Do a Technorati search for "museum blog" and you won't find much. There's the Beer Can Museum blog, the Army's Airborne & Special Operations Museum blog, and even one for the Museum of Leftwing Lunacy. But aside from Ron Kavanaugh's Bronx Mus(eum)ings, and a few others, there's not much precedent, especially in the arts. So the Walker's blogging initiative may be leading the pack, especially in contemporary art, but where we're leading it is anybody's guess. My hope is that staff from various departments--curators in all disciplines, library and archives staff, education people, designers and editors--will use it as a place to do two things: stockpile and share research (interesting links, ideas we're noodling, interview snippets that didn't make it into the catalogue or Walker magazine, etc.), and offer both personal insights into our work and behind-the-scenes glimpses of our processes.
But, what do you want to see? I asked a few art bloggers their wishes for the Walker blog or museum blogs in general. Tyler Green, a Bloomberg critic and the author of Modern Art Notes at ArtsJournal.com, says "museo-blogs are a clear trend," citing the fact that Kriston Capps from Grammar.police will be blogging for the Smithsonian, and pointing out good institutional blogs like Eyebeam's reBlog and the Pulitemporary. "I don't think anyone knows what'll work," he says. "But I think a lot of people will have fun figuring it out. I think museums like the Walker (which is different from the Pulitemporary) need to involve their curators."
Caryn Coleman, who blogs at Art.Blogging.LA, says she doesn't read museum blogs because they tend to regurgitate (my word, not hers) promotional copy and plug events. She'd like to see:
...something more personal, something that's not going be on the official website. Perhaps press/reviews regarding exhibitions from publications, reviews of staff, of programming and/or performance, curatorial insights, anecdotes about installation, execution, general thoughts, images, artist interviews that are included in current exhibitions, etc. Anything that supplements and rounds out the programming and, perhaps, includes the viewer. Blogs can make the possibilities of what an institution can do endless and with ease.Some of those changes will be coming soon: assistant curator Doryun Chong and installation technician Phil Docken will begin blogging in a few weeks on the complex installation and the wide-ranging concepts (from Chinese medicine to post-colonial theory to astrology) related to our upcoming Huang Yong Ping retrospective. Beyond that, what would you like to see here? Leave a comment. I can't say we'll deliver, but it'll certainly get us thinking...