‘Gestures- in the past, present and future’: A museum exhibition based on multimodal research


Wednesday June 5,  2019 17:00-19:30 PM
Location: Room 803, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

How can multimodality leave the labs, books, and universities and make a difference in and for society?

Dr Martin Siefkes from the University of Technology Chemnitz presents the exhibition ‘Gestures – in the past, present, and future’ that was on in Chemnitz last year and is currently showing at the Museum for Communication in Berlin. It is the first ever exhibition that traces human gestures as a means of communication, exploring themes ranging from the future of gesture control to the link between gesture and traditional crafts. The exhibition is linked to the MANUACT project (www.manuact.org/en) and presents current research on gesture through artistic installations and interactive exhibits.

The exhibition in Chemnitz was a success, with over 16,000 visitors, extensive publicity and a rich programme of guided tours. In its new home in Berlin, it currently attracts over 4,000 visitors each weekend. Visitor numbers, however, offer no indication about the impact that this exhibition has had people’s understanding of gesture. The talk presents images and videos from the exhibition and critically evaluates how research on multimodal communication has been presented to the public as a means for connecting communities. Dr Siefkes discusses the impact that this research-based exhibition can have through connecting communities and foregrounding stories and experiences of people.

About the presenter

 Dr Martin Siefkes is Research Associate at the University of Technology Chemnitz. His research focuses on multimodality in digital media, as well as museums and online exhibitions, connecting approaches from semiotics, linguistics, and digital humanities. He has been a member of the research project MANUACT (www.manuact.org) from 2015 to 2018. He co-edits the journal Zeitschrift für Semiotik and co-founded the Digital Humanities section of the German Semiotics Society.

The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a research hub for academic discussion on multimodality run by the UCL Centre for Multimodal Research. For information about future events visit: https://multimodalforum.wordpress.com/

For any enquiries, please contact sophia.diamantopoulou@ucl.ac.uk


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