Friday, Panel 1, 201 GRAUBALLEMANDEN 09:00 - 10:30


All presentations in this panel:

  • Fill the blanks by leaving them open, Tam Vibberstoft, Artist, Mårslet, Denmark

  • The Admitted, Sara Heil Jensen, Oslo University, Oslo, Norway

Fill the blanks by leaving them open

Tam Vibberstoft

Artist, Mårslet, Denmark


Keywords: Engagement, Performance, Awkwardness, Uninvited, Future

From the perspective of the artist Tam Vibberstoft talks about her working method of filling the blanks by leaving them open. The method refers to a way of designing experiences with space for uncertainty. By leaving blanks in the meeting with an audience one leaves room for interaction. It takes courage for the maker to give up control of the experience, but when it’s done well, it creates room for the uninvited and heightens the accessibility of the work. Producing open-ended experiences will invite the audience to engage and fill the blanks. This engagement is a key quality of future society. It’s empowering and gives the audience a sense of agency. In this talk Tam will share experiences of working with audience engagement in performing arts and present examples of joyful audience encounters with theoretical references. Key points are room for the uninvited and staying with the awkwardness.

Presentation Tam Vibberstoft

The Admitted

Sara Heil Jensen

Oslo University, Oslo, Norway


Keywords: Motivation, school, learning, reason-to-go

Since Knowledge and Learning are cornerstones in our educational system, it is not surprising that many school classes passes through the gates of our museums every year. Most museums offer an educational program, has all sorts of educational resources on site and online, and it is common in many countries for the government to financially support school visits at museums. The museum visit becomes a mandatory visit, with a very specific purpose. The well know model from John Falk’s “Museum and the visitor experience“ analyzing museums visitors and their motivations, do not describe this large and heterogenic group we call “school children”, that most have one thing in common: They are not here by choice! They have been admitted to this experience, whether they like it or not.

It seems that both the schools and the museums have taken upon themselves to define, what they believe to be both the goal and motivation for these students.  “Learning goals” is an expression often used in both exhibition design and school curriculums, the criteria of success is clear - learning- and thus this becomes the motivation. But who’s motivation are we talking about? The teachers? The museum educators? Or the students? And are they enjoying themselves? Mandatory experiences (jury duty, military duty, taking out the trash ect.) tend to be characterized by rather low expectations.  These low expectations are in the risk of being transferred to the students’ general attitude towards museum visits, reproducing the assumption that museums are “boring”.

This talk is about the project “de tvangsindlagte” (The Admitted), and about reconsidering our motivations and criteria of success behind educational programs.

Presentation Sara Heil Jensen