Thursday, 21 March 2013


Hi everyone! From now on my blog has changed focus from exhibitions and pedagogy to a wider cultural scope. I will still concentrate in a crossroads of exhibitions, learning and creativity but will look upon it from different perspectives and different angels. Hopefully you´ll find it interesting to follow and maybe even to interact with. Welcome! First I give you a trend-spotting by Murray Moss, English design guru, as a teaser. Here´s the link Murray Moss´trendspotting

Friday, 2 March 2012


(Photo; Wuertele, Museum in San Jose)

Hi everyone!
First I want to say that I´m sorry for being silent since a year back. I found it hard to blog until I had a firm grip on our new mission, but also the fact that I have been very busy at work with very little time to blog has been a factor. But with spring aproaching everything looks literally brighter. I hope you want to continue following the blog and also to be active with comments and dialogues.
Lets go!

Yesterday I gave an account of an evaluation I´ve done for the Maritime Museum & Aquarium in Gothenburg on their work with renewal. Exciting to be able to get under the skin of an institution this way. At the same time they´ve been evaluated by the audience with a large increase of visitors during 2011. And also nominated to be Museum of the Year.
Good luck I say!

When it comes to method development and exhibitions there´s a lot happening at the moment. We at Swedish Exhibition Agency (Riksutställningar) are looking at how we can contribute to develop Generic Learning Outcomes (GLO) as a method being used in Swedish museums. We´re also in the starting blocks to co-ordinate a couple of national networks in order to co-operate with the sector on method development. We are also turning our mobile room into a edicational platform for technology and pedagogy in exhibitions. Lots of exciting thing to come and many reasons to follow us in the near future. Hopefully this will contribute to raise the standard on exhibitions in Sweden.

Internationally we are cooperating with Hands On! International and in 2 weeks time we will present the winner of 2012 Children´s Museum Award at the international children´s book fair in Bologna. The price is given in cooperation with European Museum Academy and is instigated to strengthen the development of exhibition practice for children in museums and children´s museums. Please follow Hands On! on facebook. Here´s a link to our facebook page Hands On!

This blog post is rather general to start off with. Spread the word to others who might want to follow, cause
Here we go again!

Göran Björnberg

Thursday, 4 November 2010


Photographer: Leonard Gren

Hello everyone!

Today and tomorrow Engage is arranging their annual, international conference in Nottingham under the title "The Art of Influencing Change". I´ll be blogging continously under this headline both today and tomorrow. Welcome in to follow the reflections and watch out.

I´ve just heard a fantastic lecture from Phyllida Hancock, participating in the project Contender Charlie. With a starting point in Shakespeare´s plays she uses his language and text in order to develop a leadership.
Using fantastic empathy, charisma and humor, she used Shakespere´s play, Henry V to show how different roles and strategies build leadership. It was really a superb lecture! To learn more about Contender Charlie follow the link.

Since before lunch the conference has focused on how the Internet can be used in order to build networks in different types of art projects. The objective being to use the net to build sustainable, social models based on a thought that the Internet will change peoples behaviour in connection with a global, ecological perspective.
Ruth Catlow from Furtherfield presented their Zero Dollar Laptop Project. ZDLP is based upon a thought that people through creative and critical thinking can become active creators within thier culture and society.
Sam Bower presented the project which wants to inspire people to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society where ever they live. contributes to that by offering access to information, possibility to interconnect with people and ideas and making resources and tools available.
Jonette Middleton presented her art project "Unity Panda" where she with the aid of Facebook and a shop in Coventry and 1 knitting pattern how to knit a Unity Panda got over 500 people to knit parts making up 130 Unity Pandas. These Pandas are going to be used in Panda diplomacy with China.
Zero Dollar Laptop Project
Unity Panda

FRIDAY 5TH 09:00
Yet another day at the conference. To summarize my impressions so far there are 2 themes dominating the conference. (But that should not be taken as a sign where all practice is going, it could also be put down to choices made by the organizing committee for the conference). The themes are that social media is used in order to create networks using art and art practice as a tool for people the change and influence their every day life. The other theme is that art and art practice is seen as a tool to create a sustainable way of living. There has been several speakers presenting projects where the framework is the global ecological challenge and art as a tool for a sustainable way of living. I´ll be back with more reflections during the day.


Fotograf: shannonkringen

Lately I´ve been on the arranging committee for 2 conferences in Sweden which has highlighted the importance of a professional discussion.

The first conference was arranged by the society for Swedish museum teachers and an organization called ”Forum for exhibitioners”, where we dissected the topic how technology is used and can be used in exhibitions today. The second conference was arranged together with the faculty for museum studies at Gothenburg University and highlighted the issue of norm critical perspectives from a curatorial and pedagogical point of view.

Both seminars received very good reviews in the evaluations, which in itself is enough to understand that they matter, but I also want to make a personal reflection about why I think a professional dialogue is essential for professional development
The exhibition medium is moving towards a more audience practice. This makes pedagogy a more and more important part of both the creation and the communication of exhibition content. This also means that the profession becomes more complex and complicated. It´s no longer about fitting an exhibition to a target group or a school class.

- It´s about having the target group in sight from the start in order to adapt the content, to have knowledge about different cognitive stages of development and learning capabilities.
- It´s about a knowledge of how methods and tools can be used based on the exhibition´s objectives and aims connected to target group.
- It´s about having knowledge of a spectra of accessibility aspects, both when it comes to function disabilities, both also for people without these.
- It´s about having knowledge of norm critical aspects in order not to maintain or amplify norms which discriminate.

All these perspectives are pedagogical and have to be on the table from the start in the process which will end in an exhibition. That´s why a pedagogical knowledge and expertise and a pedagogical eye who can guard over these issues in the process.
Because, how we twist and turn it is the audience who are our principals and recipients of exhibitions. An exhibition which doesn´t reach the recipient is not a good exhibition!

Friday, 1 October 2010


Photographer: Darwin Bell

My work at Swedish Travelling Exhibitions (STE) means that I shift beween discussions about culture politics on an international level to hands-on method development for visitors in exhibitions.

Last Friday we published a "Pedagogical guide book on moving images" which has been produced by my unit in STE, Tour production and Pedagogy.

The Gudie book is meant as an aid for everyone working pedagogically with moving images or art videos and who is in need of a guide about how to work pedagogically with these things. The Guide book contains a theoretical cheatsheet for workshops about art videos, but also how to use the mobile phone as a multimedia tool to make your own art video. In the Guide book we open up for some of Sweden´s art pedagogues and artists who have been doing this for a long time.

Ann- Sofie Roxhage and Elenor Noble have through their work as gallery teachers at Gothenburg Art Gallery, Röda Sten and other art institutions in the Gothenburg area, over a period of 5 years developed their "Cheatsheet on how to view and experience contemporary art". The cheatsheet was part of the pedagogical material that was produced for the 2009 Gothenburg Biennale.

Anders Weberg is an artist working with video, sound and installations where he, above all, uses the mobile phone as a tool. In the Guide book he provides tips and ideas on how to use this multimedia tool, now in everyone´s pockets, to create your own art.

Johanna Sjöström, curator at the Art museum in Gothenburg, provides a summary of the history of moving images and Karolina Westling, film pedagogue and media scientist at The University of Gothenburg, provides an entrance to the moving image as a pedagogical tool.

For those interested the Guide book can be ordered from STE, though it only exists in Swedish. The purpose of the book is to make it easier and improve practice for everyone working with moving images and art movies.

To me, being responsible for the pedagogical development at STE, the Guide book serves several aspects;
- It meets a pronounced need in the exhibition sector.
- It provides space for external voices to present their knowledge and line of work.
- It is produced by persons in my unit and others at STE without my contribution which will give them a boost.
- It turns our pedagogical policy document into practice.

The Guide book was released in connection with a seminar and workshop in Landskrona, in the south of Sweden. The seminar attracted som 50 people working with moving images and art videos, in art galleries, museums, schools, youth clubs and so on. A great mix of people which also showed that this type of pedagogical material is wanted far beyond the exhibition sector. More of this!


Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Hello everyone!
I hope that you all got back to work after a long and peaceful holiday. I´m starting my blogging this autumn with a report written by Swedish pedagogue and author Pia Cederholm, originally published on Exhibition Aesthetical Forum, a Swedish website consigned to articles on the exhibition media.

Her report is about a lecture at École du Louvre in Paris given by Colette Dufresne-Tassé this spring.

Colette Dufresne-Tassé is a Canadian professor and resigning chairman of the international ICOM committe CECA. She heads a research team at the University in Montréal which with different methods are trying to find out what happens in the meeting between the visitor and the exhibition. The purpose being to use the results of their research to develop the exhibition media.In her lecture Mrs Dufresne-Tassé gave a lot of advice. From these Pia Cederholm has put together "10 commandments for a successful exhibition". Unfortunately her blog is in Swedish so I have translated her report and also shortened it a bit.

1. Thou shall only have one message.
Coherence is the lead word. Choose a theme and stick to it no matter how tempting it is to add less relevant side tracks.

2. Thou shall find your angel between the familiar and the new.
You do this by adressing both the visitor´s prior knowledge and their curiosity at the same time.

3. Thou shall create opportunities for meaningful experiences.
Have the visitor´s perspective for your eyes so that your lust to experiment with exhibition design or researching a complex area doesn´t make the final result incomprehensible to amateurs.

4. Thou shall do everything in your power in order to make it easy for the visitor to learn.
This is done by approaching the exhibition like a puzzle: Start with the frame and the corner pieces. Use artefacts to help the visitor to fill in the missing pieces, to draw their own conclusions. Remind yourself that the visitors aren´t there to read, that can be done in a book.

5. Thou shall create environments that captures the interest of the visitor.
The scenography, or in french "la muséographie", determines how the visitor will understand the artefacts. This is why you have to think through how settings and cabinets correspond and that in three different layers: practically, aesthetically and semantically.

6. Thou shall not begrudge the visitor to be physically active.
Place and present the artefacts in order for the visitor to be lured into freeing their fantasy to reach further in their meaning making.

7. Thou shall not demand the visitor to be physically active.
The intellectual effort is enough. If the exhibition requires the visitor to climb around pulling ropes in order to get to knowledge they will give up.

8.Thou shall lead the visitor´s thoughts towards the object.
When you have made the visitor to stop, seriously widening her or his senses, observing, reading and reflecting, you must see to that there is more to find out. This way the visitor gets paid for the effort and won´t float away in other thoughts.

9. Thou shall understand the difference betwen permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Then you can make use of their different prerequisites. The temporary exhibition attracts the audience by it´s uniqueness, a "on-time-only" opportunity and a whole context to dive into. The permanent exhibition attracts with order and being systematically arranged.

10. Thou shall not be boring.
To visit a museum shall be an experience beyond the ordinary. Therefor you have to pull the visitor out of her or his normal reality. Open the gate to an unknown world which is unknown and different.

What do you think? Please comment!


The "10 commandments for a succesful exhibition" was translated by Göran Björnberg from Pia Cederholm´s original text which can be found here

Monday, 7 June 2010


"Technothreads" Science Gallery, Dubin, Photographer: prizepony

Hi everyone!

A few weeks ago I was in Tampere, Finland, participating in something called European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA). It is a conference arranged by European Museum Forum, where the climax is to deliver the prize for this Year´s museum in Europe. This year the prize, the 32nd since the start, went to Ozeanum in Stralsund, Germany.

A conference as this one presents an opportunity to follow a general discourse regarding European museums and the development of their practice, if there is one. It also presents a great opportunity to network since some 150 people from the European museums are gathered in the same place for three days.

One exciting meeting I had, out of severel, was with Michael John Gorman, head of Science Gallery in Dublin. Science Gallery is an interdisciplinary meeting place for art and science. Exhibitions, events, happenings, workshops and projects are thrown into a mix with speed-dating between artists and scientists and Open calls on different themes. The last theme was "Music and the body".

What made it extra exciting this year was that Science Gallery received a Commendation, together with two other museums, during the ceremony. Is it a museum? That was frequently discussed during the dinner.

The definition of a museum is usually that it holds a collection. Has Science Gallery a collection? Yes, but it is to a great extent made up of ideas and experiences, rather than artefacts. Thus they are a great example of a discourse under debate. I know from my conversations with Michael John Gorman that Science Gallery is thinking about how to make their collection accessible. Is it possible to create systems where ideas can be presented in an attractive way? It is going to be exciting to see the result.

Here is a link to Science Gallery and if you are in Dublin, make a visit. That´s what I aim to do!