Site specific

Kauhau posterHere’s the traditional #blogjune post about the second year actor’s site specific work.This year it’s called Kauhau and they’re at the National Library. The newly refurbished, award winning National Library of New Zealand. (Best in Category Special Purpose Building at the Property Council NZ Awards 2013.)  I went with the students on their first visit and it was fascinating to see what they were up to. The directors of the project asked them to think about the space – how did it make them feel? What did they want to do in it? What did they notice other people doing? (I couldn’t turn my ‘library eyes’ off – why is that set of shelves there? What purpose does that thing have? Where is everything – anything?!)

One thing I found interesting is that users were expected to create their own stories from the information in the building. This is different to other similar places users might go to. e.g. a museum packages information for users to consume. Galleries have labels about the artworks. This question is being discussed by the GLAM sector. Does the user/viewer have to know the intent behind the artwork? Or should they come to it with no idea and take it on its own merits?

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