11 Questions to a Museum Blogger on MuseumBlog/gers Day

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Last week, March 19th was #MuseumBlogs Day, initiated by Museum 140 and Museum Minute. Many Twitter users used the #MuseumBlogs hashtag to share their favourite museums blogs, as well as museums bloggers (regardless of their working in museums or not).

The Naturkundemuseum, in Berlin, started a blog chain, by throwing Jenni Fuchs from Museum 140 a Best Blog Blogstöckchen, eleven questions to answer. As the chain went on, Jamie Glavic from Museum Minute was so kind as naming my blog one of her favourite and suggesting I may answer eleven of her questions.

Here are some bloggers who already answered the 11 questions:

And here are my answers…

1. Who are you and what do you like about blogging?

My name is Sébastien Magro, I am 32 and I am a new media manager at musée du quai Branly in Paris, France. I’m particularly interested in the social, collaborative and participatory aspects of interpretation through digital tools. I like blogging about museum-related technological and digital practices, which are both personal and professional interests.

2. And which post on your blog is your personal favourite?

I’m quite proud of ‘About #jourdefermeture‘, which explains the #jourdefermeture hashtags used by French speaking museums. It was, up now, my only blogpost in English, and I’d like to write more often in English.

3. If you had a whole week just to blog: which subject would you like to thoroughly research and write about?

I’d like to write about accessibility and visitors with disabilities, in-situ as well as online and through digital devices. I’d ask my friend Simon Houriez, who runs the Signe des Sens non-profit, to help.

4. If you could ask anyone at all to write a guest post for your blog (you can be as utopian as you like), who would you chose and what would you ask them to write about?

So it’s totally utopian? I think I’d be very honoured to have an anthopologist like Claude Lévi-Strauss or a sociologist such as Marcel Mauss to write about the Web’s ‘tribes’ and ‘groups’. Working at Musée du quai Branly got me interested in social sciences and humanities, I started reading some books dealing with the museum’s themes. I’d be very intrigued to read what they have to say about our current so-called connected world. Of course, there are sociologists and anthropologists who work on these subjets right now, such as Antonio Casilli, Fred Pailler or Jonathan Chibois.

5. What has been your most memorable museum experience?

I remember a few visits that had some impact on me as a kid: the Egyptian Museum in Torino, Italy, with my grand-father; the Archeological Park of Bibracte, France and, of course, the Louvre, that I have been visiting quite often for years, now.

6. What is the most popular post on your blog?

My most read blog posts are a three part-post that I wrote in 2011 (Le musée participatif (1/3) : état des lieux, Le musée participatif (2/3) : quelques initiatives and Le musée participatif (3/3) : synthèse et bibliographie). It was supposed to be some kind of an intention letter or abstract for a PhD I was planning to start. It’s a kind of “state of the art” for participatory initiatives in museums, mainly in France. Even if I wrote in few years ago and the examples I listed are quite old (in a web-culture perspective), these three texts are still my most read posts.

7. What was the last museum you visited and how was it?

I visited the Bill Viola Exhibition at the Grand Palais last week (it’s not exactly a museum, it’s more of a gallery that hosts large exhibitions). I discovered Bill Viola something like 14 or 15 years ago, when I started studying Art History at the École du Louvre. I was amazed at his work at that time. Now, I must admit that I am less into it: the spiritual themes didnt’s impress the way they did when I was younger. Also, I am wondering if visiting video art should not evolve, now that movies and TV series use quite the same graphic and artistic vocabulary. Viola’s very last piece in the exhibition, dated 2013, has a lot in common with what you see in recent TV shows such as Top of the Lake, Game of Thrones or True Blood. Anyway, it was a very interesting visit, since Grand Palais is a beautiful place.

8. Share your favourite photo with us that you took at a museum.

#PaDeBo_13Here it is… I took this picture a few year ago at Centre Pompidou. The view on Paris from Centre Pompidou’s 5th floor is astounding. For me, this picture also deals with the inside/outside theme, art being inside as well as outside the museum. My Flickr photostream shows other views on the outside of museums that I took in Copenhagen, Montreal and other places.

9. If time and money were not an issue, which museum in the world would you most like to visit?

When I answered Museum Minute’s ‘Meet a Museum Blogger’ series, I talked about how much I love France National Museum of Natural History, in Paris. Now I’d really like to visit NHM London, I think I have a thing for natural science museums.

10. There are many big and famous museums, but which is your personal favourite ‘hidden gem’?

I would say Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It is not a ‘small museum’, since it is quite reknown, but it’s a very suprising place: you arrive in what seems to be a standard European suburban neighbourhood, with tiny family houses and when you get into it, it’s something as huge as NYC’s MoMA, with large galleries, splendid park with sculptures and high-quality exhibitions. I took a few pictures there when I visited in Summer 2012.

11. Do you have any insider tips on any of the museums you have visited or blogged about?

  • Enjoy Montreal’s Quartier Latin which is gathers great cultural institutions such as Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Grande Bibliothèque and Cinémathèque québécoise.
  • Use Copenhagen Card when visiting Copenhagen, it offers many free attractions and avantages, such as free admission for 75 museums and attraction.
  • When visiting with your family or if you are teens interested in visiting museums (which is great), don’t forget that many museums are free for visitors under 25 in France and UE, it’s always great news!

Next please!

As I’ve answered my set of questions, I am passing Best Blog Blogstöckchen to some of my favorite blogs and bloggers: Alli Burness, who blogs about her museums world tour on Museum in a Bottle ; Russel Dornan from the Wellcome Collection, that I recently discovered ; my friend Gonzague Gauthier from Centre Pompidou. Here are my questions for you (I also chose to keep them as is):

  1. Who are you and what do you like about blogging?
  2. What is the most popular post on your blog?
  3. And which post on your blog is your personal favourite?
  4. If you had a whole week just to blog: which subject would you like to thoroughly research and write about?
  5. If you could ask anyone at all to write a guest post for your blog (you can be as utopian as you like), who would you chose and what would you ask them to write about?
  6. What has been your most memorable museum experience?
  7. What was the last museum you visited and how was it?
  8. Share your favourite photo with us that you took at a museum.
  9. If time and money were not an issue, which museum in the world would you most like to visit?
  10. There are many big and famous museums, but which is your personal favourite ‘hidden gem’?
  11. Do you have any insider tips on any of the museums you have visited or blogged about?

And here’s what you have to do:

  • Answer the eleven questions – you can adapt them a little to fit your blog, if you like.
  • Include the Best Blog image in your post, and link back to the person who nominated you (that would be me, by the way, or more specifically, this blog post).
  • Devise eleven new questions – or feel free to keep any of these ones here if you like them – and pass them on to how ever many bloggers you would like to.

I look forward to reading your answers!

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