Status Update. New York City, September 2012.

Presented this one-pager draft today to get ready for my second exam in maybe a year, using the only words I had available this week to get something down:

“Since my first museum job in 1993, I have held a long-standing commitment towards using technology as an interpretive tool for reacting and responding to art. In previous positions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, I have concentrated my educational and professional pursuit within the intersection of education, contemporary culture, new media, and civic engagement in museums. In my current role as Director of Education at Art21, my focus and interest has remained within the intersection of museum education, technology and informal learning, and now also includes human-based interactions between artworks and artists. I see my role as providing platforms in which artists are viewed as creative role models and innovators.

After dedicating my practice to the use of technology as an interpretive tool to learn and react to works of art in several institutions, I am turning my research focus towards the study of technology-based informal learning systems in museums and arts organizations, especially for those who will not or cannot go to college.

This area of future study may include:

  • Online learning classes (such as painting classes at MoMA that include international audiences who are seeking to learn English as a second language)
  • Open University models (MIT, Harvard, and open-source platforms such as Coursera, Lore)
  • Open space learning models in New York City (such as Skillshare, General Assembly)

My current doctorate study has allowed me to examine the struggle that K-12 teachers face on the battleground of public school education. While I have largely held an interest in creating ideal scenarios that are tightly edited and structured within the context of a museum visit, and have overseen three art education technology centers in various capacities, I believe that the museum field has yet to harness the power of art, design, technology and social media to broaden, deepen and diversify audiences. I believe that the growth of an individual’s appreciation and personal connection with an original work of art expands in direct correlation to instances in which they find deeper connections to their everyday lives.”

Somewhat relatedly, Jean Anyon high-fived me today. And that was amazing.

The word “choice,” meaning a choice made by those who cannot or will not go to college, remains a place of contention. I liked the openness of “those who cannot or will not to to college” because the phrase infers that there is a variety of reasons why college did not present itself as an option. Many young people decide not to go to college because they cannot afford it. But many more still begin college despite the financial risk, and then figures like how our national college drop-out rate after freshman year rise to rise to something like 55%, where completion rate for an actual degree may be closer to 8%.

And, since I am making a theoretical turn this semester in earnest, the next stop will be Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002), who is luckily seems to still be pretty active on Twitter. Or at least, someone who knows him is.

(1930 - 2002)
Pierre Bourdieu, looking rather worried.