For the past several months, we’ve been working with filmmaker Matt Wolf on an upcoming video project. The video is in the final stages of editing, but I wanted to take a moment to write about the process. When we first met with Matt, he had the idea to do a rapid-fire combine of visitor portraits and objects in the collection. Because his vision was so closely tied to our mission (which considers the visitor experience paramount), we thought it might be an interesting twist if the collection photography used in piece was actually taken by our visitors.
We had been running a Brooklyn Museum Flickr group and had always been thrilled by the diversity and the quality of the shots that had been submitted to the group over the years. For the video, we selected 10 photographers who had been part of our Flickr community to participate by photographing areas of the permanent collection. Similar to our earlier Visitor Video Competition, one of the most interesting elements became how each photographer captured objects in a distinctly different way. As shots started to come in for review, I kept finding myself really looking at objects again and noticing how different the photography differed from our own. Objects that I see every day, took on new life and we hope these different takes will help show off the museum in a new way in the final video.
The object photography is stunningly diverse and all the photographers did a phenomenal job coming to the Museum over and over again so Matt would have plenty of material to work with. With so much great work to choose from, I’m glad I didn’t have to select the final takes going into the video. That said, I wanted to share a couple of my own personal favorites from each photographer. You can also check out some of the favorites from each photographer in the Brooklyn Museum: Spring 2008 Video Project group on Flickr.
Shelley Bernstein is the former Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she spearheaded digital projects with public participation at their center. In the most recent example—ASK Brooklyn Museum—visitors ask questions using their mobile devices and experts answer in real time. She organized three award-winning projects—Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process.
Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain's New York Business and her work on the Museum's digital strategy has been featured in the New York Times.
In 2016, Shelley joined the staff at the Barnes Foundation as the Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer.