[Course] From Statement to Exhibition
Posted: 17 September 2019 02:33 PM
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From Statement to Exhibition

The aim of the From Statement to Exhibition course is to gain experience with communicating scientific insights by means of a designed experience instead of the written format that is common in science communication. After conceptualizing and materializing an experience, it is hosted by students in a public exhibition.
Process Format

In order to frame and shape this process we have developed the following format:

I. Students search for a scientific insight that is challenging to be translated into an experience. For example a theoretical or abstract scientific insight could be translated into a concrete experience.
The term ‘translation’ is important in the sense that we do not want students to copy or repeat an experience that is already part of the scientific research itself, or simply a demonstration of an insight — student must create the translation themselves.

II. After choosing the scientific insight it is reformulated in the form of a compelling statement. The statement describes the insight that students wish to convey to an audience, via a designed experience. The statement does not need to reflect the scientific insight directly; it may also contradict it, extrapolate it, re-appropriate it, or question it (in which case the statement takes the form of a question).
The statement should be compelling to the audience in that it is engaging, captivating, challenging, exciting, or infuriating.

III. Next, students develop a concept for the translation of the statement into a captivating experience that will be part of the exhibition.

IV. Finally, students realize the concept into its actual form. A popular form is that of an interactive installation, but we pose no limits on the form, other than that it must provide an experience to a general audience in an exhibition context. Alternative forms may include film, dance, performance, game, non-interactive exhibits, and so forth.
Process Example

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Posted: 17 September 2019 02:34 PM   [ # 1 ]
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An example is the following (based on a Media Technology project from 2007):

I. Students were intrigued by the concept of randomness. The scientific insight that they chose to work with was that humans are generally very bad at generating random data and assessing randomness in data.
II. The compelling statement that they formulated in the form of a question was “Can you learn to be more random?” This is interesting because learning is generally viewed as uncovering patterns, whereas randomness is defined as lacking patterns – an interesting paradox.
III. Their concept took the form of a computer game where opponents challenged each other in real time. Pressing two button “more randomly” than your opponent would win the game.
IV. The final interactive installation allowed players to play short (casual) games against each other. No high scores were recorded. Players would experience the difficulty of trying to become more random.

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Posted: 17 September 2019 02:37 PM   [ # 2 ]
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Group Formation

Groups contain three students. Group formation is a two-step process:

1: Until September 20th students can submit their own groups of exactly 3 students. Groups containing other than 3 students are ignored. Submitted groups cannot be recalled and are definite. Groups are submitted by email through mediatechnology [at] leiden [dot] edu

2: After phase 1, participating students that are not yet part of a group are grouped by the course lecturers in groups of 2 or 3 students. This is at full discretion of the lecturers.

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Posted: 17 September 2019 02:55 PM   [ # 3 ]
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Theme

The overall theme for this year’s course is: certainty.

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