The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Hack the Museum Camp

HacktheMuseumLogoEver dreamed you could make a museum exhibition that really pushed the boundaries? Ever wished for an opportunity to try out a crazy idea? Ever wanted to work with a team of diverse creative professionals to make magic happen on a tight deadline?

We invite you to Hack the Museum Camp, a 2.5 day opportunity to learn, play, and build exhibits together at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

When: Wednesday July 10 – Friday July 12, 2013

Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH)

What: A 2.5 day event at which participants work in teams to create interpretative “experiments” around pre-selected permanent collection objects to create an exhibition full of intriguing, unusual, risky experiences.

Who: 80 creative people with skills relevant to exhibit-making who want to experiment and push their practice through an active, collaborative professional development experience.

Why: To invite unusual collaborations, to give people a space to test out their craziest dreams, to push professionals to do something quickly, to encourage experimental thinking and prototyping.

How it will work: Before the event, the MAH team will design a simple layout for our largest gallery, picking about 15 objects from our permanent collection (art and history) and creating a space around each for an interpretative experiment. We will produce a few sample experiments ahead of time as model content. People (that’s you) will apply to attend Camp and will indicate their own skills (graphic design, fabrication, technology, etc) when they apply. We will assemble teams of 6-8 people with diverse skills, one team per object. The event will intersperse whole group activities with team time for the teams to design and create their interpretative experiments. We will kick off on the afternoon of Wednesday July 10 with workshops on exhibit and prototyping basics, followed by a public Pecha Kucha on experimentation. Thursday morning, people will get into teams, and they will mostly work through Friday afternoon. On Friday July 12 in the evening, we will soft open the exhibition for the public and celebrate the work done. In the week following the camp, MAH staff will tighten up the exhibits so they can stand the pounding of visitors for a one-month show to open on July 19.

Costs: We’re trying to keep costs as low as possible for participants while providing a great experience. There are two tiers of registration costs:

  • Museum Camp – $150. This fee includes four meals and all materials for exhibit-making. Registration for the full conference is now CLOSED.
  • Wednesday only – $50. Wednesday will feature workshops and talks on exhibit-making by experienced professionals and renegades from around the world. This is a good “how-to” for people who want to learn more about museum exhibition design. Advanced registration for Wednesday-only is now closed, but you can register onsite on Wednesday at the MAH between 10am and 1pm.
Also, if you are strapped for cash and or into late night bonding, we will be inviting participants to sleep over at the MAH at no charge. This will be a first-come, first-served option for up to 40 people.

How to sponsor: Like this idea and want your business to be associated with it? Contact Nina Simon and we’ll find a creative way to get your name out there and support the event.