We’re chatting with Philo van Kemenade in this latest installment of our “Wrangler Round-Up” Series, where we get to know some of the community volunteers (aka Wranglers) who are co-designing the 2019 Festival. Philo is a designer, technologist, community organiser and educator who works with cultural organisations to create engaging visitor experiences. He’s wrangling the Arts & Culture Experience at MozFest this year.
Current favorite book/movie/song/app/meme/video? I’m currently reading Solaris by the Polish science fiction writer Stanislav Lem. I’m not a big sci-fi reader but the style of writing and the philosophical conundrums really grip me. The book is centered around a planet which is home to a conscious ocean that influences the minds of researchers investigating the planet. It brings up fascinating questions about our ability (or lack thereof) to understand non-human forms of intelligence!
What draws you to MozFest? I was first drawn to MozFest in 2011 by the slogan “Media, Freedom and the Web” and was blown away by the kinds of inspiration I got from sessions, conversations and people I met. That first edition helped to make the Web my medium of choice and I’m finding fresh inspiration every year again. I love how the festival is really about people, in terms of the decentralised organisation as well as the human-centered principles around which the spaces are built.
What unique perspective(s) do you bring to space wrangling? For the past few years, I’ve been working a lot with cultural heritage and creating new ways for people to interface with cultural collections. I also lead the curation of the digital art & culture festival Sensorium in Bratislava, showcasing humane applications of creative technology in arts, design and performance. There’s lots of folks at MozFest working along similar lines and I’m excited to be working with Dan Pett on bringing together this creative energy in the Art & Culture Salon: a place to explore creative and cultural initiatives with openness at their core through show and tells, workshops and discussions.
What are you most looking forward to about your space this year? With so many awesome sessions and projects around, I can’t wait to see people learn and get inspired from each other. I’m looking forward to see serendipity unfold!
What link or resource would you like to share? I encourage people to check out the openGLAM initiative, built around a set of common principles aimed at opening up content and data held by Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. It’s a lively network of generous professionals collaborating based on shared values. People can join the conversation on Twitter via @openGLAM and #openGLAM, browse the recently launched publication on Medium, and look out for a relaunch of openglam.org which is currently in the works.