss the themes of the exhibition and she shared some core concepts for visitors to the show. You can check out the series of videos about Beauty & Belief here.
We also have two works of art from our collection in the exhibition, a luminous blue bowl covered with a parade of animals and a bowl fragment with a painted horse and rider.
This started out as a post about four collection videos we released last week (you can view those here, here, here and here.) It morphed into a missive on what we produce and why. Hope you enjoy!
When planning digital media projects, it is easy to get caught up in the sensational exhibition cycle at a museum. We hop from one new topic to the next and always work on an exciting new initiative for the next big show. The IMA’s media team has managed to churn out hundreds of video and audio productions, including trailers, interviews, lectures, documentaries, and nine unique TAP mobile tours in three years. Much of this work is focused around our exhibition schedule, with the tours alone consisting of dozens of videos, audio clips and images that focus on the themes, artists and artworks of the special exhibitions.
Realization! Special media dies with special exhibitions
What we came to realize, however, is that when these shows leave the museum, a lot of the value of these precious stories (and the time invested in them) leaves with the loaned objects. The videos and tours take hundreds of hours to produce, assemble and deploy, but at the end of the day, it’s for an experience with an expiration date. Like most museums, we have limited resources for production, so we need our media output to have the most impact and the longest shelf life possible. We were falling for the lure of the short news cycle.
Change of thinking to more long-term (or hyperopic) view
In an attempt to shift our focus to the more long-term, about a year ago we began working on creating content around works from our permanent collection. Not a mind-blowing revelation, but an important pivot for the ‘mission’ of our team. As this has become more second-nature, the goal of creating as much multi-use content as possible became evident. Our approach to modular content means we can use the resulting product in a variety of ways: on collection pages, in exhibition microsites, and for future mobile tour experiences.We only produce projects with a clear vision of how it will be published through these channels.
Positive benefits from a year of this thinking at IMA
Within TAP tours, we focus (when possible) on telling stories about works owned by the IMA. Part of this process involves careful planning to maximize time with our experts. When we sit down with curators or conservators for other projects, I always take a few minutes to have them speak about a work or two from their collection area. A great example is the video we made featuring curator Ellen Lee discussing the IMA’s Bonnard La Glace de la Chambre Verte (Mirror in the Green Room). We had Ellen in the studio to record segments for the Snapshot TAP tour, and so we spent some time discussing a few IMA pieces. The result is a video that can be used for many years to come about a beloved work in our collection.
The benefits to our visitors are many and will compound over time. We have produced about 30 collection-related videos in the past year, with more in production every month. It has become part of our working model and an important vision for the Publishing and Media department. We updated the layout of our collection pages to feature more and different types of media, including articles and excerpts, videos, images, and external links. As we continue to update and enhance collection pages on our website as we create this content, we create the groundwork for future in-gallery mobile experiences and tours.
Why this is important to Museums everywhere
Museums are places where hyperopic thinking fits naturally within the larger goals of our work. Our curators and conservators work to stretch the life of physical objects out as long as possible. We think about being stewards of objects for generations. Shouldn’t the stories associated with those objects last as well? As museum technologists, how can we incorporate this kind of long-term thinking into our everyday work? If museums think about the variety of stories around objects as intrinsic to the life of the object itself, we can build models for preserving the stories and continuing to find new ways of delivering this core content to our visitors.
What unspoken messages do First Ladies send with fashion? And how did the unforgettable Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy break the mold to present her husband’s candidacy and presidency as progressive and modern?
On September 13, 2012 the IMA’s Fashion Arts Society hosted design historian Sandy McLendon, former contributor and senior editor at Modernism Magazine, for a lecture on the influential “Jackie Look.” McLendon took attendees through a visual tour of Jackie’s strategic choices: hiring Hollywood costume designer Oleg Cassini; embracing the slim sheath dress and fuss-free pillbox hat; and selecting—down to the detail—trim, elegant gowns suitable for superpower diplomacy.
What does it mean to be passionate about culture in your city? How do you meet innovators working in different types of institutions when every day is focused on your own particular sliver (in my case, art and mobile tech) of the cultural pie? After seeing multiple posts from colleagues around the world about local meetups under the hashtag #drinkingaboutmuseums, I was intrigued and interested in making something similar happen in Indianapolis.
Time for a little research! I spoke to some of the founders of #drinkingaboutmuseums to see how their local “chapters” worked. Ed Rodley, of the Museum of Science, Boston, and author of the blog Thinking about Museums told me that in Boston, DAM:BOS meets monthly at a host museum for a presentation, and then moves to a bar for social time. Koven Smith of Denver Art Museum shared that the Colorado group meets irregularly, bar only, and uses Meetup.com to keep the group to museum professionals only.
Then I contacted the most social Indy museum person I know for a little backup, my IMA colleague Richard McCoy. Richard said that he had been having a similar conversation about building cultural community with Malina Jeffers of the Madame Walker Theatre Center. We met to discuss some ideas about hosting this kind of event in Indy: what were we trying to do? We know the museum and technology communities are small, but the greater arts and culture community is thriving. People are very passionate about culture in our city. We decided to expand the group from just museums to cultural organizations of all kinds and Indy’s #drinkingaboutculture was born. We also decided to meet only four or so times a year, keep it casual (read: at a bar), and with a short presentation about a local project to kick off conversation.
So, we hope you will join us tomorrow for a drink and to discuss cultural innovation in Indy!
Topic: Mali Jeffers of the Madame Walker Theatre Center will briefly introduce a collaboration with WFYI on a self-guided tour of the Theatre, led virtually by Mr. Ridley, a longtime docent. The fifteen minute presentation will be followed by a conversation/Q&A about the project.
Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting in Minneapolis with 5,000 of my closest museum friends. What an experience! One reason I enjoy going to this conference is the opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the museum field. There’s nothing like a little cross-departmental collabo to broaden your perspectives about what can be done in a museum.
A packed schedule of events
Sunday, I met up with several hundred #musetech friends as the Media and Technology committee announced winners at the 23rd Annual Muse Awards. The winning entries in a dozen categories came from museums around the world and represented the most innovative and awe-inspiring digital projects happening in museums. The IMA won a Bronze Award in Public Outreach for our video XLVI Reasons to Visit the IMA.
These lucite awards are dang hard to photograph.
The sessions this year were really inspiring. The IMA is evaluating a lot of our mobile experiences (more to follow on this soon) and I feel so inspired by all of the thoughtful approaches presented at the conference. I have written down a couple thoughts and quotes from the sessions I attended- sorry if you saw a lot of these on Twitter already! I have tried to give credit where credit is due, but please let me know if I have taken credit for something you said!
How does the social experience mesh with museum created material? – Peter Samis
Mobile and social aren’t for everybody. – Peter Samis
Know the digital habits of your target audience and make sure your digital plan targets the right audience. – Peter Samis via @artlust
Presenters noted inspiration from artists using mobile social elements in their work. Relational aesthetics in contemporary art are informing digital experiences in the museum.
Museums can use visitors’ opinions as opportunities to crowdsource first-person content about their collection. – Nancy Proctor
A huge portion of visitors/users only want to view content – they are not creators/authors. These ‘lurkers’ are valuable as well and we should provide them with a means for engagement. – Nancy Proctor
Mobile can provide opportunities for in-person social experiences that are valuable for different types of visitors.
How can the IMA make our mobile tours more friendly to our visitors? What information are our visitors looking for but not finding? This seems obvious but I have been thinking about the implications: Mobile tours should be visitor-centric.
How can the IMA use our mobile tours as an opportunity to interact with or listen to our visitors?
What special experiences at the IMA could be supported with mobile technology?
Nancy Proctor discusses what to measure with Mobile
What can we add to the mobile experience that will help visitors with their basic needs? Food, bathrooms, tickets, etc. – Layla Masri
Opportunity to add social interaction – only do it if it works! Is it what people want or need?
Mobile includes: Pocketable and portable, smart and dumb phones, podcasts and other downloadable material, bring your own device and rentables, mobile websites and large screen websites. – Nancy Proctor
Mobile can mean at home or in the gallery; it can be for deep engagement or quick bites.
Mobile can be used as a strategy for engaging with the visitor on their terms.
How can we use mobile in the galleries that lets people engage with devices comfortably? Liz Neely discussed the roll out of iPads in the galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago and designing secure (yet comfortable) ways for the visitors to use them.
Think about possible partnerships – how can we leverage other local institutions to build more content together. How does the IMA fit into the larger needs of a visitor’s life?
Museums can use prototypes and models as a way to test new ideas in the physical gallery.
Do museums who are worried about polish and image need to have a space dedicated as “experimental” to allow themselves to use prototypes? Do visitors expect more polish and perfection from a professional institution than a prototype gives them?
Can a prototype environment give a visitor more authority to question the voice of the museum?
Prototyping allows me to think differently about what curating means. – Christina Chang
In order to have an environment for creativity & prototyping, museum staff must have time to think and permission to FAIL.
We should allow visitors to use the space in new ways that the museum itself does not organize. – Nina Simon
Museums say certain objects are precious. What objects do our visitors say are precious? How can we help them relate to the objects or ideas being presented through ownership of ideas?
I have a lot more to think about, but hope to be back wowing you with inspirational new projects soon. Also, the current plan is to sweep the 2013 Muse Awards, so watch out Baltimore!
For our 2011 fashion and textile exhibition Material World, designer Matt Kelm developed a brand new typeface for the title treatment. Material World is all about the splendor and opulence of clothing from across the globe, and how different societies use materials to connote power and wealth. The intricate letters are a fitting counterpart to the richly textured and adorned objects and they act as a subtle reminder to look closely at the details in the show. Just like we did for his last special project, I sat down with Matt to ask him about his inspirations and process for making the letters.
You can see the results in use (and all of the fabulous clothes) in the Paul Textile Gallery and Fashion Arts Gallery until February 6, 2012.
What were your inspirations for the Material World typeface?
The grid-like mesh of natural elements like spider webs was an inspiration, as well as man-made things like chain-link fences. Both can feel either very clean and manufactured or organic depending on how they are viewed or manipulated.
How did you design this typeface? Did you make the whole alphabet?
Functioning typefaces are created with specialized software that allows them to be typed directly from the keyboard, and includes important information about spacing, alternate weights, etc. Because we were only using these new letters to spell short phrases, and because of the time required to actually create a functioning font, I simply made the letters in Adobe Illustrator with the pen tool. Creating each letter isn’t difficult, but it can be time consuming, so I drew only the characters I needed for this exhibition.
Why did you design a typeface and not use one that already existed?
While thinking about what typography and imagery could be used to represent the intricate materials used in the exhibition, I did look at a number of pre-existing options. Ornate display type tends to be created to connote specific imagery—Victorianism, holidays, or the stereotypes of a foreign culture, for instance. I wanted something that felt contemporary and spoke to the physical construction of the garments, but also seemed organic as well. It didn’t take very long to realize that drawing my own letters was the most natural approach.
How does the design of Material World enhance a visit to the show?
The primary goal of any design is to enhance the content. The experience of shopping at a big-box grocery store is very different from visiting an expensive clothing retailer, and it’s not because of the objects for sale. By using dark colors and not using more light than necessary, we are trying to create a space that feels intimate and seductive when compared to other galleries. The typography, too—both in its design and its use in the show—is meant to accentuate the seductive nature of the work, as well as reference the intricate patterns and handwork evidenced in many of the pieces.
The fury of the Biennale has begun, and Gloria at the palladian U.S. Pavilion is looking polished and practiced for the crowds. In the past week, many of the final touches and adjustments have been made in the gallery, a fact made many times more complicated with 13 live performers, a dual channel video room and operating sunbed, ATM, pipe organ, treadmill and tank. Most of this was accomplished under the watchful eye of the IMA’s on-site installation team, Brad Dilger and Mike Bir, who oversaw the installation of all of the work and fine tuned just about everything you see in the pavilion, and Yvel Guelcé, the Director of IT who installed the attendance counter and the localized wireless for the TAP Gloria mobile tour.
Amanda York, Brad Dilger, Yvel Guelce and Gabriele HaBarad diligently working during practice and installation week.
After all this prep, here are some of the interesting and funny stories that developed while we put the final touches on Gloria!
After the installation of the organ, the music composer Jonathan Bailey arrived to test the ATM and organ sound precision and listen to the music in the gallery space. He had to cancel the transactions or else remove hundreds of dollars from the machine during this testing phase.
Jonathan Bailey compares notes with his notes.
While he was testing the machine, I asked him about the possibility of our banks getting worried about multiple cancelled transactions and locking our cards. Jonathan switched to an older card in his wallet just in case something like this happened, and not a moment to0 soon. Shortly after, someone walked up to say hello to him and he got distracted when the machine ejected his card. After a brief wait, the machine ate the card, never to be seen again! This is a feature of the machine’s security, in case you leave your card behind, but is a bit inconvenient if you need to make about 100 transactions in 2 hours!
Another interesting development came after the female gymnasts arrived in Venice to begin rehearsals on the Delta seat.
The gymnasts and choreographer Rebecca Davis warm up in the white room for rehearsals.
They lithely hopped on to the armrest, only to find themselves swimming in mid air, looking for visual purchase. In Circus Warehouse, their practice space, they unknowingly had hundreds of objects upon which to anchor their gaze and find balance. In the white gallery space, they couldn’t hold their poses. They spoke with Jennifer and Guillermo and agreed something had to be done. The IMA’s Brad Dilger painted custom dots, then had each gymnast test for placement. The final position of the grey dots can be seen during the performance of Body in Flight (Delta) in the pavilion today.
On the left, the pair of dots on the wall, placed for the gymnasts varying heights.
Another bit of valuable behind-the-scenes info: U.S. Pavilion Commissioner and IMA Chair of Contemporary Art Lisa Freiman gives a sharp looking haircut.
This past weekend, the IMA’s video team (Daniel Beyer and I) arrived in Venice to film the installment and opening of Gloria by Allora & Calzadilla at the U.S. Pavilion for the 54th Biennale di Venezia. Venice is a glorious backdrop, it is as romantic and complicated and ancient as it looks in pictures. In fact, it is hard to take a photo or video shot that doesn’t look suitable for a postcard or commercial. Everything is just too perfectly picturesque. Because of this, Venice makes a great foil for telling stories about the global cutting edge contemporary art scene, all of which it seems, lands here every other year for the Biennale.
We have spent some time on-site, working in the U.S. Pavilion and the Giardini as it prepares for an influx of visitors, filming the Commissioner, the IMA’s Lisa Freiman, as she gave an orientation to a group of interns who will tend to the Pavilion during the 6 month run of the show, and shooting the last of the artwork being installed and rehearsed (we can’t show you yet!) with Jennifer and Guillermo (that is, Allora & Calzadilla) looking on. We are working in tandem with photographers Tascha Horowitz, of the IMA, and Andrew Bordwin and Nick D’Emilio, of Andrew Bordwin Studio Inc., to document everything as it happens. We will be releasing more images and video online in the next few weeks, and you can look for the Gloria catalogue to come out later this summer.
Lisa Freiman discussing the exhibition with the summer interns.
Allora & Calzadilla watching the rehearsals.
We have also been gathering b-roll around Venice. We see the bright red Biennale advertising in every campo (they also provide the only benches in the square- smart!) We stopped in Piazza San Marco, took a quick tour of the Teatro la Fenice and hopped over the Ponte Accademia to visit Santa Maria della Salute. While the city is famously difficult to navigate, we have been able to find a lot of the famous attractions to shoot without much trouble and have been enjoying our share of Italian food and gelato.
We will continue to film as the Biennale opens this week, including VIP tours and vernissage celebrations, and you can look for almost everything we shoot to go up on the Biennale microsite. Also don’t forget to follow us on twitter @USPavilion11 for all the latest news from the Pavilion. As the Italians say- ciao!
Museums and Institutions | Greater Los Angeles Area, US
Museum Professional specializing in digital and online content development and project management. Passionate about not-for-profits and developing rich experiences for users and visitors by utilizing digital media, web-based technology, & social media in new and exciting ways.
Specialties: Web, Digital Media and Video Content Development & Project Management