Speak / Listen - Prototype I
Location: Nikolaj Kunsthal/Julian Rosefeldt | formal museum space
Participants: 5 | Time spent: 2 hrs | Fidelity: low
We began by prototyping several concepts at the afore-mentioned Julian Rosefeldt exhibition at the Nikolaj Kunsthal museum. One of the concepts had a high level of engagement — both in terms of people who came to check it out and in terms of how long they engaged with the dialogic intervention.
We engaged visitors coming out of the art-room, asking if they had a moment to try our prototype. If they did, we asked them a question about the exhibition (ranging from general to specific) / and they answer (speaking into a “device”, in the corner) / then we give them a hand-held “device” they can use to explore other people’s reflections (passing it over conductive tape on the wall next to the box).
The experience was completely Wizard-of-Oz — we recorded their voices in my phone and then I played the samples back while they explored the shiny tape — skipping from one to the next if they went quickly, or letting the sample play if they went slowly / remained in place. This allowed us to explore the various potentials of the concept quickly and get valuable feedback in terms of how we would actually develop it in full.
Leaving a thought / Exploring the audio strip
- [Interest level] 3/4 of those invited participated. Those who chose not to did so because they a) did not have time or b) felt they didn’t understand the exhibition enough to contribute something valuable
- [Sociality of museum visits] “Listening to my brother, though we’re about to go to dinner together — I heard his thoughts on a different level than he usually would share with me”
- [Understanding of interaction] They were convinced by and deeply engaged in listening at the strip (listening to every contribution in full), easily understanding how to navigate the “timeline” of the various audio pieces
- [Specificity of question] A general question: “What did the exhibit make you think about?” was more approachable than our more specific and challenging questions
- [Listen first or contribute first?] “Listening first then contributing made me feel more courageous… I understood the level of input expected”
- [Voice vs. text] “Listening to people’s voices was much more intimate and interesting than text — I could hear so much in their tone, emphases — that I don’t get in emojis — it was so much more real”
- [About listening to another person’s contribution] “Felt like I was inside of her head, seeing the exhibit from her eyes”
Based on the experience prototyping, we were ready to make another iteration — that would actually work — for an upcoming exhibition.