Tag Archives: culturematic

Lots of creativity comes from

using old forms for new purposes.  

After World War II, on the campus of the University of British Columbia, people took the quonset huts that had housed soliders and turned them into classrooms.

Old form, new purpose.

But there is nothing really all that creative about the quonset hut conversion.  In both cases, old and new, the hut serves as shelter.

What’s more interesting is when we find a new application for something old.  

Exhibit 1

I am corresponding with a woman called Barbara Monteiro.  Barbara has this amazing email style.  She starts her message in the subject heading and then at some point leaps into the text.  It gives her emails pace and a certain breathless excitement.  And in what 10 years of email it’s the first time, I’ve seen email “reinvented” in this way.

Exhibit 2

This morning I came upon a Pinterest site by Ryan Zeigler that uses the 9 picture grid to compose a single photo.  Very clear. http://pinterest.com/ryanjz/

Exhibit 3

In Culturematic, I describe the case of Fantasy football which found a way to repurpose the statistical data pouring out of the NFL to a new and very lucrative purpose. 

More on this theme later.  The client is waiting for me!

Justin Theroux, culturematic

The old career path was simple.  

Fix on an objective.  Commit body and soul.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Stay at it.

No experimenting with other options.  No idle curiosity.  No putzing around.  In sum, no career wanderlust.  

Make a choice.  Stick with it.  

But for some Hollywood stars, this has changed.

Take the case of Justin Theroux.  He’s the one in the poster to the right (bottom row, far left).

Theroux wrote Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2, and stars in the new comedy Wanderlust.  He also dates Jennifer Aniston (bottom row, second from the left).  

Rottenberg of Entertainment Weekly says:

More the most actors, Theroux is a moving target, bouncing between small roles and big ones, art films and blockbusters, dramas and comedies, TV and film.  ”I’ve had the most unpredictable career path — it’s really a career stumble,” says the actor, 40.

We have seen this pattern before.  In Culturematic, I write about the case of James Franco, an actor famous for trying a wide variety of roles and educational programs, all of this at the height of his career.

In Culturematic (out in May!), I compare Franco to Bethenny Frankel.  Both Franco and Frankel are experimental, trying a variety of things.  Whereas Frankel exhibits a simple opportunism, Franco appears to give us something broader.  Here’s what I say in the book.  

The point of Franco’s explorations is not celebrity. Indeed, he appears almost in flight from celebrity. More probably, his motive is curiosity. In the old Hollywood, stardom brought the actor a kind of completion. Nowadays, for some actors, it is seen to close off options and experiences the actor cares about. Franco doesn’t know what he needs to be an actor or a person. And he doesn’t know what he needs to know to stop being an actor. So he needs to find what’s “out there.”

For most of us this sort of thing would be take as a symptom of indecision, perhaps a refusal to commit.  For Hollywood stars, some of them anyhow, it’s a way of doing business.

Both Theroux and Franco have turned their careers into culturematics.  They are using it to search the world for options.  They are prepared to risk a certain blurriness of image to surface options that are otherwise hard to see.  There are to this extent treating their careers, once so simple and well defined, as adaptive exercises.  

This really was a bad idea when Hollywood was a simpler place, when ours was a simpler culture.  But now that our culture is so various and unpredictable, now that Hollywood is a more complicated, less scrutable place, it makes sense to do a career “stumble” as Theroux calls it.  This is an excellent way to discover and make contact with possibilities that would otherwise be invisible.  

First quote: Rottenberg, Josh.  2012.  It’s Time You Got to Know Justin Theroux. Entertainment Weekly.  February 24.  (I can’t find this article on line.  Sorry!)  

Second quote: McCracken, Grant.  2012.  Culturematic.  Harvard Business Review Press. (To be published May 15, 2012.  You may preorder from Amazon by clicking HERE.)

Culturematics come to tourism

Please come have a look at my latest post at the Harvard Business Review “Conversation.”

With the Nextpedition, AmEx appears to be taking a Culturematic approach, taking out the predictable and adding in surprise.

See the post by CLICKING HERE.

Innovating at your public library the culturematic way

My local library recently did a sleep over.  Not for local kids.  But their toys. 

Brilliant.  Here, I thought, was a brilliant little Culturematic to change the way people, and especially kids, thought about their library.

Please come to HBR and see the full essay.  Click here.  

Innovation the culturematic way

Here’s my recent post on the HBR website.  

It’s about a clever renovation at the St. Regis hotel.

This is, I believe, a great example of creating innovation through a knowledge of culture and a shift in perspective.

See the full text by CLICKING HERE.

Culturematics in the workplace

My wife works at a place called Sterling Brands. Recently, the company next door, a fashion merchandizer, left some mannequins by the freight elevator.  

In no time at all, Sterling people had “liberated” the mannequins, spirited them into the office and pressed them into service.  They dressed them, reassembled them, animated them, reassigned their identities, and generally made them live.  The office bloomed with good ideas.

CLICK HERE for the way I wrote this up for the Harbard Business Review Blog.  

These mannequins worked as a kind of culturematic for Sterling.  They served as a spontaneous experiment.  No one could say ahead of time what people would do with these mannequins or the kinds of interactions and provocations they would create.  But stuff happened.  Creativity flowed.  The intellectual and the social capital of the firm grew.  The mannequins proved amazingly productive of meaning…considering the fact they just stand there.

Breakfast: breaking stuff quickly

I have been digging around doing research for the new book.  And I just came across a not-agency called Breakfast.  It sounds like a Culturematic powerhouse.

It is also very likable.  Breakfast has done several brilliant things, including:

1.  A bike called Precious that reported its experience was ridden across the country.

“Precious’s brain is an on-board device that captures all of his experiences, combined with a cloud-based system that analyzes those experiences. Put this all together and get a bike that’s able to express itself in his own words. He shares his up-to-the-moment thoughts and has a subconscious which allows him to dream about all he’s been through.” (from the Breakfast website: http://www.breakfastny.com)

2.  A red phone that they leave with prospective clients. The client only needs to pick up the phone to be put in touch with one of the Breakfast partners.

I am honestly not sure how this works, but I think the idea is that Breakfast leaves the phone at the clients without much explanation. Who can resist picking up a red phone, especially when it has a blinking red light?

Client reaction? Here’s one, transcribed from the Breakfast website. It is the Senior Vice President of Entertainment Marketing at Turner. She says “This is the coolest thing I have had any agency send! This is awesome!!!”

3.  All of this is done in a manner of that is as seeking, forthright, and scientific as possible. See the “full disclosure” diagram above and especially its “seperatory funnel” and “client fluid.”  The Breakfast website sums things up:

Just like the brilliant Edison and Bell discovered, inventing groundbreaking technology doesn’t happen first go. Think, draw, prototype, break. Then do it all again. We take pride in the fact that we break a lot of things. With purpose, and in an effort to invent new and unique ways to help clients reach people.

For more on Breakfast and co-founders Andrew Zolty, Mattias Gunneras, and Michael Lipton, go here.

Recasting NCIS, a culturematic in action

Choose one from each column.  

Keep choosing until you have recast NCIS to your liking.  

Notice the dramatic difference a casting difference makes.  This is culture in action.

For extra points, identify the mechanics of this Culturematic.

Culturematic II: the nuts and bolts

(please read yesterday’s post before reading this one)

The point of the Culturematic is that it can “think” things we cannot.  

Barry Bonds and David Brooks, these two people are worlds away.  I would submit that there are virtually no naturally occurring circumstances in which their names would appear together.  

More to the point, they are disparate elements in a very diverse culture, so that even if we were to find these names sitting together, we would dismiss this as noise.  Actively making a conjunction between them?  Unthinkable.  No, really, I mean this literally: unthinkable.  

What I needed then was a simple program that would make random combinations.  I can’t program.  I don’t even know the basics of HTML.  (Sad, really, but there you are.)

So I was going to have to find one on line.  It took all of Saturday and most of Sunday, hunting first for the right search terms and then for the code.

Eventually I found The Virtual Professor.  This is a wonderful invention of someone at the University of Chicago Writing Program.  The VP creates spectacularly inflated pieces of academic rhetoric.  The author claims his/her intent is not rhetorical.  Hmm.

I lifted the code from TVP and I downloaded a trial version of Adobe Dreamweaver.   So now I was working with code I did not understand on a program I did not know.  

First, I replaced TVP noun list with the following

Noun = new Array();
Noun[0] = “Mel Gibson”;
Noun[1] = “Hulk Hogan”;
Noun[2] = “Bono”;
Noun[3] = “Barry Bonds”;
Noun[4] = “David Letterman”;
Noun[5] = “Hillary Clinton”;
Noun[6] = “Martha Stewart”;
Noun[7] = “Tyra Banks”;
Noun[8] = “Janice Jackson”;
Noun[9] = “David Brooks”;
Noun[10] = “Jon Stewart”;
Noun[11] = “Tom Ford”;
Noun[12] = “Oprah Winfrey”;
Noun[13] = “Arianna Huffington”;
Noun[14] = “Mos Def”;
Noun[15] = “LL Cool J”;
Noun[16] = “Mark Harmon”;
Noun[17] = “Bryan Singer”;
Noun[18] = “Judd Apatow”;
Noun[19] = “Jennifer Lopez”;
Noun[20] = “Jon Stewart”;
Noun[21] = “Malcolm Gladwell”;
Noun[22] = “Sean Combs”;
Noun[23] = “Christopher Hitchens”;
Noun[24] = “Graydon Carter”;
Noun[25] = “Kathy Griffin”;
Noun[26] = “Barbara Walters”;
Noun[28] = “Henry Kissenger”;
Noun[27] = “Skip Bayles”;
Noun[29] = “Joss Whedon”;
Noun[30] = “Johnny Depp”;
Noun[31] = “Francis Ford Coppola”;
Noun[32] = “Tom Cruise”;
Noun[33] = “Lorne Michaels”;
Noun[34] = “Diane Swayer”;
Noun[35] = “Katy Perry”;
Noun[36] = “Quinton Tarrantino”;
Noun[37] = “Madonna”;
Noun[38] = “JJ Abrams”;
Noun[39] = “Tina Fey”;
Noun[40] = “Charlie Sheen”;
Noun[41] = “Stephen Hawking”;
Noun[42] = “Natalie Portman”;
Noun[43] = “Hugh Laurie”;
Noun[44] = “Clay Shirky”;
Noun[45] = “Tiger Woods”;
Noun[46] = “Jay-Z”;
Noun[47] = “LeBron James”;
Noun[48] = “Jennifer Aniston”;
Noun[49] = “Howard Stern”;
Noun[50] = “Glenn Beck”;
Noun[51] = “Ryan Seacrest”;
Noun[52] = “Kenny Chesney”;
Noun[53] = “Robert Pattison”;
Noun[54] = “Cameron Dias”;
Noun[55] = “Stephanie Meyer”;
Noun[56] = “Stephen King”;
Noun[57] = “Sarah Jessica Parker”;
Noun[58] = “Lil Wayne”;
Noun[59] = “Julia Roberts”;
Noun[60] = “Brad Pitt”;
Noun[61] = “Richard Branson”;
Noun[62] = “Bill Clinton”;
Noun[63] = “Lady Gaga”;
Noun[64] = “Sandra Bullock”;
Noun[65] = “Simon Cowell”;
Noun[66] = “Pink”;
Noun[67] = “Dr. Phil”;
Noun[68] = “Beyonce”;
Noun[69] = “Taylor Swift”

Not a perfect list.  I was watching the English version of Being Human on Apple TV (my birthday gift) and who knows what effect this had.  Two days later, its clear to me that this list ought to have cast the net more widely than it does.  More sports heroes, politicians, journalists, captains of industry and so on.  I mean “Rupert Murdock,” how could I miss him?

I contemplated the idea that I should combine two names and a pretext.  So I added some pretexts or “modifiers.”  As with any Culturematic, I wasn’t really sure what it was I was trying to do.  As with any Culturematic, the idea seemed to be to “try it and see.”  As I noted in yesterday’s post, one of the output here was:

Lady Gaga and Glenn Beck struggle to establish a parent-child dynamic.

And I liked this a lot.  I could engage in the wildest thought possible and it would take me years and years to think of something so successfully strange.  (The simpler option would be to take one name, not two, from my noun list.  I didn’t test this.)

But was this combo when that was useful for any useful purpose?  That will take some conjuring.  I think it tells us at least that the postmodernists are wrong when they insist things have been draining of meaning.  If this were true, this output would be less strange, less distant, less hard to put out.  

Here is my list of pretexts.  They are a bit daft.  Again remember I was watching Being Human.  (They sound now like vaguely like David Letterman “top ten” lists.  But you have to try.)

Modifier = new Array();
Modifier[0] = “trying to persuade Les Moonves to back their new show”;
Modifier[1] = “trying to set up a Fair Trade Network in South America”;
Modifier[2] = “consider swapping identities”;
Modifier[3] = “have agreed to sing the National anthem at next year’s Superbowl”;
Modifier[4] = “are thinking about buying an African nation, a small one”;
Modifier[5] = “are starting up a hip little art gallery in the NYC meat packing district”;
Modifier[6] = “are breaking into a Hershey’s factor under cover of darkness”;
Modifier[7] = “eating together in a Paris cafe”;
Modifier[8] = “fighting for a place in line outside an Apple store”;
Modifier[10] = “sharing a Glee episode”;
Modifier[11] = “going to a Harley rally”;
Modifier[12] = “join forces to fight the power”;
Modifier[14] = “ask Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to fund their Tikibar”;
Modifier[15] = “working hard on their syncopated swimming routine”;
Modifier[16] = “take to a lighthouse in Newfoundland”;
Modifier[17] = “driving an Airstream to SxSW”
Modifier[18] = “struggle to establish a parent-child dynamic”;
Modifier[20] = “fighting the tyranny of big budgets”;
Modifier[21] = “consider swapping identities”;
Modifier[23] = “are thinking about giving up tenure”;
Modifier[24] = “consider swamping identities”;
Modifier[25] = “come up with a new peace plan for the Middle East”;
Modifier[26] = “wondering why all men can’t be brothers”;
Modifier[27] = “looking for a future on reality TV”;
Modifier[28] = “surfing the conceptual drift”;
Modifier[29] = “hoping for a show of their own on ESPN”;
Modifier[30] = “in a Paris cafe”;
Modifier[31] = “working the tension between nature and history”;
Modifier[32] = “looking for their own show on USANetwork”;
Modifier[33] = “deciding who has the upper hand”;
Modifier[34] = “think we’ve been a little hard on Tiger Woods”;
Modifier[35] = “wondering how we invented pop culture”;
Modifier[36] = “have had it up to here with ‘high’ culture”;
Modifier[37] = “riding the new train to Tibet, under protest”;
Modifier[38] = “can’t decide: Antigue Roadshow or Pawn Stars”;
Modifier[39] = “putting the industry in the culture industry”;
Modifier[40] = “are thinking of going all artisanal all the time”;
Modifier[41] = “, working on new concepts of civil society”;
Modifier[42] = “thinking someone should send Charlie Sheen a fruit basket”;
Modifier[43] = “committing to post-Hegelian criticism one day at a time”;
Modifier[44] = “trying to decide which one is the Other”;
Modifier[45] = “winning, duh!”;
Modifier[46] = “mining indeterminacy”;
Modifier[47] = “think there is really something rum about the academic world”;
Modifier[48] = “in a Paris cafe”;
Modifier[49] = “sky diving together”;
Modifier[50] = “Venture capital in the intellectual world”;
Modifier[51] = “are wondering, ‘that’s what you’re going with?'”;
Modifier[52] = “think it’s perfectly ok to answer a question with a question”;
Modifier[53] = “think it’s not too late for you to become an anthropologist”;
Modifier[54] = “are building their own Culturematic laboratory”;
Modifier[55] = “wonder if Austin is still as great as it used to be”;
Modifier[56] = “Outward bound”;
Modifier[57] = “believe in disinterested observation”;
Modifier[58] = “an anthropocentric experiment”;
Modifier[59] = “rocking the Dewey Decimal System”;
Modifier[60] = “want two of the roles in Being Human”;
Modifier[61] = “sharpen their chops as master story tellers”;
Modifier[62] = “are they commodified objects? Oh, come on!”;
Modifier[63] = “embrace corporeality?”
Modifier[64] = “looking for triumph in all the wrong places”
Modifier[65] = “famous, but still looking for their mooring”
Modifier[66] = “are not sure in all comes down to factual knowledge, after all”;
Modifier[67] = “still believe in the Red Sox”;
Modifier[68] = “thinking of staring a trailer court in the public sphere”;
Modifier[69] = “went off Starbucks well before you”;
Modifier[70] = “looking for hidden messages and the secret code”;
Modifier[71] = “opening their own digital agency”;
Modifier[72] = “searching for autonomous selfhood”;
Modifier[73] = “have heard some stuff about Area 51”;
Modifier[74] = “still waiting for the Wikipedia page”;
Modifier[75] = “fighting the effects of rank prejudice”;
Modifier[76] = “think LeBron should have stayed in Cleveland”;
Modifier[77] = “thinking about switching homes and lives”;
Modifier[78] = “switched at birth!”;
Modifier[79] = “struggle to remain civil”;
Modifier[80] = “well concealed Amtrak enthusiasts”;
Modifier[81] = “treats celebrity as a contagion”;
Modifier[82] = “exploring materiality in a digtal age”;
Modifier[83] = “learning the rules of a celebrity economy”;
Modifier[84] = “searching for a narrative sequence that does not require a car chase”;
Modifier[85] = “unsafe at any speed”;
Modifier[86] = “boldly embracing romantic inwardness”;
Modifier[87] = “two words; road trip now”;
Modifier[89] = “are not binary opposites”;
Modifier[90] = “still hoping for a chance in Triple A baseball”;
Modifier[91] = “taunting the abyss”;
Modifier[92] = “think Brazil is where the future happens”;
Modifier[93] = “wish that Gen Xers would just get over it”;
Modifier[94] = “really sick and tired of enlightenment rationalism”;
Modifier[95] = “speaking the unspoken”;
Modifier[96] = “mainstreaming marginal worlds”;
Modifier[97] = “knowing the unknowable”;
Modifier[98] = “assault the market place”;
Modifier[99] = “hoping for a spot on TMZ”;
Modifier[100] = “putting celebrity gossip behind them”;

So now the hard part.  How to change the Virtual Professor Code in order to make this Culturematic.  It’s really just horrible to admit to this.  I just kept making changes in the code with the hope of producing the output I was looking for.  The Javanese have a metaphor for stupidity: a water buffalo listening to a symphony.  Consider me so.  Here’s what I “did” to the code.

function Pootwattle(){

subject = pickAny(Noun);
object = pickAnother(Noun, subject);

bookref = pickAny(BookRef);
reviewverb = pickAny(ReviewVerb);

//The sentences are constructed here:

var PootSays = “” + subject + ” ” +
verb + ” ” + object + ” ” + objmodifier + “”;

var SmedSays = “” + objmodifier + ” ” + “”;

There must be several people out there who can do better than this.  Please do better than this!


I owe thanks to three inspirations for this exercise.  

First, to Bud Caddell for showing me that the spirit, indeed, the genius, of the Victorian inventor in contemporary guise.  

Second, to David Bausola, aka “zero influencer,” for his brilliant work creating, to use the fancy linguistics lingo, “syntagmatic chains out of paradigmatic classes.”

Third, to the Writing Program at the University of Chicago.  Please would you let me know the name of the author of this program. 

Build your own Culturematic. (I did.)

Imagine hitting “generate” and getting:

Mos Def and Tina Fey

This is your output from a Culturematic machine.  

The machine does something really simple. It selects two names from a list at random.

The point of the exercise?  Practically, this Culturematic machine could be used for making culture, specifically, casting movies and TV shows. Formally, it can be used for exploring our culture.  

I have run my Culturematic many times now, and some of the outputs are not interesting.  

Bill Clinton and Barbara Walters

This isn’t especially interesting because we can so easily imagine one interviewing the other. 

Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh

This is not interesting, because, well, you know.  They come from the same part of the world.

Madonna and Lady Gaga.


It’s when the Culturematic brings together far-flung worlds that our interest is piqued.  (At least mine is.  I realize that I am working off my own idiosyncratic reactions here.)

Mos Def and Tina Fey

This is interesting.  I can think about Mos Def.  And I can think about Tina Fey.  Thinking about them at the same time is difficult…and therefore interesting.  

It is precisely because they are far flung creatures that we would not normally think to bring them together.  

That’s what the Culturematic is for.  Because it’s a machine, it doesn’t know from culture. It’s happy to make combinations we wouldn’t think of.   And that’s what makes it valuable: for casting and for exploration.  (“Date Night” starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell was interesting. Replace Steve Carell with Mos Def and interesting becomes interestinger.)

Version 2

In this version, the Culturematic takes two names and combines them with a phrase.  Here are some of the outputs I have got from my Culturematic:

Lady Gaga and Glenn Beck struggle to establish a parent-child dynamic.

Pink and Richard Branson, working on new concepts of civil society.

Christopher Hitchens and Graydon Carter, looking for triumph in all the wrong places.

This is interesting for another reason.  It forces us to take our cultural knowledge (celebrities are particularly useful cultural knowledge: shared, vivid, and well distributed) and use it in new ways.  We struggle to think about how Lady Gaga and Glenn Beck could have any relationship, let alone a parent-child one.  

Ok, I have run out of time.  Tomorrow, I will give you the logic and the code for my Culturematic.  (Wait till you see how I wired it together.  It’s a real mess.)  I’m hoping you will want to build one too.  (Because I know that you can do a better job.)  


Thanks for the University of Chicago writing laboratory for their precedent.  Full details tomorrow. 

Scott Caan discovers culture’s secret machinery

Producing TV that’s fresh and interesting is a challenge.

The moment we, the audience, gets a whiff of formula, we’re gone.

What’s an actor to do?  If he’s Scott Caan, there’s not one problem but three.

First, he’s got a part in a police procedural.  If there is something that is over-formed and formulaic it’s the police procedural, that great work horse of American television.  (I’m guessing that between them the Law and Order and CSI series produced maybe 10% of prime time.)  We know this formula inside out.

Second, Caan is playing a familiar character (Danno).  Third, he’s playing this character on a once famous show (Hawaii Five-O).  So Caan is trebly bound: familiar character, familiar show, familiar form.  Caan had virtually no degrees of freedom. His hands were tied. He was virtually obliged to "phone it in."

Caan found a way out of this artistic captivity.  As he told Entertainment Weekly,

The last thing I wanted to end up being was a cliche.  I wanted to be fresh and different, so I actually based my character on a criminal

Hey presto. You play "criminal" and when this gets strained through "cop," something magical happens.  We the audience can’t see "criminal" any longer. But "cop" looks a little like something we haven’t seen before.  This cop zigs when we expect him to zag.  Who knows what he’s going to do next.

It’s a clever tactic.  It would be interesting to know if this is something Caan devised or whether it is a traditional tactic in the actor’s skill set.

Let’s assume the former and call this the Caanian culturematic, a way to make popular culture that does not feel like predictable culture.


McCracken, Grant. 2009.  Culturematic: a device for making culture in two easy steps.  This Blog Sits At The Intersection of Anthropology and Economics.  September 21.  here.

Rice, Lynette.  2010.  Scott Caan: Fall TV’s new action star.  Entertainment Weekly. November 5. here.

A marketing miracle

Gareth Kay, head planner at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, was asked to do something for the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.  There wasn’t much money. And museums are notoriously difficult to making meanings for.  (They believe themselves immaculately formed.)

But Kay and his team put to work and eventually they created what I think is a perfectly brilliant strategy.  Here’s how Gareth describes it.  

[We] landed on the idea of helping people release their inner Salvador through a photo App that could create surrealist overlays, a modern day ode to the brilliance that is Dali. We decided to partner with someone to give us critical mass of users and distribution, so we reached out to Hipstamatic. They liked the idea so much that they have worked with us to create a lens and film pak for the app (the Dali Museum Goodpak), waved their fee and pledged to donate any income from sales of the pack (it costs 99c) to the museum. [W]e’ll also be projecting images taken with the pak on to the museum’s new building on it’s opening night.

Oh, how entirely interesting.  In London last week, I stole a moment to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and especially the Tudor rooms…and came out knowing less about Early Modern England than I did going in.  The V&A appeared determined to put as much glass and exhibition tech between the visitor and the objects as possible, and to withhold most of the ideas and emotions that would have made these objects live.  In an age when almost every other institution is disintermediating at a ferocious pace, it was especially tragic.  

How wonderful then to see Kay at work.  His Hipstamatic strategy is all about the take-away, about making the Dali sensibility available to the world.  Cheap and cheerful, unassuming but in its way quite engaging, the Dali pak makes the museum portable.  Dali, I think, would have been amused, and the Museum, well, who knows how museums think, but it’s hard to imagine the Dali Museum isn’t thrilled.  I took the photo above from a speeding car in New York City yesterday.  Thus, thanks to Kay and company, did the museum come to live in the life of someone thousands of miles away.

We’ve got several of the new orthodoxies of marketing at work here.  The Hipstamatic strategy gives us participation, cocreation, and transformation, all in all a wonderful little culturematic.  It gives us the opportunity to install and then experiment with the sensibility for which the museum stands.  Kay makes something that makes meanings for the visitor and in the process the museum.  This is a fine order of meaning manufacture.  

Hats off to Kay, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners and Hipstamatic.  


Kay, Gareth.  2010.  Released Your Inner Dali.  Brand New.  November 5.  here.