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[Xmca-l] Re: discussing "Posing the question"
- To: Greg Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: discussing "Posing the question"
- From: Rolf Steier <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 12:01:16 +0200
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Much to respond to this morning so thank you for some of these comments!
Jennifer asked about these methodological distinctions related to design
experiments. I don't have more to say on that yet, but I would love to hear
what others have to say in response to this (or to the "Designing For
Change" editorial from this issue).
This notion of "Museum as Institution" is also one that I'm really
interested in. In this study, I was explicitly trying to minimize the
school context through both recruitment methods and through the minimal
instructions given to participants. There is a much larger body of research
on youth visiting museums during field trips and in family visits than
exists for peer groups so this was an important distinction for me. I think
there certainly can be a shift to a more school-like context if
interactivity is introduced that structures activity formally. One
interesting observation that I had from sitting in this project room was
the hesitancy of visitors to enter if the room was empty. People would peek
their heads through the door and often back away if no one was
participating inside. I think there was a pretty dramatic shift for people
between this traditional gallery space and this interactive space that
violated people's expectations - they weren't sure what to do. If visitors
were already inside talking or engaging with the technology then people
seemed more comfortable entering.
Greg - thank you! That cover did in fact catch my eye last year but I
didn't have a chance to go through it yet. Thank you for reminding me
On Mon, May 26, 2014 at 11:28 PM, Greg Thompson
> I wonder if you have seen the cover of Ian Hodder's book Entanglements?
> It seems nearly perfect for your project - would only be better if the
> museum goer in the picture was actually entangled in the webs...
> And btw, I too am interested in Jen's question.
> On Mon, May 26, 2014 at 2:48 PM, Vadeboncoeur, Jennifer <
> firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Hello Rolf and Everyone,
>> I would be interested in hearing more about the differences between
>> design experiments, interactive analysis, and more micro-analytic methods,
>> what are the overlaps and differences? This might be too broad, so carve
>> this in a manner that feels useful.
>> I was also thinking of the three other exhibits and the outcomes there,
>> what were they like and how did they engage young people? Were there
>> aspects of engagement with these three exhibits that made visible
>> participants' embodiment as a sense making activity?
>> Another thought is about the "museum as an institution" ... when
>> interaction shifts, does it become more "school-like"? What are other
>> Lots here to think about, best - jen
>> On 2014-05-23, at 3:47 AM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>> > Hello All,
>> > Thank you to Jen for inviting me to this discussion and to everyone who
>> > wishes to participate! I'll look forward to some interesting thoughts
>> > questions.
>> > Maybe I can start by providing a little context for the research project
>> > that wasn't necessarily the focus of the article. As a whole, this
>> > experiment" involved a partnership with the National Museum to introduce
>> > digital technology and interactive activities in order to engage young
>> > people. Working with the museum, we found that teenagers' experiences
>> > the museum were almost exclusively limited to school field trips. So
>> > of all, the museum was interested in engaging this underrepresented
>> > demographic in non-school contexts. Second, the museum's use of
>> > media (and really, interpretive resources in general) had been limited
>> > audio guides as well as some simple wall texts through out the museum.
>> > museum then was also interested in experimenting with news ways of
>> > communicating with the public and engaging them with these artworks.
>> > In designing this project room (which included 4 interactive stations,
>> > which this posing activity was one) - the broader goals including
>> > at how the introduction of such interactive activities might influence
>> > practices of the visiting public, but also of the museum as an
>> > One small example that I found really interesting involved the role of
>> > guards, which seemed to shift from protecting the art to also
>> > some of the interactive activities in this project room.
>> > In any case, the phenomenon of posing was not necessarily intended to
>> be a
>> > focal point. The activity was designed based on the pedagogical goal of
>> > curator of exploring Munch's use of self-portraits. This one activity
>> > became really popular, and it was only after starting to look more
>> > at these prompted acts of posing did I return to looking at the
>> visitors in
>> > the rest of the gallery. These posing practices then became visible as
>> > of visitors normal interpretive practices. I should also note, that
>> > the exhibit closed, curators at the museum decided to adapt the posing
>> > activity to a classroom setting using photographs that students could
>> > for and then paint over with an iPad. (This can be read about in a
>> > conference paper here -
>> > Another outcome of the project room will be in the design of a new
>> > national museum that will incorporate spaces for such interactive
>> > activities. In regards to the iterative nature of design experiments, I
>> > think this aspect is very much present in the work.
>> > So for me, it was this broader design experiment that allowed the
>> > phenomenon of posing to emerge as a visible and relevant practice. The
>> > specific method of analysis in the article might be better described as
>> > interaction analysis then. But maybe this is a question that people have
>> > thoughts on? The relationships between design experiments and more
>> > micro-analytic methods?
>> > Looking forward to some thoughts or other directions for discussion,
>> > Rolf
>> > On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM, Vadeboncoeur, Jennifer <
>> > email@example.com> wrote:
>> >> Dear XMCA,
>> >> Rolf Steier is now on XMCA, and his article "Posing the question" is
>> >> on the T and F website:
>> >> http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/.U3zs4Sjsq24
>> >> Just click on the green button to the right side of the article.
>> >> There is loads to talk about, and one question that comes to mind is in
>> >> relation to the museum installation as a design experiment. In what
>> >> is it a design experiment? What does it make visible? How is learning
>> >> shaped by access to this experience in a museum?
>> >> More questions?
>> >> Best - jen
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602