CloudGuide's Blog

Agenda CloudGuide Week 3th-9th Aug

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

This week is full of interesting events to be highlighted in your agenda

If you are in Vienna, take a trip to TBA21 Augarten, where you will find  Ernesto Neto’s collaboration with the Amerindian artists and pajés (spiritual healers) of the Huni Kuin people. The exhibition unfolds as an experiment, establishing a zone of encounter with our “ancestral futures” and an investigation of the teachings of plants and the spiritual nature of objects. More info at http://tba21.org/augarten

If you are in Barcelona, it's a good chance to visit the MACBA Desires and Necessities, presenting 86 works including new acquisitions made in the last three years – over half of which are exhibited here for the first time – together with works already belonging to the Collection. Or maybe you are interested on architecture and modernisme: La Pedrera summer is a open secret. Activities, guided tours and a lovely terrace are just mind blowing!

And finally, just a  flash new that we are particularly  happy to spread: Ai Wei Wei will be in UK for his major exhibition at London's Royal Academy in September. It's so good to know!

 

 



Newcomers with CloudGuide

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

We are really proud to launch new guides of some of the most important institutions in Barcelona, together with our first Australian exhibition center, Melbourne RMIT.

If you make a search by city, you will find news at Fundació Tàpies who are showing Colecció Tapies. Works and References, at MACBA you can find an outdoor guide about their iconic building and surroundings, at Casa Batlló we feature a very special guide with awesome pictures, and another guide thanks to Patrimoni Gencat with an agenda of events for the summer. Futhermore, at Melbourne RMIT we will find Smart Flexibility, an exhibition that we previously hosted at MATERFAD BCN, now showing in Australia until August, the 9th.

Don't miss out ;)





The Public of Culture

BY Azucena Lozano
CloudGuide

This month we have chosen "The Audiences on Culture" as main topic  for our Talks on Culture .

We have invited two professionals who know very well the situation and the challenges that both public and private institutions are facing today, and how they manage the new requirements of their audiences, who are changing in an increasingly fast way. We met Jaume Colomer, a true benchmark in Spanish and Latin performing arts, who kindly answered our questions in a video interview that we will upload shortly. Later, we were glad to have a short talk with Lina Ubero, Public Programs Chief in Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, who helped u understand how a big museum like Museu Blau, a doyen of the Catalan museums, has reshaped their strategy to reach their audiences in the best way.

We met  Lina in a room in Museu Blau, a building that is a lightspot in the middle of the nest of the emblematic constructions raised in Fòrum, Barcelona. From the main entrance, the famous whale that atranded 150 years ago in Llançà beach, named Brava in a popular vote, is presiding the stairs and welcomes us. This is a tradition shared with many other science museums around the world. Brava plunges us in the different stories to be discovered in Museu Blau, an adventure for kids and families!

1. The Natural Science Museum of Barcelona is one of the few institutions to have a specific department for Public Programs so it is possible there are people who do not know what they do from there...Tell us a little bit about that.

In fact there are other museums with a department like ours but maybe they use another name. In our case, we are in charge of every field and topic related to the public attention, so we have different areas: communication, activities, exhibitions and public attention. This team collects and receives all the information to send it off tho the other departments which, after a period of reflexion, will stablish the programs that will be developed for the publics but also for the non-publics.

2. In 2006 you were in a work group about Heritage and Culture Plan in Barcelona where one of the main conclusions was that 'we do not know our publics. There is a lack of serious studies'. Has the situation of the public museums been improved, after  10 years?

Fortunately, we have a complete diferent scene. There is lots of information and we have collected a huge amount of knowledge, but now the problem is what to do with all this data in order to be able to  extract relevant conclusions we can use to elaborate the museum programs. Nowadays, we are equal to any other European institution in the way we collect info. Although I think it is common that most of the knowledge public departments have doesn't arrive to the rest of departments. Decisions are taken without taking that all into account because the structure of the museums is not working in cross cutting manner. The challenge is now how to put those exhaustive studies into practice.

3. The Museum Blau is defined as a 'local institution located in the fringes of the city'. As you have three locations, the Botanical Garden, the Historical Garden and the Museu Blau, do you  find different visitors profiles?

We are lucky to have a great diversity of visitors. In addition to the paying visitors, there is an important number of reserchers and collaborators in Ciutadella, where we have the Documentation Center and a big part of our main collection. These scientists are not included as 'public' but they provide a really significant amount of knowledge, and are considered a main role players for the museum objetives.

Futhermore, 68% of the visitors in the Botanic Gardens are tourists, people not living in Barcelona, adults traveling alone or with no kids. This figure is completely different in Museu Blau, where we have a 72% of family visitors with a high cultural level looking for quality and excellence. They want that 'something more' that an amusement park cannot bring them.

But we are also a local museum located in the northern area of the city, where there is a great diversity of nacionalities, a high rate of unemployment and a slightly high average age. Besides, this area of Barcelona didn't have any cultural facility, no public libraries or civic centres until 1995. And obviously no museum either, until Museu Blau opened its doors. It was a slow process to arrive to the people in the neighbourhood, who started to arrive mostly in the weekends. And finally, we have many school visits from Monday to Friday.

4. The Natural Sciences Museum is more than 130  years old so you have faced many changes in response to the challenging new requirements of a society in continuous evolution. How did you manage the digital challenge?

We didn't have this building four years ago. When we moved here, we decided to use technology in a rational manner: we thought we should use the resources to help our reserchers to have instant updates of the scientific data, so now our visitors have the same complete access to that relevant info than the scientists.

As an example, our exhibition 'Planeta Vida' which can be thought of from thousands of diferent points of views, uses technology in this rational way that I just described. We know that the most engaging way to get to our visitors is using an emotional approach, so we consider media, objects or even the empathy of the mediator to achieve some kind of connection.

5. The young and family audiences are one of your strongest target. Tell me about the way you motivate them.

When we opened this museum four years ago we created a new project called 'Science Nest' to improve the access of children under 6, who are not well attended in museums. We imagined a space which would work as an activities generator, a tool for the youngest audiences that has become one of the strongest points in our cultural offering, as it is growing with the suggestions and ideas of the kids themselves. As a living project it may include new activities or pedagogical sources together with the museum discourse: Science Nest is growing thanks to the work developed by the museum and the children, as a team. We are really proud of this project 'Born for Science'.

6. This year you are opening a new webpage and a new global app, CloudGuide. Which are your expectations for every media? Are you thinking of the different users each of them will have?

I Think CloudGuide is a great project because of the institutions connecting through it, but also because audiences are able to link us leaving comments in social media, tagging and so on. An app is a young channel for digital communication and we have more than 379.000 online visitors per year. This is a very important figure.

7. The last question is made for you as a user... What do you expect from CloudGuide?

I'm not a good model I think (laughs). When I download an app in a museum, I do it as a professional, from a technical point of view. I personally love audioguides, but also apps, because I'm interested on how they approach their audiences in a different way. That is why I welcome the apps which go beyond audioguides. I think millenials would change radically the cultural scene , as they are demanding gamification, augmented reality, beacons, image recognition and so on. It is true that our context is quite different to the anglosaxon scene and may be we need to grow more in that way...I have collegues that are in love with apps, as they know the future will go in that way.

8. Would you like to add something else?

I would remark on how important are the audiences. We must let them know that they are essential, that their participation and collaboration is imperative. And our constant requirements for them to fill the form are a must to help our programs to get better. We are committed to them, and to achieve a living museum for the common heritage of the comminities.



Museums at Night 2015

BY Azu Lozano Iriondo
CloudGuide

 

Museums at Night is an international yearly event that happens simultaneously in more than 40 countries. All kind of cultural institutions open doors to offer not only exhibitions but a whole range of activities specially designed for families, teenagers and of course, those who are particularly devoted to art circuits. This is a highlighted item in the current agenda of museums and related institutions.

The response among the public keeps doing really well and it is not strange to find  long lines of people queuing for more than half an hour but, instead of considering that displeasure a problem, when they are ask for reasons why they are standing for such a long time at the museum entrance, they seldom recognize free prizes are a motivation. And that is a key point: prize is not the reason why they are visiting a museum.

This weekend we were celebrating the 11th edition of this event fostered by the European Council and, as we could check in Barcelona, it is not running out of steam, not even by a long shot. According to official sources, there were more than 150 thousand people visiting the 81 city institutions joining the iniciative with 13 new cultural centres which were opening doors to activities, workshops and other events specially designed for this occasion. The general playful spirit came to show that engaging culture is not only entertainment but an open call to  citizens to participate.

Visiting that emblematic or maybe secret monumental site that we always leave for a better moment  and above all, the fact of doing that all with other people is a really good way to get together in a friendly, suggestive and creative enviroment. If we think on measuring the results of Museums at Night, beyond great rates of participation, there are voices of visitors claiming that they really have fun. And that is, for sure, a wake-up call to those who believe that museums are boring.



Supported by

ICF
ICEX
Booking Booster
Enisa
European Commission Seal of Excellence
ICUB
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Techstars Paris