An exhibition as a pedagogical medium

Noora asked about my opinion on how to arrange an exhibition for her project.

I’ve never arranged an exhibition – but from my point of view (as was the topic of the seminar), an exhibition is a pedagogical medium: You have to deal with concrete restrictions of space, time, architecture, technics, location; you’ve got expectations from visitors on how an exhibition should work; and you have an intention, an idea you want to express via this exhibition, within the limits and possibilities of the medium “exhibition”, one that triggers a response from your audience.

So, what and how do you want to express with the exhibition itself, so that it resonates and references what you want to express with your foto series (Marshall McLuhan)?

You could see the exhibition as a kind of painting, with your pictures as colors; or as a novel with your pictures as paragraphs; as a comic where your pictures are the panels, and the magic happens between the pictures (Scott McLoud).
These are, of course, different aesthetic media as analogies for how you could see and arrange your exhibition: linear and telling a story; holistic and painting a picture; maybe just delivering one half of what can be told and challenging the visitor to fill in the other half; and maybe even challenge that, the personally filled-in-half, after the visitor expresses it (Heinz von Foerster, Niklas Luhmann): An exhibition trying to turn an individual or cultural construction visible as such.

Many possible approaches: Just imagine you’re not arranging an exhibition, but arranging the objects in a setting about to be fotographed…

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About Wey

My name's Wey-Han Tan, I graduated 2007 as Diplompädagoge (educational scientist) in Hamburg, and 2009 as M.A. in ePedagogy Design. Currently I work at the project "Universitätskolleg" as scientific assistant at the Faculty for Educational Sciences, Psychology and Human Movement at the University of Hamburg. My research interests are game based learning, second order gaming, media theory and (radical) constructivist approaches. I like pen-and-paper-roleplaying, especially in contemporary horror settings like "KULT" or "Call of Cthulhu".
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