As the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney undertakes a restructure, downsizing staff numbers as it endeavours to become more nimble and sustainable, curators will soon be re-applying for their jobs.
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Each year since 1977 International Museums Day (18 May) has celebrated and explored an aspect of Museum work. The multiple connections inherent in these figures make them ideal ambassadors for this year’s theme – ‘Museum collections make connections!
Simple objects can take us on fascinating journeys into the past. This Roll-a Road caught my eye in our basement store because of its resonance with modern GPS navigation devices. It is about the same size as a Navman and served much the same purpose, but it was designed for manual operation, its format is portrait rather than landscape, and the user had to know where they were before they could start using it to guide them to their destination.
Norman Hetherington was a creator of wonder, but also, what may not be as well known, he was a creator of edifying realism. Having served in the Second World War, Hetherington got a taste of and developed a talent for performance art, being part of an entertainment unit.
The weekend of November 23/24, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the first screening of the iconic British science fiction television series Doctor Who First screened in the UK on November 23, 1963, the adventures of the nameless wandering time traveller and his British police-box-shaped time machine, the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space, if you’ve always wondered what that acronym meant), have been shown in countries around the world and become firmly embedded in global popular culture.
Recent news of a bionic eye prototype being tested by Bionic Vision Australia is exciting for medical device research in Australia. There’s a number of other ‘retinal prosthesis’ devices being developed in Australia and overseas.
Selfies are rampant today. We can see the phenomenon as harmless fun, as creative self-expression, or perhaps as a threat to civilisation, drowning us in egocentric banality. But of course people have long indulged in self-portraiture, and today I want to focus on an unusual pair of selfies that reveal one man in contrasting settings, telling us two stories about himself.
To mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy, I’ve chosen to feature this naval phone, one of several that were crucial to the operation of the navy’s first flagship, HMAS Australia. I have a particular interest in that ship because my grandfather served on it for much of the First World War. The ‘loud-speaking’ hands-free voice-activated phone was used to communicate between the bridge and engine room.
'The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall'. Che Guevara Computing devices are now so ensconced in our lives that the notion of being deprived of one of these devices is seen as a removal of liberty.
What is your specialty area? Well, I have two art history degrees, so the short answer is art. The long answer is I used to be thoroughly obsessed with gendered architecture, until I discovered contemporary art in the last year of my undergraduate degree.
This neat Australian-made Braille note-taker, the Jot a Dot, is on display in the Powerhouse Museum's version of Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention. I selected it to complement the story of inventor Louis Braille, which came with the exhibition but without any objects.
After walking up the garden path, visitors to this exhibition will enter Wallace & Gromit's front room and discover three showcases filled with inventions. One traces the history of the telephone, from an early wall-mounted wooden box with hand-wound dynamo to the first mobile phone designed and made in Australia.