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!