You Like This: Handpick the Work for an Upcoming Exhibition

You could say 100,000 heads are better than one.

That’s the aim, at least, of the crowdsourcing phenomenon, where large groups of people pool their tastes, talents and resources into a project. Examples include open design calls for a company’s new logo or calls for solutions to logistical problems although, if loosely defined, you can see the phenomenon everywhere. Crowdsourcing is especially popular in new media, where web platforms like Reddit and Digg use it to prioritize information that is the most meaningful to its users.

In this way, museums have begun utilizing the phenomenon to create crowd-curated exhibitions. In 2008, the Brooklyn Museum put this method to use with “Click!”, a photography exhibition that invited the museum’s visitors to participate in the selection process. Featured artworks were installed according to their relative ranking from the juried process.

With the success of this crowdsourced exhibition and many others like it, we thought, why not give it a try here at the Museum? The Museum’s permanent collection is made up of over 3,500 (and growing) pieces of art in all different shapes and sizes.  We can’t display them all at once, so you’ll have the pick of the litter. The exhibition, titled You Like This: A Democratic Approach to the Permanent Collection, will be on display October 6 to January 15, but will be gathering your input about the exhibition beginning now.

Your feedback will be collected in a three-step process. We’ll start with a short survey you can fill out online or at the Museum that will have you rate your favorite types of art. From there, the Museum will select several voters to serve on an advisory panel to discuss the results and narrow down the choices. After that, you will be able to vote online and “like” the specific pieces that will be a part of the exhibition. We are looking for about 50 different pieces of art to display, so let’s get crowdsourcing!

Keep updated with the entire “You Like This” process by checking back to this blog, joining our Facebook discussion group, or volunteering for the advisory panel. Happy curating.

Still curious about crowdsourcing? Watch this video, check out or read these articles from NPR and The New York Times.

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