January 18, 2012

Arts Management students launch interactive website to complement Pacific Standard Time

Students in Claremont Graduate University’s Arts Management program have launched an interactive website to help the public engage and explore the unprecedented Pacific Standard Time art exhibitions taking place across Southern California.
Pacific Standard Talk (www.pacificstandardtalk.com) helps users find Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, recommends family-friendly shows, and serves as a hub for discussions about Pacific Standard Time events. More features will be added in the coming months.

The site is the project of students in Visiting Professor Doug McClennan’s fall semester class “The Community Formerly Known as the Audience: Adapting Arts Organizations in an Era of Infinite Choice.” The course examines how technology and other tools can be used to build deeper engagement among artists, galleries, and audiences. It challenges students to find solutions to one of the most pressing challenges facing the art world.

Over the past decade, social media and communications technology have fundamentally changed how artists interact with their communities. In the traditional model, artists and art organizations created art and displayed it for the public to view passively.  Now, audiences increasingly expect opportunities to interact with exhibits, artists, and other viewers.

Most art organizations are struggling to meet that demand.

“Every arts organization in the country is trying to figure out how this new dynamic works,” said McClennan. “In building Pacific Standard Talk, our students looked at the best thinking and emerging principles, and created a series of experiments to test those ideas. I was impressed with how their thinking evolved and the growth they showed over the past semester. This is truly great work.”

Pacific Standard Time served as the ideal testing ground for the project. Launched in fall of 2011, Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty to explore the art and cultural history of Southern California during the seminal period of 1945-1980. It involves more than 70 museums, galleries, and arts institutions across Southern California. Events run through May 2012.

Students in McClennan’s spring semester class will continue the Pacific Standard Talk project, adding features such as live streaming of events. They will also dig deeper into how to promote the site and the ways in which users interact with it.

McLennan is an arts journalist and critic and the founder and editor of ArtsJournal.com, the leading aggregator of arts journalism on the internet. Prior to starting ArtsJournal, he was arts columnist and music critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has written on the arts for numerous publications, including as music critic for Salon.com, and for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and the London Evening Standard. He has been a music critic for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and is a contributor to the new edition of Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians.

Follow Pacific Standard Talk on Twitter @PSTtalk.