Judging for the 24th Annual Webby Awards is underway. While our judges are hard at work reviewing this year’s entries, we’re shedding a light on those who are lending their expertise to help select the best of the Internet.
Meet new Webby Judge JiaJia Fei, Consulting Director of Digital at The Jewish Museum in New York City, an institution that educates on the diversity of Jewish culture and identity, and provides a platform for cross-cultural dialogues.
We chatted with JiaJia about how she is introducing emerging technologies within the museums, what expertise she is bringing to IADAS, and much more.
Read our Q&A below, and stay tuned for when the 24th Annual Webby Nominees are announced Tuesday, March 31st!
1. What are you excited to serve as a Webby Awards judge? What particular expertise or vantage point do you bring to the Academy?
The Webbys is the most prestigious award on the Internet, and after years of submitting projects to The Webby Awards on behalf of museums (and taking home a few), I feel extremely honored to now be on the other side of the table, discovering some amazing initiatives along the way. As someone at the rare intersection of art and technology, my practice has always centered around the idea of ‘translation’—how to use technology and the tools of our time to make art more accessible to more people.
2. What trend or emerging technology are you most excited about in your field of work?
Within the museum community, the embrace of emerging technology is always met with some skepticism. The concept of technology inside a museum exists as a paradox: whereas innovation in the digital world looks toward the future—constantly iterating and advancing onto the next version or platform, museums are tasked with the challenge of preserving objects (from the past), for future generations. Therefore, this question is usually met with another question: “which technologies will stand the test of time, and remain in the long term?”
3. Why do you think being a part of The Webby Awards community matters?
With 90% of the world’s data created in the last few years, the amount of content on the web right now is truly unprecedented. Like curators in museums, we need trusted experts in the field to find and present the most exciting and relevant projects online for the rest of the world to appreciate. As a woman, and a woman of color, I am a minority in both the art and tech worlds. If the Webbys are a snapshot of the best of the internet today, then that snapshot should be inclusive and representative of all the world’s creators.
4. What projects or endeavors are you currently working on, and how will it benefit the Internet community?
Although I still serve as Consulting Director of Digital at the Jewish Museum in New York, I also recently launched my own new company to address the lack of digital expertise in the art world. My new practice is about using technology as a design solution to make art more visible and relevant to a broader audience. Technology is by no means an inherent skill within the art industry, so I hope through working with a wide range of clients to elevate their work online, I can do my part to bring the art community and the internet community closer together.
5. What’s your favorite app that other people haven’t heard of?
I am secretly obsessed with Astrology, and so I use not one—but three apps—to forecast my life (Co—Star, Astrology Zone, and The Pattern). I unconsciously do this with the weather too (the Weather app, Dark Sky, and the Weather Channel) because I enjoy simultaneous triple confirmation.
*Bonus Question*: Who or what is on your lock-screen of your phone?
My cat Coco, of course!