Our Place – Our Space

Our Space is an multi-media exhibit that is live now at Te Papa. People contribute their own photos, videos and text regarding life in New Zealand and the results are added to a collection of images that users can use to create ‘tracks’ online or add to the real world elements of this exhibit. Te Papa staff say they aimed to create a collaborative space that would provide a “seriously fun” exhibit that was “all about me”. The target audience for this – 15 – 25 year olds are used to creating content, interactivity to them is not pressing a button and watching a video. Curators would play a passive role in the development of this exhibit, real people and their interests will be the basis for this exhibit, which is expected to run for ten years. Eventually Te Papa hopes to almost fully relinquish their ownership of this process as it organically evolves into a member-driven community.

Inside Te Papa, visitors can alter a huge video wall using a wii-like remote. They add, edit, recolor and mix media to create a user generated wall. It’s hard to explain – go here . Every minute a pic is taken of the wall to archive it’s progress. Within Te Papa there are stations where visitors can record footage of themselves to add to the wall.

Also within Te Papa is a satellite floor map of New Zealand composed of touch sensitive screens. This also features digital content contributed by users and the Gibson Group, who is working in partnership with Te Papa. As users walk across the floor, images relating to the area they are walking on, are generated on “The Wall.”

“The Sky” is another display area for this content, both on-line and in screen form at the Museum. 6 LCD screens display the 200 most recent uploads to the site and ceiling cameras track the interaction of the user with the image, so the image can react to the user. Te Papa being Te Papa, there are also two new ride experiences associated with this exhibit.

The content for this exhibit is a mix of user generated content, visual material from Te Papa Collections, content from TVNZ archive and other partners. There is a small amount of cataloguing  of the collection. All submissions are screened, sorted and tagged. Perhaps it wasn’t easy for the curators to be entirely passive.

When Te Papa was challenged to create an exhibit that “celebrated notable and ordinary New Zealanders”, no-one would have predicted this result. Eventually Te Papa aims to have interactive, contributing stations at various locations around NZ. Would our Library be a good fit for this?

One thought on “Our Place – Our Space

  1. richard December 1, 2008 / 6:05 am

    It would be fantastic to have an outpost of this in a library somewhere – let’s just hope the development team have the backing to take this out around the country.

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