aMuze! Interactive DialogSystem Connects Visitors to a Multi-institution Exhibit on Racial Biology
aMuze! Interactive was tapped by a consortium of knowledge- and cultural institutions, including Living History Forum, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Swedish National Traveling Exhibit Agency, to provide an interactive platform for visitor dialogue in an exhibition about racial biology and other pseudo-scientific forms of classification and discrimination.
The exhibition, "(In)human" - designed by Swedish Traveling Exhibitions, and based on the research and collections of Stockholm's Ethnographic Museum and Living History Forum - opened on April 14th. It will run simultaneously at the two institutions through spring 2011, and then travel to museums throughout the country.
"(In)human" examines the period of time when museums and other scientific organizations sent out expeditions to collect bones and skulls from "primitive" cultures; when the notion of racial biology was generally accepted and people were categorized and condemned in the name of "science."
Participating institutions are using the aMuze! Interactive Dialogue System to empower their visitors to engage in a discussion of the issues, to make their views known, and to see how others think.
aMuze! Interactive's Dialogue System empowers visitors at the participating institutions to engage in a discussion of the issues, where they can make their views known and see how others think.
The Dialogue System comprises several integrated components:
• touch screens on the exhibit floor engage individual visitors in questions associated with specific parts of the exhibition
• a group dialogue component with hand-held keypads allows museum educators to lead discussions with school classes and other groups, and use the voting results to spur dialogue and new insights
• an on-line module for the exhibition web site allow virtual visitors to participate.
Results from all museums are displayed in real time on "Summary Screens" located at each institution, so that visitors can see what others have thought.
Data, generated from the choices visitors make, is stored in a fully searchable database that enables the institutions to analyze the results. The entire Dialogue System is administered through a simple, web-based control panel, which allows authorized museum staff to instantly add, update, or delete content on any or all display units.
The Living History Forum is a Swedish public authority which, using the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity as a starting point, addresses issues concerning tolerance, democracy and human rights from both a national and international perspective.
The Ethnographic Museum seeks to expand the perceptions of various life styles and cultures worldwide. With its abundant collections and their diverse and well-documented provenance, the museum strives to offer knowledge and perspectives for reflection on what it means to be human.
Swedish Traveling Exhibitions is Sweden's national traveling exhibition agency. In partnership with other museums and groups, its mission is to build and tour exhibitions that help people to understand and influence their own time.