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jerryking : artifacts   17

France urged to return museum artefacts to Africa
November 23, 2018 | Financial Times David Pilling, Africa Editor.

France should permanently return tens of thousands of cultural artefacts plundered from Africa during colonialism, according to a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron that could send tremors around the museums of Europe.

In the report, submitted to the French leader on Friday, the authors accused museums with large African collections — much of which was ransacked or purchased under duress — of being part of “a system of appropriation and alienation” that deprived Africans of the “spiritual nourishment that is the foundation of their humanity”.

....more than 90 per cent of the “material cultural legacy” of sub-Saharan Africa — including palace doors, thrones, carved heads and bronzes — was outside the continent. Europeans, it said, were straining to justify their continued possession of such treasure, while “Africans find themselves struggling to recover the thread of an interrupted memory”.

France alone, the report said, had at least 90,000 African objects, including from modern-day Chad, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Guinea. French collections also had artefacts from Ethiopia and the former British colonies of Ghana and Nigeria. Many items labelled as “gifts” were the spoils of war, it said.
colonialism  France  restitution  museums  Africa  sub-Saharan_Africa  Emmanuel_Macron  artifacts  repatriation  heritage  antiquities  art  art_history  collectibles  cultural_institutions 
november 2018 by jerryking
Tales from the storage unit: inside a booming industry | Financial Times
July 27, 2018 | FT| Daniel Cohen.

Across the UK, there are now about 1,160 indoor self-storage sites like it, according to the Self-Storage Association (SSA), plus 345 sites offering outdoor containers, serving a total of about 450,000 customers. The industry has an annual turnover of about £750m, and the amount of storage space has almost doubled in a decade, to more than 44m sq ft last year — equivalent to 0.7 sq ft for every person in the country. That’s more than anywhere else in Europe, though it’s still far behind the US, where the figure is an astonishing 7 sq ft per person.....The service offered by self-storage operators is fundamentally very simple. If you choose a dedicated, indoor site, as most do, all that really varies is the size of the unit and the length of occupancy. Customers tend to overestimate how much space they require and underestimate how much it will cost......Increasingly, however, the industry has come to prize new, purpose-built warehouses. ......There are plenty of triggers for putting things in storage. “We deal with the three most stressful things: moving, death and divorce,”......For many people, self-storage is a short-term solution to a pressing need. Other customers, however, simply consider it part of their daily life.....The popularity of storage can’t simply be explained by lack of space, though. If that were the case, the industry wouldn’t be so successful in the US, where it experienced annual growth of 7 per cent between 2012 and 2017, ...even though the average home there is bigger than anywhere else in the world. It’s also about how many possessions we have. Frank Trentmann, author of Empire of Things, points to the accumulation of clothing and electrical items over the past few decades. But the rise also reflects wider social changes,.....“You used to buy a table or a bed when you married, and then you kept it until your partner died. Now, you have partnerships changing much more often, more flexible family arrangements. So people end up having multiple versions of the same article.”..For business customers, self-storage is a different equation. Businesses account for a quarter of all self-storage customers in the UK, but they take up 39 per cent of the storage space.....The growth of self-storage also owes something to the surge in start-ups....There are obstacles. The competition for new sites is intense. “If we look at a site, it could well be one that a discount food retailer is looking at, car showrooms, budget hotels, student housing,”
booming  storage  self-storage  United_Kingdom  purpose-built  possessions  artifacts  warehouses  social_changes  hoarding  start_ups 
july 2018 by jerryking
Self-Storage Startups Offer Pickup and Delivery - WSJ
By Peter Grant
June 20, 2017

A handful of startups such as Clutter Inc. and MakeSpace Labs Inc. are using the latest in logistics and web technology to offer what they claim is a more efficient and user-friendly way for people to store furniture, keepsakes, sports equipment and other stuff that has been clogging up their basements and attics.

They work differently from the 40,000 or so traditional self-storage facilities that basically offer garages or sheds for customers to fill up as they please. The new competitors pick up and deliver items instead of forcing customers to schlep items to their facilities like the incumbent firms do. The upstarts also photograph what they store, and customers can view their items online and ask for some or all of them back with a click.....Executives at the big self-storage companies, like Public Storage , CubeSmart and Extra Space Storage Inc., say they aren’t worried. They say the startups’ costs of transportation and handling will be so high they won’t be able to price their service competitively.......Ms. Durkay predicted that the big companies will respond if the startups become more competitive. “To the extent that we have a…revolution in the way people are using storage facilities, the management teams may be able to pivot and modify their strategies.”

Mr. Rosen, of MakeSpace, said he isn’t surprised Public Storage failed at what he and others are trying to do. “They’re a real-estate business,” he said. “What do they know about logistics?”......Executives at the startups say they can keep prices low partly by locating facilities in cheaper spaces far away from customers. Traditional facilities generally are just a few miles away from customers’ homes, and this can drive up costs in high-price real-estate markets like New York and San Francisco.

Moving and handling items clearly drives up prices......“It would become cloud storage for your things,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Fifth Wall.
storage  self-storage  logistics  messiness  hoarding  decluttering  urban  upstarts  Second_Closet  subscriptions  physical_assets  artifacts  home-delivery 
june 2017 by jerryking
Why Warren Buffett Keeps Framed Reminders of Awful Moments in Economic History
Olivia B. Waxman
Jan 26, 2017

"I wanted to put on the walls days of extreme panic in Wall Street just as a reminder than anything can happen in this world," he says in this clip provided exclusively to TIME, from the upcoming HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett. "It's instructive art."
Warren_Buffett  Berkshire_Hathaway  web_video  panics  economic_history  art  unpredictability  unthinkable  imagination  uncertainty  HBO  documentaries  artifacts  reminders 
february 2017 by jerryking
Center for the Future of Museums: technology trends
Thursday, October 6, 2016
The Future of Ownership

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) are already grappling with the migration of content (records, correspondence) from paper to digital, including challenges of scale and readability. Now we face an additional complication: increasingly people don’t even own their digital collections of music, books or video content—they rent, borrow or pay to play.

Content that used to be contained in physical objects (books, records, photos, DVDs) is increasing being leased to us via digital devices. What does that mean for the legacy people can (or can’t) leave to document their life and work? Instead of an historic figures’ beloved book collection, will we be able to preserve her Kindle library? Would that collection even be stable over time? Will it contain (digital) marginalia? Photo collections increasingly live on the cloud, and if a service unexpectedly disappears, years of documentation can simply disappear. The podcast Reply All recently devoted a sobering episode to one such story, about a mom named Rachel who panicked when PictureLife folded, erasing her visual record of her daughters’ childhoods. What if one of those girls grows up to be president?
trends  ownership  sharing_economy  minimalism  end_of_ownership  decluttering  galleries  libraries  archives  museums  content  legacies  preservation  streaming  on-demand  physical_assets  artifacts  digitalization 
december 2016 by jerryking
Digital Generation: Is this the beginning of paradigm shift in ownership? : ACM - Computers in Entertainment
By Robert Niewiadomski, Dennis Anderson

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) are already grappling with the migration of content (records, correspondence) from paper to digital, including challenges of scale and readability. Now we face an additional complication: increasingly people don’t even own their digital collections of music, books or video content—they rent, borrow or pay to play.

Content that used to be contained in physical objects (books, records, photos, DVDs) is increasing being leased to us via digital devices. What does that mean for the legacy people can (or can’t) leave to document their life and work? Instead of an historic figures’ beloved book collection, will we be able to preserve her Kindle library? Would that collection even be stable over time? Will it contain (digital) marginalia? Photo collections increasingly live on the cloud, and if a service unexpectedly disappears, years of documentation can simply disappear. The podcast Reply All recently devoted a sobering episode to one such story, about a mom named Rachel who panicked when PictureLife folded, erasing her visual record of her daughters’ childhoods. What if one of those girls grows up to be president?
millennials  ownership  sharing_economy  paradigm_shifts  experience  decluttering  minimalism  physical_assets  content  artifacts  digital_artifacts 
november 2016 by jerryking
Digital diaries are no match for our paper past - FT.com
August 31, 2014 3:54 pm
Digital diaries are no match for our paper past
By Lucy Kellaway
Lucy_Kellaway  Moleskine  calendars  writing  journaling  analog  artifacts  handwritten  paper-based 
september 2014 by jerryking
When Diamonds Are Dirt Cheap, Will They Still Dazzle? - NYTimes.com
APRIL 19, 2014| NYT | ROBERT H. FRANK.

In many domains, perhaps even including signed baseballs, it’s becoming possible to produce essentially perfect replicas of once rare and expensive things.

That’s true, for example, of diamonds and paintings. Renowned art originals will always be scarce, and so will high-quality mined diamonds, at least while De Beers holds sway. But what will happen to the lofty prices of such goods if there is an inexhaustible supply of inexpensive perfect copies? Economic reasoning can help answer this question. It can also shed light on how new technologies might alter traditional ways in which people demonstrate their wealth to others, or might change what society embraces as tokens of commitment and other gifts....Not even perfect replicas, however, will extinguish strong preferences for original paintings and mined diamonds. In the short run, price premiums for such goods are likely to persist, as collectors scramble for certificates of authenticity.

Longer term, those premiums may prove fragile
...Tumbling prices will transform many longstanding social customs. An engagement diamond, for instance, will lose its power as a token of commitment once flawless two-carat stones can be had for only $25.

Replication technologies also raise philosophical questions about where value resides.
...Technology won’t eliminate our need for suitable gifts and tokens of commitment, of course. And such things will still need to be both intrinsically pleasing and genuinely scarce. But technology will change where those qualities reside.
art  De_Beers  collectibles  artifacts  collectors  authenticity  inexpensive  replication  scarcity  valuations  digital_artifacts  high-quality 
april 2014 by jerryking
Hit the Ground Running--Or Else the perils of a new job
March 6, 2000 | Fortune Magazine | By Dan Ciampa.

What's the main reason people from the outside fail?

They don't read the culture of the place that they're joining.

Is that why you say a new person needs to be a cultural anthropologist?

Yes. In general, I think the most effective way to read the culture is to look at the artifacts--that's what an anthropologist does. What does it say that people greet you the way they do? What does it say that meetings are run the way they are? There are some organizations that eschew meetings. Well, that says something about what works and what doesn't in that culture, and it says something about the skills of the people who survive there.

What if you've been brought in to make change?

It's important to understand what you're going to change before you change it. I'd say that even if the board or the chairman has brought you in because of what you've done in the past, there's a lot that you don't know. And the degree to which you find those things out is a function of people's trusting you. The only way you can do that is by not coming in as though you're Attila the Hun--not coming in as though you have the answer--but rather coming in and asking more questions than making declarative statements, especially in the first several weeks. ....on day one you have a plan to make sure that the first 30 days are really successful.
first90days  outsiders  Michael_Watkins  failure  questions  pilot_programs  alliances  hiring  anthropologists  anthropology  unknowns  organizational_culture  change  change_agents  artifacts  cultural_anthropology 
december 2012 by jerryking
Why Should We Care?
January 10, 2008 | WSJ.com | By PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO.

We all know art and art museums are important. But when it comes to articulating our reasons for this belief, we find it very difficult. We'd love to simply say, like our children, "Just because." When we try to be more specific, we end up with something rather abstract, such as: They are the repositories of precious objects and relics, the places where they are preserved, studied and displayed, which means that museums can be defined quite literally and succinctly, as the memory of mankind...The fact is, in the rooms of our museums are preserved things that are far more than just pretty pictures. These works of art, embodying and expressing with graphic force the deepest aspirations of a time and place, are direct, primary evidence for the study and understanding of mankind.... if we find our identity through works of art, then we have to identify them correctly, and works of art are not easy to decipher. They don't come with installation kits, lists of ingredients, and certificates of origin. In order to determine the time and place of their genesis, we have to ask of them: Who made them, where, when and why?

The answers to these questions are anything but obvious, because very few artistic traditions are pure -- that is, uninflected by outside influences. So, confronted with a work of art, we must be sure of its origin....The art museum then plays a key and beneficial role in teaching us humility, in making us recognize that other, very different yet totally valid civilizations have existed and do exist right alongside our own..in attempting to answer the question "why should we care?" I'd like to suggest a final, more broadly significant lesson. It is mankind's awe-inspiring ability, time and again, to surpass itself. What this means is that no matter how bleak the times we may live in, we cannot wholly despair of the human condition.
museums  art  value_propositions  provenance  artifacts  sublime  sense_of_proportion  galleries  art_galleries  humility  inspiration  interpretation  sense-making  Philippe_de_Montebello  the_human_condition 
august 2012 by jerryking
Snooping in the Age of E-book - This Life - NYTimes.com
September 23, 2011 |NYT| By BRUCE FEILER. How does one snoop
bookshelves in the age of e-book?...a bit of gumshoe in someone’s
cupboard or closet can reveal far more about them than an entire
evening’s worth of chitchat. “Places reflect long series of behavior,”
“If I have a conversation with you, I just get snippets of behavior.
Your books, your chairs, your wall hangings represent an accumulation
over many yrs. A space distills repeated acts. That’s why it’s hard to
fake.” …A perfect storm of clues is what makes bookshelf sleuthing so
appealing — and so difficult to replicate elsewhere in a home. “The
kitchen & pantry are pretty good,” …“But they don’t interest me as
much as a person’s bookshelf,” because the kitchen and pantry are
reflection of how the person eats, whereas the bookcase is reflection of
how he thinks.”… For all the benefits of snooping, the activity does
present certain ethical quandaries. Is it O.K. to look in someone’s
closet? Their medicine cabinet? Their iPad?
sleuthing  books  personal_libraries  e-books  artifacts  physical_place  primary_field_research  snooping 
september 2011 by jerryking
The Tech Profile: How a Small Retailer Handles I.T. - NYTimes.com
May 17, 2011 | NYT |By DAVID H. FREEDMAN
The business: JetPens, based in San Jose, Calif., is a 14-person online
retailer of mostly Japanese pens and pen-related paraphernalia. The
slick, slightly edgy Web site is packed with stuff that you won’t find
just anywhere, including pens designed specifically for drawing Japanese
Manga-style cartoon art and a five-function eraser. As a result,
JetPens has drawn a cult following and fills about 100,000 orders a
year.
running_a_business  marketing  retailers  e-commerce  David_Freedman  google  PayPal  Quickbooks  facebook  handwritten  analog  writing  artifacts  IT  owners  small_business  Japanese  premium  brands  Stanford  alumni 
may 2011 by jerryking

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