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ERIC Number: EJ1130049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-8650
Interpreting Tools by Imagining Their Uses
Kwan, Alistair
Journal of Museum Education, v42 n1 p69-80 2017
By prompting imagined or actual bodily experience, we can guide interpretation of tools to emphasize the action that those tools perform. The technique requires little more than an extension from looking at an object, to imagining how the body engages with it, perhaps even trying out those specialist postures, to nourish an interpretation centered on how the tool is used. This empathy-based approach, developed for use in classrooms and museum study environments, emphasizes tool users--scientific, trade and craft practitioners--rather than the products that the tools were used to create, and interprets science and craft as embodied processes in space and time rather than as mere precursors to their static products. This approach also encourages close inspection of specific objects to reveal wear and other changes that offer clues about how they were held, and how they moved. Interpreting objects in this way provides insights that center the object in a visitor engagement, letting objects speak for themselves. The technique may also be applicable in exhibition, using mannequins or augmented reality to add bodily information.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A