We are holding Skype Check-Ins on Wednesdays and Sundays at 4:00 pm ESDST. Please be at your computer and logged into Skype at least 5 minutes ahead of time!
If for some reason, your Skype doesn't ring or you are late, click on the link https://join.skype.com/IO6f8rQNDxHi and join us!
If you run into trouble, call me at 703-558-0446.
Here are the steps to getting started with Skype
Do be courteous to other participants
Be punctual and introduce yourself before speaking so that everyone knows who's talking and can address you by name. Take note of the other speakers so that you can also address them by name. Lastly, turn off the sounds on your smart phone and absolutely no texting.
Avoid screaming. If someone can't hear you, then adjust the level on the microphone and make sure it's not covered by your clothing or something else. Yelling will cause viewers to turn down their volume and potentially miss what you have to say.
Do keep body movements minimal
If you're someone that talks with your hands, practice keeping them put. Hand movements can distract your audience. Also, keep head movements to a minimum as well as jerky movements forward or back.
Don't interrupt other speakers
Wait for an opening in the conversation before putting in your two cents. Cutting other speakers off is rude. Another option is posting pending questions by instant message so that every comment is addressed.
Do maintain eye contact by looking into the camera
Keep your focus on the camera. The worst thing is having your audience look at the top of your head because your typing or looking down at notes - or worse - at your phone or computer.
Don't carry on side conversations
Chances are if you wouldn't do it in a face-to-face meeting, then you shouldn't do it in a virtual one. That includes tuning out of the present conversation to talk to someone else sitting next to you, on the phone, in an IM chat, anywhere and anybody not in the current meeting.
Do dress appropriately
Striped shirts or shirts with intricate patterns do not transmit well on camera, because they are visually distracting. Red, white and black are also poor choices. Go for a pastel or other light colored shirt.
Do be yourself and have fun!
Relax and have a good time. Be lively, break the ice with a joke, and make viewers laugh. It's uber easy to tune out in a face-to-face meeting, so imagine how easy it is in a virtual one. The more fun you interject, the more people will stay focused and interested in what you have to say.
Don't make distracting sounds
Your focus should always be on the person or people at the other end of your video conference. Avoid typing on your keyboard, turn off all sounds on your phone, and close yourself into a room with no or minimal background noise.
Austin City Limits free archives on the PBS app (Note to Rokus and Apple TV users: this is in your PBS app)
Although museums might be closed now, there are many ways to visit a gallery from the comfort of your home as virtual museums are becoming a reality. Over the years, they have been adapting to new times and audiences by fully digitalizing their collections and providing detailed information on each piece. In fact, the most important art galleries in Spain are very active on social media.
Here are some recommendations about the “Big Three” museums in Madrid to keep learning and appreciating art from home.
Sit back, relax... and enjoy!
This museum keeps within its walls one of the world’s largest private collection of art, with invaluable pieces, and offers a wide range of multimedia resources:
- #Thyssenmultimedia includes videos in which curators provide interesting explanations of their exhibitions. This resource also allows users to listen to recordings of conferences and workshops; watch behind-the-scenes videos featuring interviews, lectures and technical studies; take a virtual tour of the entire building; and visit both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
- ConectaThyssen is a digital projects laboratory that tells the stories of the art in the museum through free online publications, videos and apps such as Second Canvas Thyssen.
- ARTE.TV is an online library that includes material such as documentaries from the public service European cultural channel, Arte. Content is available in English, Spanish and other languages.
If we had to choose just one picture from the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, it would be...
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening, by Salvador Dalí (1944)
This surrealist painting was one of the few pieces completed by Dalí during his stay in the United States, where he lived from 1941 to 1948. This oneiric creation is one of Dalí’s tributes to Freud’s work.
Freud, impressed by Dalí after meeting him in 1938, commented on the Catalonian’s technical mastery:"I was inclined to look upon the surrealists, who have apparently chosen me as their patron saint, as absolute cranks. The young Spaniard, however, with his candid fanatical eyes and his undeniable technical mastery, has made me reconsider my opinion."
The Museo Nacional del Prado created the My Prado program, which harnesses the strength of social media to maintain a connection with the public. Follow their daily live broadcasts (Instagram / Twitter / Facebook) at 10 am Central European time, when the museum opens to the public, with explanations by different curators.
Visit the Prado’s online digital archives and library to keep exploring the museum’s world-class collection.
If we had to choose just one picture from the Prado Museum, it would be...
Las Meninas, by Diego Velázquez (1656)
It may sound cliché, but it is probably the most puzzling painting in History of Art, a discontinuity in the value of painting and representation. Michael Foucault, in The Order of Things, analyzed it:"As soon as they place the spectator in the field of their gaze, the painter's eyes seize hold of him, force him to enter the picture, assign him a place at once privileged and inescapable, levy their luminous and visible tribute from him, and project it upon the inaccessible surface of the canvas within the picture. He sees his invisibility made visible to the painter and transposed into an image forever invisible to himself.
The MNCARS remains open online so you can still enjoy its Contemporary Art repository. To offer new ways to discover its collection, the museum also presents two microsites:
- Rethinking Guernica. A novel way to approach Picasso’s twentieth-century masterpiece through the extensive research conducted on the artwork by the Museo Reina Sofía.
- Radio from Reina Sofía Museum. The sounds heard in this space not only seek to offer an acoustic version of the museum experience, but also aspire to become new continents that are able to amplify the notions of collection, exhibition and debate.
If we had to choose just one picture from the Reina Sofía Museum, it would be...
Un mundo, by Ángeles Santos (1929)
Watch here how it was restored. Ut pictura poiesis, Un mundo, by Ángeles Santos, was inspired by Juan Ramón Jiménez’s poem Alba:"[...] Vague mauve angels / were putting out the green stars / A calm ribbon / of soft violets / lovingly embraced / the pale Earth."
This painting is a masterpiece, halfway between the proposals of Surrealism and the poetics of Magic Realism in a male-dominated scene.
Contact Ken at email@example.com or call 703-558-0446