Museomix and the Importance of Making Collaboration Sustainable in Museums

Last year, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) hosted MuseomixMTL. This year, it’s time for the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal (MAC) to meet the challenge. Globally, Museomix is now 10 museums and five different languages. The movement began in the museum environment, but what about the sustainability of the prototypes all the generated collaborative work?

Indeed, apart from the Gallo-Roman museum of Fourviere (Lyon) that was dusting its mediation strategy in 2012 and had reused three out of 10 Museomix developed prototypes, only a Breton museum  had expressed interest in a prototype developed in Grenoble in 2013 because it was suiting the museums’ needs.

As for the Quebec environment – I am invited to the Montreal 2015 edition as a guest blogger – no prototype has been reused by museums, be it the Musée de la civilisation de Québec or the MMFA. However, one has also to acknowledge that both these museums were either very advanced on mediation devices and thinking (Musée de la civilisation in Quebec) or already working closely in collaboration with its public (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Musée en partage program).

This year, however, given the fairly significant restrictions on the art works’ integration in prototypes and copyright issues, it seems that either the MAC might be able to incorporate some of the prototypes in its mediation strategy because these issues have to be taken into account by the participants, or some of the prototypes that question copyright law and moral rights during such events at low public impact (the prototypes are after all only on display on one Sunday afternoon and few of them are being reused afterwards by the host museums) can have an impact on the very copyright law and more broadly on the issue of the integrity of art works and the implications this might have in a mediation and public development policy for an institution.

MuseomixMTL 2014 – Mika Theimer et Thibaut Caron / Portraits de Montréal

MuseomixMTL 2014 – Mika Theimer et Thibaut Caron / Portraits de Montréal

Finally, it could also be interesting to gather all  the different prototypes and teams reports on a central database and make them widely accessible to the museum community and not only to Museomix host museums. According to Julien Dorra, Museomix co- founder, it may be appropriate (and useful) for some participants to share their experience and what their project was aiming at during some conferences such as Museums and the Web or MuseumNext to see if other institutions wish to embrace this opportunity of collaborative transformation.

From there, we could actually certify that a collaborative project such as Museomix has become sustainable.

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