Paris: the cultural tour

I have been in Paris for seven days and have seen more museums in one week than I have ever before in any city.  Some highlights have include, La Gaite Lyrique a cool centre for digital culture, where we happened to be there for the free evening concert and enjoyed the chilled sounds of Camp Claude.  Palais de Tokyo has been another highlight, an experimental and contemporary space that-

promotes contemporary art with an eclectic and inventive programming on emerging artists from all backgrounds.

Of course there has been the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay (where we queued in the rain for almost an hour to get in, as tourists do, we clearly don’t have this problem in Australia) and the Pompidou Centre.  After tweeting  Musee du Quai Branly about their awesome program Electronic Naps I was invited by the lovely Sebastien Magro to view their exhibitions, talk about the collections and digital culture, gotta love twitter for this. (big thanks to Sebastien for taking the time to contact me and show me around).

Although I am in complete awe of the sense of history and the artworks inside the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay I must say I am drawn to the more experimental and slightly off the edge contemporary art venues and centres for culture, places that are mixing music, programming, outdoor culture and art in interesting ways.  Thank you Paris for a great week!

Bring the art to everyone: Sydney street photography exhibition

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For those of you that know me know that I am slightly obsessed with photography, exhibitions that are open for everyone and a bit of troublemaking, non-approved activity that benefits communities.  So the ‘not approved’ photography exhibition that is currently on show between Goulbourn and Campbell streets in Sydney has caught my attention  and I finally got the pleasure of seeing this yesterday.  It was installed in September and features the work of  photographers Dean Sewell, James Brickwood, Nic Walker, James ‘Blondie’ Alcock, George Voulgaropoulos and Andrew Quilty.  This series of street photography was put up one night without council permission (see this article from the Sydney Morning Herald)

Dean Sewell divides Sydney’s creative class into two categories: those who contribute, and the ”culture vultures” who don’t.

The council has decided to let this photography exhibition stay up which I think is a smart decision.  I love that this exhibition is here for everyone and would love to see more of this happen in Sydney.  We have so many interesting buildings and locations that can be utilised for art.  As I was taking these images for my blog two people walking past me commented.

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Hey check out these photos-isn’t that weird?

At first I thought this was a criticism but the more I think about it I believe it is great that these people noticed this exhibition.  They acknowledged its presence and looked at the photographs.  If this was advertising they would have walked straight past and probably not mentioned anything.

I’d love to see more exhibitions turn up all around Sydney that will bring a sense of surprise, openness to art that will hopefully start conversations and allow people to engage in culture.  Well done to the organisers and I hope it stays up a bit longer.

Exhibition views Paula Bray CC-BY-NC

A new photo library alternative built by an Australian start-up

ImageBrief screenshot

I have been thinking a lot about this new photo library platform from an Australian start-up that is in it’s early days right now but is growing fast.  ImageBrief is a new business model set up by Australians that challenges the traditional and commercial business models of the major, global image libraries that exist for stock photography.  This start-up has created something interesting by putting the photographer directly in contact with the brief and client.  This open and very transparent model allows photographers to browse and receive briefs and they can choose to opt in if they feel they have the shot.  The price is set by the client and can be seen by all contributors, they can be negotiated by both parties should they need to.  This happens openly and other photographers can see the brief and prices that the client is willing to pay.

This crowdsourced photo platform, connecting professional photographers to image buyers has some similarities to some of the photo sharing sites and apps such as Flickr and Instagram.  With images being geo-tagged by cameras now there is great potential for this platform to link up photographers with buyers instantly or even for photographers to pin their location on a map to alert potential clients of their location for shots required.  It is good to see an alternative to the major photo libraries that have a huge monopoly on the selling of stock photography.  It is also refreshing to see some elements of community driven photo sharing platforms influence a commercial model in a more open and transparent way.  They believe that more should be returned finacially to the photographer who receives 70% of the transaction plus they claim, and importantly so:

ImageBrief will never ask photographers to hand over the rights to their images

Flickr announces Photo Session

I have been obsessed with Flickr for a number of years now and today my friend Seb pointed me to their new feature Photo Session.  This is about sharing photos in Flickr with friends in real-time from anywhere.  Photos can be commented on, flipped and drawn on in a group of up to 10 friends.  So this gets me thinking of how we could be using Photo Session not only online but also in our galleries.  If our Flickr photos are available onsite and visitors could connect with their friends then perhaps some interesting comments and stories could be made using the collections that we have made available in Flickr.  Perhaps this is a way to allow our less connected visitors to experience online photo sharing and story telling.   The session can last for 24 hours so it allows visitors to continue the experience once they leave the museum.  Photo Session is still in preview mode but I will be interested to see how this unfolds.

Flickr screenshot

Sharing digital stories

This is a space where I will share some stories and ideas about photography, audio visuals, digital content, museums + some of the things that I think are pretty cool.  Museums are going through some exciting, but challenging changes at the moment and one of the areas that I find really interesting is the intergration of online digital experiences with the onsite physical spaces that musuems provide.  Museums have enormous potential to create deeper and richer experiences with audiences through implementing appropriate technology and content that enables visitors to delve deeper into stories and information around objects, people and places.

I have been blogging for a while over here and now I find myself wanting to explore some of these issues and stories a little further in this new space too.

Photo by Paula

CC BY-NC 3.0