The hour that the ship comes In.

Like the stillness in the wind before the hurricane  begins….indeed.

I stopped updating this site about a year ago when I hit the ground running with summer internships, thesis stuffs, and general craziness. After a sleepless New York  summer  I returned to Seattle where, within a week, started two new jobs and my second year of school – my LAST year of school. Thats the catch up – short and sweet.

While I wait for my audio projects to render I thought I should take some time to write up a short update on my thesis work with the Center for Wooden Boats. Though the original idea was highly conceptual and crutched heavily on elements of psycho-geography and its role in the development of social media in online exhibits it has slowly morphed, and continues to do so every day.

But for now, here we are…

The Center for Wooden Boats is actively engaged in documenting the culture and history of the wooden boat community. They are also committed to making their collections available to public through inovative educational programs and online initiatives. Although a number of their oral histories are currently available online, as are many items in their physical collection, the relationships between these virtual spaces and the content they represent remain spatially disjoint. This project was created to offer visitors with variable methods of interaction by developing a new strategy for access, usability, and engagement with the CWB’s History of the Craft Oral History Collection and, in turn, their collections and communities as a whole.

I have been working with the CWB to design and build an interactive map of a series of Oral Histories collected by UW Museology Graduate Shelly Levens as part of her Thesis project. This provided a finite collection of non-object based works to be mapped in this new format. This map, coupled with a moderated social media component( woices), will eventually create a space for members of the Wooden Boat community to visually and aurally navigate through their collective histories. This project is intended to animate and contextualize the rich oral history collection they have already collected and develop an interactive component that could continue to grow the collection through community modeling and new methods of spatial engagement.

The map is organized by location and content, focusing on one oral history per site with peripheral content surrounding that history. This content will then will also be linked to other items in the CWB’s Online Museum and local content when available. Icons are placed at key points along the waterway in conjunction with where the oral histories are referenced. When a visitor clicks on an icon an overlay box appears with a playlist of related content (audio, images, links, etc.) giving this non-object based item a base context in regards to its location, community, and role in the CWB’s collection.

Excerpts from each of these locations will also be mapped on location using a program called Woices, a social network that maps “echoes” or audio recordings. The program itself is a lot like Flickr, but for audio. It allows you to create groups, record stories on location, or upload files on your home computer to a particular location. There is also an option to create a walk, a playlist and corresponding map, that one can follow as an audio tour or story walk. Walks can be created using the content from the CWB collection as well as with audio visitors record themselves. Visitors can pick and choose stories and create their own personalized walks. These echoes and walks would then be available for listening on site in the very environs where they took place. This ability to engage with a story on location, and the opportunity to record your own response or story, strengthens ones connection to place and helps build a greater community context for that story.

The Woices element would be introduced on the interactive map page along with instructions on the various ways in which one can engage with the collection. Visitors would be able to peruse, in geographical context, the items on the site then go out and discover the stories on location. A printable map will also be available for print with instructions on how to locate, listen to, and engage with the asynchronous dialogue using the online experience as a model for interaction. This interactive map coupled with the Woices component would further expand the CWB’s current visibility , help make the collection more accessible, and provide a model for informed oral history contributions via social media in the future.

When I first started the project I felt that it would have a lot more to do with the psycho-geographical ties between story and place. However, I have found that what I’ve been trying to explore is the ways in which collections are accessed online and the relationships between the online and on-site experience in terms of design, navigation, and connectivity.

My new question is now more concerned with how to design for non-object based collections for a museum whose mission and  collection revolves around craft and interaction. The center for wooden boats in a small site with a BROAD reach. This is my new focus and we’ll see what comes of it.


0 Responses to “The hour that the ship comes In.”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Play Art Loud!
I'm also a contributor to the Henry Art Gallery's Hankblog and editor/producer of the Gallery's ArtCasts.

I'm currently working as a Wallace Foundation Fellow with emp|sfm to foster a new network for the NorthWest all ages music & arts community. Its called The Sound Board and you should totally check it out.

word bird.

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


%d bloggers like this: