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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Museum Victoria ‘Access All Areas’ podcast adventures

Institution: 

Museum Victoria

Designer: 

In-house

Category: 

Audio | Visual | Podcast

Why

Access all areas podcast adventures take us on tour behind-the-scenes at the museum. We invite ourselves into laboratories to chat with scientists, sneak into collection stores to interview objects, and gate crash exhibition opening functions to talk to the who’s who of the Museum world.  It’s a VIP virtual museum visit in a quirky radio documentary style. The adventures also travel in time and space to curious corners of museum universe. The website component provides links to more information and other activities. 

1.      ‘Podcast adventures’ captures the diversity of voices and activities at Museum Victoria. It’s a pastiche of passionate people.

·         We join PhD students on an evening field trip to a swamp to study frogs. (5. Pondcast)

·         We corner special Museum dinner guests eating a menu that follows the evolution of life on earth to record their insights. (9. Evolution: life on Earth in 7 Courses)

·         We paparazzi-ed visiting lecturers (3. Celebrity Rocks) and curators. (15.Be My Guest: Star Wars)

·         We gave ourselves poetic licence to tour the Science department as an excuse to chat to really interesting busy science types. (26. Science (with poetic licence))

·         We drank coffee with marine researchers and we now make ‘ethical’ seafood menu selections. (10. Evolution: the seafood diet)

·         We even interrogated ‘Sean the museum cafeteria master chef’ on how he cook up the feathered dinosaur (the chicken)... just to keep it real. (2. Dinos of a Feather)

 

2.      We gate crash exhibition openings and museum events to mingle with the ‘A’ list and VIPS.

·         We steal finger foods then mingle with politicians, curators, designers and the work experience student for a rare insider view. (15.Be My Guest: Star Wars), (16.Be My Guest: Pompeii),(19.Be My Guest: Wild thing), (13.Be My Guest: Dino walk and talk ),

·         We poll the exhibition critics, the real VIPs (the museum visitor) to get an outsider opinion. (13.Be My Guest: Dino walk and talk), (19.Be My Guest: Wild thing), (20. Roll out the steam engines)

·         We take you for a ride on a steam engine and toot horns with the mini car club members. (20. Roll out the steam engines)

 

3.      We record rare audio moments and make them immortal.

·         We imagined the moments when our audience is smiling because the ‘audio illusions’ we played them from our collection have messed with their minds. (25. Two words... sounds like ... auditory illusion)

·         Moments like playing an old Edison wax cylinders never heard before by Museum staff, or hearing the missionary’s message to the natives on a special cardboard phonograph and learning to read the different parts frog mating calls are all magical. (The Edison cylinders feature in episode 1-4), (23. Sounds like tech spirit) (6. Knee deep... knee deep)

·         Rare moments include interviewing the delightful spectrum of personalities of our collection objects and specimens. We encountered characters like a self conscious dinosaur, hilarious bees, pumice stones with rock star attitude and a chameleon that changed tune mid-sentence. (Episodes 1-4)

·         We created a ‘very museum moment’ mobile phone ring tone –it’s what a Museum Victoria curator proposed the squawks of an extinct dinosaur, the Qantasaurus, may have sounded like. (24. It has a natural ring tone)

 

4.      We can transcend time and space: that’s why we love radio, the pictures are so much better.

·         We tried to make evolution digestible, so we concertina-ed life on earth in a 7 course meal and a 15 minute podcast ... and on the 7th day we rested.  (9. Evolution: life on Earth in 7 Courses)

·         The podcast time machine controls allowed us to interview Charles Darwin to celebrate his 200thbirthday and 150 years since his publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’. (8. Charles Darwin: the interview)

·         We visited the museum archive documents and the late 1940’s to eavesdrop on conversations surrounding the strange case of the Butterfly specimen theft from a number of Australian museums. (18. The strange case of the Butterfly theft )

·         A picture says a thousand words, and we recorded them when we spoke to researchers about the characters in history that commissioned and created Museum Victoria’s first zoological drawings in the late 1800’s. (12. McCoy’s Zoological specimens of Victoria)

 

5.      We are kind of making oral histories of natural historians, history historians and education people.  

·         We inadvertently created great opportunities for oral histories with historians.  We asked a succession of curators in charge of Phar Lap the famous race horse what objects they were particularity fond of during their time as cultural strapper and curator. (21.  A short history of Phar Lap curators)

·         The occasional pursuit of an episode idea led us to track down and record the rich recollections of retired curators and retired honorary research fellows. (25. Two words... sounds like ... auditory illusion), (6. Knee deep ... knee deep)

·         In the spirit of Museum collecting, we collected ‘favourite celestial bodies’ as nominated by the planetarium staff   and ‘favourite elements of the periodic table’ as nominated by Scienceworks public programs staff. (14. Exposure to the Elements), (11. Its international year of Astronomy).