Posted 31 Jul
MOD.’s Open Lab is a dedicated space for engaging the public in relevant research, art and current events. With pop-up residencies, experiments and investigations changing often. Over the last month, the Open Lab has hosted an exhibit exploring the First Nations Voice to Parliament referendum that we will vote on later in the year. The exhibit created a space that fostered genuine inquiry and conversation to help ease the concerns and deconstruct misinformation surrounding the voice for MOD.’s young-adult target audience. We posed a number of questions about the Voice to gather the questions that people had, and then allowed visitors to respond via post-it notes and sparked two-way conversations from which further questions and answers could be added.
Initially, visitors were invited to answer the question What do you wish you knew about the Voice? who responded with questions like is it what First Nations people really want? How will this look to the rest of the world? and is the Voice going to divide the country? MOD. did their best to answer visitors’ questions and post them back up in the space for further discussion.
It was encouraging to find visitors continuing these conversations amongst themselves. Seconding, disagreeing or proposing alternatives to the answers, thoughts and concerns of others. If they knew an answer to a question another visitor posed they responded. If they saw something they didn’t agree with they explained why. For example, one visitor went on to explain why the opinions of another could be misleading and urged them to consider how systems impact people differently.
Other visitors supported the points of each other through arrows and exclamation points.
Another question asked which Country are you visiting us from?, which allowed us to see the diverse places where the opinions in the space originated. This included one visitor from the US, who stated that they “wish we were considering such a referendum. I hope you vote yes.”
This pop-up created an open-ended space for visitors to explore their thoughts surrounded by the thoughts of hundreds of others. We’ll leave you with some of our favourite resources we have gathered with visitors for further learning.