Future Park: Footnotes for Educators

These footnotes were written by James Oliver, MAAS Manager of Digital Learning with input from Nina Earl, MAAS Assistant Curator.

Footnote 1

When picking from teamLab’s works we started out with a list of about twelve different environments and had to narrow it down to eight. The main reason we had to narrow our selection down was space. Future Park is located in our touring hall, it is a long skinny exhibition space in which we build new walls and a new layout each time. Usually we build a series of smaller rooms that you can walk through and see each of the exhibits up close. This time we needed lots of space and wall height to accommodate the large projections.

This meant our design team had to fit each work into the space we have, kind of like a giant puzzle. Along with the space required to project each work, they also had to figure out where every projector went. When you are in the exhibition you may not realise just how much is hiding behind the walls.

Where would you of put the environments in the space? When viewing other parts of the museum are there any other spaces which might fit all the works?

Suggested visible thinking routine – Circle of viewpoints

Footnote 2

teamLab is a Japanese artist collective who explores the relationships between viewers, the artwork and their environments. They are interested in changing the traditional relationship between a museum visitor and the artworks that they look at. They want visitors to experience the artwork with the people around them and use the gallery spaces to make the experience immersive. They explore ideas around our relationships with other people, animals and the environment. To do this they use the latest in digital technology and write very complex computer programs to make their designs come to life.

How do the environments immerse you? How does this compare to interacting with other exhibitions in the museum?

Suggested visible thinking routine – Colour Symbol Image

Footnote 3

When deciding what to put into the tour, I walked around all the current exhibitions that explored some of the themes I thought linked to Future Park. I looked in Icons, which showcases some of our collections most significant objects, I then walked through Interface, which explores how important design is in the technology we use, I also walked through our science gallery Experimentations and our sustainability gallery EcoLogic. I took photos of any object that I thought could be included in our tour, then I went back to my desk to look up each of their stories in our database Emu.

After reading about each of the objects I decided that the story I wanted to tell was around how our computers today have developed and what they might be able to do in the future. teamLab pushes the boundary of digital works by inviting the viewer to help shape their content and they are testing the limits of our current technology as they do so. I wanted people to extend that same feeling of wonder experienced in the exhibition and to look at old computing technology thinking about how it pushed the boundaries during it’s time.

Walk through the museum, do you see any objects you think relate back to the exhibition?

Can you find four or five objects that are linked together?

Suggested visible thinking routine – See Think Wonder