Meet Christina Gentry; she’s the first – and so far the only – person to take me up on my offer to have lunch at Pucks with the IMA’s director, Max Anderson, for making a Wikipedia article about one of the IMA’s outdoor sculptures. As for TED, I’ll get to that later.
First check out Christina’s Wikipedia article on the Sutphin Fountain, which even has a link to a set of pictures of the fountain on Flickr.com. Nice work, Christina!
I asked her if she thought making a Wikipedia article was hard to do and she said that once she took a few minutes to figure out how to use the software that Wikipedia employs that it was “pretty easy and kind of fun.”
Christina is finishing up her bachelor’s degree in the Museum Studies program at IUPUI, and thought that it would be a good networking opportunity to have lunch with the IMA’s director (yeah, I agree, plus the food at Pucks isn’t too shabby either).
While I was thrilled to meet Christina and see her work, I’m a little bummed that she’s the only one that’s made an article so far. I thought for sure other folks would jump at the chance to have lunch with our director. Really, I kind of thought I would be over-run with undergrad & grad students interested in museum careers from nearby universities. I thought we’d already have something like the Wikipedia article: List of Sculptures in Central Park. But, then again, I’m an optimist.
I’m not saying I’m this kind of depressed, that I’m down here in a “glass cage of emotion,” but I’m beginning to wonder if Christina and I are the only ones around here that think this is a good idea. Here’s my way of finding out: the offer is only good until April 30th, 2008. After that, I’ll move along.
But, listen, imagine for a second if the majority of artworks in the world had Wikipedia articles; it could be like a catalogue raisonné for everything, even new artworks as they are being made. I know Wikipedia isn’t perfect, but I think Jimmy Wales’ concept of an encyclopedia being “radical” is pretty much right on.
I admit, though, my hopes might be a bit far-fetched but that’s because I’m a believer. And this is where TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) comes in; I’ve been watching all sorts of videos over there, and have begun to buy into the whole “True Global Social Organization” notion.
I won’t go on about this for long, but if you’re interested watch the Howard Rheingold video and see him go from mastodons up to super computers “leaping off the desktops” and beyond. Or, better yet, watch Robert Wright tell How Cooperation Eventually Trumps Conflict. My point is that collaboration on a global scale is happening and it might just change the world. So, we play this back to the IMA: your making an article for Wikipedia not only will get you free lunch with our director, it might just help save the world. Okay, now that’s far fetched ….