“Exciting, important and wide-ranging.”
Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Like the future, it is experimental, uncertain, and brilliant.”
Nina Simon, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, author of The Participatory Museum.

"Engaging and timely exploration of how to engage with digital technologies."
Laurent Gaveau, Director, The Lab, Google Cultural Institute.

“New ideas from some of the most interesting museum innovators of our time.”
Jim Richardson, Founder, MuseumNext.

CODE | WORDS Technology and Theory in the Museum brings together leading museum thinkers and practitioners to explore emerging issues about the nature of museums in the light of the dramatic and ongoing impact of digital technologies.

Originally an online dialogue, CODE | WORDS is a series of conversations which explores challenging questions about the identity of museums, their role in society, their responsibility to serve a global public, and the nature of collecting, preservation, education, scholarship, primary research, and ethics in a digital age. The authors aim to inspire change, and to demonstrate the important relationship between emerging digital practices and museum theory.

A proportion of the sales of CODE | WORDS will support the Museum Computer Network Scholarship Fund.

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Among the key issues which CODE | WORDS explores are:

  1. Making the value statement for museums in a digital age: How can museums determine what’s important and not just what’s easy?
  2. The politics of new technologies: How do we balance the shifting equations of power, audience, and authority?
  3. Dialogue and discourse in museums: Who’s talking and who’s listening?
  4. Creativity, innovation, and technology: Is there a relationship between the three that’s unique to museums?
  5. Digital curation: What does it mean to collect and preserve digital media, art, and information?
  6. New digital technologies won’t solve all the problems in the world, or the museum, nor will they destroy everything we hold dear. Things will change, as they always do. How will we respond to those changes in a deliberate manner?

The CODE | WORDS authors
Aleia Brown, Michigan State University Museum, USA
Suse Cairns, The University of Newcastle, AUS/Baltimore Museum of Art, USA
Janet Carding, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, AU
Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution, USA
Bridget McKenzie, Flow UK
Luis Marcelo Mendes, Museum Consultant, BR
Mike Murawski, Portland Art Museum, USA
Nicholas Poole, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), UK
Ed Rodley, Peabody Essex Museum, USA
Adrianne Russell, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, USA
John Russick, Chicago History Museum, USA
Merete Sanderhoff, Statens Museum for Kunst, DK
Rob Stein, Dallas Museum of Art, USA 

Seb Chan, Chief Experience Officer, Australian Centre for the Moving Image

CODE | WORDS: The Back Story
Robert Stein, Deputy Director, Dallas Museum of Art

Dark Matter
Michael Peter Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy, Smithsonian Institution

Museums… So What?
Robert Stein, Deputy Director, Dallas Museum of Art

Love You, Love You Not
Luis Marcelo Mendes, Museum Communications Consultant, Rio de Janeiro

Towards the Sociocratic Museum
Bridget McKenzie, Director, Flow UK

Museums and #BlackLivesMatter
Adrianne Russell, Independant Consultant and Aleia Brown, Visiting Research and Museum Practice Scholar, Michigan State University Museum

Nicholas Poole, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), UK

Changing Museums
Janet Carding, Director, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Australia

A Place For Everything: Museum Collections, Technology, and the Power of Place
John Russick, Vice President for Interpretation and Education, Chicago History Museum

Wanna Play?
Merete Sanderhoff, Curator and Senior Advisor Digital Museum Practice, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

The Moon Belongs to Everyone: Embracing a Digital Mindset in Museums
Mike Murawski, Director of Education & Public Programs, Portland Art Museum

The Virtues of Promiscuity or, Why Giving It Away Is The Future
Ed Rodley, Associate Director of Integrated Media, Peabody Essex Museum 

Ed Rodley is Associate Director of Integrated Media, Peabody Essex Museum; Robert Stein is Deputy Director, Dallas Museum of Art; Suse Cairns is Director, Audience Experience, at The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art:
The CODE | WORDS experiment contains some of the most exciting, important and wide-ranging thinking about museums and their global role that has happened this century. This groundbreaking book is a refreshingly clear-headed collection of stories rooted in some of the most interesting work being done in the field today.

Nina Simon, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, author of The Participatory Museum:
CODE | WORDS resembles the jumbled digital landscape it surveys; an interlocking series of essays, anchored in case studies around the world, linking strategy, technology, and psychology. Like the future, it is experimental, uncertain, and brilliant. 

Jim Richardson, Founder, MuseumNext:
CODE | WORDS brings together exciting new ideas and challenging thought leadership from some of the most interesting museum innovators of our time.

Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums Trust:
At last a book which brings together technological and social innovation in museums. Some welcome ideas which see collaboration and connectivity as cornerstones to address global challenges of inequity and climate change.

John Reeve, Institute of Education, University of London:
This is a refreshing new approach to the interface of technologies, museums and especially younger museum professionals. I will be recommending it to my MA students who come to London from all over the world to prepare for a career in museums, galleries and heritage.

Jane Finnis, Chief Executive, Culture24:
Daring, intelligent and provocative, an absolute must for all forward-thinking museums.

Laurent Gaveau, Director, The Lab, Google Cultural Institute:
CODE | WORDS is an engaging and timely exploration of contemporary issues that face museums around the globe; how to engage with digital technologies and the changes they make possible.


CODE | WORDS: Technology & Theory in the Museum
Ed Rodley, Robert Stein and Suse Cairns
Pages 268
Colour illustrations 32
Size 216 x 140 mm
Publication date 2015
Editions £29.95 [paperback] | £69.95 [hardback]
ISBN 978-1-910144-71-8 [paperback] | 978-1-910144-72-5 [hardback] 

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