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Jason Cleverly

The Enlightened Eye

Jason Cleverly

Affiliation: Autonomatic, Falmouth University

Key words: Innovation, Making, Materials

Conference Activity: Exhibit in the Exchange Building

Project summary:

This research is concerned with a growing interest amongst artists, curators and designers, in devising new multimedia assemblies to enhance engagement with museum collections. These initiatives reveal a commitment to creating new opportunities for visitor participation and learning, and for artists and designers to generate and address interpretation in distinctive and novel formats.
The Enlightened Eye is a museum interactive designed to enhance visitor experience of mineral specimens. The Enlightened Eye supports a system of planetary gears allowing mineral samples to be examined sequentially by a digital microscope. Using a touch screen and a specially designed interface, visitors can annotate and select close up views to make unique responses that can be shared online.

The seeming archaic technology and the kinetic machine styling is an evocation of the camera obscura and the orrery. The manual controls are positioned to encourage visitors to cooperate, engender collaboration and enhance participation. These considerations conform to a programme of aesthetic design and affordance, aimed to support memorable interactions and meaning making. Additionally by inviting virtual and material inspection and response, the Enlightened Eye aims to enhance the objects under scrutiny.

CIOLFI, L. 2012. ‘Particpation and the creation of shared heritage’. In Elisa Giaccardi (ed.). Heritage and Social Media : Understanding Heritage in a Participatory Culture. (1st edn). New York, NY: Routledge, 69.

HEATH, C. et al. 2002. ‘Crafting participation: designing
ecologies, configuring experience’. Visual Communication., 1(1), 9-33.

HOOPER-GREENHILL, Eilean. 1994. Museums and their Visitors. London: Routledge.

One question that arises from your project:

Does the use of embedded digital technology, including the opportunity to review, preserve and share creative input help to sustain interest and enhance interpretation?