“Best use of space”: Surrey Art Gallery

Posted: August 21, 2011 in animation clips, artistic creation, emergent technologies, literacy activities, new literacies, participatory art, traditional boundaries
Having spent the summer in some of Europe’s best Art Galleries and Museums, I was a little underwhelmed by the visit. This being said, our guide did bring up interesting points, even though I did not always see them put into action in the gallery per se. One room was dedicated to a participatory art installation, where the visitors own contributions altered the sounds produced by the artistic creation. I found this original and appreciated the extension of the traditional boundaries that art is often restricted by. I also enjoyed the The REMIXX.sur.RE exhibit that uses 700 digital photos, 60 digital video and animation clips, text in five languages and 260 audio clips created by Surrey youth. It pleased me that this allowed the multimodalities of expression and artistic literacy to be expressed: it came from the youths’ reality and was expressed using the literacies they are used to using. I also enjoyed the fact that, as observers, we affected the nature of the presentation in terms of content presented and speed at which images changed, or flashed on the screen.
Probably the most important element for me was a short comment the guide made that he didn’t elaborate on very much but had an effect on me. He spoke of the gallery “making the best use of the space”. I loved this; the space itself becomes a consideration in the creation of not only the shows, but of the displays, and the actual creation of the art itself. It led me to wonder if I use my classroom as well as I could be using it; am I “making the best use of the space?” “what could I be doing differently that would ensure I am making the best use of the space my students and I have?”

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