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Redesigning Museums for Good


A museum is more than a collection of interesting objects.

A memorial is more than a heap or marble or stone.

Each of these types of institutions exist to serve a greater purpose. Whether it’s the British Museum or a local historical society, these organizations create an experience that is meant to inspire some action on the part of those who visit them.

For many years, museums did not take direct responsibility for the conversion point between experience and action — what visitors did after they left the gift shop was their business. But today, some institutions are thinking differently about this key component of their missions, asking tough questions about how the conversion happens and seeking new tools to make sure that it does.


Earlier this year, we went to work on behalf of an institution with an undoubtable moral mandate for action: the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, final resting place for more than 250,000 people killed in the 1994 genocide. Aegis Trust, the organization that built and operates the memorial, wanted to make sure that visitors were offered not just a strong emotional experience at the memorial site and museum, but opportunities to help stop genocide today and in the future. So we sent a team of user experience designers to Rwanda to figure it out.

With the help of the Rwandan people, they did it. In their work the team made use of an array of resources, from experts on museum design to their own personal observations at the memorial site. But they were most inspired by the young people who visited and worked at the Kigali site. In workshops and curricula, portable posters and personal stories, the next generation of Rwandans are figuring out how to convert the story of one of history’s worst genocides into hopeful action in their own lives.

Carefully observing these young people, the designers developed a model the Kigali museum — and all museums — can use to convert profound emotional experiences into action. They nicknamed it “the Inzovu Curve” after the Kinyarwanda word for “elephant,” because the arc users travel resembles an elephant’s trunk. Visitors to a memorial or museum first descend into a state of (often painful) empathy with the victims of violence whose stories they encounter.

Many institutions simply abandon them there; the Inzovu Curve instead advises them to provide additional experiences that lift visitors into a state of compassionate action. The model also identifies specific moments of reflection and transformation that will help equip all visitors to make a difference in the world.

Eventbrite: Redesigning Museums for Good

Music Credits: “Rasputin” by HEPNOVA

Activism Art Design

Wisdom Hackers launching October 6


Wisdom Hackers: An Incubator for Philosophers to Launch Oct. 6th

The 6th of October 2014 sees the launch of an exciting series of philosophical dispatches from young, edgy thinkers from major cities across the globe – Berlin, London, Mexico City, Nairobi, New York, Paris, and San Francisco.

Founded in the summer of 2014, Wisdom Hackers brings together fresh voices from art, activism, technology, and design to ask “ancient questions in modern contexts.” Over the course of eight weeks, participants (affec- tionately called “Seekers”) each explored a deep question and produced meditations on these questions in the form of dispatches. Questions related to the future of democracy, technology consumption, the inherent wisdom of children, the evolution of consciousness, and the nature of Enlightenment in the world today.

The community of “Seekers” includes British novelist Anna Stothard, actress and poet Grace Dunham, Occupy journalist Nathan Schneider, hacker and activist Brett Scott, and artist and TED Fellow Rachel Sussman. For a complete list of Seekers see:

The philosophical dispatches will be published through a new digital literary start-up called The Pigeonhole, starting on October 6th. The Pigeonhole harnesses 21st-century technology to bring back the serialized book, a format made famous by Dickens, Dumas and Dostoevsky. Through the Pigeonhole bespoke app and transmedia platform, Wisdom Hackers will publish their dispatches direct to readers.

“Our aim in partnering with the Pigeonhole is to create new markets for self-expression outside of traditional publishing,” says Wisdom Hackers Founder Alexa Clay. “Our very real challenge is to understand how philosophy and wisdom can be adapted for our digital age. We want to create a learning community of the future where spirited inquiry into life’s burning questions are actively encouraged and shared with a wider public.”

Wisdom Hackers participant and journalist, Nathan Schneider offered his own observations on the experience, “It’s such a relief to be able to have an excuse to put the quest for wisdom at the center of one’s work for a spell. Even if we wouldn’t say it out loud, it’s that quest that secretly motivates so many of us. Wisdom Hackers has been a much-needed coming-out party for clandestine mystics, dreamers, wanderers, and guerrillas in a world that ordinarily prefers not to make a place for them—for us.”

For more information contact:
Alexa Clay
Founder, Wisdom Hackers
+ 49 (0) 176 8473 8303

Kelly Pike
Hello Public Relations
+44 (0) 7824 812520

Relevant links:

Art Audio History Music New York NYC

Petrosino in the news again


New leads in the 1909 murder of Italian-American police detective Joe Petrosino:

“My father’s uncle was called Paolo Palazzotto. He carried out the murder of the first policeman to be killed in Palermo. It was he who killed Joe Petrosino, on behalf of Cascio-Ferro.”

Here is a musical homage to the fallen officer from 2010 that I made with Joe Gualtieri and Nicholas Dibiase.

Art Japan JETAANY New York

Gutai: Splendid Playground Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum

Gutai: Splendid Playground presents the creative spectrum of Japan’s most influential avant-garde collective of the postwar era. Founded by the visionary artist Yoshihara Jirō in 1954, the Gutai group was legendary in its own time. Its young members explored new art forms combining performance, painting, and interactive environments, and realized an “international common ground” of experimental art through the worldwide reach of their exhibition and publication activities. Against the backdrop of wartime totalitarianism, Gutai forged an ethics of creative freedom, breaking through myriad boundaries to create some of the most exuberant works and events in the history of Japanese and international avant-garde art.

The Gutai: Splendid Playground exhibition runs from February 15–May 8, 2013 at the Guggenheim Museum. The exhibition includes a free interactive mobile app, featuring voiceover narration by ME!

JETAANY is organizing an informal group outing to see the exhibition on Saturday, March 16 during “pay as you wish” admission hours from 5:45 pm-7:45 pm. Feel free to arrive anytime and explore the museum at your own pace. I will be at the museum at 5:45 pm on the 16th if you would like to meet up.

RSVP on Facebook (Optional)


Animals Art Brazil



Post nuclear apocalypse, the Cactoelho (Cacto = cactus, coelho = rabbit in Portuguese) is born from the fusion of a dessert jackrabbit and a cactus (the inspiration is the real cactus sitting on my desk). Cute, but spiny, he wanders the world looking for affection in the form of hugs. But that is alas, rather difficult.

Cactoelho is a new cartoon character work in progress.