An exhibition is an interactive experience cultivating my curiosity through emotions, artefacts, photos and words in a connected world. “An exhibition is an argument, but conveyed differently, through objects and with much less text. It’s a very different endeavor, and very useful.” according to Kristel Smentek, MIT Associate Professor
I wander weekly in artful, technological or scientific exhibitions. It gives me something aesthetic to look at in a familiar or new living space. It could be in a museum, an art gallery, a foundation, a garden, a park and even in the streets.
This is how I do it:
1. It starts with my interests.
Work, learning and health futures. Usages of emerging technologies and humanity. Visual design and visual thinking. Paintings, pottery, architecture, music, photography, cinema, fashion. Street arts.
2. Like DJs, I tune in to one or many sources.
They are my cultural trends trackers. So I can be in the mood for…
Watching a short weekly TV show on what’s happening in the culture in Paris and beyond: ‘J’ai un ticket’.
Diving into the prints, ‘L’Instant Parisien‘. It enables me to explore Parisian cultures. I cultivate my curiosity with unknown and new spots in Paris to read about, explore on the ground and share. From restaurants and artful places to gardens and parks. From historic and secret places to shops and portraits of people to discover.
Digging the news of an organisation. It could be a foundation, a library, a museum: a startup, an institution, a neighbourhood, a city. Usually, the blog or the news page is where the information is.
3. Before the exhibition, I do some digging online.
I read the view or hear the short introduction of the exhibition and its curator. The website or digital channels are great for that. I use Google Maps, Flickr or Instagram to see what the place looks like, how to go there, and even people’s comments on the place/exhibition.
4. During the exhibition, I feel and engage.
I don’t take the audio and printed guides. I don’t ask for a tour with the curator or with a group of visitors. I explore on my own each artefact in no particular order. I sometimes read the label for more context and history of the artefact. If not, it is okay. I am here to feel more than to think or study. I am here to wander and get inspiration.
If something touches my heart or caught my attention, I often take a photo via my smartphone that I will revisit. Later. At home.
If the curator and other visitors at the exhibition are available, I may engage in a conversation. Why? Sharing my impression. Getting new knowledge and asking questions on an artefact or the exhibit.
5. After the exhibition, I revisit it and engage again.
I often see my photo album again to edit, keep and share the crème of la crème of my photography via Flickr. I also use one or many photos in my next blog posts or current projects.
I may reach out to the curator or the exhibition’s place via Twitter to share my gratitude and photos. With a public tweet. The conversation may continue.
Next time you go to an exhibition, immerse yourself online before your visit. Then, when you enjoy an exhibition, consider not following the suggested guidelines. Instead, feel artefacts, observe and engage with the curators, and perhaps with the other visitors.