With DRS2016 having come to and end, and all the responses from the conference scanned and soon uploaded, this seems like a great point to reflect a bit on the initial experience of running Fifty Years of Failures as an interactive conference exhibition.
Our exhibit was set up in Mezzanine and ran throughout the entire conference. The centrepiece of the exhibit was a bamboo structure where the designed cards (based on invited responses we had received prior to the conference to act as catalysts for engagement) were hanging on horizontal lines of string. Importantly, we had left open spaces on the lines, as we hoped for new contributions to be filled out and hanged during the conference. In addition to empty cards for filling out, we also had a large stock of pre-conference cards printed out and lined up on a table, for conference participants to collect and take with them. All in all, we hoped that the exhibit would act as a social space for conference goers to interact over the question of failure (by discussing the exhibit and hanging new cards, collecting cards etc.)
Throughout the days we were very excited to see our colleagues embrace the exhibit, and as new cards went up, we took old ones down in order to leave empty space on the lines. In this sense, the exhibit was in a constant change of transformation throughout the four days. It was of course particularly great when we moved beyond 50 cards in total (including the pre-conference responses). Eventually we ended up with 39 new contributions. Due to our limitations of space and curatorial practice, we weren’t able to exhibit all the cards together at the conference in the end. While this site does exactly that, we still stick to the notion of a collection in transformation, and we hope for many more contributions to be added, along with many more great comments and threads of discussion.
Big thanks to everyone who helped out making the FYF exhibit a great success, in particular General Conference Chair Peter Lloyd for his dedication. And finally to all the contributors at the conference, again, thank you so much for taking part and sharing your valuable thoughts.