Last year I went to this conference, but really didn’t know anyone. This year I’m a little more invested in my career, I know people from last year, and it was a little less overwhelming. I had a great time. I’m excited about the possibility of implementing social tagging into our image access catalog (which I need to research more before pursuing it)… I’m excited about becoming a religious user (and possibly contributor) to the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus. I’m excited about the possibility of a regional chapter. I’m excited about the idea of creating long German words for things which there are no English words (like the feeling of nostalgia for something you never actually experienced). I’m excited for next year’s conference.
…And Kansas City was pretty nice! I forget how arid the southwest is (even Colorado) compared to much of the rest of the U.S. Admittedly, we were in the Plaza area, which is basically an outdoor mall with some hotels, but I got out a little bit, and I like the vegetation. Especially in spring, when it’s not too hot, but still pretty lush…. Lots of green space, too, which is so nice, and so tragically uncommon, it seems. I loved this sculpture. And the art at the Nelson-Atkins and Kemper were pretty good, as was ArtSpace. Shockingly fabulous works: Raphaelle Peale’s Venus Rising from the Sea — A Deception, some Canalettos, Max Ernst’s Capricorn, and Millet’s Waiting at the Nelson Atkins, a nice Pettibon print and a series called Juarez Suite by Terry Allen at Artspace. Especially the Juarez one. I’m really into the actual written narration of the work on the work itself. Screw didactic museum labels — trying to translate the poetry of an artwork into accessible “aboutness” prose is soul-squelching, especially when it’s on the wall right next to the work. Allen says something (on her print) like “stones always represent acts of senselessness,” and scatters her prints with stones on the bed, on the floor. There are no people in her narrative sequence, just the sense that they were there — the old “presence of absence.”
In addition to this: interesting conversations on academic hazing, interoperable systems, information, taxonomies, tagging, documentaries, slides, user interfaces, color correction, workflow, work study, malaria medication, Trinidad (the island), and more. On the whole: the week was (in so many ways) stimulating, encouraging, eye-opening, and fun.