Art-ificial intelligence

Auckland Art Gallery’s new chatbot demonstrates art-ificial intelligence to give new access to 17,000 artworks. The chatbot is accessible via Facebook Messenger.

It is part of an initiative called Send Me SFMOMA headed by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), who launched their text message-based chatbot in July 2017. Following the project’s success, SFMOMA shared basic code behind the chatbot, so that institutions around the world could adapt it to their own holdings. Auckland Art Gallery’s project was initiated following a conversation with SFMOMA facilitated by Sabine Doolin, Audience Strategist from InsightUnlocked, and Anna Leary, Director of Objective Virtual Marketing.

Auckland Art Gallery press release:


(c) Auckland Art Gallery

Researching cultural value – have me made progress?

A US and a UK researcher discuss whether we have made progress in researching cultural value.

I like the idea of “moving away from ‘research for advocacy’ and towards research that helps those working in the cultural sector make better decisions”.

Welcoming diverse visitors – are you looking at the data in the right way?

A diverse audience is a much proclaimed goal for many cultural organisations, and rightly so. Public arts organisations need to be relevant to a broad population in order to be sustainable and funded long term. This means striving for an audience that is representative of the population.

The upcoming NZ census will tell us more about the ever-increasing diversity of the NZ population and with the update of the Audience Atlas by MHM and Creative NZ due in a few months, we will be able to compare cultural audiences with the population and understand the opportunities and challenges.

Here is a good perspective on how to look at such data and how to interpret (and not mis-interpret) it by Colleen Dilenschneider: Why Some Cultural Organizations Overestimate Success In Welcoming Diverse Visitors

What businesses can learn from artists

There is so much we can learn from artists, it’s not just the STEM subjects that are relevant in the business world, as is often claimed. In our changing world creativity, dealing with emotions, managing ambiguity, creating something memorable are skills that will become more and more useful.

The team from Let’s Go shares some of their experiences with creative collaboration

The role of Museum Lates in the night time economy

Three interesting new reports by Culture24 (UK) focus on the role and impact of Museum Lates on the night-time economy:

And here is the Executive Summary.

“The reports reveal the scale of after-hours museum and gallery openings and events in the UK; why venues do, and don’t, open after hours; what kinds of events they offer; where the hot and cold spots are in the UK and much more about the role Lates have in the context of night-time economy issues. The research also tackles how Lates can make a contribution to diversifying the night-time economy and helping UK towns and cities provide a more balanced evening cultural offer.” (Culture24)


Being free is not the same as being welcoming

One of the big misunderstandings in the museum world is that free = accessible.
In her article “The Met’s Admission Price Will Not Hurt Accessibility – It May Help” Colleen Dilenschneider shares visitor data that shows how little/no correlation there actually is between admission fees and accessibility.


It’s Time to Listen: Guggenheim Project shows the importance of lending an ear

An artist inspired Guggenheim project shows the power of (staff) listening (to visitors). More about the project and the process is summarised in this Guggenheim blog post and a video.