What's On Your Phone, Desi Gonzalez?

Desi Gonzalez is the Digital Engagement Manager at the Andy Warhol Museum, where she writes about and researches the intersection of art and technology. Before her position at the Warhol, Desi designed technology for educational purposes at La Victoria Lab in Peru, developed interpretive experiences at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and managed a children’s website for the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her writing has been featured in publications including Art in America, Art Papers, Indiewire, and The Brooklyn Rail

Zining Xie: What are the apps you use every day and why do you like them?

Desi Gonzalez: I think the app I use most is NPR One. Feeding you contents little by little, it starts to learn about you and tailor it to what you are most interested in. There’s also a great discovery platform. Whenever I wake up in the morning, I turn it up along (with) getting ready. It always gives me a new five-minute newscast and then starts to going through (things) like clips of the morning edition. I also love the interface a lot.

I like the wordreferent app. Wordreference.com is a translation website. (The app) is a dictionary of Spanish to English, English to German, etc. It will tell you about (local) slang, (and) how people use terms (in different areas).

ZX: Is there an app that has surprised you with its usefulness?

DG: NextDraft is a newsletter I get to my mailbox. The editor sends it every day and he points out ten things that are happening in the news that day, along with some commentary. On the app (version of the newsletter), rather than having a long list of news, it is displayed on different screens and you can just swipe through. It’s highly curated but a nice and quick snapshot way (to see the news).

ZX: Is there an app you think developers should be working on?

DG: I want an app that stops me from using Facebook. I think there are people working on that: things like timing you out after checking Facebook for a certain period of time. 

Maybe also something that points me to other things I should be looking at—other news sources, for instance.

If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be?

DG: Trello is very nice. It is great to track who’s working on things. Its format is: a project gets a board, the board has a variety of lists, and within lists you have cards. You can move the cards around wherever you want. Plus, it’s free.

If I have to recommend a social media platform to arts managers, it will be Twitter. I have a very robust community of museum and technology on Twitter, where I have conversations and keep up with news of what other folks are doing. I also have more informal fun conversations, which is very important to foster relationships in the museums and technology (space).