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Third time’s the charm – more from Type A

Just in time for the groundbreaking of the Art and Nature Park and the third Team Building session at IMA, Type A give us a peek into their on-going discussion…

Dear Count Blogula,

I’m still trying to figure out what we were trying to say last time.  Something about the Invisible Man and mirrors. Good reading. I figure we should keep going with this.

More new things percolating since we last wrote. At this point we are reevaluating what the sculpture will look like and what it means within the larger context of the project as a whole. The original conception for the piece, a 40ish-foot climbing tower suspended about 12 feet of the ground, has been expanded to include handholds that are cast from our team members’ grips, and indeed the decision to suspend or not suspend the tower has come into question.

We are back to having it in the ground and accessible to those who want to touch and climb it, and then we’re back again to the suspended version with all its visual impact and conceptual tickle. We will be discussing what all this means with the Team and we hope this could influence the direction the sculpture takes. In the end, we might have the sculpture suspended for one year and then renew the piece and give it new meaning by lowering it onto the ground for another year. So the question remains: what does it mean to build the tower and suspend it and what does it mean for it to rest on the ground?
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Filed under: Art, Art and Nature Park, Guest Bloggers


A Town on the Outskirts of Town

Have you ever wondered how the IMA ended up in what is at once a beautiful, yet (relatively speaking) a remote, setting? For many people, the answer lies in the 1966 gift of the family estate by the children of J.K. Lilly, Jr.—but true as that is, there’s an even more fascinating story that precedes the Lilly family’s arrival on the site. That’s the story of Hugh McKennan Landon and his partner Linnaes Boyd, who bought 52 acres of land in 1907 which they intended to develop into an enclave of country estates.

Historic Image of Oldfields

Their reasoning was sound. At the time, country estates were all the rage among wealthy Americans, who yearned to escape the noise and pollution of the cities—noise and pollution often created by the very manufacturing plants that had made them wealthy in the first place. And Landon and Boyd’s property at the intersection of Michigan and Maple Roads was both remote enough to qualify as countryside, yet near enough to the city to make commuting easy. (The Interurban rail line ran past on the western edge of the property.) Maple Road, which we know today as 38th St., ended at the White River—there was no bridge at that time.

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Filed under: Local, Musings


Documenting Right Now out Here

Though I’m writing this post from NYC I don’t want you to get the impression that I travel a lot.  The vast majority of my days are spent down in the “service level” of the museum conserving objects.  But today is a rare exception:  I’m at the Conflux Festival for the rest of the weekend with IMA adjunct curator Rebecca Uchill to experiment with ways to enhance our work with documenting variable art – art without a static original visible state (such as time-based media or ephemeral art).

Here’s a link to our project description.

Since the Conflux Festival is “The art and technology festival for the creative exploration of urban public space” we thought this would be an ideal place to expand our ideas and methods for documentation as we prepare for a number of upcoming projects in the contemporary department.

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Filed under: Art, Conservation, Current Events


Audiotours, iPhones and much more

In previous posts, I’ve not been shy in expressing my respect, admiration or jealousy for other institutions.  So, it’s surprising it took me this long to mention the Tate Modern.  Earlier this spring, I e-mailed Jane Burton, Creative Director at Tate Modern, to introduce myself and express my sincere appreciation for the work they produce – especially video – and you know how much video The Nugget Factory produces.  This e-mail turned into an invitation to a conference on handheld technology at the Tate Modern organized by Jane and Nancy Proctor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM’s doing some pretty innovative things too.  This post hopes to share some the experiences in the conference: From Audiotours to iPhones Workshop.

Developed for IMA's American Galleries

Developed for IMA's American Galleries in 2005

Rewind a few years.  Does anyone remember the American Gallery handheld project – ArtXplore – that the IMA piloted in 2005?  It was a short-lived project that helped (indirectly)shape much of the current technology strategies at IMA.  It was a difficult project, with some victories, lessons learned and a big part of the technology, evolutionary process at our museum.  Since 2005, we have re-focused our efforts to create digital content that visitors in any location can access. Although we do offer audio tours at the Lilly House, a cell phone tour for the Gardens and Grounds – our primary strategy has to increase the reputation of IMA globally, and share our stories about art with a much larger online audience.  It’s an approach I support, but with the opening of the Art and Nature Park next year, should we try another attempt with some sort of handheld device?  Perhaps.
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Filed under: New Media, Technology


Artful Stay

Dedicated readers of our blog may recall that I’ve written about the popularity of art hotels around the world and the start of something similar in Indianapolis. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I picked the Palomar, a boutique Kimpton Hotel, for my stay for just this reason.

The Kimpton Hotel brand seeks to give each of its hotels a unique personality and story for visitors to enjoy. Hotel Palomar in particular focuses on “Art in Motion” by providing rooms with sleek sophisticated, artsy design, kids’ art supplies and games to awaken creativity and nightly wine receptions at which artists often speak arranged through a partnership with the Smithsonian and Phillips Collection. In fact, the hotel staff has been trained by the Washington DC ballet “to serve you with the utmost grace.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Art, Marketing, Travel


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