Meet Desi Gonzalez
Full Name: Desi Gonzalez
Where do you work: The Andy Warhol Museum
What is your job title: Manager of Digital Engagement
What does your average day in the museum look like: I'm responsible for all of our visitor-facing digital initiatives. I'm also a team of one, so I wear many hats: some days I'm working on strategy and project management, while others I might be conducting user research, designing wireframes, or troubleshooting a gallery interactive.
What (project, initiative, etc.) are you currently working on right now for your museum: Long-term digital strategy for the museum. Some things we're thinking about right now: 360 video and VR; online collection and storytelling; digital accessibility
What is your educational background: I have a B.A. in art history and linguistics from Emory University and an M.S. in comparative media studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
What led you to the museum field: What are your earliest memories in a museum: I'm not sure what was my earliest memory, but the most seminal experience was participating in a nascent teen program at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The person running the program led a session that had us examine conceptions of beauty through various contemporary artworks—art became a lens to see the world.
Any obstacles you've had to overcome to get to where you are now in the field: How did you overcome these obstacles?
What has been your proudest moment with regard to where you are in your career and the work you do in the field: Working alongside members of Pittsburgh's visually impaired community to design The Warhol: Out Loud, inclusive audio guide that responded to their needs.
What advice would you give a student thinking about entering the field: Talk to lots of folks and ask critical questions!
What book/source/link would you recommend to learn more about the kind of work you do: Follow #musetech on Twitter—you'll find a wealth of conversation, ideas, and inspirations. A few years back I read a book called Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America's Cultural Life and rather enjoyed in. On a more practical note, I recently bought a book called The Manual of Digital Museum Planning and it's been immensely helpful!
What's next for you in your career: This is something I've been thinking about a lot! I'm not wedded to staying in the digital space; I'm interested in organizational change and pushing the boundaries of what a cultural institution can and should be.
What is your favorite museum to go to other than your own and why: The Studio Museum in Harlem. I love how the Studio Museum is able to put on top-quality shows that are well-respected by the contemporary art world while also engaging and collaborating with the local Harlem community.
Anything else you'd like to add that you want others to know about yourself or your job: Blogging had been an important avenue through out my career. Writing about the field has helped me work through ideas and also connected me with folks interested in similar questions.